Great starter ideas for Christmas dinner

Looking for some inspiration for a Christmas dinner starter? Here are three recipes by student chefs from CIT
Great starter ideas for Christmas dinner

Crab Croquette, Crunchy Asian Slaw, Pear, Apple and Apricot Chutney, Dressed Rocket Leaves And Toasted Sesame Seeds.

Poached Cod, Charred Brussel Sprouts, Serrano Ham Crumb & Lemon Sabayon

By Rebekah Harrington, of the Sous Chef Apprentice program CIT, who is working at The Whale’s Tail, Clonakilty.

Poached Cod, Charred Brussel Sprouts, Serrano Ham Crumb and Lemon Sabayon By Rebekah Harrington
Poached Cod, Charred Brussel Sprouts, Serrano Ham Crumb and Lemon Sabayon By Rebekah Harrington

Serrano Ham Crumb 

1.Preheat oven to 140°c 

2.Lay Serrano ham flat on parchment paper and place in the oven for 30 minutes or until crisp.

3. Leave to cool, blitz in a grinder or crumble by hand.

Lemon sabayon

4 egg yolk 

100g melted butter 

Juice of 2 lemons 

50ml tepid water 

Method:

1. Put a pot of water onto boil.

2. Place all ingredients into a glass bowl and whisk together 3. Turn water down to a simmer, and place the bowl onto and whisk continuously until doubled in size and light and frothy. Season with salt to taste.

Rebekah Harrington.
Rebekah Harrington.

Poached Cod in Court Boullion 

Ingredients

500ml water 

100ml white wine 

200g Salt cod fillet portioned into 4 x 50g portions 

1 Bay leave 

1 TSP black peppercorn 

Sprig of thyme 

1 carrot 1cm dice

 1 onion 1cm dice 

Method:

1. Place everything except cod into a pot and bring to a simmer.

2. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes and strain.

3. Place back on the heat, Season court boullion to taste.

4. Place cod portions into court boullion and cook on low heat for 2/3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Charred Brussel sprouts 

1. Prepare the Brussel sprouts by trimming the stalks and removing the outer leaves and cut in half.

2. Preheat a frying pan with some olive oil and toss the sprouts on high heat until nice and charred.

Season to taste.

Scallops by the Two Mary’s.
Scallops by the Two Mary’s.

Scallops by the Two Mary’s 


Mary Frances Creedon working in Care Choice Home Macroom

Mary O Donovan from Clonakilty working in Carraig Mor Centre Shanakiel 

Both are attending CIT on the Chef De Partie Apprentice Program.


Ingredients (12 scallops – per portion depending on the size)

Clarified butter and oil 

Salt and pepper 

Method:

Remove side muscle from scallops.

Pat dry the scallops to remove moisture and season.

Heat frying pan until very hot add clarified butter and oil Sear the scallops for about 1 minute each side (you want a nice caramelized colour on them)

Minted Pea Purée 

250g frozen peas 

 25g butter 

 100ml white stock - chicken

Small bunch mint – roughly chopped

Mary’s Mary Frances Creedon working in Care Choice Home Macroom on the left of the photo Mary O Donovan from Clonakilty working in Carraig Mor Centre Shanakiel on the right of the photo. Both are attending CIT on the Chef De Partie Apprentice Program.
Mary’s Mary Frances Creedon working in Care Choice Home Macroom on the left of the photo Mary O Donovan from Clonakilty working in Carraig Mor Centre Shanakiel on the right of the photo. Both are attending CIT on the Chef De Partie Apprentice Program.

Minted Pea Purée

Place the peas, butter and stock into a saucepan and season well.

Simmer for 3-4 minutes (you want the peas to stay bright green) Blend peas with the mint to a smooth purée.

Reheat when required. 

Cranberry Sauce

1 tbsp cranberry compote serves 12

2tbsp salted butter 

 2 tbsp lemon juice 

Method:

Melt two tbsp of butter in a small pan, on a medium heat appox 1-2 minutes, reduce to a low heat.

Add the cranberry compote and lemon juice, cook until thoroughly heated and add the two tbsp of butter stir until melted.

Simmer on a low heat until ready to use.

Marian Hayes, working in Celtic Ross Hotel
Marian Hayes, working in Celtic Ross Hotel

Starter 3 is prepared by  Marian Hayes working in the Celtic Ross Hotel Rosscarbery, Marian is also attending CIT on the Chef De Partie Apprentice Program.

Crab Croquette, Crunchy Asian Slaw, Pear, Apple and Apricot Chutney, Dressed Rocket Leaves And Toasted Sesame Seeds.


Pear, apple and apricot chutney

Ingredients:

500g apples, peeled, cored and diced

500g pears, peeled, cored and diced

1 large onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 lime, grated zest and juice 

1 tbsp. mustard seeds 

500ml white wine vinegar 

125g chopped dried apricots 

7.5cm/3in piece root ginger, peeled and grated

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp. sea salt

500g granulated sugar

Sterilised jam jars 

Crab Croquette.
Crab Croquette.

Method:

1. Put the apples, pears, onions, garlic, lime zest and juice, mustard seeds and half the vinegar into a large saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer until the fruit is nearly cooked.

2. Add the remaining vinegar along with the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until thick and pulpy.

3. Leave the chutney to cool for 15-20 minutes then pack into the jam jars, cover with a wax disc and a screw top lid. Store in a cool dark place for 3-4 weeks before enjoying.

Crunchy Asian slaw

Ingredients:

For the dressing 

50g or peanut butter 

2 tablespoons white miso paste

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon grated ginger

2 to 5 tablespoons water, or as needed 

For the slaw:

½ head red cabbage shredded 

½ head of green cabbage shredded

2 scallions, chopped

1 Red bell peer 

1 yellow bell peper 

20g chopped parsley, including stems

20g fresh basil, Thai basil, and/or mint

2 Thai chillies, diced

Sea salt

25g cup toasted sesame seeds 

Method:

1. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, miso paste, lime juice, sesame oil, and ginger. Whisk in enough water to create a drizzable consistency.

Set aside.

2. In a dry cast-iron skillet over medium heat, char the peppers whole, rotating until the edges have a little char, about 2 minutes per side. Remove. When cool to the touch, slice in half lengthwise, remove the stem, ribbing, and seeds and slice horizontally into thin strips.

3. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, peppers, scallions, parsley, basil, chillies, and ¾ of the dressing. Toss until combined. Add the remaining dressing, if desired, and season to taste with a few pinches of sea salt. Serve topped with the toasted seeds

Crab Croquette 

Ingredients:

50g Diced Red onion

50g parsley

250g Crab meat

55g Mayonnaise

30g Breadcrumbs

55g Egg

9g mustard

Pinch of Salt

Pinch of Black pepper For 

Croquette:

50g panko breadcrumbs

50g Flour

50g  Egg yolk 

Method:

1. Place crab meat, egg, salt, mustard, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, diced red onion, parsley into a food processor and pulse blitz mixture ensure mix isn’t too soft 2. Shape mixture into round balls 3. And place in fridge for a few hours to let mixture set For crumbing:

1. Place flour, whisked egg yolks and panko breadcrumbs in separate bowls in that order 2. Then place 1 ball at a time into flour shaking off excess flour, then place in egg, then placing in breadcrumbs and place on tray. And repeat.

3. Heat oil to 170oC and place crab croquettes in oil for 2-3 mins ensure they are golden brown in colour.

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