An Alternative Christmas Meal - Core Results

An Alternative Christmas Meal

We are very pleased to welcome Ed Halls as a contributor to the Core Results Blog. He is going to contribute some recipes over the next few months. At Core we believe in the 80/20 rule when it comes to a weightloss lifestyle. Some of Ed’s recipes will fall in the 80 part and some in the 20. The ones in the 20 are great ways to really enjoy your food without completely blowing out your progress on an overly indulgent 20.

A friend of Greg’s, Edward developed his skills at the highest culinary level in the UK and took that experience into the gastropub world for three years, winning awards for his cooking and business operations. EdChef was a natural progression for Edward stemming from his desire to offer restaurant level cooking to the event and private catering world and share his expertise with the pub/restaurant sector in this difficult economy. Edward sold his gastropub and relocated to Newark in Nottinghamshire in 2013 and has developed EdChef into one of the UK’s finest catering & small independent consultancy businesses.

You can find out more about EdChef here.

Here is Ed’s first offering:


I really like Turkey at Christmas, so I wont start

saying that we should not cook “boring” Turkey, but I

will try to give you ideas for reasonably healthy

alternatives to the traditional Christmas dinner. I am

convinced that you should enjoy the festive period and

not worry too much about over indulging a little, just

try not to go too far.


Christmas is about making things a bit special, I have

put together a three course menu which should stand

out but wont leave you in need of new trousers



All dishes should be accompanied by copious amount of

alcohol for the cook!



Truffled Celeriac Soup


1 Celeriac – Peeled and cut into 1cm cubes

1 Large onion – Peeled and chopped

2 Sticks Celery – Chopped

1tbls Olive Oil

2 tbsp Truffle Juice or Oil

800 ml Semi-Skimmed Milk

Salt & Pepper

1 Small Truffle (Optional)



Begin by sweating the onion and celery with the olive

oil until soft, add the celeriac and a good amount of

pepper and cook for five minutes. Add the milk to

cover the vegetables, you may need slightly less or

slightly more depending on the size of your celeriac.

Bring to a boil and simmer until cooked, blitz

everything in a blender and pass through a fine sieve

back into a clean pan. Add the truffle juice or oil

and season with salt to taste. This will keep in the

fridge and can be reheated to serve, just shave the

truffle on top of the soup if using or dot with a few

more drops of truffle oil. Serve with some fresh

wholemeal bread.



Risotto of Fines Herbs with Grilled Seabass


1 Large Whole Seabass – Scaled, Filleted & Portioned


1 Medium Onion – Finely chopped

1 Clove Garlic – Finely Chopped

300g Carneroli or Arborio Rice

100ml Vermouth/Dry White Wine

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 litre Chicken Stock

50g Unsalted Butter

50-100g Parmesan Cheese – Freshly Grated

2 Hands full of Fines Herbs (Parsley, Chives, Tarragon

& Chervil) Very Finely Chopped

Salt & Pepper

In a pan bring the stock to a boil and keep hot, in a

large pan sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil

for five minutes then add the rice. Stir for a further

two minutes until the rice turns slightly translucent.

Add the vermouth or wine and cook until it has all

gone. Begin adding stock a ladle at a time and stir

continuously only adding more stock when the last has

disappeared. It should take about twenty minutes to

cook fully, the rice should have a slight bite but not

a crunch, do not undercook it.


When half the stock has been used start to preheat the

grill. Have your fish skin side up and seasoned with

salt and pepper underneath on a tray brushed with oil.

Brush the skin with oil and place under the grill when

the risotto is nearly cooked. Finish the risotto by

adding the parmesan, herbs, butter and season lastly

to taste. Place a lid on the pan and leave off the

heat for 2 minutes.


Check the fish is fully cooked, spoon a good helping

of the risotto into a large bowl and place a portion

of the bass on top and serve.


If you wish reduce 300ml of Port and 200ml or Red Wine

to a thick syrup and drizzle around the edge of the

risotto to finish.



Baked Apples with Homemade Mincemeat


4 Large Bramley Apples – Cored


200g Bramley Apples – Peeled, Cored and Chopped small

125g Raisins

125g Sultanas

125g Currents

100g Vegetarian Suet

150g Unrefined Brown Sugar

Juice and Grated Zest of 1 Orange and 1 Lemon

2 tsp Mixed Spice

¼ tsp Grated Nutmeg

¼ tsp Cinnamon

60ml Brandy


Place all the mincemeat ingredients in an oven proof

dish but only add half the brandy, and place in an

oven at 120c for 2-3 hours. Remove and leave to cool

stirring now and again to ensure the fat is mixed

through. Stir in the remaining brandy.


Place the cored apples on a buttered baking tray and

preheat the oven to 180c. Spoon the mincemeat into the

apple cavity and cover loosely with foil and bake for

35-45 minutes until soft. Baste every ten minutes with

any juices on the tray.


Serve on its own or with ice-cream.



I have cooked all of these dishes and can assure you

that you will not be disappointed, have a great

Christmas and New Year and you will be hearing from me



Comments are closed