6 sensational festive menus

Salmon brochettesWhether it’s a barbie, a cocktail party or a buffet, we’ve got a range of Christmas menu plans to fit the bill.

  1. Gluten-free Menu
    It’s not hard to cook gluten-free with this delicious menu.
  2. Seafood Menu
    Save time with this simple seafood menu.
  3. Vegetarian Menu
    Create a festive veggie menu using quality fresh produce.
  4. Cocktail Party Menu
    Impress with ease with these simple finger food ideas.
  5. Cold Buffet Menu
    Too hot for the oven? Do the ham ahead & serve it cool with this easy menu.
  6. Hot Buffet Menu
    Heat things up this Christmas with this tasty buffet menu.

Did you know you can now shop ingredients from over 40,000 taste recipes and have them delivered straight to your kitchen bench? Find out more at taste.com.au.

How to glaze ham like a pro

How to glaze Christmas hamIf the idea of glazing ham has you breaking into a sweat, follow our simple 3 steps for preparing a sensational Cherry Glazed Ham.

To get started, you’ll need:
• 370g jar cherry jam • ½ cup (125ml) golden syrup • ½ cup (100g) brown sugar
• ½ tsp ground allspice • 1 cinnamon stick • ¼ tsp ground cloves • 7kg full leg ham
• 2 tbs whole cloves

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place jam, syrup, sugar, ⅓ cup water, allspice, cinnamon and ground cloves in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer for 10 mins or until the glaze thickens. Strain the mixture, discarding solids. Meanwhile, cut through the rind 8cm from the shank. Run thumb under rind to separate from fat. Peel back, sliding fingers under rind to remove.
  2. Using a small sharp knife, score the fat, diagonally, at 3cm intervals to form a diamond pattern. Be careful not to score the fat too deeply or it may slide off during cooking and give an uneven finish. Push one whole clove into the centre of each diamond. The cloves help hold the fat layer in place and give the ham a subtle flavour.
  3. Place the ham on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Add boiling water to the pan until it reaches 2cm up the sides of the pan. Brush the ham with a quarter of the cherry mixture. Wrap shank in foil to stop it over-browning. Bake, basting with the cherry mixture every 20 mins, for 1 hour 20 mins or until the ham is golden. Remove the foil from the shank and serve.

Three more glazes to try:

  1. Maple mustard glaze
    Combine ½ cup maple syrup, 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard, ½ cup brown sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
  2. Spiced Asian glaze
    Combine ½ cup marmalade with ¼ cup dark soy sauce, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tsp Chinese five spice and ½ tsp ground ginger.
  3. Cranberry glaze
    Combine ½ cup cranberry sauce with ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1 tsp ground mixed spice and 1 tsp Dijon mustard.

Click play for some vintage Curtis and his tips for Scoring, Glazing & Cooking Ham:

A jar of Christmas

Homemade Blackberry Jam - Sonia Life, Love and Hiccups
Want to save money and impress your friends this Christmas? Try some of these easy-to-make edible gifts.

1. Homemade Jam
Make the most of in season berries with yummy Blackberry, Raspberry & Vanilla Bean Jam from our Christmas Coles Mag. It only takes 5 ingredients to make and it keeps for months.  Add your own personal touch like Sonia from Life, Love & Hiccups who decorated hers with fabric and twine (pictured above). Alternatively for a more traditional option try this classic Apricot & Vanilla Bean Jam or Apple Jam.

2. Salted Caramel Bark
For a twist on the traditional nut brittle, try this tasty Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark using salted mini pretzel shapes, roasted peanuts, butter, dark chocolate and caster sugar.  If you manage to stop everyone from eating it first, break it into shards, wrap pieces in cellophane and decorate with ribbon.  For other flavour ideas, try this Chocolate Rainbow Bark or for a real treat this Chocolate Peppermint Bark by Curtis Stone (he shows you how to make it in this video).

3. Chocolate Christmas Trees
Impressive as gifts, these White Chocolate Crackle Trees also make great table pieces and the kids will love helping to decorate with 100’s & 1000’s and mini M&Ms.  If milk chocolate is more your thing, try these Christmas Tree Cupcakes drizzled with snowflake icing.

4. Jar of Sweets
Spread the festive cheer with homemade Vodka Cherries.  Delicious served with ice-cream or for the adults – add a little of the syrup to champagne for a fruity cocktail. For a more family-friendly treat, it’s hard to beat a jar of Salted Caramels. Cut into small pieces and wrap in cellophane for lolly gifts for neighbours and friends.

5. Box of Treats
Simple yet impressive, these Gingerbread Boxes are perfect for sharing with friends and family (don’t forget to fill with delicious chocolate) or for a stylish presentation idea, divide a wooden tray or strong cardboard box with stiff cardboard and nest these Pretty Macarons.

3 steps to perfect pavlova

How to make Pavlova
Nothing says summer dessert quite like a pav topped with delicious fruits.  It can however be tricky to get right, so in our latest Coles Mag, we pulled together a 3 step guide to cooking the perfect pavlova.

