Chestnut, bacon and sage stuffing

This is basically the best stuffing you will ever make.

No question.

Seriously.

Chestnut, bacon and sage stuffing rolls
Chestnut, bacon and sage stuffing rolls

It just doesn’t get any better.

Chestnut, bacon and sage stuffing
 
A richly decadent stuffing for any fancy occasion but let's just say Christmas to fill this space.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 50g butter
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped (the original says 2 small, which is just silly)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100 g rindless bacon, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup dry sherry
  • ½ cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 x 240g can cooked chestnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup sage leaves, finely chopped (so much finely chopping!)
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 24 thin slices streaky bacon
  • 1tbsp sherry
  • 2tbsp honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C
  2. Melt the butter in a frying pan and then saute the onion, garlic and bacon for around 5 minutes or until soft
  3. Add the sherry and dates and cook for a further minute or so
  4. In a big bowl toss everything - EXCEPT the bacon, extra sherry and honey - together
  5. On a bench, pull out a long piece of foil - enough to lay the HALF the streaky bacon, slightly overlapping, on
  6. Then do the same with a piece of baking paper and lay that on top of the foil
  7. Place 12 slices of bacon on the baking paper, slightly overlapping each other
  8. You still with me?
  9. Place half the stuffing at one end of the bacon and then, using the baking paper/foil to help you, roll up into a log
  10. Tip for new players, don't roll the paper foil inside the log as you go, use it as you would a sushi mat rolling up... sushi
  11. Then wrap the foil/baking paper around the log and place on a baking tray
  12. Do the second one
  13. Bake for 20 minutes
  14. Take out of the oven and carefully remove the wrapping
  15. Keep on the tray
  16. Brush over the sherry and honey, which you have mixed together
  17. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until the bacon is nice and crisp
  18. * you can prepare this two days ahead and keep in the fridge until ready to cook on Christmas day
  19. * you can add it to the oven at the final 40 mins of cooking time of your ham/pork/chicken/turkey

 

Three-Layered Peppermint Bark

So over the past few years some of my US online friends have talked about a festive season treat called peppermint bark. I was intrigued and then I saw this. I’ve been waiting all year to make it and it hasn’t disappointed. At all.

Three-Layered Peppermint Bark

From Bon Appetit via Orangette

  • 500g white chocolate (not cooking chocolate and make sure it is good quality w/ cocoa butter content)
  • 30 red and white striped candy canes, crushed
  • 200g dark chocolate (again, not cooking chocolate)
  • 8 tbsp cream
  • 3/4 tsp peppermint essence

  1. Use the back of a large flat baking tray and mark out a 12×9 inch rectangle.
  2. Melt the white chocolate and spread 2/3 cup of it over the rectangle using a spatula or palette knife
  3. Sprinkle over 1/4 cup of the crushed peppermint canes and chill until set – about 10-15 minutes
  4. Combine the dark chocolate, cream and peppermint essence until just melted then cool to barely luke warm – about 5 minutes
  5. Pour over the white chocolate and then use a palette knife to smooth to an even layer then refrigerate until firm – about 20 mnutes
  6. Rewarm remaining white chocalate then, working quickly, pour over the dark chocolate layer and spread to cover.
  7. Sprinkle over remaining crushed candy canes and chill until set – about 20 minutes.
  8. To cut, pull it out of the fridge for a little while – I found cutting it while really hard just resulted in the layers splintering from each other.