Eve's temptation: Skye Gyngell's celebratory New Year meal

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

For some reason I am always ridiculously tired at the end of a year – and psychologically I have a renewed sense of energy and excitement at the beginning of the new one. I don't really know why that should be the case, because it is really only one day that melts into another – yet I feel it is a cause to celebrate.

As a teenager and in my early twenties, New Year's Eve was always disappointing, the evenings never seeming to pan out in the way I had planned. So for a while I gave up on it altogether – until I realised the best way to usher in the new year was by cooking a celebratory meal and keeping it very low-key.

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, tel: 020 8605 3627, petershamnurseries.com

Horseradish cream

Horseradish is the absolutely perfect accompaniment to beef – its deep, sharp, peppery flavour enlivens the meat and shakes it up. I am sure that there are some very good shop-bought varieties of this around, but making your own takes no time at all and I think it is more delicious, fresh and vibrant.

250ml/8fl oz crème fraîche
2 tsp red-wine vinegar
2 inches of fresh horseradish root,
peeled and grated finely
A good pinch of sea salt

Place the crème fraîche in a bowl and stir in the vinegar and grated horseradish. Mix well to combine. Add a little salt and taste; add more if you think necessary.

You can make this in the morning and set in the fridge until you are ready to eat. Allow it, however, to return to room temperature, as food cold from the fridge very rarely tastes its best.

Parsnip gratin

Nutty and sweet, this gratin makes a nice change from the more traditional ones made from potatoes

Serves 6

13/4kg/31/2lb medium-sized parsnips (if they are too big, their flavour and texture becomes woody)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch of thyme, leaves only
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
20g/3/4oz unsalted butter
250ml/8fl oz chicken stock
2 yellow onions, finely sliced
150ml/5fl oz double cream
150g/5oz freshly grated Parmesan
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Peel and slice the parsnips into eighth-of-an-inch rounds. Place in a bowl and season with the salt and black pepper, thyme and garlic.

Add the butter to a saucepan and place over a low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and cook until soft and translucent – this will take between eight and 10 minutes. Once soft, remove from the heat and add to the bowl in which the parsnips are sitting. Using the same pan, add the stock and cook until reduced by a third, add the cream and cook for a minute or so longer.

While the stock is reducing, turn the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4.

Pour the stock over the parsnips and toss lightly to combine. Arrange nicely in an oven-proof dish. Scatter over the Parmesan – dot the remaining butter and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until the parsnips are tender and the top golden-brown.

This gratin tastes best when it is still hot, so serve immediately.

Panettone bread-and-butter pudding

I love both panettone and pandoro and would happily eat either every morning for breakfast. The distinction between the two is that panettone is laced with candied peel, while pandoro is simply without. Use either, as suits your taste. The panettone is, I think, best since its warm smell of oranges, vanilla and icing sugar makes for a delicious bread pudding.

Serves 6

6-8 slices of panettone, two-inch thick, crusts removed
Soft, unsalted butter for spreading
220ml/71/2fl oz double cream
300ml/10fl oz whole milk
125g/4oz caster sugar
5 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
The zest of one orange
1 tbsp caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Butter each slice of bread on one side and arrange in an ovenproof dish large enough to sit the bread comfortably

Place the cream and milk into a pan and bring to just under a simmer. Remove from the heat. Place the sugar, yolks, whole eggs and vanilla extract into the bowl and whisk well to combine. Stir in the orange peel and slowly pour the warm custard over the buttered bread. Leave to stand for half an hour. This is important, as it allows the custard to soak properly into the bread. Place the oven dish into a roasting tin and pour enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Sprinkle over the sugar and bake on the middle shelf for 40 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let stand for five to 10 minutes before serving. Pass a jug of pouring cream around the table for those who want it.

Pickled red cabbage

Both sweet and sour, this is the perfect accompaniment to rich, creamy food.

Serves 6

1 red cabbage, outer leaves removed
1 knob of unsalted butter
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 Cox's apples, cored, sliced into thin wedges
200ml/7fl oz apple juice
1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Slice the cabbage in half, and using a small, sharp knife, cut out the core. Now slice as finely as possible. Place a large, heavy-based pan on top of the stove over a medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt but not brown. Add the onion and cook until soft and transculent – this will take about 10 minutes. Now add the cabbage and apple and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring every so often until the cabbage has begun to wilt. Add the apple juice and vinegar and place a lid on the pot and cook for half an hour, by which time the cabbage will be soft and mellowed in colour. Season generously with the salt and pepper and add the balsamic. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use. The cabbage can be made a few hours prior to serving.

Roasted fillet of beef

It is imperative when cooking meat to use the best quality you can. Fillet of beef is undeniably expensive – but my theory is that there are certain times when a celebration is called for and it is then worth spending just that little bit more. If possible, look for grass-fed organic beef.

Serves 6

1 tbsp olive oil
1.2kg/21/2lb fillet of beef – ask your butcher to trim the fat
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7. Place a large, heavy-based fry pan over a high heat and add the olive oil. Season the meat very generously all over – this is important, as it is the salt that will help form a crisp crust. Once the fry pan is really hot and the oil is sizzling, brown the meat really well all over without fiddling with it too much – just allow it to get a really good colour before turning and browning the other side. Then remove from the pan and lay on a baking tray.

Place on the middle shelf of the oven and roast for no more than 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minute or two, then wrap in several layers of foil. Leave to rest in a warm place for at least 20 minutes – the longer, the better. Just before serving, remove from the foil and carve into generous slices. Arrange on a warm serving plate and let guests help themselves.

Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

    Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

    A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
    Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

    Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

    Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
    Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

    Nick Clegg the movie

    Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
    Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

    Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

    Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

    Waxing lyrical

    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
    Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

    Revealed (to the minute)

    The precise time when impressionism was born
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention