An original menu for your Christmas dinner in association with Faversham Enterprise Partnership

PUBLISHED: 11:07 24 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:20 20 February 2013

An original menu for your Christmas dinner in association with Faversham Enterprise Partnership

An original menu for your Christmas dinner in association with Faversham Enterprise Partnership

With our love of all things locally produced and truly Kentish, Kent Life has teamed up with three of our favourite chefs from 2011 to bring you a highly original menu for your Christmas dinner. Brought to you in association with Faversham Enterprise

With our love of all things locally produced and truly Kentish, Kent Life has teamed up with three of our favourite chefs from 2011 to bring you a highly original menu for your Christmas dinner. Brought to you in association with Faversham Enterprise Partnership

Meet the chefs

Daniel Hatton
Head chef, Thackerays
85 London Road
Tunbridge Wells
01892 511921

Tell us a bit about you
I was born and have lived in Mayfield, East Sussex for the last 28 years. Ive cooked for 10 years in top restaurants in Kent and London, learning my art before coming to Thackerays as head chef 12 months ago. Ive worked within the Richard Phillips group for many years, starting with my first chefs job at Thackerays 10 years ago as a commis chef.

Your advice for Christmas cooks?
Preparation is the key to making it easy, plan carefully where youre going to get your ingredients, so you can get the best product on the market

What will you be eating this Christmas?
To be honest, it wont be much if anything! By the time Christmas draws to an end I wont want to see any more turkey, stuffing or Christmas puddings, so it will mostly be a good glass of wine or a pint of local beer.

Do you get a break at Christmas?
Not usually, its all about the restaurant and meeting the customers demands, I will leave a break until after New Year.

Top tip when buying ingredients?
Buy the best you can afford, as this will make a big difference to the end dish. Its important to buy local, as it should be a better price and a better-flavoured product.

Alex Eindebank
Head chef, The Plough Inn
Stalisfield Green
ME13 0HY
01795 890256

Tell us a bit about you
I grew up in North London, studied for my professional chef diploma at Westminster College then spent three years working in France, Italy and Austria before moving to Kent in 2006. I worked at The Sportsman in Seasalter and was head chef at Le Petit Poisson in Herne Bay. I moved back to London for work but missed the Kentish food culture, so returned to take on the head chef at The Plough, where the ethos of using produce from the surrounding countryside really suits my style of cooking.

Your advice for Christmas cooks?
Keep it simple! Christmas is about family, not slaving over the stove.

What will you be eating this Christmas?
Turkey and stuffing sandwiches, hopefully!

Do you get a break at Christmas?

Top tip when buying ingredients?
ry local farm shops for great value and unusual produce. Mallards Farm, on the way to Whitstable, does amazing purple sprouts. And small farms like Snoad Farm in Otterden are great places to buy your Christmas turkey it will taste better than your average supermarket equivalent.

Ryan Tasker
Head chef, Walletts Court Country
House Hotel Westcliffe,
St. Margarets-at-Cliffe
CT15 6EW
01304 852424

Tell us a bit about you
Originally Im from South Queensferry, Scotland, where I learnt my trade in country house hotels in Perthshire. Ive been working in England for the last 10 years.

Your advice for Christmas cooks?
Try something different instead of turkey, which is an Americanism anyway.

What will you be eating this Christmas?
Im not sure of this year yet, but last year I cooked for 12 people and we had goose and smoked belly of pork.

Do you get a break at Christmas?
Not really, just my days off.

Top tip when buying ingredients?
Always try to purchase local produce whenever possible. Also, if you give your local butcher enough notice he will be able to smoke any meats you may need.

