Phil Vickery’s shortcuts for making cooking your Christmas dinner easier
They say Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, except the part spent cooking for hours on end preparing for the great festive feast. So today, Phil Vickery’s revealing the dishes you shouldn't be wasting your time making from scratch. From ready-made gravy to frozen roast potatoes, his top shortcuts will ensure your Christmas day is spent doing the things you love!
1kg frozen cauliflower florets, defrosted and drained4 tbsp oilSalt and ground black pepper600ml milk1x 10g vegetable stock cube, crumbled60g butter, softened50g flour2 tsp English mustard200g mature Cheddar, grated4 tbsp chopped parsleySmoked paprika, optional for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 220℃, Gas 7.
2. Place the defrosted well drained cauliflower into a bowl along with oil, season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well.
3. Tip the cauliflower into a baking tray then roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until well coloured, don’t be shy on overcooking slightly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature and place into a bowl.
4. Meanwhile, pour the milk into a heavy bottomed pan and add the stock cube, then bring to a gentle simmer.
5. Mix the butter, flour and mustard together in a small bowl until combined and then whisk the paste into the simmering milk.The sauce will thicken pretty much straight away, then remove from the stove.
6. Add 100g of the grated Cheddar along with the parsley and seasoning to the sauce and mix well.
7. Pour over the cooled cauliflower and spoon into a baking dish.
8. Top with the rest of the cheese and add a sprinkling of paprika if you want.
9. Place the dish back into the oven until golden and bubbling and serve.
Brussels sprouts with spices, mango & crème fraîche
500g frozen sprouts4 small shallots, peeled and chopped finely1 tbsp vegetable oil50 ml water2 tsp Madras curry paste1 tbsp mango chutney150g crème fraîcheSalt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1. Cook the sprouts in plenty of boiling salted water, until soft in the centre, approximately 10 minutes.
2. Drain well and then cool them under cold water and drain well again and leave the sprouts in a colander to get rid of as much water as possible.
3. Warm the oil in a frying pan and add the shallot and water and cook for 3 minutes until the onion has softened and the water has evaporated.
4. Add the curry paste and cook for a further 1 minute, then cool and add the mango chutney.
5. Add the sprouts to the pan, warm through then add the crème
6. Add the sprouts to the pan, warm through then add the crème fraîche, season to taste and finish with the chopped parsley, season to taste and finish with the chopped parsley.