Ginger Jar Food


Saturday, October 9th, 2010

GJ October Newsletter… The Christmas Tasting Menu Edition

We left it as long as we could before bringing the topic round to Christmas, but hopefully, due to the inspiration we’ll provide with our Christmas Tasting Menu, you’ll forgive us!

In this issue we introduce the centre piece of our Christmas menus, a seven part tasting menu, which stays true to the British Christmas dinner, but perhaps not in the guise you would be used to.

We also reveal our Christmas menu pack to give you some ideas for the party season. Download it online at our Christmas parties page.

The last thing to say before you browse below is that we’re giving you a 10% discount (food only) on any 2010 Christmas parties if you place your booking in October. So read on, and take your pick, or make us work for our money and ask for a menu bespoke to you!

Happy October… Jenny

The Ginger Jar Christmas Tasting Menu

A non-traditional Christmas dinner..?

I did my research, asked around, found out what a good proportion of Brits are eating at Christmas time. But, and it may be sacralige to say this, I’m bored with the usual turkey & trimmings. So, taking inspiration from the flipping around we did on our English Feast menu, I created this GJ Christmas Tasting menu.

We’ve taken all the flavours you may recognise from a traditional British Christmas dinner, but given them a wee twist! You’ll find the main ingredients you’re used to throughout , but perhaps not in the order you’d expect.

01: Amuse bouche


Griddled king prawn with celery cress in a Bloody Mary shot

02: Starter


Pulled ham & chervil bruschetta with piccalilli & herb salad

03: Amuse bouche


Sausage, chestnut & thyme quail’s Scotch egg with tomato conserve

04: The Main Event


Roast breast & confit leg of guinea fowl with red wine gravy, maple-glazed parsnips,

sautéed Brussels sprouts & chestnuts, and a pancetta shard.

And, we’ll of course give you some duck fat roast potatoes on the side, never fear.

(Or choose your own favourite bird, such as duckling or pheasant, for your main course)

05: Palate cleanser


Spiced rum ice cream with a cinnamon tuile

06: Dessert


Baked stem ginger & cranberry puddings with ginger ice cream

07: Petit fours


Dark chocolate, cinnamon & nutmeg truffles

Christmas pudding tartlets with brandy butter

Clementine pate de fruits

Visit our Christmas tasting menu page to book your party

A perfect bite-full.

With the joys of our tasting menu fresh in my mind I took to creating a seasonal canapé menu for those who want to bring some festive cheer to their parties. Again, with tongue firmly in cheek, we take the popular classics and do some Alice in Wonderland magic to make them bite size. From coronation chicken in a poppadum basket with coriander cress, to baked potato with stilton & cranberry and beetroot & orange cured salmon (above), this Christmas canapé menu is  an extension to our main canapé menu, and you’re free to pick and choose from either.

Visit our Christmas canapé page to book your party

Dinner party menus

If you’re thinking you’d like to have a seasonal dinner party, but the full tasting menu is a step too far, then we have some alternative menus for you. Check out our five sample menus, or again, ask us for something bespoke to meet your needs.

Visit our sample menus page to book your party

A leftovers ham sandwich

A leftovers ham sandwich
Picture 1 of 4

A leftovers ham sandwich... Pulled ham & chervil bruschetta with piccalilli & herb salad

Serves 4
60g pancetta diced into lardons, plus 4 full strips
600ml chicken stock
2 large shallots, finely diced
500g pumpkin flesh, cut into a 1cm dice
200g risotto rice
200ml dry white wine
2 tablespoons mascarpone
25g grated Parmesan
Sea salt & pepper


1.    First make 4 pancetta shards. Set the oven to 170C, place 4 strips of pancetta between two sheets of grease proof then sandwich flat between two baking sheets. Place in the oven for around 10 mins, checking constantly, until they are nicely crisp. Set aside.
2.    Heat a large sauté pan with a touch of oil and fry the pancetta lardons until crispy, drain from the pan and set aside on kitchen roll.
3.    In the same pan heat a little more oil and fry the shallots until softened, now increase the heat slightly and add the cubed pumpkin and fry until caramelized.
4.    Heat the stock gently on a back burner.
5.    Add the rice to the pan and allow the grains to become coated in oil, fry for around 2 minutes and then pour in the wine. Allow it to be absorbed by the rice.
6.    Now add the stock, ladle by ladle, until the rice is almost cooked. Stir in the pancetta lardons, mascarpone and parmesan and allow the rice to finish cooked. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as required.
7.    Place a portion of risotto in the middle of the plates and top with a pancetta shard.

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