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Stir it up magazine SEPTEMBER 2017

Cheese with walnuts and honey Turkey breast filled with sausage and chestnut puree wrapped in pancetta and sage leaves SEPTEMBER 2017 11 CATEGORY FOCUS they enjoy a sit-down Christmas roast with all the trimmings at a Christmas party. “Our research also revealed that 70% of people like to see traditional festive desserts such as mince pies or Christmas pudding on the menu, further sticking to Christmas tradition. In order to encourage customers to book with your outlet; being able to pre-order and having a free drink on arrival were both influencers of choice for a Christmas party venue.” The dishes people couldn’t do without on a Christmas party menu: mince pies, turkey, stuffing, cheese and pineapple on sticks, Pigs in blanket, Christmas pudding The cuisines people would like to eat at a Christmas Party: 1. Traditional British; 2. Italian; 3. American; 4. Mexican Theme your offering Operators should take advantage of the season to create festive-themed versions of on-trend shakes and desserts, recommends Aine Melichar, brand manager for Kerrymaid, with ingredients such as vanilla ice cream with warm Christmas pudding pieces, topped with brandy flavoured whipped cream and topped with mulled berries. “If you’re partial to the more traditional puddings which are always a winner, why not try a trio of desserts platter, with mini yule logs, chocolate orange tart and raspberry pavlovas?” she adds. The 12 Days of Whirlmas is a Christmas guide showing how a liquid butter alternative can bring the indulgent flavour of butter to festive menus without the high cost of butter. Top Tips for a successful festive season from Mark Rigby, executive chef at Premier Foods Make sure you allow the turkey to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving, if there is a lot of steam coming from your turkey when you carve, it will be dry For a delicious turkey gravy, combine the meat juices with Bisto Gravy Granules and try adding your own flavours such as citrus, herbs, wine or brandy also works well For a simple but tasty stuffing, blend 50% Paxo Stuffing and 50% sausage meat Try adding cinnamon to Ambrosia custard to give desserts the classic Christmas flavour Keep in mind that throughout the season, diners are likely to eat out more than once, so make sure you have a choice between traditional Christmas fare and more innovative dishes There will be an increase in large parties so providing a group menu or sharing boards will alleviate time pressures and allow chefs to maintain high-quality dishes Set menus will attract customers looking for great deals over the festive season Similarly, seasonal sandwiches always go down a treat. This Christmas, vendors are taking a rustic approach to menus so try pairing Kara’s artisanal sourdough bloomers filled with sweet cranberry sauce, Romaine lettuce, cured bacon, succulent turkey slices and sage and onion stuffing, for a competitive meaty festive feast. Cheese please! Cheese and the cheeseboard are synonymous with Christmas but far too often the same tried and tested selection appears every year. “For Christmas 2017, think about setting your offering apart by including a continental cheese,” advises Kenneth Axen, MD of Futura Foods. “Roasted figs stuffed with Gorgonzola and finished with a drizzle of honey make an unusual and impressive appetiser whilst bite-sized Brie puffs served with onion chutney are a real crowd pleaser. “On the cheeseboard, Gorgonzola makes for a great, creamier alternative to Stilton, whilst the unique tang of Goat’s Log will make a real point of difference. Serve with plenty of crackers and if you’re worried about retaining a traditional feel, use leftover cranberry sauce as an alternative to more conventional chutneys.” Christmas in care homes No festive offering is complete without a classic fruit cake, but for care caterers who need to consider the special dietary needs of their residents, Dr. Oetker Professional has taken the pressure out of the season. Their reduced Sugar Fruit Cake Mix has been carefully developed to guarantee a delicious bake full of flavour but with 30% reduced sugar. “The mix is part of our Wellcare range and is fortified with fibre,” says Emma Haworth, senior brand manager, Dr Oetker Professional. “It also contains no hydrogenated fats, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives to help support good nutrition.” For older consumers with smaller appetites, why not try a Christmas themed afternoon tea with small jugs of Kerrymaid Custard and Kerrymaid Double to go with mini Christmas puddings, chocolate yule logs and warm mince pies? Spruce up school lunches For school caterers searching for healthier, great value ways of providing a festive dessert for children, why not try baking a large reindeer, Santa or penguin themed Christmas cookie which they can enjoy with a splash of custard or whipped cream. A healthy alternative to real cream with 26% less saturated fat, Kerrymaid Cream Alternatives are the only cream alternatives on the market to have the Soil Association Food For Life Served Here accreditation, and contain no hydrogenated vegetable fats. For school caterers looking to provide a tasty alternative to a traditional Christmas dinner, crunchy vegetable crumble, created by Kerrymaid ambassador Jeanette Orrey, is a big hit. For the full recipe visit www.stiritupmagazine.co.uk/recipes Cookies decorated with a Christmas theme


Stir it up magazine SEPTEMBER 2017
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