If ever there was a time to drink, eat and be merry, it’s now. And on the menu? A feast of baked cheese, glazed ham, grilled broccolini butter cookies and chocolate tart.
Baked cranberry Camembert
100g frozen cranberries; 150g Staffords cranberry jelly; 1tsp chilli flakes; one 250g wheel of Camembert or Brie cheese; 50g walnuts; 3 sprigs rosemary
Preheat oven to 180˚C. In a small saucepan combine the frozen cranberries, 100g Staffords cranberry jelly and chilli flakes. Cook over low heat until the cranberries are soft and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 min. Set aside.
On a baking tray, score the wheel of cheese in a 2cm by 2cm pattern. In the grooves insert the rosemary leaves … do this evenly throughout the wheel. Spread 50g of Staffords cranberry jelly evenly over top of the wheel. Tie a piece of kitchen twine around the outside of the wheel to prevent it breaking apart too early. Sprinkle the walnuts around the wheel.
Bake for 8 to 10 min or until it has become soft in the middle. This will vary depending on the age of the cheese. Remove from oven and place on a serving dish. Spoon over some of the cranberry chilli sauce and place the rest in a dish to serve on the side. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and more fresh rosemary if desired.
Serve immediately with crusty sliced bread like sourdough or baguette.
Honey mustard glazed ham
3kg leg of ham, trimmed and skin removed; 1 cup smooth orange marmalade; quarter of a cup Staffords honey; half a cup orange juice; 3 Tblsps Staffords Dijon mustard; cloves for studding; sage for garnish
Preheat oven to 180˚C. In a saucepan combine the marmalade, honey, orange juice and mustard. Cook over low heat until the glaze has thickened slightly – around five to seven minutes. Set aside but do not allow to cool completely. If needed reheat over low heat for one to two min. Score the trimmed leg of ham into a 2cm diamond pattern. Push a single clove Into the centre of each diamond. Only stud the top of the ham, or whichever side you’ll be presenting. Place on a rack above a lined baking sheet. Generously brush ham with glaze and place on the lowest rack of the oven. Every 10 min remove the ham from the oven, rotate and brush on more glaze. Repeat this until ham is golden brown, about 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the oven. If the top begins to brown too quickly, loosely place a piece of tinfoil over top. Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and serve on a large dish (sliced or whole) and garnish with fresh sage.
Cinnamon sugar holiday tree with cinnamon sugar butter cookies
For the tree you’ll need:
Staffords cinnamon sugar shaker; 2 rolls store-bought puff pastry
For the cookies you’ll need: 2 cups flour; ½ tsp baking powder; ½ tsp salt; 170g butter, softened; 200g sugar; 1 large egg; ½ tsp vanilla; Staffords cinnamon sugar shaker
Preheat oven to 180˚C.
For the cookies: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Wrap dough in clingwrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours. When chilled, roll dough into ½ cm thick sheet, cut out star-shaped cookies and place on a lined and greased baking sheet. Brush tops of the cookies with melted butter and sprinkle generously with Staffords cinnamon sugar. Bake cookies at 180˚C for 12 to 15 min or until the edges begin to brown. Remove from oven and transfer onto a cooling rack.
For the tree: On a lined baking tray spread out one roll of puff pastry. Generously sprinkle Staffords cinnamon sugar in a generally tree-shaped area. Roll out the second piece of puff pastry and place over the first piece of puff pastry. Press down gently to bond the two pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 20 minutes. When pastry is chilled return tray to working surface (do not remove from the lined tray). Cut out tree shape with special attention to the trunk, which should be wider at the bottom than the top. Cut the sides of the tree to form branches every 2cm, with a 1cm gap between each branch. Remove pastry from the 1cm wide gaps to allow pastry to expand slightly. Do not cut all the way to the top, allow 2-3cm of flat pastry at the top. Twist each branch as many times as you can, depending on the length of each branch.
Brush ‘trunk’ of the tree and areas not twisted with melted butter and sprinkle those areas with Staffords cinnamon sugar. Bake the tree at 220˚C for about 20-25 minutes or until the pastry has fully ‘puffed’ and turned golden brown. Once baked, remove from oven and serve with star cookies placed as baubles along the branches and top of the tree.
