A veggie merry Christmas

The Tayberry's Adam Newth: This week, my column is all about the big deal that is cooking the Christmas Day dinner. For some people, it’s a pleasure to cook and to others it’s the most stressful event of the season.

Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 4:47pm
A veggie merry Christmas
Nice and cheesy does it...Adam's delicious Christmas gratin will go down well with tour vegetarian guests.

These days, many people don’t always opt for turkey and all the trimmings. Beef Wellington is a popular alternative as is gammon or perhaps maybe a three bird roast. Each to their own but let’s not forget our veggie friends. Vegetarian food does not mean bad food. At The Tayberry restaurant we always strive to offer our vegetarian guests the same experience as our meat eaters.

Back to my point. Let’s make life a little easier this Christmas. Why cook two or three different meals to cater for dietary requirements when you can all have the same.

This week’s recipe is for a four cheese Christmas gratin with potato, sprouts and roasted hazelnuts.

This dish can be served as a starter for all or you could serve it as a side dish to accompany your turkey while your vegetarian guests have it as a main course along with your other trimmings?

I have finished this dish with fig chutney and sage crisps but you could use shop bought veg crisps and any chutney you like. The chutney helps cut through the richness of the gratin.

Four cheese Christmas gratin with potato, sprouts and roasted walnuts. (Serves 8)

For the potato mix:

  • 200g baby potatoes (skin on)
  • 200g pre blanched sprouts boiled in salted water for two mins.
  • 75g coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 4tbs crème fraiche
  • Salt and pepper.
  • 100g smoked cheddar

First mash the potatoes with a masher or fork. Keep them fairly course. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and season to taste.

Then divide this mix between your baking/serving dishes. I often use oven proof tapas dishes if making for a starter.

For the gratin mix:

  • 30g butter (melted)
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 225ml whole milk
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 350g grated Mull cheddar (if unavailable, a good, crumbly mature cheddar)
  • 100g sliced Camembert cheese for the top.

Weigh out all the ingredients except the Camembert into a large jug or mixing bowl and blitz together with a hand blender until smooth. If you don’t have a hand blender a good hard whisk will do but make sure there is as little lumps as possible.

Pour this over the potato mix and top with a slice or two of the Camembert cheese. Pop in the oven which should be pre heated to 180c.

They should take about 12-15 mins. Cook them until golden on top and still slightly runny in the middle.

If you’re not sure about any of this, they’re on the menu at The Tayberry, so pop in and try one. I’ll be in the kitchen if you need any extra tips.

Merry Christmas folks... have a good one!

The Tayberry's Adam Newth

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