An ‘easy does it’ celebration – side dishes

You’ve chosen the main dish – now you need some stunning side dishes to make the Christmas meal really special (the recipes should look and taste amazing but not keep you tied to the stove all morning – unless you’re trying really hard to avoid a particular relative of course!)

In our fourth blog, we’ve got three tasty recipes for your perusal.

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Roasted Squash and Red Onion

A versatile and moreish side that will go with most main dishes

  • Serves 6
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook:45 mins

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An ‘easy does it’ celebration: veggie

In our third Christmas blog, we show you how to conjure up an easy meat-free Christmas meal that will have everyone round the table asking for seconds, whether they’re vegetarian or not.

The secret is in the sides

We’re talking serious sides with big flavours, like adding toasted almonds to roasted veg and strong, nutty parmesan to Brussels sprouts. Sauces are important too: bread sauce packed with cloves, nutmeg and pepper; or add dried porcini mushrooms and a splash of soy sauce to vegetarian gravy.

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An ‘easy does it’ celebration: roast beef

There are no rules about what you can and can’t have for Christmas dinner, as long as it’s hearty and absolutely delicious. So in our second blog, we’re taking on beef.

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Why be different? Choosing beef shouldn’t feel like a departure from tradition – after all, there’s nothing more British than roast beef. Other benefits are that it cooks more quickly than turkey, takes up less space in your oven, is easier to carve, and you’re not left with a messy carcass at the end – if you even have any leftovers. Plus, the rose-pink, tender meat will still go with all your usual sides. Continue reading

An ‘easy does it’ celebration: turkey

Are you a turkey and stuffing kind of family? Perhaps you prefer a juicy roast beef, or need something special for veggie guests this year? Whatever your tradition, we have some tasty suggestions – with a choice of sides and wines to match – to make the main event a big success.

In this first blog, we’ll cover the turkey…

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Curtains close on the last Daily Brunch with Ocado

Tiny violins please – today is the end of the first series! We’ve laughed – and eaten – a lot, thank you so much for tuning in.

The last recipes from the show are properly festive – a Beef Wellington that’s great as a Boxing Day main course (or Christmas day if you don’t fancy turkey), and a delicious homemade alternative to smoked salmon.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday…

Beef Wellington

Image of Beef Wellington

This Beef Wellington is the ultimate Sunday roast or Boxing Day meal. You could even serve it as an alternative to the traditional Christmas turkey. Fillet steak is an expensive cut of meat but it is incredibly luxurious and makes this a really special dish. Simon recommends wrapping the meat in pancakes to soak up the cooking juices and ensure a crisp pastry crust.

  • Serves 8
  • Preparation time: 1 hr
  • Cook time: 40 mins

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In which we pretend we’re BFFs with Simon Rimmer

Doing Daily Brunch with Ocado is basically an elaborate ruse so we can hang out with our favourite chef, Simon Rimmer (and hopefully get him to cook for us). Yep, we’re shameless. But we got you all the inside gossip to make up for it.

You’re welcome, dear reader!

Q How did you get into cooking?

I’ve always been surrounded by food. My Mum and Dad are both good cooks and my Dad’s family are Italian, so we were surrounded by food all of our lives. Professionally, when I was at college and studied Fashion Textile Design, I worked in bars and restaurants like lots of students do and just fell in love with the industry.

I worked as a freelance designer for five years and then, in 1990, I decided I wanted a complete change of career so I gave it all up, bought a restaurant and taught myself to cook. Continue reading

Sunshine flavours on the penultimate Daily Brunch with Ocado

Well the sky is concrete grey outside my office window, but in the Daily Brunch studio there’s spice, mango and lemon to lift the mood. Tomorrow is the last show in the series, so don’t forget to tune in to Channel 4 at 10am! In the meantime…

Blackened Halibut with Mango Chutney

Image of the Blackened Halibut

This Blackened Halibut with Mango Chutney is a delicious fish main course. ‘Blackening’ is a process of dusting the fish with spices and then frying until the spices turn dark. It is a traditional Cajun technique that can be used for lots of fish, including salmon or sea bass. Simon serves the fish with homemade mango chutney for a more luxurious finish.

  • 4
  • Preparation time: 10 mins
  • Cooking time: 40 mins

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Rediscover these foods from your childhood

Remember when...

Seven-year-old me is doing an excited dance. Retro foods are making a comeback, as shown by a massive surge in sales for classic treats of the Seventies and Eighties, and I’m loving all the nostalgia.

It’s time to sit up straight, elbows off the table, and rediscover the food of your childhood.

1. Angel Delight

Sales of this pudding-in-a-sachet are up 43% on the year to date. Fluffy, sweet, and properly affordable, reach for the milk and get whisking.

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Delicious dining ideas from Daily Brunch with Ocado

Now that the first doors are open on our Advent calendars, it’s time to think about entertaining. Today’s recipes are perfect – cheesy arancini balls make a wonderful starter or light meal, and Simon’s pavlova with chocolate and raspberry is a fantastic way to finish.

Mozzarella Stuffed Arancini

Image of the arancini Arancini are deep-fried balls made from leftover risotto. The word arancina literally means ‘little orange’ because of their shape and golden colour. Here, Simon stuffs each ball with a piece of mozzarella for an oozing cheesy centre. He serves the arancini with fresh tapenade to cut through the richness of the dish.

  • Serves 6
  • Preparation time: 30 mins
  • Cooking time: 3-4 mins

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Feeling naughty or nice? Check out Daily Brunch with Ocado

Morning! Today’s recipes go from a virtuous salad, packed with fresh, crunchy veg and a juicy dressing – to a rich, darkly tempting chocolate tart. Come over to the dark side…

Crispy Chickpea Salad

Image of the salad

This chickpea salad is a delicious lunch dish or light dinner. Simon deep-fries the chickpeas to add a deliciously crunchy texture, complementing the juicy baby tomatoes and fresh watercress leaves. He marinates the feta cubes in lime juice for an extra zingy flavor that cuts through the rich saltiness of the cheese.

  • Serves 2-4
  • Preparation time: 5 mins + 20 mins for marinating
  • Cooking time: 2-5 mins

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