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Spruce up your sides for Christmas Day - Niall McKenna's sprout and orange salad, and cranberry, sage and onion stuffing

IF you are looking to impress guests this Christmas and want to add something a little different to your Christmas dinner, then this week's recipes are my gift to you.

I like to keep Christmas dinner traditional, serving a full turkey and mustard glazed ham (which you can find in last week's recipes), but when it comes to our side dishes, I like to serve mine with a twist to 'spruce up' the plate.

The first side dish that I will be serving around the Christmas dinner table this year is one of my favourites - Brussels sprout and orange salad. It's very quick and easy to prepare and has the perfect amount of 'zesty' sweetness that keeps you coming back for more.

The second side dish is a must-have Christmas classic - sage and onion stuffing, with the addition of cranberries, adding a surprise hint of sweetness.

For more recipes and cooking tips, follow me on Instagram @niallmckenna and feel free to reach out with any questions you have when it comes to cooking Christmas dinner.

BRUSSELS SPROUT AND ORANGE SALAD

(Serves 4)

300g Brussels sprouts

2tbsp olive oil

300g kale, with internal vein removed

1 green chilli, finely sliced

3 oranges

75g hazelnuts

Dressing:

1tbsp orange zest, grated

4tbsp orange juice

1tsp honey

3tbsp rape seed oil

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Start by quartering the Brussels sprouts and removing the outer leaves.

Place the oil in a frying pan on medium heat and fry the sprouts for approximately five minutes until they start to brown at the edges. Remove from the pan and leave aside to cool.

Wipe the pan to use again.

Chop up the kale, place it in a large bowl with the fried Brussels sprouts and add in the chopped chilli.

To prepare the oranges, slice from top to bottom and remove the skin. Place the segments into the salad bowl, along with the kale, chilli and Brussels sprouts.

Place the frying pan back on a medium heat. Do not add oil so that the hazelnuts toast on a dry pan. To toast, lightly move the hazelnuts around the pan for a couple of minutes until browned - this should produce a nice hazelnut aroma.

Remove from the pan and place on a plate to cool. When cooled, roughly chop the hazelnuts and add to the salad.

For the dressing, add the orange zest, juice and honey together and whisk briskly, adding in all of the rape seed oil.

Season with salt and pepper and add to the salad, ready to serve.

 

Niall McKenna's cranberry, sage and onion stuffing

 

CRANBERRY, SAGE AND ONION STUFFING

(Serves 6-8)

INGREDIENTS

4 onions, finely chopped

10 fresh sage leaves

50g butter

250g breadcrumbs

250g sausage meat (optional)

250g cranberries

100ml milk

2 garlic cloves

Salt

Pepper

METHOD

Fry the onion and garlic in butter on a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes or until soft.

Add in the sausage meat and cook for 10 minutes until thoroughly cooked.

Add in the breadcrumbs, cranberries and milk (for the breadcrumbs, I recommend using a blender). Lastly, add sage and season with salt and pepper.

Set the stuffing mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper (which should be laid on top of tinfoil).

Then, roll the mixture into a sausage shape and twist the ends - this should look like a Christmas cracker (6 inches long x 4 inches wide).

Place on a greased tray and put in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes.

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