I know, it’s the middle of January so it’s unlikely any of you lot (dear readers) are going to want to digest anything referring back to Christmas, Christmas dinner or any of its associated trimmings. But trust me, in 344 days, 2 hours, 37 minutes and 55 seconds (at time of writing) you’ll be desperately thumbing through books, magazines and websites in search of tasty new ways to add to your Yuletide calorie intake. So hit Apple-D and see you back here in 344 days, 2 hours, 37 minutes and 54 seconds.

Happy New Year by the way.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: a tableful of friends/family
Skill level: as easy as falling off a Yule Log


  • shallots finely chopped – 200g
  • 1 packet of vacuum packed chestnuts – 200g*
  • chestnut mushrooms – sliced – 300g
  • a good crusty day-old bread such as ciabatta – cubed – 250g
  • 2 sticks celery – finey chopped
  • bunch of flat leaf parsley – finely chopped
  • unsalted butter – 60g
  • vegetable stock – 250ml
  • zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 1 medium egg – beaten
  • nutmeg
  • s & p

Preheat your oven to 200 C/gas mark 6.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the shallots and celery and cook until softened. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until these are softened too.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cubed bread, parsley, chestnuts, vegetable stock, lemon zest, beaten egg and shallot/celery/mushroom mixture.

Season with salt and pepper and a good grating of nutmeg.

Spoon into an oven-proof baking dish and cover with foil.

Cook for 15 minutes, then remove foil and cook for a further 10 minutes to crisp the bread.

Serve as one of many Christmas dinner trimmings.

Verdict: A worthy addition to the Christmas table. Nutty and zesty.

Drink: Every conceivable colour of wine.

Entertainment: Shaun Keaveny and Brian Cox

*Life is too short to skin a grape, de-shell a brown shrimp or peel 200g of chestnuts.

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