To get started, you’ll need:
•6 Coles Brand Australian Free Range Egg whites, at room temperature • 1½ cups (330g) caster sugar • 2 tsp white vinegar • 1 tbs cornflour • 300ml Coles Brand Australian Thickened Cream • 1 tbs icing sugar • 1 tsp vanilla essence • 1 mango, thinly sliced • 1/4 pineapple, thinly sliced • 1/2 x 170g Coles Brand Passionfruit Pulp • 1 tbs baby mint leaves

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a 20cm disc onto the paper. Turn the paper over so the drawn disc is underneath. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Ensure bowl is clean, as any fat or spot of egg yolk can prevent egg whites from fluffing up.
  2. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tbs at a time, beating well after each addition, until the meringue is thick and glossy and the sugar is completely dissolved. Rub a little between your fingers – if the mixture is still gritty, continue whisking until sugar dissolves. Add the vinegar and cornflour and gently fold to combine.
  3. Spoon meringue onto tray. Use a spatula to shape into a disc, using the circle as a guide. Bake for 1½ hours or until dry to touch. Turn off oven, leave door ajar and allow to cool completely – this stops the pavlova cracking. Use an electric mixer to whisk the cream, icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spoon onto pav. Top with fruit and mint.

Tip: If your pavlova is dense, check the weather. Humidity stops egg whites beating to full volume so wait a day or turn on the air-con.

For more tasty pavlova inspiration, click over to recipes.coles.com.au.

Start your day with 247

247This week we’re excited to introduce the 247 range. Carefully created to keep you going any time of the day or night. 247’s breakfast grains, biscuits, bars, protein shakes, superblends and protein toppers have been blended with a flavorsome ingredient list designed to fuel a 247 lifestyle.

Our top tip though… use 247 in this delicious, guilt free Peanut Butter and Chocolate Brownie recipe:

1 pack of 247 Nut and Seed Topper
Planet Food Coconut Oil
1 cup of almonds
100% Natural Peanut Butter
Maple Syrup
Mayvers dark chocolate super spread

Brownie layer
1 packet of 247’s Nut and Seed Topper, blended into a fine meal
1 cup of almonds, blended into a fine meal (or just buy almond meal)
1 cup of Planet Food coconut oil
1/2 a cup of maple syrup
1 packet of 247’s fruit and seed topper

  1. Combine wet and dry ingredients until you are able to roll the mixture into a ball. If the mixture is too wet add an additional tablespoon of almond meal. If the mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until you’re happy with the consistency. Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll it out until it is roughly 1cm thick. Place on the bottom of a lined tray and place in the fridge to set.
  2. Once the brownie layer has set for 10-15 minutes, use a tablespoon to evenly spread a thick layer of peanut butter over the brownie until it is completely covered. We recommend making this later .5 cm thick, but if you REALLY love your Peanut Butter feel free to add more!
  3. Place the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the peanut butter is set.
  4. Use a tablespoon to evenly spread a thick layer of the dark chocolate spread over the brownie until it is completely covered. Sprinkle 247’s fruit and seed mix over the top and placed it in the freezer to set
  5. Once hard, remove the brownie, cut into slices and place in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Look out for the 247 range in the cereal aisle of your local Coles (or click over to shop.coles.com.au).

5 reasons to get the Coles Christmas Mag

Christmas Coles Mag
Christmas is all about one thing: sharing great food with people you love. With this in mind we’ve packed our Christmas mag with 105+ festive menus, recipes & ideas to suit all budgets, tastes and time frames.  Here are 5 reasons why you just can’t miss this month’s issue:

  1. Fun Baking Ideas
    From the gingerbread man Christmas tree on the cover to salted caramel pretzel bark and candy cane cupcakes, we have a range of easy baking ideas to make with the kids. The bark and chocolate truffles are our top picks for tasty DIY gifts.
  2. Delicious Christmas Menus
    Choose from a traditional menu with all the trimmings, a sensational seafood spread or a cheat’s feast for those short on time. It’s also easy to design your own menu and we’ll show you how to mix & match to create vegetarian, gluten-free, barbecue, buffet and cocktail party menus.
  3. Weeknight Meal Ideas
    We know December is a busy time, so we want to help make weeknights easier with our 5 filling & flavour-packed meals like Moroccan beef skewers with couscous and paprika fish with corn avocado salsa – yum!
  4. Sweet Berry Recipes
    Blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are now in season, so we’ve included two gift ideas and two desserts, so you can take advantage of these sweet sensations.
  5. Step-by-step Guides
    Last year some of you told us glazing ham and cooking pavlova was something you struggled with, so we’ve pulled together easy-to-follow guides to step you through the process.

Pick up a mag for free in store or download it at coles.com.au.

6 Easy New Entertainers

Coles Brand Entertaining IdeaThis time of the year is all about entertaining, so to help you spend less time in the kitchen and more time with family & friends, we’re excited to introduce a range of easy meal kits and marinated meats.

Here are 6 of our new favourites:

  1. Coles Grill Moroccan Spiced Butterflied Chicken
    Australian made and RSPCA Approved, this delicious chicken comes pre-marinated.  Our tip: Serve with a simple pistachio & olive couscous.
  2. Coles Grill Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks
    Succulent and tender with a little spice, these drumsticks are one of our summer favourites.
  3. Coles Brand Cooked Half Prawn Ring
    Perfect for last minute entertaining, it comes with with tomato and horseradish dipping sauce.  Look for it in the freezer aisle.
  4. Coles Grill Prawn Skewer Selection
    Also found in the freezer aisle, there are 5 spicy chilli skewers and 5 with teriyaki.
  5. Coles Makhani Meal Kit
    A flavour packed Indian-style meal kit, just add a couple of ingredients to make a rich and creamy mild tomato based curry.
  6. Coles Chilli & Lemongrass Vermicelli Noodle Meal Kit
    A refreshing noodle dish with a hot and sour kaffir lime leaf dressing, this kit is full of flavour.  Simply add chicken & a couple of fresh ingredients and it’s ready in minutes.

Look out for these delicious meal ideas in your local Coles (or click over to shop.coles.com.au.