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Decorate Your Festive Table with Le Creuset

The festive season is all about family, friends and of course, good food. It is the time of year that you can go overboard with nibbles, tastes and decorations. The festive period offers an opportunity to entertain guests in relaxed and often unexpected ways, trying out new seasonal dishes in informal gatherings and sharing your home space with those closest to you.

The Hut has devised a guide to Le Creuset’s ‘No Shop Dinner Party’ recipes including their sustainable cookware, seasonal recipes and time saving tips…

Festive Entertaining

From Oven to Table

The festive season brings a busy time for the kitchen, with many relaxed dinner parties and guests. Whether you’re  feeding a full table on Christmas day or whipping up nibbles for your guests and the odd unexpected guest or two, a ‘serve yourself’ approach to mealtimes might be most practical. Le Creuset 3 ply pans, roasters and casserole dishes are designed with the ability to move from oven or hob to the table with minimal effort, acting as serving dishes for all to enjoy.

Get that authentic cooking feel this winter and save time in the kitchen for more time with your guests…

Festive Table Inspiration

The setting of a table, for some, is just as important as the food when it comes to the festive season. A lot of thought and preparation can be given to the layout and presentation, especially when you’re cooking for a full table. Try giving your table a colour theme with some accent decorations. Perhaps traditional white or festive red?

You can match up everything from your salt and pepper mills to your petite casserole dishes for individual portion servings!

Take a look at the range of colours, cookware and table accessories so you’re winter’s table can be just as appetising as your food…

Gifting

For that person you will always find in the kitchen, buy them a gift this year that will last them a lifetime. Choose from Salt and Pepper Mills, Egg Cups, Espresso Mugs and Corkscrews and gift them a stocking filler they will remember.

A Winter’s Table Recipes

To get your mouth watering, here are Le Creuset’s festive recipes, meals and desserts, perfectly suitable for your winter table this year…

Wild Mushroom Pilaf

Pilaf is a delicious, aromatic Middle Eastern dish made with rice, broth, onions and spices – just right when cooked in a Le Creuset enamelled cast iron casserole. Pilaf is a great way to use up leftover vegetables, either cooked or raw, so experiment by adding your own ingredients to this recipe. It is a great winter warmer…

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

3 onions (about 400g), sliced

Drizzle of oil

2 tablespoons ground coriander, plus extra to serve

Half a cinnamon stick

4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

30g mixed wild mushrooms, soaked in 900ml of boiling water

400g mushrooms, roughly sliced

200g potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes

200g carrots or other root vegetables, cut into 1cm cubes

250g short grain brown rice

6 sprigs parsley, leaves picked, stalks finely sliced

150g almonds, dry roasted then roughly chopped

25g barberries or cranberries

6 mint leaves

Yoghurt and 1 lemon cut into wedges to serve (optional)

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 160˚C/ Gas Mark 3

  1. Add a good drizzle of oil to your casserole, covering the base of the dish, then place over a medium-high heat. When hot add the onions and gently fry for 15-20 minutes or until they are soft, caramelised and sweet.
  2. Add the coriander, cinnamon, sliced mushrooms, a pinch of salt and dash more oil to the casserole. Then fry for a further 5-8 minutes over a medium-high heat, adjusting the heat so the dish doesn’t burn, until the mushrooms gain some colour.
  3. Next add the potatoes, carrots, garlic and rice. Season generously with salt and pepper then stir, coating each and every grain with oil, onion and spice. Pour the wild mushrooms and the flavoured water into the mixture, bring to the boil and reduce the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required. Put the lid on and place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the water has just evaporated.
  4. Stir the parsley, half of the almonds and the barberries through the pilaf. Sprinkle the rest of the almonds on top. Serve with a spoon of yoghurt, dusted with coriander, torn mint leaves and a wedge of lemon.

Cook’s Notes

  • Don’t waste your time and money peeling your vegetables! The skin holds a lot of the flavour and nutrition.
  • Make the most of parsley by using the stalks as well as the leaves! Once you have picked the leaves off of the stalks, line the stalks together in a bunch and finely slice them into 1-2mm pieces. They will disappear into the dish adding to the aroma!

