5 festive foods made easy with a blender
Christmas is a hectic time of year. We love having family to stay over the holidays but feeding all these extra mouths is a time-consuming activity; the preparation and planning required can be daunting for even the most experienced cook. Here’s five no fuss festive blender recipes that’ll keep you from being “snowed under.”
Christmas is a hectic time of year. We love having family to stay over the holidays but feeding all these extra mouths is a time-consuming activity; the preparation and planning required can be daunting for even the most experienced cook.
Winter meals needn’t be overwhelming, however. A blender is a handy time-saving device, making it easy to prepare foods beforehand – and fast!
This allows you to cook up a storm in the kitchen while still spending time with the ones you love this Christmas.
Here’s five no fuss festive recipes that’ll keep you from being “snowed under.”
1) Carrot and Coriander Soup
As warming as an open fire, carrot and coriander soup is a healthy winter staple you can have ready in no time.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 potato, chopped
450g carrots, peeled and chopped
1.2l vegetable or chicken stock
Handful coriander (about ½ a supermarket packet)
Fry the onion until softened, add the chopped potato, and cook for a minute before sprinkling in the ground coriander. Add the carrots and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the carrots are tender.
Blend until the mixture is smooth, return to the pan and reheat.
2) Chicken Liver Pâté
Perfect as a starter or snack, pâté is surprisingly easy to make and goes deliciously with toast and a spicy chutney.
450g/1lb chicken livers, trimmed
200g/7oz butter, melted
50ml/2fl oz double cream
1 tbsp Armagnac or brandy
Sea salt and black pepper
Cook the chicken livers in a frying pan over a medium heat until they are cooked on the outside and pink in the middle. Transfer to a blender and process for about a minute, until smooth. Pour in the remaining melted butter, Armagnac, double cream and blend once more. Transfer to ramekins and chill.
3) Flu Fighter Smoothie
This breakfast smoothie, full of antioxidants and vitamins will help you leave those winter illness blues behind.
2 medium seedless navel oranges, peeled
2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1-3 tsp. pure maple syrup
3-5 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick that’ll clear the airways.
4) Bread Sauce
What turkey dinner would be complete without homemade bread sauce? Getting the breadcrumbs right in this recipe demands the use of a blender!
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and black pepper
1 whole nutmeg
700 ml whole milk
2 loaves ready-to-bake ciabatta
30 g butter
4 tbsp double cream
Peel the onion and spike with cloves. Put in a saucepan with bay leaves, milk and some salt and pepper, then grate in nutmeg. Bring to boil and then simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cut the crusts off the ciabatta, tear into chunks and blend until you have coarse breadcrumbs.
Strain your milk mixture through a sieve and return it to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a medium heat and simmer, while stirring in the breadcrumbs. Add the butter and cream and stir well. Finish by adding seasoning.
It may be more popular in the US & Canada, but did you know Eggnog may have originated in East Anglia? This creamy alcoholic punch is perfect for getting you in the festive mood.
6 medium free-range eggs
150g/5½ oz caster sugar
500ml/18fl oz whole milk
400ml/14fl oz double cream
350ml/12fl oz whisky or rum or a mixture of the two, depending on preference
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Blend the milk, cream, egg yolks, vanilla and alcohol of your choice together. In a separate bowl whip the egg whites and sprinkle in the sugar gradually. Fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Serve in mugs or cups garnished with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Still not feeling prepared for Christmas cooking?
For soups and sauces, try the NutriBullet, its milling blade is ideal for grinding fresh herbs and the stainless steel design means you don't need to sharpen it.
For smoothies and cocktails, check out the Nutri Ninja which uses pulse technology, allowing you to chuck frozen fruits and ice cubes straight in to the mix.
Carrot and coriander soup: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/7003/carrot-and-coriander-soup
Chicken liver pâté: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/easychickenliverpate_87604
Bread sauce: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/beautiful-bread-sauce/#iiCHMzte5M7mvP4p.99
Eggnogg: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/4938/eggnog.aspx & http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/egg_nog_64580