Tuesday 24 December 2013

Day 12 — Hasselback Potatoes and Turkey and Barley Soup

Well, it's Christmas Eve, so I would like to wish all this blog's readers a very Merry Christmas. As today and tomorrow are very busy cooking days for me, I will be taking a break from the blog for a day and a half... but I'll be back on the 26th.

This is the final day of my 'Twelve Days of Christmas' seasonal food countdown. Today I have two recipes for you, a great recipe for Hasselback Potatoes to accompany the turkey and a recipe for a soup that you can make with left-over turkey (after all, everyone needs ideas for leftovers after Christmas!).

The Hasselback potatoes recipe rounds off my offerings for the complete Christmas dinner. These include the recipes published over the previous days for: Honey-brined Herb-Roasted Turkey; Crockpot Stuffing and Cranberry Relish and  Spicy Honey-roasted Sweet Potatoes and Spicy Braised Red Cabbage. And for dessert there is yesterday's recipe for Microwave Christmas Pudding, which you still have time to prepare, even today.

As well as this recipe, the Celtnet site has also been updated today with over 40 new Christmas dishes. Go on over to Celtnet's latest recipes page for the updated Christmas dishes.

Of course, the festive season continues, so after Christmas there will be recipes for leftovers and some recipes for you to enjoy over the New Year.

But, for now, a very Happy Christmas to one and all.

Spicy Hasselback Potatoes

Serves: 4–6
Spicy Hasselback Potatoes: Part-sliced potatoes, basted with butter and finished with a spicy topping


4–6 medium-sized potatoes
6 tbsp butter

For the Spicy Topping:

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
more butter, for basting


One of the beauties of thee potatoes is that they will cook comfortably alongside whatever else (typically a roast) is in your oven, so the oven temperature will depend on what else you have there.

Wash the potatoes thoroughly, pat dry, but do not peel. Cut a thin slice from one side of each potato, so that they will lie flat. Sit each potato in turn on a cutting board then lay a wooden spoon behind it (this prevents you from cutting all the way through the potato).

Turn the cutting board so that the potato and spoon are at right angles to you. Using a harp knife, slice the potato thinly (but remember to use the spoon to prevent you from cutting all the way through).

Use your fingers to spread 1 tbsp of the butter over the top of the potato. Now, using a pastry brush force some of the butter between the potato slices.

Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Transfer to an oven pre-heated anywhere between 180ºC and 220ºC (350ºF to 425ºF). Bake for around 45 minutes, basting occasionally with more butter.

Mix together the spices and scatter over the potatoes. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on the outside.

IF the potatoes are not browning, time their cooking so that you can remove the roast for 20 minutes to rest. During this time, increase the oven temperature to allow the potatoes to brown.

Serve hot.

Turkey and Barley Soup

Serves: 6
Turkey and Barley Soup: A classic and warming winter soup made with leftover turkey


1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 carrots, scraped and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
150g (2 cups) button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
1.5l (8 cups) turkey broth
2 tbsp tomato purée (tomato paste)
4 tbsp pearl barley
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
300g (2 cups) left-over turkey meat, shredded


Heat the oil in a large, deep, frying pan or skillet. Add the onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes. Sprinkle over the thyme and continue cooking for about 6 minutes more, or until the vegetables are just tender.

Heat the turkey broth in a large pot, whisk in the tomato puree then stir in the fried vegetables. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the vinegar, season to taste with salt and black pepper then stir in the pearl barly. Bring the soup just to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 18 minutes, or until the pearl barley is tender.

Stir in the turkey meat, bring back to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes more, or until all the ingredients are warmed through.

Serve immediately, ladled into warmed soup bowls.

If you need more recipes to help you use-up those Christmas leftovers of all kinds, why not visit the Celtnet Leftovers and Leftover Recipes and Ideas page.

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