Today I round off the main Christmas meal with two classic side dishes, one of which is a true personal favourite of mine.
We all serve potatoes for Christmas, but I sometimes like to mix it up with something a little different, and sweet potatoes are a real favourite of mine, so the first recipe today is to try and get you to give something a little different a go. Of course, my wife is Nigerian, so we will probably have yams and plantains as well!
Later today, I will have a recipe for a microwave Christmas pudding, which you can prepare from scratch on Christmas day, just the thing if you have forgotten your own pudding!
Spicy Honey-roasted Sweet Potatoes
If you fancy something a little different than the traditional roast potatoes to go with your roast turkey this Christmas, then this recipe for honey and orange flavoured roast sweet potatoes might just be what you're looking for.
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp runny honey
4 tbsp orange juice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin seeds
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
4 medium orange sweet potatoes, halved crosswise and quartered lengthways
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Method:Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in the honey, along with the orange juice and spices.
Liberally butter a glass or ceramic baking dish (this must be large enough to hold the sweet potatoes in a single layer). Arrange the sweet potato wedges in the dish, then pour over the honey mixture.
Toss the sweet potatoes to coat in the honey mix then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 200ºC (400ºF) and roast for about 50 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are browned and tender and the pan juices are thick and bubbly.
During the cooking times you should gently stir the sweet potatoes several times during cooking to ensure that they are coated in the pan juices.
Note that the honey and spice dressing for the sweet potatoes used here also works well for carrots, swedes and squashes, or you could mix all these up and roast in a single dish.
Spicy Braised Red Cabbage Recipe
This is the dish that I invariable serve with my own Christmas turkey. Though based on an old German classic, I've adapted and amended the recipe over the years, to produce something that is always a hit with my family.
Ingredients:4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 medium-sized red cabbage, cored and shredded (about 1kg [2 lbs])
1/2 tsp mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tart eating apples, cored, peeled and cut into chunks
120ml port wine
4 tbsp redcurrant jelly or blackcurrant jelly
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Method:Combine the butter, sugar, vinegar and port wine in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Stir in the spices and season to taste with salt and black pepper, then bring to a boil.
Add the cabbage pieces, stirring to mix with the juice. Reduce toa gentle simmer, cover and cook gently for about 60 minutes, or until the cabbage is soft.
Now stir in the apple pieces and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes more.
Finally stir in the reducrrant jelly to cover the cabbage. Adjust the seasoning to taste, turn into a dish and serve.