Pressed pigs head, crispy ears and piccalilli

Serves: 4

One pigs head ask your local butcher to keep one aside for you
One gelatine leaf
Half a bunch of parsley
10 baby pickled cucumbers
1 tbspn capers
Four anchovy fillets
Celery and onion

To drink
Chapel Down Flint Dry
Chapel Down Winery
Small Hythe, near Tenterden
TN30 7NG
01580 763033

Ask your butcher to remove the hair on the pigs head or gently go over it with a blowtorch, taking care not to singe the skin. Remove the ears. Put the pigs head in a deep saucepan or stock pot, add two chopped carrots, two bay leaves and a splash of white wine vinegar. Pour water over to about three inches above the immersed head, bring to the boil and simmer for about five hours, topping up the water as needed. Turn off the heat and cool in the liquid, then remove and take off the outer skin and fat, discard the eyes and pick off every piece of meat, gland and brain. Pass one pint of the cooking liquor through a fine sieve into another pan and reduce by half. While the liquid is reducing, soak one litre of gelatine in cold water; when soft and pliable add the gelatine to the reduced liquor and turn off the heat. Allow to dissolve, pass again through a sieve into a jug and cool completely. Lightly oil a terrine mould or loaf tin and line with clingfilm, pressing to the sides. Finely chop half a bunch of parsley, 10 baby pickled cucumbers, a tablespoon of capers and four anchovy fillets and mix through the meat, adding one teaspoon of English mustard. Season. Put half the mixture into your terrine or loaf tin, cover the cooled jelly liquor, add the rest of the meat, pressing down firmly, finally covering with a thin layer of jelly. Tap the terrine mould onto a hard surface to remove any air bubbles. Place in fridge to set for a couple of hours.

For the crispy pigs ears
Place the ears in a saucepan, add a chopped carrot, a chopped leek, two chopped celery sticks, a chopped onion and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for two to three hours. Cool completely in the liquid, remove from the liquor and remove the bulbous end that was joined to the head. Slice into 5mm strips and roll each piece through flour, beaten egg and finally breadcrumbs. See to serve.

To serve
Remove terrine from mould, slice while still wrapped in clingfilm. Lay the slices on a board, removing the clingfilm. In a deep saucepan heat some vegetable or rapeseed oil and fry the pigs ears until golden brown. Remove from the oil onto kitchen paper. Finish with piccalilli, toast and a sprinkling of sea salt. Serve.

Roasted butternut squash tart with sage and Kentish blue cheese mousse

Serves: 4

500g puff pastry
1 butternut squash
1 bunch sage
200g of Kentish blue cheese (made with vegetarian rennet)
100g capers
2 fresh quinces
300g double cream
1 bunch watercress
100g hazelnuts
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

To drink
Chapel Down Pinot Blanc 2009
Chapel Down Winery
Small Hythe, near Tenterden
TN30 7NG
01580 763033

Roll out the puff pastry to approx 1 cm thick and 22 cm diameter, refrigerate for one hour. Peel and dice the butternut squash, put the pieces into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, toss together and season. Pick the leaves from the sage stems and add stems to the bowl, toss all together, put onto a greased baking tray and bake at 180ËšC/Gas 4 until the squash is soft and golden brown. Cool. Remove the puff pastry from the fridge and add the squash evenly on top. Slice 10 sage leaves into strips and place on top of the squash, crumble on the blue cheese and bake at 180ËšC/Gas 4 until the puff pasty is golden brown and and the cheese has melted. Cool on a wire rack.

Sage mousse
Whip the double cream to stiff peaks, chop six leaves of sage and the hazelnuts, add both to the cream, season and fold together. Cover with cling film and put in fridge. Peel and dice the quince, wrap in tin foil and bake until very soft, approx 45 min, blend until smooth, adding water if needed to achieve a smooth paste.

To serve
Put a couple of spoonfuls of quince pure onto each plate and a wedge of warm tart on top. Add four to five capers, two quenelles of sage cream and garnish with watercress.