Griddled broccolini with sweet thick soy glaze
200g asparagus spears; 200g broccolini spears; 45ml black and white sesame seeds, toasted; black pepper
For the glaze 30ml olive oil; 60ml Staffords sweet thick soy sauce; 15ml rice wine vinegar; 5ml Staffords garlic paste
Trim the asparagus and broccoli spears and blanch in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and cool under cold running water, then pat dry using a clean tea towel. Heat a griddle pan on the stove. Whisk the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl and use to baste the vegetables. Sear the vegetables in a single layer, on the griddle pan for 1-2 minutes a side. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter the toasted sesame seeds over the top.
Chocolate raspberry tart
Chocolate pastry – 170g cake flour; 50g icing sugar; 60ml cocoa powder; 2ml salt;100g cold butter, cubed; 1 egg yolk; 60ml water. Filling – 200g raspberries; 500ml cream; 60g caster sugar; 100g Staffords milk choc disks; 150g Staffords dark choc disks; 5ml Staffords vanilla extract with seeds; 3 eggs, lightly whisked; 10ml cocoa powder, for dusting
For the chocolate pastry, sift the flour, cocoa powder and icing sugar into a mixing bowl and add salt. Add cold butter and work into the flour, using your fingertips, until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Beat egg yolk with water, add to the flour mixture and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Then roll the pastry out on a lightly flour-dusted surface and line a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 190°C. Blind bake the pastry case for 12 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
To make the filling, reduce the oven temperature to 160°C. Reserve a third of the raspberries for decoration and use remainder to line the baked tart case. Place the cream and sugar in a pan and gently bring to the boil. Stir until sugar dissolves, then remove from heat, add milk choc disks, dark choc disks and vanilla extract with seeds and stir until smooth. Allow to cool for five minutes, then stir in the eggs. Transfer the tart case to a baking sheet and pour chocolate filling over raspberries. Bake the tart for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is cooked but still slightly wobbly in the middle. Allow to cool at room temperature until set. Decorate with remaining raspberries and a dusting of cocoa powder round the edges.
Festive cooking – hells bells, any cooking – is easier (and tastier) when you use the condiments, baking and specialty products from the Staffords range. From baking to braaiing, going fancy or keeping it simple, there’s a Staffords product that will add a little extra punch. You’ll find them at your local supermarket.
Roast beef with horseradish potatoes dauphinoise
For the beef:
1.2 kg beef sirloin; 1Tlbsp Chinese 7 spice; 2tsps caster sugar; 1tsp salt; ½tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the potatoes:
300ml cream; 300ml milk; 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced; 1 jar Staffords creamed horseradish (145g); 2 shallots, finely chopped; 1.5 kg potatoes; 1Tblsp salt; 1Tblsp pepper; 120g Parmesan cheese; 1Tblsp softened butter
Preheat oven to 220˚C.
Beef – Place all the seasonings into a bowl and mix well. Score the roast and rub generously with the spice mix. Allow to rest at room temp for one hour. Place on a rack on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes at 220˚C, then another 30 minutes at 180˚C for medium rare. Allow to rest before slicing.
Potatoes – Peel and thinly slice potatoes, place in a bowl of cold water so potatoes release some starch and don’t brown. In a saucepan combine the cream, milk, garlic, horseradish and shallots. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before blending in a blender until smooth.
Butter the bottom and sides of an oven-safe baking dish. Layer the potatoes in an overlapping circular pattern. Every 2-3 layers season with salt and pepper and pour over a small amount of the liquid. When all the potatoes have been placed, top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake the gratin for one hour at 180˚C. Cover with tinfoil for the first 45 mins then uncover and continue cooking for 30 minutes or until golden brown and potatoes are tender. Top with fresh thyme and serve with the sliced beef.