For this recipe you will need:

Scalloped Potato and Smoked Fish Pot

This recipe is perfect for a last-minute dinner party, utilising a simple list of ingredients, some of which – like potatoes, garlic and lettuce – you may already have. The Le Creuset 3-ply Stainless Steel 24cm Chef’s Pan of the 24cm Casserole Dish are the perfect pans for the job. The wide interior gives a large surface area for one-layer cooking and allows the potatoes to brown perfectly both on the base and on top while in the oven.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

A glug of olive oil

2kg potatoes, parboiled for 15 minutes with skins on

2 large leeks (about 200g), finely sliced

½ small lettuce (about 100g), roughly sliced (optional)

3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

8 sprigs thyme, leaves picked

400ml whole milk

350ml double cream

500g smoked or white fish (ideally MSC certified), cut into 3cm cubes

Lettuce to serve, dressed with lemon and olive oil

 

Method

Preheat oven 200˚C/ Gas Mark 6

  1. Place the 24cm pan on a medium heat and drizzle with a generous glug of olive oil. When hot add the sliced leeks, lettuce and a pinch of salt, gently fry with the lid on, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the leeks brighten and begin to soften.
  2. Meanwhile slice the parboiled potatoes into 3-4mm thick slices.
  3. Next add the garlic and thyme leaves to the leeks and fry for a further minute.
  4. Pour the milk, cream, fish and potatoes into a large mixing bowl, add the leek mixture and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir together, being careful not to break up the potatoes, taste and adjust the seasoning if required. Pour the potato mixture back into the pan, flatten out the mixture and place in the oven without the lid for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden on top. Take to the table and serve straight from the pan.
  5. Serve with a big green salad on the side.

Cook’s Notes

  • Use the whole leek, including the green tops! They add a depth of flavour to the dish and save unnecessary waste.
  • If you have any leftover ham to use up, add up to 100g at the same time as the garlic and thyme.

For this recipe you will need:

Braised Chipotle Chicken

This vibrant Mexican-style stew makes the party! The whole dish is made and served directly in your Le Creuset Stoneware Heritage Rectangular Dish, which keeps it warm at the table – and saves on washing up, giving you more time to enjoy the food and evening. Serve with tortilla wraps, with rice or both, drizzled with a generous squeeze of lime and sprinkled with coriander.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

2 red onions, finely sliced

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

100g carrots, diced into 1-2 cm cubes

100g potatoes, diced into 3cm cubes

6 free range or organic skinless chicken thighs

3 heaped teaspoons chipotle paste (or 2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika)

2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses or dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground coriander

2 limes

800g tinned chopped tomatoes

4 sprigs coriander, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped

1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

Tortillas and wholegrain rice to serve

 

Method

Preheat oven to 200˚C/ Gas Mark 6

  1. Scatter three quarters of the sliced onions into your dish, followed by the potatoes, carrots and garlic. Place the chicken thighs evenly across the dish on top of the vegetables and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix the chipotle paste (or hot smoked paprika if using) with the molasses, ground coriander and juice from one lime in a bowl. Coat each of the chicken thighs with a teaspoon of the mixture, saving the rest.
  3. Pour the tomatoes evenly around the chicken, finishing the dish with a drizzle of the remaining chipotle mixture.
  4. Place in a hot oven to cook for 45 minutes. When the sauce is bubbling, and the chicken has begun to brown on top your dish is ready to serve.
  5. Scatter the remaining onions over the top. Serve sprinkled with smoked paprika (if using) and fresh coriander. Serve with lime on the side and some tortillas or whole grain rice.

Cook’s Notes

  • Love your leftovers! This dish can be stored in the fridge for up to four days and tastes even better with time. Reheat until it is piping hot all the way through.
  • If you have any leftover cooked chicken, you can shred it and add to the dish instead of the chicken thighs. Allow 50g cooked meat per person.
  • Don’t waste your herb stalks! Finely chop them and add them to your dish to add depth of flavour and save waste.

