One list, five meals: Buttered Kale with Cranberries and Pine Nuts


Brussels sprouts with chopped walnuts and blue cheese

Serves 4

500g of brussels sprouts, trimmed

4 tbs butter

1 tbs olive oil

1 small onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

30g of walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

80g of Cashel blue cheese, crumbled

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add two pinches of salt and the sprouts. Boil until just soft, it should take about five minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. When cooled cut them in half lengthwise and set aside.

Over a medium heat melt the butter and oil together in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until they are turning translucent. Add garlic and sprouts and sauté until brussels sprouts are golden brown in spots.

Stir them gently as they sauté, it should take about five minutes. Stir the walnuts and blue cheese into the pan and season to taste. Serve straight away.


Roasted Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Serves 4

Zest and juice of an orange

450g of thawed or fresh cranberries

225g of sugar

2 tbsp olive oil

6 whole cloves

6 cardamom pods, lightly smashed

2 sticks of cinnamon

1 red chilli thinly sliced

1½ tbsp port

Mix the orange, cranberries, sugar, oil, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, and chilli in a wide oven proof dish or baking tray.

Season and place into an oven heated to 200 degrees for about 15 minutes until the cranberries are cooked through.

Remove from the oven and stir in the zest of the orange and the port and leave it to sit for at least an hour. Remove the spices before serving.


Onion Gratin

Serves 4

4 small onions, peeled and quartered

A dash of olive oil

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

100 mls of milk

20 mls of cream

60 mls of white wine

A bunch of rosemary, pulled from the stalk and chopped

1 tsp of grated nutmeg

½ tsp of sweet paprika

60g of parmesan, grated

80g of cheddar cheese, grated

Toss the onions in a dash of oil and season. Place in an oven proof dish in a medium oven and bake until they are turning soft. This should take about 40 minutes.

Melt the butter and stir in the flour. Stir for about two minutes until smooth.

Add in the milk slowly to avoid lumps. Pour in the cream, stirring all of the time and then the wine and leave to bubble away on a low heat until thickened.

Stir in the nutmeg, paprika and parmesan.

Once the onions are cool enough to handle pull them apart and lay in layers in the same oven proof dish.

Pour the sauce over so it completely covers them.

Sprinkle with the cheddar and rosemary and bake in a medium oven until it is golden on top and bubbling.


Fresh and Zesty Red Cabbage Salad

Serves 4

80mls of freshly squeezed orange juice

60 mls freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tbsp honey

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped then crushed

½ tsp of chilli flakes

100mls of olive oil

½ small red onion, very finely chopped

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves — can be substituted with parsley

½ head red cabbage, finely shredded

This salad cuts nicely through all the rich food we eat at the Christmas table.

It is a nice fresh alternative to other sides.

Mix together the orange juice, lime juice, honey, garlic, chilli and olive oil and season.

Stir together the onion, coriander and red cabbage and season. Pour over the dressing and stir very well.

Allow to sit for at least an hour before you serve.


Buttered Kale with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

Serves 4

A dash of olive oil

A knob of butter

4 cloves of garlic

1 tsp of chilli flakes

40g of dried cranberries

400g of kale, stalks removed and roughly chopped

100mls of white wine

115g of pine nuts, toasted

Heat the oil and melt the butter together in a large heavy pan.

Add the garlic and sauté until it is just about to change colour.

Add the chilli flakes and cranberries and stir them in.

Add the chopped kale and stir until it starts to wilt. It should take about a minute.

Add the wine and leave to simmer away until it has reduced.

Season and serve with the pine nuts stirred through.


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