‘Jazz up your trimmings’: Christmas dinner ideas – maple glaze parsnips and sticky carrots

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Gaz Oakley explained to Express.co.uk readers how to “jazz up” their trimmings and sides. The chef, known as the Avant-Garde Vegan, uses orange juice to add flavour to his carrots.

Gaz said: “Jazz up your trimmings by putting effort into each side dish.

“Think maple glazed parsnips, sticky orange carrots, and so on, no one wants just plain veg!”

How does Gaz make his sticky orange carrots?

Sticky orange carrots recipe

Gaz peels his oranges and then cuts them in half, lengthways.

He leaves the stalks on, for a little bit of green.

He puts the carrots in a saucepan and tops up with just enough water so as to be level with the top of the carrots.

He fills the rest of the pan with freshly squeezed orange juice.

He then adds fresh thyme and Himilayan rock salt and cracked black pepper.

He heats the water to a boil. When cooked, but not floppy, he glazes them in a pan with olive oil and more orange juice.

He adds a prince of sugar to thicken up the glaze, before adding salt and pepper.

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Maple glazed parsnips

Gaz uses baby parsnips. He cuts the tops and tails off and then splits them down the middle.

He puts them in water with thyme and rosemary.

After bringing the water to a boil until they are partly cooked, he adds them to a pan with some more thyme and herbs to glaze them up.

He cooks them well until they have a deep colour before adding maple syrup to coat them.

Carrots and parsnips are often accompanied by roast potatoes.

Expert chefs from SortedFood experimented with the delicious side to come up with the “ultimate” roast potato recipe. 

One expert tip involved leaving parboiled potatoes to cool in the fridge overnight to increase the crispy texture.

Another was cooking the potatoes in a mix of half olive oil and half goose fat.

Christmas dessert is often a fruit cake, and former Bake Off winner Sophie Faldo explained how she makes hers. 

The expert gave various tips, based on whether bakers are using dry or fresh fruit in their fruit cake.

She suggests soaking fruit in an alcohol-free alternative.

She told Express.co.uk: “When making cakes with fresh fruit, keep the fruit as dry as possible, the chunks small and dust in flour before adding to the batter.”

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