1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt
Assorted crudites, such as celery stalks, hearts of romaine, icicle radishes, cucumber spears, and blanched cauliflower florets and white asparagus, for serving
⅓ cup white wine
1 tablespoon minced white onion
1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh green onion
For even more flavor, throw in a teaspoon of fresh marjoram, thyme, or tarragon at the last stage of cooking the sauce.
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt, to taste
4 leeks, tender white parts with a little green only, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 large potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and chopped into small dice
Salt to taste
½ cup heavy cream (optional)
¼ pound (4 strips) extra-thick bacon
Fresh chives, snipped, to garnish
Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the potatoes, and stir. Add the stock, and bring it up to a boil. Turn down the heat again, and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are all very soft.
Cook the bacon in a wide skillet until crisp. Gently reheat the soup, without letting it boil. Ladle the soup into bowls, and crumble bacon and sprinkle over chives, to serve.
650ml water, lukewarm
21g (3 sachets) dried yeast
1 level tablespoon salt
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
How to prepare the bread dough
Prepare all your ingredients.
Add 200ml of the lukewarm water, the honey, 1 sachet of yeast and 4 tablespoons of flour into a large bowl and mix together with a balloon whisk. Don’t add salt at this stage!
Leave to rest in a warm place for about ½ an hour.
Add the remaining ingredients to make the dough. Start with the flour, then add half the
water followed by the yeast, salt, rosemary, thyme and finally the rest of the water, using a fork to stir initially until the dough starts to combine.
Knead for 10 minutes to form an elastic dough.
Place in a lightly floured bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rest in a warm, draught-free place until it has doubled in size (approximately an hour).
Knock the air out of the dough with your hands.
If required – lightly dust the dough to avoid it sticking to your hands.
Flatten the dough, then divide into three equal parts. You can use a serrated knife to help with this.
Form each part into a roll (approximately 25 cm long), then combine the ends into a ring i.e. the wreath-form. Wet your hands with warm water to help fuse the ends together.
Place each wreath on a piece of baking paper and allow to rest for half an hour in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Lightly dust the dough with flour.
Using kitchen scissors make deep cuts into the dough ring. Cut almost to the bottom of the wreath to achieve the desired effect.
Carefully place the resulting ‘wedges’ out away from the ring to form points.
Since it’s Christmas, I used some rosemary sprigs to decorate the wreath and rock salt to garnish the top of the bread wreath.
Slide the ring and the parchment paper right onto the wire rack (or baking stone if you have one) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and hollow when tapped at the bottom.
10 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ cup Parmesan, thinly sliced
grated zest from 1 lemon
glug of olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
½ yellow onion, minced
8 cups liquid: 3 cups champagne,
3 cups chicken broth, 2 cups water
Kosher salt to taste
Parmesan and fresh thyme leaves to garnish
Add the rice to the pan and it in with the onions, oil and butter. Cook for a few minutes until the rice is translucent except for the white center in each grain of rice. This will be about 3-5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of champagne and deglaze the pan with it. Turn the heat up to medium and stir the rice constantly as the champagne cooks off and is absorbed by the rice.
Next add the chicken broth in the same way, stirring constantly and adding just one cup at a time. If your rice is still too firm, add 2 cups of water, one at a time and stir until the rice is al dente and very creamy from all of the stirring.
At the last minute, turn the rice to low and add the cheese and stir it in well. Season to taste with kosher salt. Spoon onto serving plates or bowls and garnish with extra finely shredded parmesan and a sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves.
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus more to taste
¾ cup flour
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
Juice of 2 lemons (¼ cup)
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil or butter in a large nonstick saute pan over a medium-high flame until hot but not smoking. Add 2 of the fillets and cook until lightly golden on each side, about 3 minutes. Transfer the fillets to a baking sheet and place in the warm oven to keep warm. Wipe out the pan, add 2 more tablespoons of oil or butter to the pan to heat,
Transfer all the cooked fillets to the oven. Wipe the pan clean and place over a medium flame. Add the 12 tablespoons of butter to the pan and let it melt, foam, subside, begin to bubble again, and turn a nutty brown. Immediately remove from the heat and carefully add the lemon juice, parsley, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and several grindings of white pepper to taste. (Be careful, as the butter will most likely spatter angrily when you add the lemon juice.) Serve the fillets on warm plates and spoon some of the sauce over each one.
6-8 spears white asparagus
A handful of caper berries
Melted ghee or coconut oil
Flaky sea salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill, more for garnishing
Place asparagus and caper berries on a baking sheet and drizzle with ghee or oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and place in the oven. Bake for 10-20
Place cooked asparagus a serving tray and drizzle with the Mustard Dill Dressing while still hot, sprinkle with more salt if desired. Garnish with springs of dill. Serve immediately.
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter, divided
¾ tsp Celtic sea salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp white truffle oil
2 green onions, sliced
½ cup micro greens
½ cup parmesan cheese shavings, optional
Remove cauliflower from the oven and place in a blender along with any roasting juices. Add in
Scoop cauliflower mash onto plate and drizzle with truffle butter. Garnish with green onions, micro greens and parmesan shavings.
Makes 30 truffles
1 cup white chocolate chips
½ cup eggnog
2¾ cups crushed vanilla sandwich cookies, divided (I used Golden Oreos)
1 package vanilla candy melts or vanilla almond bark
Use a one tablespoon dough scoop to make even sized truffles. Roll the truffles between your hands to make them into smooth balls.
Dip the truffles into melted white chocolate. Place the dipped truffles on a parchment covered tray and sprinkle immediately with the extra cookie crumbles before the white chocolate hardens. One the coating is set, store the truffles in the fridge in covered container.
¾ cup confectioner’s/powdered sugar
10 egg whites (should come to about 1 ¼ liquid cups) at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract, optional
Beat the whites, cream of tartar/lemon juice, the salt and the vanilla/almond extracts until foamy then continue beating as you gradually beat in the granulated sugar until stiff peaks hold. Fold
Mound into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake 30 – 40 minutes (depending upon your oven) until set and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool inverted. Michael always drizzled chocolate glaze on top, allowing it to drip down the sides of the white cake.
4 cups of milk of your choice (or you can substitute heavy cream or half and half, or do a mixture)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped into small pieces (or white chocolate chips)
whipped cream or marshmallows for topping
Directions: Stir together milk, vanilla and chopped white chocolate in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the white hot chocolate comes to a simmer. (Do not let it come to a boil.) Remove from heat and serve immediately, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired.
A chic sip to go with those truffles—we love this delicate dessert wine with a gorgeous bottle worthy of the occasion.