The main event
when it comes to Christmas lunch, you don’t have to follow convention – why not try something a little bit different this year?
Wells Crab House Seafood Restaurant not only scooped the Best Restaurant award, sponsored by Gerald Giles, it was also judged winner of the Outstanding Front of House, sponsored by the Eastern Daily Press.
Husband and wife team Kelly and Scott Dougal have a great fish recipe which is the perfect starter for your Christmas lunch.
“We actually close just for Christmas Day, when we spend the morning on Wells Beach with a bottle of Norfolk Winbirri fizz and then spend the rest of the day with a bite to eat, usually some cheeses and cold meats, and some nice wines and ports. Probably the only time of year we get a whole day just to ourselves,” says Scott.
GIN-CURED SALMON WITH LIME CREAM CHEESE ON TOASTED SOURDOUGH Ingredients
1 side smoked salmon, skin removed, 300g dried juniper berries, 2 tsp peppercorns, 1 tbsp dill seed, 100 ml gin (We use Norfolk Black Shuck), 1tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp lime juice, 2 limes, zested, cream cheese, 1 loaf of sourdough, thinly sliced.
Sprinkle the sourdough with a little oil and salt and bake in the oven at 180C for seven minutes. Remove and cool. Mix juniper berries, peppercorns and dill. Roast in the oven at 180C for 10 minutes, then remove and grind to powder. Mix gin, lemon and lime juice and a pinch of salt with the ground berries. Lay a large piece of clingfilm out. Smear most of the gin cure in the middle, and place the salmon on top, ensuring it is all touching the cure. Smear the remaining cure over the top, again ensuring it is covered. Wrap the salmon tightly in the cling film, at least three times. Place in fridge for 48 hours. When ready, remove from the clingfilm, wash the cure off. Slice across the salmon thinly into long thin strips. Mix the lime zest with cream cheese. Spread onto the toasted sourdough, and place a couple of twisted salmon strips on top. wellscrabhouse.co.uk
charlie wilson beat some tough opposition to win the prestigious Chef of the Year award, Sponsored by City
As head chef at The Wildebeest in Stoke Holy Cross, it will be a very busy few weeks in the kitchen as everyone gets in the festive spirit.
“December is a fantastic month – there’s a buzz about the place and that gives us an extra spring in our step especially since we’re serving up our extra special festive menu featuring five courses exclusively created for the season.”
Here is his twist on the traditional Christmas Day dinner which will wow your guests.
ROAST DUCK, WITH ROAST POTATOES
flavoured with saffron, shredded brussels sprouts with pancetta, roasted butternut squash with a dukkha spiced nut crumb and redcurrant gravy (serves 4)
2 duck crowns (each crown 800g will serve 2 people), 1kg Charlotte new potatoes, pinch saffron, ¼ bunch thyme, ½ bulb garlic peeled and chopped, 600g brussels sprouts, finely shredded, 80g pancetta, 1 large butternut squash.
Dukkha nut crumb: 5g fennel seeds lightly toasted, 5g coriander seeds lightly toasted, 3 pinches cumin, 60g pistachios crushed and lightly toasted, 80g hazelnuts crushed and lightly toasted.
Redcurrant gravy: 800 ml chicken stock, 50g redcurrant jelly.
Make the redcurrant gravy first, mix the redcurrant jelly into chicken stock in a pan and reduce slowly for approximately 1 hour. Peel and chop potatoes, bring to the boil and add saffron. Drain and add to the roasting tin to cook in the duck fat, add thyme and garlic and roast for approximately 40 mins at 180C until browned.
Meanwhile, season duck crowns and place skin-side down in a hot pan to crisp the skin. Bake in the oven at 180C for 35 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Dice the butternut squash and roast at 180C for 35 minutes with some butter and chopped thyme. Pan cook the diced pancetta until crispy then add the finely shredded brussels sprouts till tender.
Mix together the ingredients for the dukkha spiced nut crumb and scatter over the cooked butternut squash. Serve – and enjoy!
OPPOSITE:Festive Christmas teas at the Assembly House. NorwichWells Crab House gin-cured salmon
ABOVEAND BELOW: Alternative Christmas dishes produced by Daniel Smith and Charlie Wilson