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These delicious dishes are on James Martin's festive party menu for 2023

Chef James Martin
Chef James Martin (Getty)

One of the most exciting parts of the lead-up to Christmas is planning the festive menu. Whether you're looking for some delicious dishes to serve at a friends get-together on a cold winter's night or want some inspiration for what to cook up on the big day itself, TV chef James Martin has you covered.

The former Saturday Kitchen star has shared an incredible three-course menu that will provide all the creative juices you will need through the festive season on a plate, literally.

You can cook the traditional turkey and all the trimmings followed by Christmas pudding or why not go wild and explore a different kind of festive feast? Check out James' incredible recipes that you can enjoy making with a glass your favourite festive tipple in hand…

James' Cannelloni with Broad Beans and Lardo

Serves 6
James' Cannelloni with Broad Beans and Lardo
James' Cannelloni with Broad Beans and Lardo (© Dan Jones)

James tells us: "You might think of cannelloni as an Italian dish, but Catalan-style cannelloni are particularly popular in Barcelona and often enjoyed on Boxing Day, stuffed with the leftover meat from Christmas dinner. Here I’ve filled them with beef and pork mince and accompanied them with some broad beans flavoured with Spanish Serrano ham and lardo."

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion, halved

  • 3 cloves

  • 1 litre full-fat milk

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 75g butter

  • 75g plain flour

  • grating of nutmeg

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the filling

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 500g pork mince

  • 500g beef mince

  • 300g small cannelloni tubes

  • For the beans

  • 100g Serrano ham, cut into strips

  • 100g lardo, cut into strips

  • 50ml olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 300g broad beans, podded

  • a few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If you want to use a BBQ, heat a BBQ until hot and the coals are white. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/gas 4 or heat a pizza oven to 300°C (570°F).

  2. To make a classic béchamel, stud the onion with the cloves and heat the milk, onion and bay leaf until almost boiling. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer.

  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, then add the flour and cook out for 1 minute.

  4. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly until smooth. Season to taste, then add the nutmeg.

  5. Mix the salt, oregano and pork and beef mince together until well mixed. Fill each cannelloni tube with the meat mixture until full and sit in a paella dish. Pour over the béchamel sauce, making sure all the cannelloni are covered. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or the pizza oven for 20–30 minutes, until hot and bubbling and cooked through.

  6. For the beans, in a small frying pan over a high heat, fry the Serrano ham and lardo in the oil for 3–4 minutes until crisp. Add the garlic, broad beans and a splash of water and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated and the beans are warmed through. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with the cannelloni.

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James' Castile Beans and Meatballs

Serves 6-8
James' Castile Beans and Meatballs
James' Castile Beans and Meatballs (© Dan Jones)

James says: "Castile and León is a region rich in pulses, and the largest producer in Spain. This recipe uses white beans from La Bañeza, which have a soft and buttery texture and hold their shape well when cooked, making them the perfect choice for a tomatoey stew to accompany beefy meatballs."

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g dried alubias de La Bañeza (white beans)

  • 1kg beef mince

  • small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 100ml olive oil

  • 100g lardo, sliced

  • 5 tomatoes, diced

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 500ml passata

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 300ml red wine

  • 200g roasted red peppers in a jar, sliced

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak the beans in cold water overnight, then drain.

  2. Pop in a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then simmer for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

  3. Mix together the beef, half the parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt and one-third of the garlic.

  4. When evenly combined, shape into 12 large meatballs.

  5. Heat a large pan over a medium–high heat until hot, then add half the oil and pop in the meatballs.

  6. Once the meatballs have coloured, turn them over, then add the lardo, rest of the garlic, the tomatoes, onion, passata, oregano and wine.

  7. Season, bring to the boil, then pop in the peppers and simmer for 15 minutes.

  8. Add the beans and cook for a further 10 minutes, sprinkle over the remaining parsley, then drizzle over the remaining oil and serve.

James' The Lost Village Chicken and Morels

Serves 6
James' The Lost Village Chicken and Morels
James' The Lost Village Chicken and Morels (© Dan Jones)

"El Acebuchal is known as the ‘lost village’ and is located between Frigiliana and Cómpeta in the mountains," James says. "Originally a resting place and meeting point for merchants who transported goods between the Costa del Sol and Granada, in 1949 General Franco sent the civil guard to close the village and empty it of its inhabitants, as he suspected they were hiding republican rebels. In 1998, Antonio García Sánchez, whose family previously lived in the village, decided to return with his wife. They rebuilt a few houses, opened an inn and started to revive the village."

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 garlic bulb

  • 150g butter, softened

  • a few sprigs of rosemary, needles removed

  • 1 teaspoon pimentón ahumado (smoked paprika)

  • 1.5kg chicken, spatchcocked and skin loosened

  • 300g new potatoes

  • 50ml olive oil

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 300ml chicken stock

  • 3 large spring onions, sliced lengthways

  • 100ml white wine

  • sea salt

  • For the mushrooms

  • 50g butter

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 200g fresh morel mushrooms, left whole

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan)/400°F/gas 6.

  2. Make a paste with three garlic cloves and a pinch of salt and mix with the butter, rosemary and pimentón.

  3. Stuff the flavoured butter under the chicken skin and smooth it out so that it’s all even.

  4. Put the potatoes into a paella pan with the remaining garlic (halved), drizzle in the oil, add the bay leaves and sprinkle over some salt.

  5. Pour in the stock, sit the chicken on top and roast for 20 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven, add the spring onions and wine to the potatoes and roast for a further 20 minutes.

  7. For the mushrooms, heat a pan over a high heat, then pop in the butter.

  8. Once melted, add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes.

  9. To serve, pile the potatoes and veg onto a platter, top with the chicken and spoon over the mushrooms and cooking juices.

James' Walnut and Orange Cake

Serves 6-8
James' Walnut and Orange Cake
James' Walnut and Orange Cake (© Dan Jones)

"This simple one-layer sponge cake is my version of Spanish orange cake, which hails from Valencia," the TV chef says. "To change things up, I’ve flavoured my sponge not just with orange but also walnuts and added an extra layer of flavour with an orange juice and walnut liqueur glaze."

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g salted butter, plus extra for greasing

  • 1 orange, zested and then sliced

  • 1 tablespoon walnut liqueur

  • 250g caster sugar

  • 5 eggs

  • 250g plain flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 100g walnuts, chopped

  • For the glaze

  • 200g caster sugar

  • zest and juice of 1 orange

  • 50ml walnut liqueur

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.

  2. To make the cake, beat the butter, orange zest, walnut liqueur and sugar together in a stand mixer until fluffy.

  3. Add the eggs and beat until thoroughly mixed.

  4. Fold in the flour, baking powder and walnuts by hand.

  5. Spoon into the prepared tin, top with the orange slices and bake on the middle shelf for 45 minutes.

  6. Heat all the ingredients for the glaze together in a saucepan over a high heat for 5–6 minutes until syrupy.

  7. When the cake is nearly cold, brush the syrup all over the cake.

  8. Serve slices of cake with cream or vanilla ice cream. It will keep in an airtight tin for 2–3 days.

James' new book is out now
James' new book is out now (© Dan Jones)

James Martin’s Spanish Adventure by James Martin (Quadrille, £27) is out now.

DISCOVER:James Martin makes public appearance after announcing break due to health - see photos