Stratford-upon-Avon Christmas Fayre

As promised here are some of the recipes that I cooked at this fabulous event. Happy cooking!

A Stress Free Christmas/ Turkey re-invented


Roasted turkey with chocolate and vanilla gravy and roasted vegetables


Serve 6


2.5kg turkey

8 medium onions cut into quarters

4 sprigs of thyme

6 garlic cloves crushed in their husk

Spices to taste: cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seed, smoked paprika, chilli powder, star anise, cardamom pods, nutmeg (any or all of them)

Bay leaves

1tsp cocoa powder

½ vanilla pod cut in half

Stuffing for the legs (I used a mix of mincemeat, breadcrumbs, herbs and chestnuts)



Lots of roots vegetables (parsnips, potatoes, sweede, turnips, carrots onions, anything you fancy)

3tbsp rapeseed oil



  1. The day before, remove and bone the legs out and stuff them with your favourite stuffing, trim the crown by removing the extra bones and trim ready to cook the day after.
  2. Sprinkle a little spices, on a large piece of cling film and roll each leg up tightly into the cling film to create a sausage shape. Make sure that it is compressed well by twisting each end of the cling film, lock in place by wrapping the sausage in a little more cling film.
  3. Place in a large pot of water with the bones and bits you have trimmed from the turkey and simmer in water for 1-1.5 hours or until cooked.(this will give you some turkey stock as well as poaching the legs)
  4. When cooked remove from the fire and leave to cool down in the poaching liquid
  5. On the day remove the turkey from the fridge for at least an hour before cooking.
  6. Season the turkey with your chosen spices and herbs.
  7. Place the onions at the bottom of a roasting tray, place the turkey crown on top of the onion and start to cook in a pre-heated oven 200°C for about 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 160°C and carry on cooking.
  8. In the meantime wash the vegetables and drain well, (I tend not to peel them) cut into large chunks, ( I usually half the potatoes and carrots, quarter the parsnips and turnips, and cut the rest into large pieces)
  9. Place in a large bowl, season with your chosen spices and herbs, add the garlic rapeseed oil and mix well.
  10. The total cooking time of the crown should be about 1.30/1.45 minutes (if you use a large or small turkey you will need to adjust cooking time), your vegetables will be ready in 30 to 40 minutes.
  11. 40 minutes before the turkey is cooked, remove from the oven, add the vegetables to the roasting tray,)mix well, add the poached leg (Remove the cling film first) and return to the oven, mixing occasionally until both the veg and turkey are ready
  12. When cooked remove both the meat and vegetables from the tray, and leave to rest in a warm place.
  13. Discard any excess fat from the tray, and place the tray on a medium heat.
  14. Add some turkey stock and reduce down a little.
  15. Add the cocoa and vanilla and simmer for a few minutes.
  16. If you like a thicker gravy, mix a little flour with some cold turkey stock and slowly add to the boiling gravy stirring constantly until the desired thickness is obtained. Adjust the seasoning, sieve and enjoy.

 Smoked Salmon with Goats Cheese and Cranberry Salad 

Serve 6 as a starter



200g sliced smoked salmon


250g soft goat cheese (cream cheese can be used instead)

1 tsp each of chopped parsley, gherkins, capers

1tsp horseradish sauce (optional)

Ground black pepper



1 large fennel finely sliced

1 orange, zest removed and cut into thin strips. Orange segmented

Balsamic vinegar

Extra virgin rapeseed or olive oil to drizzle

Handful of micro/herbs

1 pomegranate, split into pips.

2tbsp cranberry sauce



  1. Mix together all of the filling ingredients.
  2. Cut a large piece of cling film and arrange the sliced smoked salmon next to each other so to create a large square. (If the salmon is too thick, cover with more cling film and with a rolling pin gently thin it down)
  3. Place the cheese mix into a piping bag and pipe it on one end of your square.
  4. With the help of the cling film roll the salmon and cheese so to create a cylinder. Close both end of the cling film and roll in opposite directions to create a “perfect cylinder” (the more you squeeze them the thicker the roll will become)
  5. Place in the fridge to set for at least one hour.
  6. In a large bowl make the dressing by mixing together the cranberry sauce, a little balsamic vinegar and some olive oil, if too thick add a little water
  7. When ready to serve, mix the fennel, orange and some micro herbs together.
  8. Dress with a little dressing and arrange on your plate.
  9. Cut the roulade, gently remove the cling film and arrange on the salad.
  10. Decorate with the rest of the dressing and herbs, drizzle with the oil and serve.



