A simple but delicious Christmas

15 December 2011

Simply does it. This is the way I choose to cook year round and Christmas is no exception. I will never understand why people desire to make an already fraught time of the year even more of a trial by cooking an elaborate meal. It is a small wonder that many people put Christmas at the top of the stress and worry list – sometimes ahead of financial problems.

A simple cooking style doesn’t have to translate into boring and uninspired meals. By choosing seasonal ingredients and perhaps splurging on a better bottle of wine or a special ingredient as a treat can make for a memorable occasion.

The run up to the festive season is usually the busiest time for me in the restaurants and come Christmas day, I like to take things a bit easier and still maintain the family tradition at home in Mistley. I always, without fail, cook a turkey with my Mom’s cornbread stuffing. My mother used to prepare the whole bird, a task that took up the better part of Christmas day morning. However, I now find that by having the turkey boned out beforehand, I can have a bit of a lie-in and then relax with the family before lunch. I don’t use any old turkey, either. As always, my choice of bird is a Norfolk Black. Classified as a rare breed, it has an amazing depth of flavour and texture.

The stuffing, red cabbage and a special dessert can be prepared a day or two in advance; as a result the last minute organization should turn out to be a breeze.