In The Country Magazine
In The Country Lifestyle

ITC’s Festive Food Delights

Somehow, you’ve done it! You’ve sent out all the Christmas cards, you’ve ordered the turkey and all the trimmings, you’ve successfully battled the Christmas crowds and finally ticked off that last present you’ve been waiting for to come back into stock.

You’ve untangled all the fairy lights, the tree is up and the house is decorated inside and out. What’s next? A lonely evening hidden away on your own… wrapping presents.

We suggest you invite some friends over (get them to bring along their gifts to wrap) and give our tapas style dinner a try perfect for tucking into whilst wrapping all those Christmas gifts. Put some Christmas music on, light some candles and banish everyone else to the living room, giving you some well deserved peace and quiet. It’s your turn to get into the festive spirit.

Treat yourself to these delicious recipes which are perfect for an evening of wrapping and snacking! Gather together the store cupboard ingredients for these three, simple yet mouthwatering recipes that you can make over and over throughout the festive period and beyond.

Sauteed/Glazed Chorizo and Chipolata Tapas


– 1 chorizo ring (approx. 250g) cut diagonally into 2.5cm /1 inch chunks

– 10 mini pork chipolata sausages – 2 garlic cloves, crushed – 1 tbsp runny honey – 2 tbsp red wine vinegar – 100ml red wine – 1tbsp olive oil – Handful of parsley, finely chopped

– A dozen cocktail sticks for serving

How to:

Place the mini chipolatas onto a baking tray and cook in the oven 200°C for 15 minutes, turning half way through cooking. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Remove the thin layer of skin from the chorizo and cut diagonally into 2.5cm (1 inch) chunks. Heat the oil gently in a large non-stick frying pan and add the chorizo and sausages. Stir well and fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly crisp and brown all over, then add the crushed garlic and red wine. Allow to cook gently for 2 minutes, then add the honey and red wine vinegar. Keep stirring, making sure the sauce doesn’t burn.

Once the sauce starts to thicken and become sticky, remove from the heat. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve immediately, with cocktail sticks on the side, to prevent messy and sticky fingers.

Pheasant Goujons


– 275g diced pheasant breast – 2 eggs, beaten – A drop of milk – 1 packet (110g) of Paxo roast garlic, red onion and rosemary with sourdough breadcrumbs stuffing mix

– A drizzle of olive oil

How to:

Beat the two eggs with a fork and add a drop of milk. Keep the egg mix in a separate bowl to the stuffing mix. Individually, coat the diced pheasant in the egg mix, then roll into the stuffing mix, covering fully but not too thickly.

Next, gently fry the coated pheasant breast pieces in a frying pan on a moderate heat for around 5-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on the pieces to ensure that the breadcrumbs do not burn, turning them regularly.

Remove from the heat, transfer onto a plate covered with some kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil. Allow the goujons to cool before transferring them to a serving dish. Serve either as is, or with a sweet chilli sauce dip.

Artichoke & Sundried Tomato Mini Ciabatta Pizza Breads


– Ciabatta bread loaf – 1 large garlic clove – Sundried Tomato Paste – Green Olive Tapenade – 1 280g jar of sundried tomatoes in sunflower oil – 1 290g jar of chargrilled artichokes in olive oil – 1 290g jar of mixed mushroom antipasto – Mozzarella block – Fresh basil leaves to decorate

How to:

Slice the ciabatta bread into 1 1/2 inch slices, place on a baking tray and heat in the oven 200°C for 15 mins, turning half way through cooking, so that the slices are gently crisp on both sides. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Peel the garlic clove and cut in half, then rub each slice of ciabatta with the clove and lay out on a baking tray. Spread half of the slices with sundried tomato paste and half with the green olive tapenade. Chop enough sundried tomatoes, mushroom antipasto and chargrilled artichokes to top the ciabatta slices.

We chose to make half topped with sundried tomatoes and then the other half topped with both the artichokes and mushrooms together, the choice is yours. On top of this, add sliced mozzarella and place in the oven 200°C for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese has melted. Transfer to a serving plate and place a fresh basil leaf on each one. Serve hot. The only thing left to do is to tuck in and enjoy!

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