Here’s to a delicious Christmas

Francis Atkins the Head Chef the the Yorke Arms, Ramsgill
Francis Atkins the Head Chef the the Yorke Arms, Ramsgill
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Forget dried-out turkey and overcooked Brussels, Yorkshire’s leading chefs reveal the perfect recipes for a Michelin star Christmas.


Frances Atkins of the Yorke Arms: Savoury almond biscotti with truffled cheese, chestnut and Christmas fruits.

For the biscotti

145g blanched whole almonds

1tsp baking powder

½tsp salt

310g flour

100g granulated white sugar

3 large eggs

½tsp almond extract

150g Parmesan cheese

20g rosemary

For the topping

2oz butter

4oz golden syrup

1 fig

1 medium sized Granny Smith apple

1 sharon fruit

6 fresh chestnuts, roasted or a small packet of boil in the bag chestnuts

4oz truffled cheese or curd

1tsp white balsamic vinegar

Pinch chilli powder

Sea salt and pepper to season


Preheat oven to 180C. Toast the almonds for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool, chop coarsely, then set to one side. Reduce oven temperature to 150C and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and almond extract together, set aside. In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until blended.

Gradually add the egg mixture, Parmesan and rosemary and beat until a dough forms, adding the almonds about half way through.

On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a log about 14ins long and 3-4ins wide. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Cut into slices ½ins thick and arrange evenly on baking tray. Bake 10 minutes on each side. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Warm a stainless steel pan, add an ounce of butter and gently fry the sliced fruit with the golden syrup until it begins to caramelise. Place slices of truffle cheese or curd on the biscotti and arrange the caramelised fruit around it.

Add the white balsamic vinegar to the fruit syrup, bring to the boil.

Saute the chestnuts in the rest of the butter,with a pinch of chilli powder for a little definition.

Garnish with the chestnuts and spoon on the syrup to taste.


James Mackenzie of the Pipe and Glass: Smoked haddock and pearl barley risotto with poached duck egg and grain mustard.

Serves 4

2 fillets natural smoked haddock, skinned, deboned and cut into chunks

200g Arborio risotto rice

½ onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 leek, finely chopped

100g pearl barley

500ml fish stock

100ml white wine

300g grated fresh Parmesan

2 handfuls baby leaf spinach (washed)

4 duck eggs

1tsp white wine vinegar

200ml whipping cream

2tbsp grain mustard


While heating the fish stock in a saucepan, poach the duck eggs in boiling water with the white wine vinegar. Take out and plunge into ice cold water ready for use later. The pearl barley should be soaked in cold water for 12 hours and then cooked in boiling salted water until tender, drain and reserve.

Sweat the onion and the crushed garlic in a little oil in a sauce pan until translucent, do not colour. Add the rice and cook for another couple of minutes stirring constantly

Add the white wine to the rice and cook out for about 1-2 minutes then start to add the fish stock a couple of ladles at a time over a medium heat until it is all absorbed. This should take about 10 minutes. Add leeks, pearl barley and haddock, cook for 2 minutes, add spinach leaf and cook until spinach starts to wilt. Check consistency as you may need a little more liquid, finish with a dash of cream and season. Bring the rest of the cream to the boil with the grain mustard and blitz with a hand blender. Reheat duck eggs in boiling water, spoon the risotto into your bowls, top with duck eggs and grain mustard cream.

Steve Smith of the Burlington Restaurant, Devonshire Arms: Seared scallops with 
celeriac puree, apple jelly and truffle oil.

16 scallops

3 pieces smoked eel, cut into 1cm x 1cm squares

For the celeriac purée

1 head celeriac

Splash milk

Splash cream

1tsp celery salt

1tsp truffle oil

25g truffle, grated

For the apple jelly

450ml pressed apple juice

25g vegetarian gelatine

For the truffle vinaigrette

50 ml truffle oil

50ml balsamic vinegar

50ml olive oil (ideally pomace oil)

To serve

1 apple, thinly sliced

Small handful celery cress

A little truffle, sliced


Peel and chop the celeriac. Place in a saucepan, cover with milk and cream, then add the celery salt. Bring to the boil, simmer until soft. Drain the liquid using a sieve, and blend mixture until completely smooth. Add the truffle oil and truffle, re-blend and store the puree in the fridge.