Lavish Leftovers


Posh turkey and vegetable soup

4 people



250g Puff pastry

1 litre stock reserved from cooking the legs

400g leftover vegetables cut into small chunks

400g leftover turkey cut into small chunks


250g cheese, smoked, blue, anything (optional)

4 eggs (optional)



  1. When the stock you have used to poach the legs is still cold, remove any excess fat, bring it to the boil and adjust the seasoning. At this stage you can flavour the stock with any spices/herbs you like: star anise, cardamom, liquorice, lemon grass, nutmeg, cumin, thyme etc. Pass through a sieve and leave to cool down
  2. You can use the vegetables as they are or you might like to sauté them with a little garlic, curry powder, or any other spice you might like
  3. Make the lids by rolling down the puff pastry to about 2mm thick, using your soup bowl as a template, but making sure that the pastry is about a cm larger than the soup bowl. Return your “lids” to the fridge
  4. Chill down some soup bowls in the fridge
  5. Before starting to assemble the dish, make sure that all the ingredients are cold
  6. Place some vegetables and turkey on each soup bowl, chunks of cheese if used, and top with some stock. Do not mix the ingredients.
  7. If you are adding the egg*, crack one egg on each bowl.
  8. Moisten the edge of each bowl with a little water before placing a puff pastry lid on each bowl pinching it down to make sure making it sticks to the bowl and that it is properly sealed.
  9. Sprinkle the top with a some flour and decorate with a bay leave or a sprig of thyme
  10. Return to the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
  11. To cook the dish, place in a preheated oven 180°C for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry has risen and it has a light golden colour




Leftover meat and vegetable fritters


60g butter

150ml Turkey stock

150g Plain flour

3/4 eggs

300g Mash sweet potatoes/potatoes mixed vegetables

100g cheese diced

100g diced cooked vegetables

200g cooked meat diced

Herbs and spices to your liking


For the sauce

Gravy, cranberry sauce, chilly




  1. Boil the stock and butter
  2. Add flour and carry on cooking and stirring for another 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and one at the time add the egg.
  4. Stir in the rest of the ingredients
  5. Deep fry spoons full of the mixture until golden brown, drain on kitchen paper
  6. Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a pan and gently reduce until syrupy.
  7. Serve the fritters drizzled with the sauce


Sprout cake anyone?


Recipes can be found on the sprout section



Ready steady cook


Day one, my ingredients (that I can remember) Tin of mackerel packed samphire, avocado, chestnuts, tinned hot dogs, Natural Greek yogurt


The dishes


Mackerel and avocado mousse



1 avocado

1 tin mackerel in oil

3tbsp natural yogurt

Smoked paprika,

Cracked black pepper

Chopped parsley and garlic

Olive oil to dress



  1. Peel and stone the avocado.
  2. Mush half and mix together with the flaked mackerel, (oil drained and discarded) yogurt, pepper, garlic and parsley,
  3. Slice the other half of the avocado, place on a plate and serve with the mousse drizzled with olive oil


Surf and turf omelette



50g Samphire

1 egg

2 drained hot dog

1 tsp rapeseed oil



  1. Place the oil in the pan and sauté the hot dog, add the samphire and the beaten agg and cook and shape into a omelette



Creamy sweet chestnut



150g roasted chestnuts, peeled and crushed

200g double cream whipped

1tbsp honey


To decorate

Honey and cocoa powder



  1. Fold all ingredients together, serve in a glass decorated with a drizzle of honey and a dusting of cocoa powder



Day two, my ingredients (that I can remember) Minced beef, buffalo cheese, Caviar, Aubergine, corn on the cob, Sharon fruit, Pot of Pot noodles


The dishes


Pot noodle fritter, sweet corn and chilly jam (not that you want to try this but it was better than I thought)



Pot noodles, soaked in boiling water, excess juices removed

1 egg

2tbps flour

2tbsp chopped aubergine

1tsp Caviar

1tsp Greek yogurt

Smoked paprika, cracked black pepper

Thyme parsley and garlic chopped




  1. Mix together the noodles with the egg, flour, aubergine, spices and herbs
  2. Shallow fry for a couple of minutes on each side
  3. Decorate with the yogurt, caviar and a sprig of parsley


Gluten free burger in Aubergine “bun” sweet corn and chilly jam

Serve 4



500g minced beef

Small bunch of parsley and thyme coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Cracked back pepper, smoked paprika

160g Cheese


sweet corn and chilly jam

1 corn on the cob

½ tsp chilli flakes

3tbsp sugar


1 aubergine



  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the burgers ingredients (but the cheese) and mix well. If you have time cover with cling film and leave to rest and infuse for at least half hour, before splitting the mix into four equal parts and shaping into burgers.
  2. Cut the cheese into 4 pieces and push in the centre of the burger making sure that the cheese is well protected by the meat
  3. Prepare the jam, by placing all the ingredients in a pan, cover and cook for a few minutes stirring occasionally, when it starts to caramelize, remove from the fire and keep warm
  4. On a hot chargrill pan start to cook the burgers turning the occasionally. They should be cooked in 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. 5 minutes into cooking the burgers, drizzle the aubergine with a little oil and then place them onto the grill, depending on the size they should be ready roughly at the same time of the burgers.
  6. When both the burgers and aubergine are cooked, remove from the fire and assemble the burgers: slice of aubergine, burger, jam, aubergine.  If needed use a skewer to keep the burger together.
  7. Serve with any leftover jam as a decoration


Spiced Sharon fruit



1 sharon fruit sliced

2cm vanilla pod cut lengthwise, seeds scooped out

1 green cardamom pods

1 star anise

1cm piece cinnamon stick

Dash of rum/kirsh/brandy (did not have any)

Squeeze honey

Sprig of thyme


1tbsp Greek yogurt



  1. Place all the spices in a hot pan and cook for a minute
  2. Add the fruits and cook for a minute, tossing occasionally
  3. Add the honey, liquor ( I used water) and thyme, remove from the heat, pour into a container, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes
  4. Serve with the Greek yogurt drizzled with a little honey