Christmas , Cooking , salad, ham and cheese quiche, apple tart, mulled wine, desserts

Christmas Special recipe - Mulled wine, Ham-Cheese Quiche And Santa Feta Salad

The other day someone casually mentioned to me that Christmas is the only time when we all sit in front of a dead tree and eat candies from the socks. Certainly not!. Christmas is a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends, dining some delicious food, sipping some exclusive wine and treating our taste buds with the special cakes and cookies. In fact, it's during Christmas everything smells like a hot apple cider and hot spiced wine. We can make Christmas more exciting with some exclusive dishes too, after all, cooking with love provides food for the soul. Here are a few recommendations from me.

Mulled Wine - A traditional drink during the winter festive season
Mulled wine, also known as spiced wine, is a beverage usually made with red wine along with various mulling spices and sometimes raisins. It is an ancient drink, dating back to the 2nd century when the Romans took to warming up their wine to help them through the freezing winter months along with some whole spices. It later became a popular winter drink for centuries. Christmas Special recipe - Mulled wine, Ham-Cheese Quiche And Santa Feta Salad
TIPS
• Mulled wine is simmered and not boiled.
• To store mulled wine up to 3 days, allow the wine to cool at room temperature and transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Reheat before serving.
INGREDIENTS
• RED WINE 2 X 750ML
• CASTOR SUGAR 200gms
• MANDARIN/CLEMENTINE/ANY CITRUS FRUIT 2 NOS
• LIME PEEL 1 Nos
• VANILLA POD 1 (In-case you are unable to buy it use 2-3 drops of vanilla essence)
• CLOVES 6 Nos
• CINNAMON STICK 1 Nos
• NUTMEG 1 Nos
• STAR ANISE 6 Nos
• ORANGE JUICE ( OPTIONAL) 200ML
METHOD
• Take a heavy bottom saucepan and add all the dry ingredients.
• Add the peels of the citrus fruit along with the juice in it.
• Add half a bottle of red wine or enough to cover the ingredients already in it.
• Cook it on medium heat and allow the sugar to melt.
• Once you see it simmering and the sugar has melted add the rest of the wine.
• Cook on a low flame and allow it to simmer and not boil for around 15 minutes.
• Once done allow it to cool slightly.
• Pour half a wine glass and garnish it with citrus peel.
• Allow it to cool at room temperature and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Santa Feta Salad - A Christmas colour coded salad with fresh strawberries, walnuts, feta cheese & balsamic
INGREDIENTS
• FRESH STRAWBERRIES 1 CUP
• CARAMELISED WALNUTS 50 Gms
• ROCKET LEAF 100 Gms
• FETA CHEESE 50Gms
• BALSAMIC VINEGAR 10ml
• BLACK PEPPER 10Gms
• OLIVE OIL 15ml
• GARLIC 10gms
• CHIVES 10gms
METHOD
• Wash and pat dry baby spinach and rocket leaf.
• Cut strawberries into halves.
• Finely mince garlic and chives.
• Take a salad bowl, mix the leaves.
• Throw in the cut strawberries, leaves & diced feta cheese.
• Take another bowl for the dressing, whisk in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic & chives and make the dressing.
• Pour it over the salad bowl and lightly toss it up.
• Garnish with caramelized walnuts.

Apple Tart (Pie Crust) - A basic pie crust that can have an array of fillings and can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days and if frozen then up to a month. Christmas Special recipe - Mulled wine, Ham-Cheese Quiche And Santa Feta Salad
INGREDIENTS
• ALL PURPOSE FLOUR 170GMS
• SALT ½ TSP
• CASTOR/BREAKFAST SUGAR 1 TSP
• BUTTER 115GMS
• COLDWATER 4 TSP ( Or as desired)
FOR THE APPLE FILLING
INGREDIENTS

• APPLES CHOPPED WITHOUT SKIN 2 NOS
• CINNAMON POWDER 1TSP
• SUGAR 1-2 TBSP
• BUTTER 1 TBSP
METHOD FOR THE PIE CRUST
• Sieve the flour salt and sugar together.
• Crumble the cold butter into the above flour mix and form a crumble.
• Add in the cold water to form the dough.
• Once set, refrigerate for 30mins before using.
• Roll it on the pie dish/tart shells. Poke the dough with a fork or a toothpick all around the dish/shell.
• Blind bake for 10- 12 minutes at 180*C, until it turns light brown colour.
• Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool on a cooling rack.
METHOD FOR THE APPLE FILLING
• Peel and cut the apples and soak them in water with a squeezed lemon to avoid discolouration of the apples.
• In a pan heat some butter, add in the sugar and let it caramelize.
• Then add in the chopped apple and let it cook until it becomes soft.
• Season it with cinnamon powder and then add the mixture in the empty shells/pie dish.
• Roll the remaining crust to seal the tart.
• Apply milk wash on the tart crust and bake it in the oven at 180*C for 8-10 minutes.
• Serve hot with vanilla ice-cream.

Ham & Cheese Quiche - A traditional Christmas favourite
INGREDIENTS
• ALL PURPOSE FLOUR 170GMS
• SALT ½ TSP
• CASTOR/BREAKFAST SUGAR 1 TSP
• BUTTER 115GMS
• COLDWATER 4 TSP ( Or as desired)
FOR THE HAM & CHEESE FILLING
INGREDIENTS

• CHICKEN/PORK HAM 200GMS CHOPPED
• CHEDDAR CHEESE 150GMS GRATED
• MOZZARELLA CHEESE 50GMS GRATED
• LEEKS FINELY CHOPPED 25GMS
• CELERY FINELY CHOPPED 25GMS
• CHIVES FINELY CHOPPED 25GMS
• EGGS 4 NOS
• MILK 200ML
• SALT TO TASTE
• BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE
METHOD FOR THE PIE CRUST
• Sieve the flour salt and sugar together.
• Crumble the cold butter into the above flour mix and form a crumble.
• Add in the cold water to form the dough.
• Once set, refrigerate for 30mins before using.
• Roll it on the pie dish/tart shells. Poke the dough with a fork or a toothpick all around the dish/shell.
• Blind bake for 10- 12 minutes at 180*C, until it turns light brown.
• Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool on a cooling rack.
METHOD FOR THE HAM AND CHEESE FILLING
• Take a non-stick pan, melt in some butter and olive oil, and sauté the leek celery and chives until translucent. Add in the ham and lightly cook it for 2-3 minutes.
• Allow it to cool and then in a bowl mix 4 eggs, milk, cheese and the cooled ham.
• Mix it smoothly with a spatula until it is ready to go in the pie crust
• Roll the remaining crust to seal the tart & apply milk wash on the tart crust and bake it in the oven at 180*C for 12-15 minutes. Enjoy it hot from the oven.

Merry Christmas.

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Chef Arjun Chadha

Alumni of Institute of Hotel Management Aurangabad, by the Taj Group and At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy Singapore. Founder of Culinary Affaire.

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