Bring 250ml of the apple juice to the boil and reduce until about 50ml remains. Whisk the gelatine into the remaining 200ml of juice. Add the two juices together. Bring back to the boil and pour into a jelly mould. Allow to set and cut as required.

For the vinaigrette, blend the oils and vinaigrette together and transfer to a squeeze bottle.Pan-fry the scallops for two minutes on each side. Place a spoonful of the puree at side of the plate, then place eel, apple, celery cress and sliced truffle around plate. Place the scallops on the plate and drizzle with the vinaigrette.


Simon Gueller of the Box Tree: Roast turkey and all the trimmings

Serves 6

3kg turkey crown on the bone

250g butter

1 bunch fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Maldon sea salt

Freshly ground white pepper

1m muslin (a tea towel will work if you can’t get muslin)

Cocktail stick, for pricking skin


First, take out the turkey back bone, leaving just the crown. You can ask your butcher to do this for you. Keep the wings and backbone for the gravy. Ask your butcher to chop them into 1in pieces.

With a sharp skewer or cocktail stick, prick the skin all over.

Using a food processor, mix together the butter, garlic, thyme with a generous pinch of salt and pepper until the butter is soft but not melted. Smooth the mixture over the turkey crown, coating it as evenly as possible.

Fold the muslin in half and place over the butter, pressing very gently. Tuck the muslin in, under the turkey, and place in a roasting tray.

The muslin will act as a wick keeping the turkey basted throughout its cooking. This can be done up to 12 hours in advance.

Cook for approximately 3 hours at 120C/250F, basting every 20 minutes by spooning the juices back on top of the muslin. For the last 20 minutes of cooking, remove muslin and turn the oven up to 180C to crisp the skin.

If you fancy, after removing the muslin, add bacon strips to the top of the turkey. Don’t add them at the start or the skin won’t crisp.

Turn the oven off and leave the turkey 
to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

Perfect gravy

Serves 6

30g butter

30g flour

1 litre chicken stock

Turkey wings, bones and back bone, chopped into pieces

Salt and pepper


Season the turkey pieces with salt and pepper then roast in a hot oven with a little vegetable oil until golden brown. Drain off all the fat into a separate pan, sieving the fat as you do this.

Place the roasted bones into the chicken stock and cook very slowly, for about 40 minutes.

Make a roux from equal parts butter and flour and cook on a low heat until the flour turns golden brown, mixing all the time.

Strain the stock and bit by bit, slowly add the strained stock to the roux, whisking constantly until smooth.

The ultimate Brussels

Serves 6

30 sprouts

30g butter

6 tbsp flaked almonds


Salt and pepper


Remove the outer leaves from the sprouts. Cross the stalks with a knife if you desire, but I don’t think it makes a difference and choose not to, to save time.

Place the sprouts in boiling salted water for 4 minutes to blanch.

Then plunge into very cold water to refresh them and maintain their vibrant green colour.

Heat the butter and add flaked almonds in a pan over a medium heat. As soon as the almonds start to colour add the sprouts and parsley and season well. Warm the sprouts in the pan and then serve.

Broccoli Hollandaise

If you have time, make your hollandaise fresh, but you can always opt for a bought version.

Serves 6

2 large broccoli

50ml olive oil

50g butter

4 egg yolks

1tbsp white wine vinegar

1tsp lemon juice

Pinch salt and pepper


Separate the broccoli into florets, chopping off the stalks as you go. Blanch in boiling, salted water for 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and refresh under cold water. Place the cooked broccoli into an ovenproof dish – stalks downwards – and season well with salt and pepper

Then, make the hollandaise sauce – either fresh or a use a quality bought version. To make fresh, whisk egg yolks with white wine vinegar and butter over a pan of boiling water. When it thickens, drizzle in the olive oil very slowly. Season with lemon juice to taste, and add salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm until it is needed.

If you have a cream whipper you can place all the ingredients inside and heat to 60C/140F in a bain-marie. Pour the hollandaise over the broccoli.

