‘Tis the Season… to Eat, Drink and Be Merry – Head Chef at The Malton, John O’Leary Shares his Christmas Cookery Tips

‘Tis the Season… to Eat, Drink and Be Merry - Head Chef at The Malton, John O’Leary Shares his Christmas Cookery Tips

“How do you keep turkey moist?” “How do you cater for vegetarians?” “Can sprouts be interesting?”  These are just some of the questions that The Malton’s Head Chef John O’Leary has been asked over the years.

Christmas is a time of celebration and sharing quality time with family and friends; but if you are the cook in the house and not careful, your quality time comes if someone pops into the kitchen to say hello! Time spent in the kitchen preparing food for family and friends is one of the great pleasures of Christmas, but often by the time the revelries begin you are too worn out to enjoy them. Don’t worry though as help is at hand thanks to Chef John, who is here to shares some of his Christmas cookery tips and secrets to help you create a delicious Christmas dinner at home this year.

Here are just some of Chef John’s cooking tips to make your Christmas day memorable and more joyful:

  • Don’t have a hectic Christmas Day in the kitchen, plan your menu so you can prepare as much as possible on the days running up to Christmas.
  • Avoid dry turkey by regular basting. Mix thyme, salt, black pepper and butter to a smooth paste and rub over turkey breast before cooking.
  • For the perfect roast potato, Blanche the potato in boiling water for 8-10 min, strain and cook them with duck or goose fat for that extra crunchy finish.
  • For the perfect Christmas gravy, fry some diced onions golden brown add table spoon of tomato puree and cook for 10 min add a glug of port and reduce then add a glass of red wine, chicken stock and a bay leaf, reduce by half, if you like a thicker gravy you can thicken with corn flour and then a cube of cold butter, whisk and serve.
  • To make the perfect cranberry sauce, take 300g of fresh cranberries, 2 tablespoon of caster sugar, a pinch of mixed spice, 1 orange zested and juiced and a generous splash of port. Mix together in a saucepan and cook over a gentle heat until syrupy and cranberries have popped and burst. Cool and serve.

This is your Christmas as well. You can build time for you into the time plan so make sure you stick to it. Allow time during or at the end of cooking to chill out a little, get ready and have a Very Merry Christmas!

Of course if all this sounds too much for you, you could always plan Christmas Day at The Malton. Visit www.themalton.com for more information on their Christmas packages.

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