I’m back with The Novel Bakers for a little Nigella Christmas! While Nigella is currently enduring trial by media, and disturbing for me to watch, there is plenty of Christmas cheer and joy to be found in the pages of her cookbook:
“Christmas is a time for family and friends, for tradition and treats. But, let’s face it, when the pressure to feed and entertain builds up, the festive season can begin to lose its sparkle…
Here is everything you could wish for to make your life and your Christmas easy and enjoyable: from party canapés, cocktails and manageable mass catering to sumptuous Christmas cakes and puddings; from no-fuss brunch to quick and easy homemade presents (chutneys, preserves and other delectable standbys) and edible tree-decorations. There are mouth-watering recipes with a seasonal twist and simple menus for feeding friends over the extended holiday season with minimum stress and maximum enjoyment.”
There is plenty in this cookbook to please and tempt your taste buds and celebrate the holiday season~ from cocktails & appetizers, stress-free suppers, edible gifts to the Christmas day feast.
I found a couple of recipes to share for Nigella Week with The Novel Bakers celebrating the cranberry and that are make ahead and easy~ my favorite kind of recipes with the busy holiday season!
Wild Rice, Turkey, Cranberry and Pecan Salad is keeper recipe! Quick, satisfying, can be made ahead, pretty for serving for a ladies’ lunch and dresses up leftover turkey.
For a quick week night meal with the busy holiday season, substitute a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for turkey.
I made a few changes substituting chopped baby spinach for parsley as in our favorite orzo salad, added more cranberries, and used a combination of long grain and wild rice.
Wild Rice, Turkey, Cranberry and Pecan Salad
Adapted from Nigella Christmas
Serves 6 – 8
2 pkg (8.8 oz) Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Ready Rice (ready in 90 seconds) or substitute 3 cups wild rice
¾ cup dried cranberries
4 cups cold cooked turkey, diced or shredded
2 tablespoons cranberry sauce or *jelly
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
*1 teaspoon sugar (I used cranberry jelly which was tart, so I added 1 teaspoon sugar to the dressing.)
½ cup pecan pieces or halves
½ cup chopped baby spinach
Cook rice according to package directions, allow to cool. Add dried cranberries, and diced turkey to cooked rice.
Make a dressing by whisking together the cranberry sauce or jelly, lime juice, oil and sugar.
Toss the dressing through the rice, cranberries and turkey. Add the pecans to the salad with chopped spinach.
You can find a printable recipe, here.
“I don’t promise you can cook yourself calm, but I believe it makes sense to snatch moments when you can quietly busy yourself in the kitchen–frankly doing nothing much more effortful than stirring– and give yourself up to the encompassing warmth that comes from a sense of purpose, the benediction of productivity.”
Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies
“…even if you are not usually a white chocolate eater, you will, I think, find these persuasive, perhaps even having to eat a second one straightaway just to make perfectly sure.”
I had to gild the lily or the cookie for Christmas, drizzling them with some melted white chocolate chips and eat another one straightaway :)
Make ahead up to 5 days, cooling and storing in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) soft butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
3/4 cup white chocolate chips (more if drizzling cookies with melted chocolate)
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and oats. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugars. Beat until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, and mix again.
Add flour mixture and beat until well blended. Add cranberries, pecans and white chocolate chips, and mix gently until blended. Refrigerate bowl for 10 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, and place them 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Press each ball gently with a fork to flatten it into a fat disk. Place sheets in oven on two racks. Bake just until cookies are pale gold, about 15 minutes; they will still be soft when hot. Let cookies harden on sheet for 5 minutes, remove to cool on a wire rack.
Drizzle with melted white chocolate chips if desired.
Makes approx. 30 cookies
You can find a printable recipe, here.
Visit Jain and Michael Lee for more delicious fun~