If you’re expecting guests this Christmas Eve, the smell of these little pastries bubbling in the oven will tempt and tease the taste buds.
- plain flour, for dusting
- 1 x 380g/13oz ready-made puff pastry sheet
- 300g/10½oz Stilton
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- 100g/3½oz parmesan, freshly grated
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to 30cm/12in x 23cm/9in.
Cut the pastry into four strips lengthways and then six across, leaving you with 24 rectangles of pastry.
Crumble the Stilton into a bowl and crush with a fork.
Put a heaped teaspoon of the cheese into the centre left of each rectangle, brush the edges with the egg wash.
Fold the pastry over the cheese and crimp the edges to seal and place onto the lined baking tray.
Brush the outside with the beaten egg and grate the parmesan over each parcel. Make a little hole in the top of each parcel with the tip of a sharp knife.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden-brown all over.
Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a favorite snack in my household. They are so flavorful and it’s easy to make them in a variety of ways. Sometimes I’ll set up a deviled egg bar where friends can garnish their eggs with a variety of toppings like capers, sundried tomatoes, fresh herbs, smoked salmon, crumbled cheeses, etc. These deviled eggs are a perfect combo of salty and spicy and are sure to impress any guests.
- 1 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled
- ¼ cup mayo
- 3 tablespoons chunky blue cheese dressing
- 1 to 2 tablespoons buffalo sauce (depending on how spicy you like it)
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Crumbled blue cheese, for garnish
- Chopped celery leaves, for garnish
Halve each boiled egg. Place the whites on a platter and place the yolks in a food processor. Process the yolks until they look like coarse sand, then transfer to a mixing bowl (you can also mash the yolks with a fork if you don’t have a food processor).
Combine the egg yolks with mayo, blue cheese dressing, buffalo sauce and chopped celery. Season with salt and pepper and stir again.
Scoop the yolk mixture into a piping bag (or resealable sandwich bag) and pipe into each egg white. Garnish with crumbled blue cheese and chopped celery leaves. Serve immediately or keep cold until ready to serve.
Easy no-yeast pizza
Freshly baked pizza tastes great, and this pizza dough without yeast requires no waiting around for the dough to rise. Just mix it up and you’re ready to go. Try it with your favourite toppings.
For the sauce
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs, plus extra for topping
- 2 pinches caster sugar
- 1 garlic clove
- 200g/7oz mozzarella (or any other cheese), torn into pieces, for topping
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dough
- 300g/10½oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 300g/10½oz natural yoghurt
Traditional toad in the hole
Toad in the hole is classic comfort food at its best. Serve with plenty of gravy and simple steamed vegetables.
- 115g/4oz plain flour
- large pinch of salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 300ml/½ pint milk
- 2 tbsp/30g fresh thyme leaves
- 8 good quality pork, beef or vegetarian sausages
- 2 tbsp/30g Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp/30g of beef dripping or white vegetable fat for vegetarians
- knob of butter, to serve
To make the batter, sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt and pepper.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and crack in the eggs. Using a wooden spoon, gradually beat the eggs into the flour then slowly beat in the milk until the batter is the consistency of double cream.
Strain and push any remaining lumps through a sieve. Stir in the thyme. Cover and leave to stand for 30 minutes, or ideally 3-4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Heat a large non-stick pan and cook the sausages over a medium heat until golden-brown all over. (If you do not have a non-stick pan add a little oil.) Turn off the heat and brush the sausages with the mustard. Set aside.
Place the dripping or white vegetable fat into an ovenproof dish and heat in the oven for five minutes or until the dripping is hot and hazy.
Add the sausages to the hot dish and pour in the batter. Immediately return the dish to the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes until well-risen and golden-brown.
Serve seasoned with black pepper and a large knob of butter.