Stefan Kölsch - Head Chef

For me, there are few better ways of showing you love someone than preparing a beautiful meal just for them.

There’s something about the amount of thought and planning that goes into it: running over the menu in your head, deciding on what they’d like the best. Then going out and shopping for the ingredients … picking each bit up, looking, sniffing, deciding if it’s really good enough.

Stefan peeling carrots

I carry it all home to begin the preparation, and then begins hours of peeling, chopping, dicing, sautéing and steaming. I like good music in the kitchen and a glass of good wine in my hand for this bit! Seasoning, tasting, adding a pinch of this and a smidgin of that until it’s exactly right… I set the table with my prettiest crockery and light a candle or two, then call my beloved to the table. Oh, the suspense as I watch carefully for her reaction, as she smells the plate, takes the first taste … will she smile? Of course she will!

fish-pie-korma

Yes, I love it, but even I admit that it’s a lot of work. I’m very happy to tell you, though, that I put just as much care into perfecting our chef-cooked meals as I do into preparing a special dinner for my wife. The quality of the ingredients matters just as much – absolutely nothing nasty, of course! I make sure that the flavours and textures marry perfectly, and take time to work out how the finished dish will look on your plate. I test the recipes and cooking times again and again, until I’m 100% satisfied.

Fondant Selection & Strawberry Cheesecake

After all, when you serve up one of our own casseroles, curries, pies or desserts, I want you to get exactly the same kick out of feeding your loved ones as I do – just without the hard work!

Bon appétit

Stefan

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Liz Webb

We all know what it’s like – Christmas dinner has been a roaring success, but there’s still half a turkey sitting balefully in the fridge. No problem! Here are our ideas to make sure nothing goes to waste…

Storing leftovers:
After you’ve feasted on the turkey, cool any leftovers as quickly as possible (within one or two hours), cover them and put them in the fridge. If they are left out at room temperature, bacteria that causes food poisoning can grow and multiply. Keep cooked meat and poultry in the fridge.
Rather than refrigerating the whole turkey, pull off any remaining meat, cut it into small pieces, and store it in airtight containers, foil, or plastic wrap in the fridge.

This saves precious refrigerator space and helps the turkey cool more quickly. Ideally, use leftovers within 48 hours.

Leftover Turkey

Serving leftover cold turkey: take out only as much as you’re going to use and put the rest back in the fridge. Don’t leave a plate of turkey or cold meats out all day, for example, on a buffet.
Remember leftover meat and poultry can be refrigerated for two days or frozen for up to three months.

Reheating leftover turkey: Cooked turkey can be reheated by simply warming the turkey in a 180°C/Fan 160-170°C/Gas 3 oven or in the microwave, using a little gravy or chicken or turkey stock to moisten the meat.
Don’t reheat more than once. When you’re reheating leftover turkey or other food, always make sure it’s steaming hot all the way through before you eat it.

Leftover Turkey

Freeze leftover turkey while fresh:
Do not wait until your turkey has aged two extra days until you realize that you are in over your head.

On Christmas Day, as you are cleaning up after dinner, immediately cut up the remaining turkey and package it up into freezer bags, depending on the size of your family allow 100-150g each portion, label each bag and freeze.

Turn Turkey Bones Into Stock:
Even after you’ve devoured every last morsel of meat, you can still use the turkey carcass to make a rich stock that’s perfect for soup or gravy. Place the whole carcass or just the bones in a large stockpot, cover with water, and bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for about three hours, skimming and discarding the foam and any fat as necessary. Add any herbs, spices, or aromatics too —you can strain them out, along with the bones. The stock can be refrigerated, in an airtight container, two to three days, or frozen for up to three months. If you don’t have time to make the stock right away, wrap the bones in plastic and keep them in the fridge for a couple days or the freezer for several weeks.

Leftover Turkey

Simple Recipe Ideas for Christmas Leftovers:
1. Turkey & Leek Pie: If you have leftover turkey, (leg meat will have the most flavour), make a creamy savoury sauce, add some leeks and leftover vegetables and put it all in a pie dish and top with pastry. Brush pastry with egg yolk and bake at 190°C/ Fan 180°C/Gas 5 and cook for 30 minutes until golden.

2. Spicy Turkey Curry: It’s best with some chilli, garlic and fresh ginger sizzled first. Then add spices like cumin, coriander and turmeric and any leftover festive veg you have, pouring in a tin of coconut milk and the turkey. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs (coriander and mint) when ready to serve.

3. Turkey Soup: Firstly make stock with the turkey carcass, or use chicken stock and add shreds of leftover pale turkey, cubes of ham, discs of carrot, leeks in rounds and finely shredded kale.

4. If you’ve got lots of potatoes, sausages and bacon left, simply fry them up into a Hash (add some onion and garlic) and serve it with a fried or poached egg on top for Brunch, or use leftover roast vegetables in a Frittata.

5. You can use leftover turkey for Wraps, Paninis, Quesadillas, Risottos or Pasta Bakes.

Happy eating!
Liz

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Petra Pennington, Food Writer

How we can help make your Christmas nice and easy…

We all know what Christmas can be like. Getting just the right gifts for everyone, trying to guess who’s arriving when, catering for wildly different tastes, meeting everyone’s sky-high expectations – and still having the time and energy to enjoy yourself!
Well, don’t worry – help is at hand. We see it as our job to make your life easier this Christmas. Here’s how we can help…

Saving you from the supermarket
Awful weather, impossible parking, horrendous crowds and aching arms – it’s just not that appealing, is it? Why not simply chat to one of our friendly advisors, or use your computer, tablet or just your mobile to order, all from the comfort of your sofa? We can save you from battling the Christmas rush on the High Street – and get it all sorted for you in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take.

An easy Christmas

Preparing things that cook straight from frozen
Whether that’s our ready meals stowed neatly in your freezer for those hectic days in the run-up to Christmas when you’d like a break from the cooking, or a full blown Slow Cooked Roast, we want to give you more time relaxing with the family, and not slaving unnecessarily over a hot stove.

Delivering thoughtful gifts, straight to your loved ones
Send something you know they will really enjoy – a package of their favourite steaks, a family roasting joint or even some sweet treats. We’ll send it conveniently ready for their freezer, direct to their door, complete with a bespoke gift message from you. Or if you don’t know what to choose for them, why not send a gift voucher? Just ask our friendly advisors, and they’ll arrange it all for you – complete with a little gift card.

Ribeye Gift Box

Cooking guides and recipes
Can’t cook, won’t cook? Well, our simple guides, online videos and recipes reassuringly guide you through cooking everything from the perfect steak to your Christmas turkey, and even cover carving. And if you have any questions, just ask one of our team over the phone – we’re always delighted to help. Feel free to ring on 01467 629666.

We can even give you a little extra fridge space
We’ve all got a crowded fridge at this time of year, stocked full of goodies for the holidays. Thank goodness there’s no need to make room for your big turkey or roast, as you can defrost it conveniently in the polystyrene coolbox in which we delivered it. Just pop in some refreezable ice packs and keep the lid on, changing the packs every day to keep the temperature just like it would be in your fridge.

Marketing at Christmas

Here for you right up until Christmas
With free Saturday delivery throughout December and next day delivery for just £2, there are lots of options to ensure you get what you want, when you want it. And of course we don’t stop caring once we’ve delivered your order – we’ll be here at the end of the phone seven days a week, from early morning to late evening, in our extended December opening hours. So if you need a spot of advice, from defrosting to cooking – just ask. It’s what we’re here for!

We wish you a happy, delicious and above all easy Christmas,

from all of us here at Donald Russell.

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