Mediterranean artichoke salad
2 yellow peppers; 2 red peppers; 1 small cucumber; 1/2 red onion; 1 small fennel bulb; 1x400g tin Staffords artichoke hearts; 100g green olives; 100g black olives; 250g cooked spelt; 100g chevin – goat’s milk cheese; handful fresh mint
1 large lemon, juiced; 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1tsp oregano; 100ml olive oil; 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes; 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper; 1tsp Dijon mustard; 1tsp honey
Cook the peppers on a braai or open flame until well blackened. You can also easily achieve this in a hot oven under the grill. Once blackened, place in a large bowl and cover tightly with clingfilm. Leave for 20 minutes to steam. Remove clingfilm and ‘peel’ off the blackened skin. Remove all the seeds. Slice peppers into large pieces and set aside. Dice the cucumber into chunks. Slice the red onion and fennel bulb very finely. Drain the artichoke hearts and slice into quarters. Remove the chevin from the fridge and allow to soften slightly. Roughly chop the fresh mint, then mix into the goat’s cheese.
Make the dressing by placing all the ingredients in a glass jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake well until emulsified.
To assemble the salad, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss well with the dressing. Top the salad with dollops of the minted goat’s cheese.
Serve with freshly toasted pita bread and hummus.
Balsamic & honey glazed salmon
For the salmon:
1 kg side of salmon, deboned but skin on; 60ml Staffords balsamic vinegar; 125ml Staffords honey; a handful of fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
For the sweet & salty topping:
100ml olive oil; 160g raw almonds, roughly chopped; 3 anchovies; 70g dried cranberries; 1tsp chilli flakes; 1Tblsp Staffords honey; ¼ tsp salt; 1 lime, juiced; 1 head of garlic; 2tsp Staffords honey; 1tsp olive oil; sea salt flakes
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Slice off top of the head of garlic exposing cloves. Place on a piece of tinfoil. Drizzle with a little olive oil, a tablespoon of honey and a sprinkle of salt. Wrap up tightly in foil and place in the oven for one hour.
For the topping, combine all the ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat until almonds are golden brown, anchovies disappear and all the flavours come together. Remove from the heat and squeeze in lime juice. Toss and set aside.
For the salmon, place honey, balsamic vinegar and thyme leaves in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Place salmon on a large baking tray lined with baking paper and brush generously with glaze. Bake for 15 minutes, removing salmon from the oven and brushing with glaze every 5 minutes. For medium, cook salmon for 15 minutes. Cook for longer if so desired. Serve salmon topped with the crunchy sweet & salty nut mix, fresh dill and the roasted garlic.
Honey & balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts
700 g brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved; ¼ cup olive oil; ½ tsp salt; ¼ tsp pepper; 60ml Staffords honey; 80ml Staffords balsamic vinegar; 2 Tblsps Staffords Dijon mustard; 1tsp red pepper flakes; 3Tblsps butter; 3 spring onions; 1tsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 250˚C. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and allow to heat. While the baking sheet is heating, toss Brussels sprouts in olive oil, salt and pepper. Once the baking sheet is hot, remove from oven and quickly place the Brussels sprouts on it, cut side down. Replace in oven as quickly as possible and cook for 20 min or until they have browned. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring honey to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until honey is a deep amber colour. Remove from heat and add the vinegar and red pepper flakes. Mix until smooth. Return saucepan to the heat and add butter and another ½ tsp of salt. Continue stirring until the sauce has thickened slightly. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a bowl, pour over the glaze, Staffords Dijon mustard and spring onions. Toss to coat. Top with lemon zest and serve immediately.
Big brown mushrooms stuffed with artichokes
6 large brown mushrooms; 2 large shallots, sliced; 4 cloves garlic, finely diced; 200g baby spinach; 125ml crème fraîche; 1 x 400g tin Staffords artichoke hearts; 2 cups cooked wild rice; olive oil; salt; freshly ground black pepper; pinch of cayenne pepper; 18 balls bocconcini mozzarella
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Remove core from mushrooms and place mushrooms on baking sheet.
Sauté shallots in a drizzle of olive oil until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add baby spinach and cook until wilted. Add crème fraîche and stir well. Drain artichoke hearts and slice into chunks. Add artichokes to the pan and season well with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir through the wild rice and remove from heat.
Fill each mushroom with a few generous spoonfuls of the filling. Top each mushroom with 3 torn bocconcini balls.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden and the mushrooms are cooked through.
Serve immediately with crusty sliced bread like sourdough or baguette.