For this recipe you will need:

Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder

Slow-cooked pork with the perfect crispy crackling, this dish, when brought to the table is a real show-stopper. Perfect for using up old apples, this succulent dish is cooked in cider along with the apples and sweet shallots, the meat is tender and soft.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 4 hours (includes resting and potato cooking)

Ingredients

2kg pork shoulder with rind

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

2 apples, quartered

3 shallots, halved

2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

3 large garlic cloves, skins attached

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

800ml chicken or vegetable stock

200ml dry cider

1 tablespoon plain flour

 

For the Mustard Potatoes

750g baby or midi potatoes, larger potatoes cut in half

2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

1 tablespoon mixed herbs

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 220˚C/ Gas Mark 7

  1. Thoroughly dry the pork joint with kitchen roll before seasoning the meat with salt and pepper. Score the rind with a sharp knife before rubbing in a good handful of salt. Place the joint in the Cast Iron Oval Casserole and place in the hot oven without the lid for 30 minutes.
  2. When the rind begins to blister and crackle, remove the joint from the oven and turn down to 170˚C/ Gas Mark 3.
  3. Nestle the apples, shallots, celery, garlic, bay leaf and fennel seeds under and around the pork. Pour in the stock and cider so the joint is half covered with liquid and put on the lid. Place in the oven and cook for 3 hours.
  4. After 3 hours the meat should be tender but still holding form. Remove from the oven and turn the oven back up to 200˚C/ Gas Mark 6. Carefully remove the joint, shallots and apple pieces from the cooking liquid. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the crackling from the joint. Cover the joint with foil and allow to rest whilst you cook the potatoes and finish the crackling.
  5. Place the potatoes in a baking tray and coat well with the mustard, herbs, oil and a little seasoning. Add the crackling to the baking tray and place in the oven. Cook for 50 minutes turning the potatoes a couple of times during cooking and remove the crackling once crisp.
  6. Pour the cooking liquid through a sieve into a clean saucepan. Place over a medium heat. Take 2-3 tablespoons of liquid and combine with the flour in a jug to create a thick paste. Whisk the flour back into the pan and simmer until thickened. Season to taste (and add gravy browning if desired).
  7. Thickly slice and serve the pork and potatoes alongside the apple and shallot pieces and pour over the gravy. Serve with seasonal greens and crackling.

Cook’s Notes

  • Don’t worry that your crackling softens slightly when cooking the pork with the lid on. Once the rind is returned to a hot oven with the potatoes it will crisp up to make for the perfect crackling to accompany the pork.

For this recipe you will need:

Roasted Pumpkin

This colourful dish will brighten up your winter table. With the sweet, orange pumpkin, red onion wedges and creamy goats cheese, this dish is a breath of fresh air during the dull winter months. Serve on its own or as a seasonal side dish!

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

650g seasonal squash or pumpkin, peeled and cut into half-moon slices

4 to 5 whole garlic cloves, skins attached

1 large red onion

4 sprigs of rosemary

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

50g mixed seeds

100g soft goats cheese or curd

 

For the Dressing

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 200˚C/ Gas Mark 6

  1. Place the prepared squash in the Cast Iron Rectangular Roaster along with the garlic. Remove the skin and cut the onion into large wedges and add to the roaster. Tear in the sprigs of rosemary and sprinkle over the cinnamon, oil and seasoning. Toss the ingredients together to ensure they are all coated and place in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  2. While the squash is roasting make the dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small jam jar, put the lid on tightly and shake the mixture well. Shake again just before serving to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, scatter the seeds into the roaster to gently toast.
  4. Once cooked, remove the roaster from the oven and drizzle over the dressing and some fresh rosemary before serving. Alternatively, serve the dressing in the jam jar for your guest to add themselves at the table.

Cook’s Notes

  • This recipe is great as leftovers too. Simply scatter the cold pumpkin over a bed of mixed winter salad leaves and add a little more goats curd and seeds. Alternatively, warm through and stir into pasta with a dash of oil and a pinch of seasoning.

