Antony Worrall Thompson


Antony Worrall Thompson 2011




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Roast Potatoes
Baked Ham
Christmas Puddings
Frozen Turkey
Lemon Stuffing
Cranbery Sauce
Glazed Parsnips
Christmas Cake
Vegetarian Christmas


Express Newpaper

Check out Antony's recipes and tips in the Saturday and Sunday Express magazines.

Antony Worrall Thompson - Sunday and Saturday Express Magazine

Handy Tips

Rubbing a sugar lump over an orange infuses it with citms oil — great for flavouring your champagne cocktail.

You can mix the Christmas punch ingredients 24 hours in advance to let the flavours infuse before heating up.

lf you don't have heat-proof glasses, make the hot toddy in a Pyrex jug and allow to cool a little before pouring.

When making the glogg, be careful not to pour boiling hot liquid into your glasses. O lf you'd prefer a boozy piria colada, add a measure of white rum.

Glogg mulled wine

Serves 4-6
2 75g (1002) caster sugar
600m/ (1 pint) water
Grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemoi
1O cloves
1 stick cinnamon
Grating of nutmeg
8 cardamom pods
11/2 litres (2% pints) red wine
6 tbsps brandy-soaked sultanas
4-6 sticks cinnamon, for gamish

Melt the sugar in the water Add the remainder of the ingredients except the sultanas and garnish cinnamon then simmer for 20 minutes. Do not allow to boil.

Strain the wine into glasses, each containing a few brandy-soaked sultanas, and gamish with cinnamon.



This Month's special
Click for more details


Christmas - Antony's Vegetarian ideas.



You will need to buy an oven-proof meat thermometer (if you haven’t already got one) and plenty of wide turkey foil. If you are stuffing the bird, only put the stuffing in the neck end (the round end of the turkey), not the cavity, because you need the heat to penetrate from the inside as well as from the outside in order to cook the bird.

Roughly chop some celery, carrots, leeks and onions put in the bottom of your roasting tin, together with a few garlic cloves, a small bunch of thyme and a bay leaf. Ensure there is plenty to cover the bottom of the tray and then put the turkey on top, laying it on its back. Put some more sprigs of thyme (and other fresh herbs if you have them – such as sage, rosemary and parsley) and a bay leaf into the cavity and spread butter all over the exposed part of the bird. Pour a pint of fresh chicken stock or a combination of stock and red or white wine into the roasting tin.

Lay two long sheets of foil on your kitchen surface (one widthways, one lengthways) to make a big cross, then place your roasting tin on top of it. Bring up the foil and seal firmly, leaving the parcel loose enough for plenty of air to circulate around the bird.

Feel around for the thigh meat and push the thermometer through the foil into the thickest part of the thigh. Place the turkey into a pre-heated oven at 220°C, gas mark 7, 425°F, ensuring that the turkey thermometer is visible through the oven window. After half an hour, reduce the heat to 180°C, gas mark 4, 350°F. Let the turkey cook until the thermometer in the thigh shows 72°C, then fold back the foil to allow the bird to brown. At 72°C, whilst it is safe, you will still notice pink around the bone and on the inside of the thigh. Some people find this off-putting, so I like to take it up to 80°C – the bird will still be moist but thoroughly cooked. Remove to a warm place and cover with foil to “rest” while you make your gravy.

Following this method, expect a 15 – 20lb turkey to cook in around three and a half hours.

Roast Potatoes

To start with, you need a good potato. Choose a floury type such as King Edward or Maris Piper. Peel and cut longways through the narrow side, so you have one flat surface and one round surface. Put them into water and boil for 15 – 18 minutes until the edges start to break up. Drain well then dry them slightly over heat in a metal colander. Toss them vigorously in flour seasoned with salt, pepper, chopped thyme and a hint of cayenne pepper and throw them around to break up the edges and make them craggy. In a roasting tin, heat up some goose fat mixed with dripping (about a centimetre deep) until it is very hot, then carefully put the potatoes into the fat (on whichever side you wish, round or flat, but keep them all the same) and baste them. Cook in a very hot oven for around 20 minutes, then drain off the fat into a pot (so you can re-use it) before returning to the oven for another 20/25 minutes. This will give you a crispy outside and lovely, fluffy middle.

For some families, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a turkey. lf yours is one of them, here is my extra-special recipe, which always goes down a treat in the Worrall Thompson household. But if you fancy ringing the changes this year, l've suggested some alternatives that will feel — and taste — equally special on the big day.

