3 Non-Cliché Christmas Recipes

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For a different taste this Christmas, try twisting your traditional menu with these three flavoursome recipes. They’ll bring festivity with something a little unexpected!

Many of us know what to expect when going to the family Christmas dinner. There’s the roast ham, delicious stuffing, maybe a seafood salad and an aunt’s pavlova. While it all sounds nice and familiar, sometimes the excitement can be lost in the repetition of it.

Whether you’re hosting Christmas this year or want to bring something new to the dining table, these three non-cliché Christmas recipes will be a game-changer! And a good conversation starter too 😉

Turkey Sloppy Joes

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Recipe here from jamieoliver.com

This serving of turkey is a little different to the platter you usually find in the centre of the table. Great for those who love burgers and enjoy a casual setting, these sloppy joes are served with a side of gravy to ensure Christmas is still in the air (and bowl). These also work as a good leftover recipe for Boxing Day!

Ingredients

  • 200g turkey meat
  • 200ml gravy
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 apple
  • ½ a red onion
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 2 gherkins
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 4 seeded wholemeal buns

BBQ Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon HP sauce
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle Tabasco sauce
  • 1 splash of Worcestershire sauce

Method

  1. Shred and pull apart your turkey meat and place in a small pan with a splash of water and 4 tablespoons of gravy. Pop a lid on and place on the lowest heat for 10 minutes to warm through.
  2. Warm the rest of the gravy in a separate pan, ready to use it for dunking later.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and finely shred the carrot, matchstick the apple, peel and finely slice the red onion, and pick and slice the mint leaves. Place it all in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of pickling liquid from your gherkin jar.
  4. Finely slice the gherkins and the chilli, add to the bowl, mix well, lightly season and put aside.
  5. Mix all the BBQ sauce ingredients together.
  6. Split and toast your buns, then spread the BBQ sauce inside them, top and bottom.
  7. Pile your pulled turkey on the bun bases, drizzle with a little gravy and top with some of the slaw. Pop the bun lids on, and you’re away. Serve the rest of the gravy on the side for a naughty dunk.

Stuffed Butternut Pumpkin

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Recipe here from jamieoliver.com

A good alternative as a ‘roast’ in the centre of the table, this vegan dish takes the traditional idea of stuffing and slow-roasting to a tasty new level. The texture of the stuffing and the rich orange colour of pumpkin make slices look incredible. Your lactose-intolerant and gluten-intolerant friends will appreciate this one!

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut pumpkin (1.2kg)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage (30g)
  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 75 g vac-packed chestnuts
  • 75 g basmati rice
  • 75 g dried cranberries
  • 1 pinch of ground allspice
  • Red wine

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wash the pumpkin, carefully cut it in half lengthways, then remove and reserve the seeds. Use a spoon to score and scoop some flesh out, making a gully for the stuffing all along the length of the pumpkin.
  2. Finely chop the scooped-out flesh with the seeds and put into a frying pan on a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil.
  3. Peel, finely chop and add the onion and garlic, stirring regularly while you pick the sage leaves and finely chop them with the sun-dried tomatoes and chestnuts.
  4. Stir into the pan with the rice, cranberries and allspice, add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper and a swig of red wine, and mix well. Fry for 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pack the mixture tightly into the gully in the two pumpkin halves, then press the halves firmly back together. Rub the skin of the pumpkin with a little oil, salt and pepper, and if you’ve got them, pat on any extra herb leaves you have to hand.
  6. Place the pumpkin in the centre of a double layer of tin foil, and then tightly wrap it up. Bake for around 2 hours or until soft and cooked through.
  7. Once ready, take the baked pumpkin to the table and open up the foil in front of everyone (the best bit!) then carve into nice thick slices and serve with all the usual trimmings.

Baked Cranberry Cheesecake

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Recipe here from jamieoliver.com

From their vibrant red colour to their tangy juice, Christmas wouldn’t be right without cranberries. They’re good for more than just a sauce and stuffing though. Try pairing them with baked cheesecake – an all-year-round favourite. This recipe is a good substitute to the Christmas pudding and will look amazing on the table!

Ingredients

  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod , split, seeds scraped
  • 225 g flour

Cheesecake Filling

  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod , split seeds scraped
  • 750g cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 300 ml double cream

Cranberry Topping

  • 400 g fresh cranberries
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 150g caster sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Make a shortbread base by beating the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds together in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Add the flour to the mix and beat until it comes together in a ball. Press into the bottom of a 25cm mousse ring, then place on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until golden. Leave the oven on.
  3. To make the filling, combine the sugar, vanilla seeds, cream cheese and cornflour in a bowl and mix until smooth. Stir in the eggs, then the cream, until combined.
  4. Pour the filling over the shortbread base and bake in the oven for 45–55 minutes, until the filling has just the slightest wobble.
  5. For the topping, put 300g cranberries in a saucepan with the lemon juice, sugar and 50ml water and simmer for 5–10 minutes over a medium heat, or until the cranberries break down and the mixture thickens. Stir in the rest of the berries, then leave to cool slightly, before pouring over the cheesecake.
  6. Chill it in the fridge. When ready to serve, carefully remove from the tin and slice.

Natalie Milad is a content and blog writer who studied journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney. Since her graduation in 2016, she has landed a gig at Zanui. Her days not writing are usually filled with DIY projects, floury benchtops and tending to her bunny. Natalie loves animated short films, animals and Christmas. She has experience in script writing, news reading and interviewing. Among her favourites was interning for The Bridal Bazaar.