A Christmas alternative: Cranberry and Orange Jeweled Nut Bake
Crackers popping, cutlery clinking, napkins rustling, and your granddad singing silently in the corner after too much sherry. Everything you look forward to this Christmas (or not), the same old shenanigans year after year, but a much-loved tradition in every house around the globe.
This year, it’s time for a change. We’re not saying hold your granddad back from the sherry bottle or throw the Brussels and bacon out of the window, but simply be prepared to change up the traditional staples for something a little more exciting. Year after year supermarkets rely on trending flavours to sell their Christmas hero lines. This year it’s all about the spice, and in particular the yummy cranberry and orange combo.
Why not try pimping your stuffing with dried cranberry and orange zest? This can be used alone or stuffed into a rib roast. If you’re more of a fish lover, caramelise a whole side of salmon in a sticky orange and cranberry glaze with fresh whole cranberries, cranberry jelly and orange juice. If a pie is your thing, be it Christmas or Boxing day, you can add both fresh cranberries and leftover cranberry jelly to your pie mix – be careful with the orange here, you don’t want it to be too sweet, but a sprinkling of zest with a nice handful of thyme will taste great.
Cranberry and Orange Jeweled Nut BakeServes: 4-5 Prep and cooking time: 25 minutes
What you need:
200g cooked chestnuts, peeled and roughly chopped
500g chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
50g walnut pieces, crushed
50g Brazil nuts, crushed
100g wholemeal flour
1 handful of fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp fresh orange juice with bits
Zest of ½ an orange
Zest of ½ a lemon
80g fresh cranberries
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp ground black pepper
1 pinch of salt
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
What you need to do:
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 °C / fan oven 180 °C / gas mark 6 and line a loose-bottom loaf tin if you have one – if not any loaf tin is fine.
- Place the mushrooms and chestnuts into a food processor and blitz until rough chopped with some texture remaining
- Next add in the nuts, onion, garlic and blitz again.
- Transfer the mix into the large bowl and add in the rest of the dry ingredients including the citrus zests. Mix together to combine.
- Now add in the eggs, orange juice, honey and stir to form a dough – add some water to loosen if it’s too dry. Add in the whole cranberries – leaving a good handful to put on the top. Stir in the cranberries to distribute through the mix.
- Now transfer this mix to the loaf tin and flatten. Add the left over cranberries on top and sprinkle with a little zest and nuts
- Now bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the loaf bounces back when touched.
- Serve in addition to the good ol’ turkey or as a very satisfactory substitute.
From all of here at The Upcoming – Merry Christmas!