Bring your sprouts to life with a garlic butter glaze.
Photograph: Brent Hofacker/Alamy Stock Photo
The American TV cook Julia Child adored cooking with butter and once told viewers: “With enough butter, anything is good.” Today, how many of us would venture to disagree? There really are few foods, sweet or savoury, that aren’t vastly improved by a dollop, a dash or a swirl, and watching this most luscious of ingredients melt into a pool of gold atop your Christmas Day veg is one of the most satisfying sights on Earth.
The festive season is the perfect time to ramp up your cooking efforts, and adding just the right amount of butter to some of your most mouthwatering treats can elevate them to perfection. We’ve discovered 10 Christmas favourites that can be made even more delicious with a bit more butter, so grab a napkin and tuck in …
1. Eggs Benedict
A glass of champagne and a plate of smoked salmon eggs Benedict makes a sophisticated start to Christmas Day – so much so that you won’t care a jot if things unravel later in a whirlwind of wrapping paper. A perfectly-creamy hollandaise sauce can be tricky to master, but its reputation is more fearsome than necessary: with a little patience, you can avoid the dreaded curdling. Spread muffins thickly with Kerrygold Softer Butter, and top with layers of smoked salmon, a poached egg and lashings of hollandaise made with butter, finished off with a few snips of chives.
Now on to the highlight of the day … achieving the perfect golden sheen on your turkey is where butter really excels. Smother the outside of your bird with Kerrygold Salted Butter and a sprinkling of herbs, and achieve an extra hit of flavour by gently pushing more rich and creamy Kerrygold between the breast and the turkey skin, along with slivers of garlic. Smooth the butter into every corner, and the resulting meat will be juicy, delicious and mouthwateringly tender.
Thanks to Kerrygold, your turkey has emerged from the oven golden and triumphant, and the stuffing you serve alongside it has to be equally epic. In the US, turkey is often elevated with the addition of brown butter stuffing – a glorious marriage of cubed bread, browned butter, aromatic garlic and herbs, and a dash of stock. It’s a twist on the usual sage and breadcrumbs that’s well worth trying.
4. Brussels sprouts
Once you come round to their taste, you may possibly be persuaded that brussels sprouts are the best veg on the table – and one we should embrace well beyond Christmas. Convert even the fussiest members of your family by making garlic-butter glazed sprouts: cut in half, add to a pan of melted garlic butter (one bashed clove to 100g of salted butter), cover and cook until tender, finishing off with a sprinkling of finely chopped cooked bacon and a grating of parmesan. Vegetable heaven …
5. Mashed root veg
A hot bowl of mashed swedes and parsnips, livened up with a butter-breadcrumb topping, is a delicious addition to your festive table. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the more butter you use, the better mashed veg becomes, so use Kerrygold Unsalted to keep things silky smooth, then fry breadcrumbs and thyme in salted butter for a contrasting crunchy topping. Totally tasty.
6. Mince pies
Mince pies are a staple of any self-respecting Christmas table, despite your uncle’s insistence on calling them “mint spies” – and adding a dollop of brandy-butter frosting takes them to a whole new level. Whip together icing sugar, salted butter, double cream and brandy, and you’ve got a sensational sweet topping, made in moments. It will sit proudly on mince pies and Christmas puddings, and makes an excellent illicit dip for toffee (I won’t tell, if you don’t).
7. Hot spiced buttered rum
Forget mulled wine and eggnog: this is the drink that will make your home smell of Christmas and your mouth thank you forever. With butter a key ingredient, it’s smooth, silky, warming and delicious – which means you can get through a few glasses far too easily. The tastiest versions feature apricot brandy as well as rum and (of course) plenty of unsalted butter and a grating of nutmeg.
8. Christmas tree bread
Fast becoming a festive staple, pull-apart bread in the shape of a Christmas tree is perfect for sharing, as well as being devastatingly moreish. And a great way to finish off Christmas day. It can come stuffed with cheese, pesto or ‘nduja sausage meat (although there’s nothing to stop you making all three). Ensure yours pops by glazing generously with garlic butter – simply bash a clove of garlic and mix into 100g of softened salted butter. Scrumptious!
9. Baked potatoes
Baked potatoes are the ideal vehicle for Christmas Day leftovers. Pile on some turkey, sliced pigs in blankets, shredded brussels sprouts, and sit in a pool of gravy, and you’ve got Boxing Day dinner sorted. Of course, a baked potato unadorned with butter is a sad sight indeed, so don’t forget to nestle a generous slice of salted butter in your spud’s fluffy depths before piling on your toppings.
10. Boxing Day curry
A twist on butter chicken, butter turkey curry is a stunning way to use up your leftover meat. A delicately-spiced, creamy-buttery sauce is the most delicious place your turkey can go for a post-Christmas dip. Serve with fluffy rice and baked naan with a generous spread of salted butter, for a feast that kicks all other leftover dishes to the kerb.
Going for gold
Push out the boat this Christmas with a buttery feast of flavoursome treats. And discover what a difference deliciously creamy Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter can make by cooking up some of these irresistible recipes
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