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Christmas Cooking Tips from the Skibo Chefs Part Four: Abe’s Alternative to Turkey

Posted: 13 December 2019

Turkey is the classic Christmas dish, but when large groups of friends and family gather together to celebrate there are often a multitude of dietary needs to take into consideration. Rather than complicate matters by cooking several different meals to accommodate individual dietary needs, Chef de Partie Abe Michaelides suggests that the solution is a meal of winter vegetable bhajis, served with lentil dhal and spiced onions. Not only is the meal vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, and gluten free, it is also packed full of warming flavour.

Abe originally hails from Cyprus, and after working at The Carnegie Club for three and a half years he left to gain more experience in other kitchens before returning to Skibo in June of this year as Chef de Partie.

Abe Michaelides, Chef de Partie at The Carnegie Club

Abe Michaelides, Chef de Partie at The Carnegie Club

“I wanted to incorporate the classic winter veg that you would expect around Christmas time – potatoes, carrots, parsnip and celeriac - but in an unexpected way,” says Abe. “I spent some time working in Glasgow, and the city’s curry culture made a big impact on me. Many of the dishes in Indian cuisine are vegetarian, and this meal also has the added benefit of suiting people with a variety of dietary needs.”

ABE’S ALTERNATIVE TO TURKEY

LENTIL DHAL

Ingredients

400g yellow lentils
600ml vegetable stock
50ml olive oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
30g turmeric powder
50g chopped fresh ginger
3 chopped fresh chillies, deseeded (if you prefer a spicier dhal, leave the seeds in!)
1 large diced onion
40g fresh coriander 

Method

  1. In a pan, sauté the onions in olive oil until lightly browned.
  2. Add turmeric, chillies and ginger and sauté for 3-5 minutes
  3. Add lentils, vegetable stock and tomatoes.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Serve the dhal, garnished with coriander. The dhal can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated. Simply reheat gently before serving.

WINTER VEGETABLE BHAJIS

Ingredients

200g celeriac
1 carrot
1 parsnip
1 large potato
300g gram flour
chopped coriander
1 large onion, sliced 

Method

  1. Grate the celeriac, carrot and parsnip. Set vegetable mixture aside.
  2. Peel and cube potatoes, then boil for 15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside.
  3. Sauté the onions in olive oil until lightly browned.
  4. Combine the vegetable mixture, onions and potatoes in a bowl, add gram flour and coriander. Shape into palm sized patties.
  5. Deep fry the patties for 3-4 minutes each and serve. Alternatively, to make ahead of time allow to cool and refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, place in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 8 minutes.

SPICED ONIONS

Ingredients

2 red onions, thinly sliced
30g dried mint
50ml sriracha sauce
50ml sweet chilli sauce
50ml tomato ketchup 

Method

  1. Combine the onions, mint, sriracha, sweet chillies and tomato ketchup in bowl and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow the flavours to develop. Serve at room temperature.

Other Posts

Christmas Cooking Tips from the Skibo Chefs Part Five: Rob Reveals How & Why to Brine Your Turkey

In the fifth part of our month-long seasonal series, ‘Christmas Cooking Tips from the Skibo Chefs’, Sous Chef Rob Aske explains why (and how!) to brine your turkey this Christmas.

Christmas Cooking Tips from the Skibo Chefs Part Three: Ray’s Magical Mince Pies

Our month-long seasonal series, ‘Christmas Cooking Tips from the Skibo Chefs’ continues, the club’s Head Pastry Chef Ray Breau reveals how to make magical mince pies.

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