A few weeks before the most important holiday in a year my mum always made a list of what to cook. She was planning a holiday menu and I loved to take part in it. I remember that every year our table was so beautiful. We had different dinnerware sets, most of them were classic and simple, but we also had a special one – white porcelain with silver ornament. Every year my mum served our table with it. She put a beautiful tablecloth, napkins. And I remember how important it was, as much as the food she cooked. It was an important part of celebration Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
I grew up but importance of attractive dinnerware, plates, cups, napkins, etc is still strong in my family. I believe that food tastes better when served on a beautiful plate complemented by shiny cutlery.
As for me – Christmas is always around food. I’ve already started to think about my Christmas dinner and it’s a challenge so far I can say.
I was very excited when one of my favourite British brands Robert Welch sent me beautiful pieces from their Radford range and asked me to join in celebrations of their Art of Christmas campaign, focusing on the Art of Entertaining. The Radford range has a minimalistic and classic design with modern notes, and is made with high quality stainless steel and has a beautiful mirror-polished finish. I think it is a perfect choice for a special occasion like Christmas dinner.
I am already planning my Christmas menu and would happy to share one of my options with you if you are still in doubts:
-Cheese plate with red onion chutney as a starter. -Chicken roasted with pomegranate and sage (for serving I used this beautiful Radford Carving set ) Side dishes: -Brussel sprouts with fried hazelnuts (I used this well-designed Serving set from Robert Welch Radford range) -Maple syrup roasted baby carrots, served with homemade hummus, pomegranate seeds and crushed peppercorns.
Brussel sprouts with fried hazelnuts
(Serves 4) 400-500g brussel sprouts, washed and trimmed 200 g hazelnuts 1 cup of chicken (or vegetable) stock salt, pepper
Cut the brussel sprouts into halves and fry on a low for about 5-8 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour the stock and reduce the heat. Leave for 10-15 minutes to simmer. If the liquid is gone add some more water and continue to cook.
Meanwhile put the hazelnuts in a frying pan. Fry on a low heat until golden, but be careful – don’t burn the nuts. Set aside.
When brussels are soft add salt and pepper and mix with the hazelnuts.
Better serve warm.
Festive pomegranate chicken with sage
(Serves 4-6) 1 whole free range chicken (1.5-2 kg) 200 g pomegranate seeds 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses 1 tbsp olive oil 10 g fresh sage pinch of salt 1/4 tsp black pepper
Make marinade. Blend pomegranate seeds in a blender. In a medium sized bowl mix pomegranate molasses, olive oil and pomegranate juice. Add salt and pepper. chop sage leaves and put into the bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 175 C.
After 30 minutes, filter your marinade using a mesh strainer. You need to get marinade without sage leaves and seeds.
Wash the chicken and place in the baking pan (I used cast iron pan). Pour marinade over the chicken and place in the oven. Check the chicken and pour marinade every 5-10 minutes. Total time is about 1h 20min, but might be different. It depends on your oven settings and the size of the chicken. I personally prefer to cook it a bit more until dark brown crust. To check if the chicken is ready – insert a fork in the chicken . It should go in with ease and the juice should run clear. Once the chicken is ready serve it warm.
*This post was sponsored by Robert Welch, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.