Recipes: Four into one does go – with plenty of flavour too

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When Kim McCosker came up with the idea for her latest cookbook 4 Ingredients Christmas, she wanted to create the easiest entertaining cookbook people will ever own.“This book is designed to save people time and money. Rather than spending hours in the kitchen people can spend time with their loved ones. You really do need only four ingredients to make the perfect festive menus.”

Tasting plate

Cucumber Ribbons Prawns

Makes 12 12 cooked prawns, 1 cucumber, 2 tbs sweet chilli sauce

Shell and devein prawns, leaving the tail intact, then rinse under cold running water. Trim ends from the cucumber and, using a vegetable peeler, peel long, thin ribbons from cucumbers; discarding the seedy centres. Lay the prawns on a serving plate, snake the ribbon to form three to four rolls then lay atop the prawn. Skewer each and drizzle gently with sweet chilli sauce, serve immediately.


Serves 8 4 tbs butter butter, softened, 300g chicken livers, trimmed, 2 spring onions, finely chopped, 2 tbs port

Heat half the butter in a frying pan; cook livers, in batches until just browned. Add spring onions and cook, stirring until tender. Add port; cook, uncovered, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Blend or process the mixture until smooth. Blend again with remaining butter until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.


Makes 24 Seedless watermelon, 24 mint leaves, 2 tbs (30ml) caramelised balsamic vinegar, 200g feta cheese, cut into even cubes

Cut watermelon into 2cm cubes and place on a serving platter. Top with a cube of feta and a mint leaf. Spear all with a thin toothpick and lightly drizzle with caramelised balsamic vinegar. Tip: If you don’t have caramelised vinegar simply make your own: Pour cup balsamic vinegar into a small frying pan and add 2tbs brown sugar. Over medium heat reduce until syrupy and allow to cool.


Serves 8 5kg bone in, cured and smoked ham, skin on, 4 oranges, cut into thin round slices, 1 cup (320g) marmalade, cup (110g) brown sugar

Preheat oven 180˚C and put the oven shelf to the lowest position. Peel the skin away from the ham using a sharp knife, leaving a thin layer of fat on the surface. Transfer the ham into a large roasting pan. In a small saucepan over low heat cook the marmalade and sugar until combined. Glaze the ham. Arrange the orange slices, overlapping, on top. Secure each slice with a toothpick if needed. Brush with a little more glaze. Bake for 1 hour 20 mins. Brush occasionally with remaining glaze. Serve hot or cold. Tip: To remove rind use a small sharp knife to cut though rind.

Cut along the shank and use your thumb to run underneath the skin to separate edges from fat. Starting from the widest edge, pulling rind from ham.


50g peppermint candy canes, 200g dark chocolate

Break canes into pieces and place in a plastic bag. Squeeze bag to expel air and wrap in a tea towel, place on a hard surface and pound with a rolling pin until the canes are crushed. In a microwave safe dish, melt the chocolate, stirring every 30 secs until silky smooth. Pour onto a paper-lined baking tray, about 2mm thick. Sprinkle with crushed cane. Sit aside for 20 mins, or in the fridge until set. Break into pieces to serve.

4 Ingredients Christmas by Kim McCosker is published by Simon and Schuster (£14.99).