Baked ham with Coca-Cola

Serves 6
2kg (4lbs 602) mild-cure gammon
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 leeks, washed and roughly chopped
2 sticks celery
1 orange, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
12 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 chillies, halved Iengthways
2 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 litres (3 1/2 pints) regular Coca-Cola

For the glaze:

Cloves, for studding
2 tbsps maple syrup
2 tsps English mustard
2 tbsps brown sugar

Put the gammon into a large pan with the vegetables, fruit, spices and herbs. Carefully pour the Coke over the ham.

Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 1% hours.

Check that the ham is cooked through then remove from the heat and let it cool for a little while for easy handling.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.

Take the ham from the cooking liquid and place in a roasting dish. Remove the rind from the ham leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat, making diamond shapes on the ham, and stud with the cloves.

Mix the maple syrup, mustard and brown sugar into a gloopy glaze then spread overthe ham. Pop the

ham into the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes, basting regularly until it's glazed.

South Sea Island Christmas Pudding

Serves 6

225g/8oz can pineapple rings
110g/4oz soft butter
1110g/4oz caster sugar
30g/1oz angelica, chopped
1 orange, rind only
2 eggs, beaten
85g/3oz self-raising flour
2 tbsp of golden syrup
55g/2oz fresh breadcrumbs
55g/2oz stoned raisins
55g/2oz glace cherries, quartered

1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Cut three rings in half and put to one side. Chop the remainder coarsely.

2. Cream butter and sugar, add orange rind and beat in eggs. Fold in flour and breadcrumbs.

3. Add chopped pineapple, raisins, cherries and angelica and mix well.

4. Butter a 1½ pint pudding basin, put syrup in the bottom and arrange pineapple in a circle. Spoon sponge mixture on top and level it.

Cover with buttered paper and foil.

5. Place basin in a saucepan of boiling water with water 2/3 way up the sides of the basins. Boil for 1¾ hours.

6. To serve immediately - turn out and serve hot.

7. To freeze leave pudding to become cold. Wrap basin in foil and use within three months.

8. From frozen: thaw overnight or for 2-3 hours. Remove wrappings.

Replace buttered paper and foil and steam for one hour.

9. Turn out and serve hot.

Ten Minute Christmas Pudding

Click to check out Antony's 10 minute Christmas Pudding.



Antony on Country File 14th November 2010 Ingredients.

Christmas Spiced Chestnuts

1 tbsp sunflower oil, or 40g butter
1 tsp cumin ½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
375g peeled chestnuts, blanched
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

  1. Heat the oil in a roasting tin and stir in the spices.  Cook in the already hot oil for 30 seconds, then add the nuts and stir until coated.
  1. Roast at 150ºC for 15 minutes stirring from time to time. On removing from the oven, add salt.
  2. Serve warm from the oven, or allow to cool then store in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.

Christmas Sweet Chestnuts

15g melted butter
  tsp cinnamon 
½ tsp mixed spice
3 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
375g peeled chestnuts, blanched

  1. Heat the butter in a roasting tin and stir in the spices.  Cook for 30 seconds in the butter, then add the sugar and nuts and stir until coated.
  1. Roast at 150º C 15 minutes stirring from time to time. Serve warm from the oven, or allow to cool, then store in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.

Frozen Turkey

It’s better not to buy a frozen turkey, especially if it’s a last-minute purchase. lf you do choose a frozen bird, allow one day’s defrosting for every 10Ib. Turkey should always be defrosted in a refrigerator, never at room temperature or under hot or cold water, so even a small bird can take two days, while an 11kg (25Ib) bird may need as long as five days to thaw.

Goose makes an excellent alternative to turkey for a larger family - but if you want one, order now from a butcher or farm shop.

If you’re making the crusted fillet of beef, choose a cut with plenty of marbling (fine threads of fat) as this increases the juiciness, tenderness and flavour of the meat.

For the baked ham with Coca-Cola, do not use Diet Coke. lt won’t work, as you need sugar for this dish.

Pancetta, Parmesan and Lemon Stuffing

Serves 8

110g (402) pancetta
55g (202) butter
1 medium onion, Hnely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 Ieek (about 200g/702), washed and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, mashed to a paste with a little salt
Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs
175g (602) fresh white breadcrumbs
75g (302) Hnely grated Parmesan
Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon

3 tbsps chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Chicken stock, to moisten
1 medium egg, beaten
Salt and black pepper :

Melt the butter in a pan over a : medium heat. Add the pancetta, carrot, onion and celery and fry, stinring occasionally, until soft but not browned. Add the Ieek and chopped rosemary and cook for a further 3 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and leave to cool.

