Maximalist Christmas

Well, it’s been a bit of a rotter of a year, hasn’t it? So this year I’ve decided that the only way to round off this bin-fire of a year has to be with a maximalist, super-luxe, mucho fun Christmas and New Year.

This year I am stealing my sister’s idea of a homemade hamper of goodies specially created for each household, which can be dropped off at the door. Over the years I have accumulated many, many wicker hampers. Not sure why… I guess I just have a hamper kind of face so I get sent a lot of them. So this year I am repurposing them with delights for each person.

One of my favourite brands at this time of year is Opies. I mean I am a maraschino cherry kind of girl at any time of the year, but the brand comes into its own at Christmas. From those tiny pickled onions that can be popped onto cocktail sticks with a decent cheddar to mini gherkins that can be sliced finely to enliven a Boxing Day sammich.

However, the jewel in the crown of this producer is the boozy fruits. In previous years I have enjoyed peaches in Courvoisier and this year there are apricots in Famous Grouse. There’s a hamper or two that will benefit from the inclusion of these bad boys.

In fact, the only thing I find hard to use from the range is the stem ginger since Gary is anti-ginger in all its forms. I have decided to really look after myself this year though and make things that only I will eat as if I were an honoured guest in my own home. So I got this recipe from the Opies chaps, which I will make at some point during the festive season. Gary can have a sammich that night…

Salmon, Ginger and Tarragon Parcels

serves 4

4 pieces Opies Stem Ginger in Syrup, drained and chopped
4 spring onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 lemon, zest and juice
270g pack of filo pastry
50g unsalted butter, melted
4 salmon fillets, skinned
salt and pepper to season

Pre-heat oven to 180 ℃.
Mix together the Opies Stem Ginger, spring onions, tarragon and lemon in a small bowl.
Cut the filo sheets in half and divide into 4 piles. Allow 2/3 layers for each parcel.
Build each parcel individually brushing with butter between layers: place a salmon fillet in the centre of each square. Top each fillet with the ginger mixture, dividing it equally between each one. Season.
Wrap remaining pastry loosely around the salmon, brush with butter.
Place on a lined baking tray and bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden.
Serve with seasonal greens and new potatoes.

Note: I was sent a hamper of Opies products to try… I told you I have the sort of face that makes people send me hampers. It’s an affliction. It was a press sample of this year’s products so not sure what it was worth, but it’d take more than a hamper of goodies to buy my good opinion so you can rest assured that I recommend the company’s products not because I’ve been bought by a few jars of boozy fruits, but because they are truly ace. YUM.