Honey roast carrots and parsnips

Serves 6

12 carrots

6 parsnips

30g/1oz butter

30g/1oz honey

Pinch salt and pepper


Peel, top and tail the carrots and parsnips. Chop into evenly sized pieces to ensure they will cook at the same time. In a pan, over a medium heat, melt together the butter and honey.

Place the carrots and parsnips in a roasting tray and pour over the honey-butter sauce. Ensure each piece of vegetable is well coated. Roast in an oven at 180C/360F for 30 minutes.

Chipolatas wrapped in pancetta and sage

Everyone’s favourite. These can also be used as a canapé, great if you are entertaining over the festive season and need a fourth starter dish.

24 chipolatas

12 slices of pancetta

12 sage leaves

12 cocktail sticks


Lay out one piece of pancetta. Place one chipolata and one sage leaf on top. Roll the chipolata, wrapping the pancetta around it. Secure in place with a cocktail stick.

Place all the wrapped chipolatas in a pan and cook in the oven for the last half an hour, along with the turkey, at approximately 180C/360F.

If using the chipolatas as canapés, place under a medium grill, until lightly cooked. Alternatively, you can pan fry them in hot, foaming butter until the pancetta is crisp on both sides.


Frances Atkins: Cornbread burgers with walnuts, mushroom, artichoke and quails egg with a pepper foam.

Serves 4

For the cornbread burgers

375g plain flour

225g cornmeal

1tsp salt

4tsp baking powder

110g sugar

480ml milk

2 free range eggs

110g butter, melted

1 carrot, 1 stick of celery and 1 small shallot, all finely chopped

½ oz chopped thyme

1 small egg (beaten)

For the dressing

4 oz fresh mixed wild mushrooms

2 violet artichokes (or a tin of artichokes)

Large handful walnuts

4 quail’s eggs

1 red pepper

Splash olive oil

Pinch salt

3fl oz cream

Pinch hot paprika powder

2 oz soaked yellow sultanas (in Madeira or sweet sherry)


Preheat the oven to 200C/390F. Grease a 9in square baking tray with melted butter. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the burgers, except the carrot, celery and shallot, together and mix until you have the consistency of a sponge cake batter.

Stir to combine thoroughly, then pour into the tray. Bake for about 20 minutes in the top of the oven. The cornbread is ready when it is golden and springy to the touch. Once cool, take 4oz of cornbread and make into crumb (the rest can be kept in the freezer for future use).

Mix in the carrot, celery and shallot with a handful of chopped fresh thyme and bind together with the raw, beaten egg.

Line a loaf or cake tin with greaseproof paper and place mixture on top, so its about half an inch thick. Bake in the oven at 160C/320F for 15-20 minutes.

For the foam: roast the red pepper with oil and salt until soft. Remove from the oven and peel the skin and remove the seeds. Bring the cream to the boil, then blend with the red pepper and paprika powder until light and fluffy. Using a hand blender if possible to achieve more air.

Sauté mushrooms, walnuts and artichokes together. Fry quails egg and place on top of cornbread. Finish with red pepper foam and yellow sultanas.


James Mackenzie: Chocolate, juniper and sloe gin pudding with damson ripple ice cream.

Serves 6

For the pudding

250g dark chocolate

125g butter

125g sugar

2 eggs

50g cocoa powder

40g plain flour

1 tbsp corn flour

½ tsp ground juniper berries

2tbsp sloe gin

For the ice cream

300g damsons

200g sugar

1 litre ice cream custard


Whisk sugar and eggs together until fluffy and white. While whisking, melt chocolate and butter in a bain-marie or microwave. Once melted add chocolate mix to egg mix and whisk together.

Add dry ingredients to mixture and fold in gently the sloe gin. Put mixture into ramekin dishes or one big ovenproof dish and put to one side.

For the ice cream, place the damsons in a pan with the sugar and 100ml of water bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes with a lid on, remove from heat and pass the damson mixture through a sieve, chill the damson purée. Churn the custard in an ice cream machine, when ready fold in the damson purée.

Cook the chocolate mixture at 180C for 5 to 10 min depending on the size of the dish you are using. The pudding should be soft in the middle and crusty on the surface dust with cocoa powder to finish. Serve with the ice cream.