When it comes to foolproof Christmas recipes, Clodagh McKenna’s come up trumps. This year, Clodagh has teamed with the National Dairy Council to create eight delicious recipes using the best of Irish Produce. The campaign – A Very Dairy Christmas – includes recipes that are luxurious and delicious, but crucially, easy to follow.
Start your meal with a rich chicken liver pate with caramelized onions topped with crispy sage lives and grated orange, or a delicious “cheese cloud” farmhouse cheese soufflé or why not be adventurous and make the Irish crab toasts finished with a spicy yogurt topping. Cauliflower cheese is made extra special with a mature cheddar cheese and a crunchy hazelnut topping. For dessert, there are a delicious range of alternatives to the Christmas pudding including a chocolate pecan trifle with orange blossom cream and a rice pudding flavoured with star anise and orange.
“People always ask me how to avoid stress when entertaining a big crowd at Christmas” says Clodagh “The key of course is to be well organised, I start writing my menu about a week beforehand, and I balance it with at least two courses that I can make the night before, so that it usually only leaves me with the cocktails, bread and one course to do on the day. I like to start out the meal with sharing plates or boards, this always relaxes my guests, and it’s easy for me to assemble, like my delicious chicken liver pate with caramelized onions, an old classic, and can be made a day or two in advance, or my crab toasts with a drizzle of spiced yogurt. Having good quality ingredients is the key to a delicious tasting supper. I always have Irish dairy in my fridge, nothing compares to the clean pure taste of Irish butter, yogurt, cream and our cheeses! And for my vegetables, I go as direct as I can to getting them from farms, via the farmer’s markets or good vegetable stores, root vegetables are tasting so good at this time of the year”.
Check out the full complement of Clodagh’s recipes for the NDC here