Stir in the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, lemon zest, garlic and parsley, followed by a little stock, the beaten egg and black pepper. Work with your hands until you have a stufting-like consistency. Season. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 180°C/350°F/gas 4 or use to stuff the turkey and follow the timings for the bird.


lf you are vegetarlan lt's OK to leave the pancetta out. The stuffing wlll still taste good.

Boozy Cranberry Sauce

Serves 6-8
450g (1lb) fresh cranberries
4 tbsps redcurrant jelly
150ml (% pint) ruby port
115g (4oz) caster sugar
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice and grated zest of 1 orange
1 tsp corntlour
2 tsps English mustard powder
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of ground nutmeg
85g (3oz) dried cranberries
55g (2oz) flaked almonds

Combine the cranberries, redcurrant jelly, port, sugar and citrus juices in a non-reactive pan over a medium heat. Cook until the berries burst, stinring from time to time, about 8-10 minutes.

Combine the cornflour, mustard, nutmeg and cloves with a little water to make a paste, then stir into the berry mix. Add the dried cranberries, almonds, orange and lemon zest.

Simmer over a medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste and chill. I


Once you’ve tasted this sauce you will never go back to ready made. And this recipe is just as convenient as a jar because you can make it up to a week In advance.

Cook the cranberries until they're just bursting. Don't cook any further, otherwise the berries will disintegrate, together with the flavour.

You can also use frozen cranberries. Don't bother to defrost them - just add them to the saucepan.

Glazed Parsnips Carrots and Shallots

Severs 6
450g (1lb) parsnips, peeled and cut into 5cm (2in) batons
450g (1lb) camots, peeled and cut into 5cm (2in) batons
6 shallots, peeled
1 tsp thyme, chopped
2 tbsps liquid honey
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Ground black pepper
4 tbsps of olive oil
2 tbsps chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Then place the parsnlps, carrots, shallots and thyme in a bowl and toss with the olive oil. Place the vegetables in a tray, then pop in the oven and cook for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.

About 5 minutes before the end of cooking, toss the vegetables with the honey and vinegan season with salt and ground black pepper and retum to the oven to finish cooking.

Just before sewing, toss with the parsley.


With a lot of veggies to chop and not much time, lt’s all too easy for accidents to happen. But no one wants a Christmas trip to casualty, so concentrate, don't rush, and make sure you're working on a stable surface.

lf you tind you are short on oven space with the turkey in there too, blanch the parsnips and carrots in boiling salted water, drain them and then pan fry with butter and oil and the rest of the ingredients.

Christmas Cake

Makes 1 x 12 inch cake

500g (1 lb 2 oz) currants
500g (1 lb 2 oz) sultanas
500g (1 lb 2 oz) raisins
85g (3 oz) blanched almonds
55g (2 oz) glace cherries, optional
350ml (12 fl oz) brandy
500g (1 lb 2oz) unsalted butter
500g (1 lb 2 oz) soft dark brown sugar
500g (1 lb 2 oz) self raising flour, sifted
pinch salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
9 free range eggs, beaten

1.      In a large bowl mix together the currants, sultanas, raisins, almonds and glace cherries (if using).  Pour over 250ml (9 fl oz) of brandy, and set aside to marinate, preferably overnight.

2.      Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy and creamy.  Mix together the flour, salt and spice.

3.      Gradually beat in one quarter of the egg followed by one quarter of the flour, repeat this until you have incorporated all the egg and flour into the mixture.

4.      Add the marinated fruit along with the marinade and stir thoroughly.

5.      Pour the mixture into a 12 inch lined square cake tin.  Using a palate knife even out the surface, leaving a slight well in the centre so that when the cake is cooked it is flat.  Cover the top of the cake with greaseproof paper, make a small hole in it to allow some of the heat to escape.

6.      Bake on the second shelf from the bottom of a preheated oven, 150°C/gas mark 2 for 4 and a half -5 hours.  Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack and allow to cool.

7.      When completely cooled, wrap well in silver foil and leave for 10-14 days.  Unwrap the cake and prick which was the top but will be the bottom when iced, with a skewer all over and then drizzle over the remaining brandy.  Wrap again in foil and leave for a week before you marzipan and then ice the cake.

Christmas cake - this is quite a boozy cake, making lovely and moist.  Do feel free to feed it with a little extra booze if you want to.  Wait for 2 weeks before icing the cake.




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