Kent producer
Kingcott Cheese
Iden Manor Farm
TN12 0ES
01580 892478

Roasted crown of Kentish partridge

Serves: 4

2 medium partridges
100g dried porcini mushrooms or 500g fresh
1 kilo potatoes
1 litre double cream
3 litres good chicken stock
1 bunch thyme
1 large celeriac
1 Savoy cabbage
2 carrots
1 turnip
1 large onion
Small bunch red grapes
100g smoked bacon
100g shallots
1 bulb garlic
1 bottle red wine

To drink
Chapel Down Union Red 2009
Chapel Down Winery
Small Hythe, near Tenterden
TN30 7NG
01580 7630

Take the wings and leg off the crown of the birds, place in a pre-heated pan and colour on all sides. Slice and add the shallots, two gloves of garlic, two sprigs of thyme and a half a bottle of red wine. Reduce by half. Add two litres of chicken stock, bring to a simmer and braise the partridge legs and wings till soft and the meat falls from the bone; remove and leave to cool. For the sauce, reduce the liquor to approx 500ml, then pass through a fine sieve, keep to one side until ready to serve. Flake the meat from the wings and legs. Bring the remaining litre of stock to the boil, add the dried porcini mushrooms to rehydrate them, pass through a sieve and reserve stock for later. If using fresh mushrooms, just bring the stock to the boil. Slice the potatoes and start to layer in a baking dish: one layer of potatoes, then a layer of partridge meat and mushrooms, repeating until a final layer of potatoes. Pour in chicken stock to the top. Bake at 180C/Gas Mark 4 until golden brown.
Peel and dice the celeriac, cover with milk, a sprig of thyme and a garlic clove, boil until soft, place in food blender and blitz until smooth, then pass through a sieve and add a little truffle oil. Store until needed. Finely dice the carrot, onion and turnip, put in a pre-heated pan with olive oil, add some picked thyme and the sliced cabbage, cook until soft. Add the cream and reduce until thick, place to one side, keeping it warm.
Bring remaining red wine to the boil and add the smoked bacon, thyme and garlic, add the grapes to the red wine liquor and take off the heat. Place the partridge crown into a pre-heated pan and colour on all sides, then cook in a pre-heated oven at 200C/Gas 5 for
12-15 mins, turning halfway through the cooking. Leave to rest.

To serve
Bring the sauce back to the boil and whisk in a knob of butter to thicken it slightly and give it some shine. Put a portion of the potatoes, a spoonful of cabbage and celeriac pure on ther plate, carve the partridge and lay on top, spoon over the hot sauce and garnish with grapes. Serve.

Pumpkin pie with cranberry compote

Serves: 4

Pumpkin pie filling
0.5 cup of maple syrup
1.5tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves and 1 tsp ground all spice
0.5 tsp ginger
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
0.5 tbsp salt
4 eggs
3 cups pumpkin pure
500ml evaporated milk
Pie pastry
3.5 cups plain flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp orange zest
0.5 tbsp salt
0.75lb butter
4 egg yolks
cup double cream
Cranberry compote
500g fresh cranberries
300g sugar and 100ml fresh orange juice
0.5 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves
1 piece of mace, 1 star anise

To drink
Biddenden Gribble Bridge Dry Ortega 2009
Biddenden Vineyards
Gribble Bridge Lane, Biddenden
TN27 8DF
01580 291726

Mix all the ingredients for the pie filling together. Set aside.

Pie pastry
Add all dry ingredients to a food processor through a sieve, add the diced butter and blitz for 30-60 seconds. Add cream and egg yolks (pre whisked) until the pastry binds together, leave to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Roll out the pastry and line a 9 in tart case. Rest pastry then bake blind. Add the pie filling mixture and bake at 170ËšC for 30-35 mins

Roasted chestnuts
Add chestnuts to a hot pan with a splash of oil and 2 tbsps of butter, cook until golden brown. Deglaze the pan with 1 tspn of balsamic vinegar. Season and serve on top of the pie.

Cranberry compote
Add sugar to a heavy based pan and heat gently to a caramel stage. Stop the sugar over cooking by adding orange juice, then add the cranberries and a spice bag (toast all the spices in a hot, dry pan and tie up in a muslin cloth). Cook out until all the sugar has dissolved.

Kent producer
TJ Wholesale Fruiterers
Unit 19, Hedgend Industrial Estate
St. Nicholas at Wade, Birchington
01843 848525

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