‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry!
With Christmas just around the corner, mama, the sights and smells of Singapore just might inspire the culinary diva within you. And if you’re feeling brave enough to try out something new that’s homemade and full of love, we’ve rounded up the best of easy-to-make “scrumpylicious” recipes from renowned hotels and bakeries around Singapore for you to try out!
The Bread Project: Christmas Toast
Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the halls, speckled with wisps of cinnamon and hints of citrus? This Christmas Toast recipe is not only easy to make in the kitchen, but it’s a sure winner for your ever-growing repertoire of culinary tricks up your sleeve!
- High Gluten Flour 1000g
- Sugar 150g
- Salt 18g
- Instant Yeast 10g
- Egg 180g
- Milk 500g
- Condensed Milk 150g
- Butter 80g
- Cinnamon 15g
- Mixed Fruit (Cranberry, Raisins and Citrus Peel) 150g
- Mix flour, sugar, eggs, milk and condensed milk until well blended.
- Autolyse (rest) for 20 minutes.
- Add yeast and mix again.
- Add salt and lastly butter. Mix till dough is shiny and smooth and slaps against the mixer.
- Take the dough out and bulk ferment it in a covered but not airtight container for 40 minutes.
- Portion the dough according to your desired weight. We recommend using a loaf pan and portioning the dough to 600g each.
- Pre-heat your oven to 220degrees Celcius.
- Once you have shaped and put it in your loaf pan, or free batard form, leave it to proof for roughly 20-40 minutes, depending on the temperature of your room.
- Lightly touch the shaped dough to gauge if it’s ready. Generally, if the volume has doubled and the dough doesn’t feel tight, it is ready to be baked.
- Bake for half an hour or till slightly golden on top.
Seasonal Tastes, The Westin Singapore: Turkey meatballs
What’s Christmas without a turkey? But who says it has to be a stuffed bird each year? Especially appealing to the little people in your life, these turkey meatballs are a sure-win (even when it’s not Christmas!).
- 2 ¼ lb ground turkey
- ¾ lb ground chicken
- 60g duck fat or soft butter
- 1 whole onion chopped and caramelized
- 2 whole eggs
- ¼ bunch chopped Italian parsley
- ¼ bunch chopped marjoram or fresh oregano
- ¼ bunch of thyme
- 5 pcs roasted garlic chopped
- 90g grain mustard
- 4g salt
- 3g pepper
- Remove ground meat from refrigeration and keep on ice.
- Combine all ingredients and mix well in a bowl.
- Pre-heat oven to 500˚C.
- Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper, scoop 2oz balls of the mixture onto the baking sheet.
- Broil in the oven until golden brown on the outside.
- Place meatballs in an oven-proof casserole dish with your favourite tomato sauce.
- Cook the meatballs at 300˚C for 90 minutes.
Cook & Brew, The Westin Singapore: EggKnock Cocktail
And what’s Christmas without Eggnog? But if you’re like us and don’t really fancy pouring it out of a tetra-pack, here’s an easy recipe to make some of your own — spiked, of course!
- 4 cups full cream milk
- 1½ cups caster sugar
- 5 whole cloves
- 2½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup pasteurised egg yolks
- 4 cups light cream
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2½ cups Mount Gay Rum
- Combine the full cream milk, cloves, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and ground cinnamon in a saucepan and heat over low fire for 5 minutes.
- Over low heat, bring the mixture to a boil.
- In a large bowl, add the egg yolks and caster sugar and whisk into a foam.
- Next, whisk the hot milk mixture (from Step 1) slowly into the mixture (from Step 3).
- Pour this mixture into a saucepan.
- Heat over medium fire, stirring constantly for 3 minutes until a thick consistency is achieved. (Note: Do not allow mixture to boil)
- Strain to remove cloves and let the mixture cool for 1 hour.
- Stir in Mount Gay Rum, light cream, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and nutmeg.
- Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Edge, Pan Pacific Singapore: Signature Corn Bread and Sausage Stuffing Recipe
In case you’re sticking to the traditional bird this Christmas but have no idea how to cook it yourself, we’ve got you covered. Presenting another gorgeous recipe, this time for a stuffing, that won’t have you spending hours toiling in the kitchen. Seriously, it couldn’t be easier than this. And we’ve also got tips on how to get the perfect turkey! Time to unleash the culinary diva in you!
- 1 large diced onion
- 3 diced stalks of celery
- 450g sausage, bite size pieces
- 3 finely diced cloves of garlic
- 80g coarsely chopped walnuts
- 10 finely chopped sage leaves
- 3 finely chopped sprigs of rosemary
- 20 slices cornbread, 1-inch cubes
- 240g dried cranberries
- 950ml chicken stock
- Coarse salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
To make stuffing:
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
- Coat a sauté pan with olive oil, add the onions and celery and sauté over medium heat until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the sausage and cook until the sausage begins to brown.
- Stir in the garlic, walnuts, sage, rosemary and sauté for two minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add the cornbread, cranberries and chicken stock and mix until the bread is well coated.
- Bake the stuffing for 35 minutes until it is warmed through and forms a golden brown crust.
Five Tips for the Perfect Roast Turkey:
- To ensure the meat remains tender, brine the turkey for at least 18 hours before roasting it. Your brine can be customised by adding citrus fruit or herbs for extra flavourful meat.
- Ensure the turkey is completely dry before putting it into the oven as moisture will prevent the skin from becoming crisp.
- Rub the turkey all over with olive oil or melted butter to ensure the turkey browns evenly.
- Begin roasting the turkey upside down in the roasting rack, this allows the natural juices to gather in the breast which tends to be a drier cut. After roasting for an hour, flip the turkey breast side up and finish roasting.
- Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes after taking it out of the oven to allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in deliciously moist slices.
Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar, The Fullerton Hotel: Gragnano Paccheri in Naples style with Tomato Braised Beef Ragout and Ricotta Cheese Flakes
Gragnano Paccheri is a traditional handcrafted pasta commonly found in the area around Naples in Southern Italy. This simple yet delightful festive dish is served with a hearty serving of traditional homemade beef ragout – perfect for the festive season with the family!
- 400 grams of Gragnano Paccheri (unusual cut pasta)
- 50 grams Fresh Ricotta cheese
- 40 grams Grated Pecorino cheese
Napoli Beef Ragout
- 300 grams beef cubes
- 500 grams peeled tomatoes (San Marzano)
- 50 grams diced carrots
- 50 grams diced celeries
- 50 grams diced onions
- 20 grams diced shallots
- 20 grams chopped pink garlic
- 10 grams fresh basil leaf
- 2 numbers of bay leaves
- 700 grams red wine
- Moderate amount of salt and pepper
- 20 ml extra virgin olive oil
- Pan sear the beef cubes in olive oil.
- In a separate pan, fry the shallot and garlic in olive oil until they turn golden and aromatic.
- Add in the basil, carrots, celeries, onions, bay leaves and peeled tomatoes, followed by the beef cubes and red wine.
- Cover the pan’s lid and let it braise for about 90 minutes, then sprinkle a little salt and pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add the Paccheri pasta and cook for 12 to 14 minutes or until the Paccheri is tender yet firm.
- Drain the pasta well.
- Add the pasta in the beef ragout and toss it until it is nicely coated.
- Sprinkle ricotta and pecorino cheese.
Happy cooking Mama and merry Christmas!
Lead image sourced via Pinterest, Image #3 sourced via Pinterest
Priyanka is a mama to 7-year-old twins, and moved to Singapore 11 years ago (and counting!). Having grown up in Kenya and lived in several countries around the world, Priyanka has always had a passion for the outdoors and travelling, reading and being a foodie. Now a published freelance writer, she is also currently writing a children’s book about her twins and their favourite teddy bear. You can read more about Priyanka here.