For this recipe you will need:

Cardamom Rice Pudding

The perfect pudding for a festive dinner, especially when you are awash with milk that’s nearing its expiry date. It’s a grab no-shop option, using basmati rice and other condiments you might find lying around. A deliciously healthy recipe that if not all eaten, can serve as a great breakfast too. There is certainly no waste with this pudding…

Preparation time: 15 minutes (includes making the compote)

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the Plum and Blackberry Compote

2 ripe plums, halved and de-stoned

150g blackberries

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

For the Rice Pudding

500ml rice milk or other milk

200g coconut cream

1 vanilla pod

1 cinnamon stick

1 cardamom pod

1 tablespoon maple syrup

120g basmati rice, rinsed

2 tablespoons flaked almonds, to serve

Extra maple syrup, to serve

For the Vanilla Yoghurt

100ml coconut or natural yoghurt

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

 

Method

  1.    First make the fruit compote. Place the blackberries and plums in a Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Saute Pan 26cm with the maple syrup, orange zest and juice. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes until cooked through. Keep warm to serve with the rice pudding.
  2.    Meanwhile, put the milk, coconut cream, vanilla pod, cinnamon stick, cardamom pod and maple syrup in the saute pan over a medium to low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 5 minutes, reducing the liquid by approximately half.
  3.    Then bring to the boil and add the rice. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring well, until the rice is cooked through. Remove the cinnamon stick, vanilla pod and cardamom pod.
  4.    Mix together the yoghurt and vanilla and serve with the rice pudding and a generous dollop of the fruit compote.

For this recipe you will need:

Self Saucing Chocolate and Cherry Sponge Pudding

A decadent dessert ideal for a cold Winter’s day, this self-saucing pudding couldn’t be simpler. With rich, chocolatey, melt-in-the-middle sponge and the burst of sweet cherry, this dessert has all the comforting flavours of a Black Forest.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes (including resting time)

Ingredients

260g self-raising flour

150g caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

50g cocoa powder

100g unsalted butter, melted

150ml milk

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

3 eggs

1 tin cherry pie filling

For the sauce

180g soft brown sugar

250ml boiling water

30g cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 190˚C/ Gas Mark 5

  1.    In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa. In a separate jug gently whisk together the melted butter, milk, vanilla and eggs.
  2.    Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold in all the ingredients until well combined and a thick, chocolatey batter is created.
  3.    In a Stoneware Round or Oval Dish pour in the cherry pie filling and carefully spoon the chocolate mixture on top trying to keep separate layers. Smooth the batter to the edge of the dish with a palette knife or the back of a spoon.
  4.    Add all of the sauce ingredients to a large jug and stir to combine. Place the chocolate sponge dish on the wire rack of the oven and carefully pour over the sauce mixture. At this stage it will look very runny, but this will thicken during cooking. Bake for 35 minutes.
  5.    Once the sponge starts to slightly crack on the top and springs back when lightly touched remove from the oven and leave to set for 5-7 minutes.
  6.    Serve with lightly whipped cream, fresh cherries and a sprinkling of icing sugar.

For this recipe you will need:

Apple and Blackberry Frangipane

A simple pudding recipe taking only 10 minutes to prepare. It’s a great winter table warmer for your guests with an array of tastes and endless opportunities to blend different fruits and spices. Serve also with healthy live yoghurt or opt for a hotter drizzle by using custard.

 

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

2 apples (about 400g), core removed, cut into thin wedges

300g blackberries or other fruit

400g butter, slightly softened

400g caster sugar

400g ground almonds

4 large free-range eggs

12 amaretti biscuits (optional)

Live yoghurt to serve

 

Method

Preheat oven 180˚C/ Gas Mark 4

  1. To make the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar together then mix in the ground almonds and egg and beat until smooth. Spread the frangipane mixture evenly in the roaster.
  2. Place the apple wedges in three rows on top of the frangipane and scatter the blackberries evenly across the surface. Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes or until the frangipane has risen and is golden. If using, serve with crushed amaretti biscuits sprinkled over the top and a blob of yoghurt on the side.

Cook’s Notes

  • Frangipane is delicious made with any seasonal fruit, so replace the apples and blackberries as you like. It’s a great way to use any over-ripe fruit left in your fruit bowl.
  • Frangipane keeps very well when concealed outside or inside the fridge for up to five days and makes the most wonderful breakfast!
  • Live yoghurt contains good bacteria, which are great for gut health. It’s delicious used as an alternative to cream on desserts.

For this recipe you will need:

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By Olivia Seed | Images courtesy of Le Creuset



Olivia Seed

Olivia Seed

Editor

A minimalist fashion fan with high interests in the odd print or check. Constantly trying to make my home look like a catalogue; you can find me shopping for cute bedding, candles and other Instagrammable interior accessories.


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