December recipes: Comfort & joy

Round & About

We’re offering a taste of Christmas at River Cottage by Lucy Brazier with foreword, essays and seasonal recipes from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury, Priced £22.

Brandade with breadcrumbs

Ingredients:

• 450g fillets of sustainably caught white fish, such as whiting, pouting, pollack, cod or haddock
• 375g floury potatoes, such as King Edward, peeled and cut into even sized chunks
• 40g unsalted butter
• 1 large garlic clove, chopped
• 150ml milk
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 75g coarse breadcrumbs
• Flaky sea salt and black pepper

Prep: 25 minutes | Cooking: 15-20 minutes | Serves: 4-6 as main, 8-10 as starter

Method

First, lightly salt the fish. Slice the fillets off their skins and check for remaining bones. Sprinkle a thin, even layer of salt on a board, lay the fish fillets on top, then sprinkle over a further light covering of salt. Leave for 15–20 minutes & rinse off the salt under a cold tap. Pat fish dry with kitchen paper. While it’s salting, cook potatoes in boiling water for 15–20 minutes until tender; drain and return to hot pan.

Melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat, add the garlic and sweat gently for a couple of minutes. Add the rinsed fish to the pan and pour over the milk. Bring slowly to a simmer, cover and cook very gently for another couple of minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Scoop the fish out of the pan with a slotted spoon onto a plate, leaving the hot milk behind.

Add 2½ tbsp of the extra virgin olive oil and a few grinds of pepper to the hot milk in the pan, then tip in the hot potatoes and mash thoroughly. Break the fish into flakes and mash roughly with a fork then add to the potato mash and stir well. Taste and add more pepper if you like.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5. Spoon the brandade into a shallow ovenproof dish. Mix the coarse breadcrumbs with the remaining 1½ tbsp olive oil and scatter over the surface of the brandade. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes until golden and piping hot.

Red cabbage & beetroot pickle

Red cabbage is a familiar element of Christmas lunch. It is often braised, which makes it an easy dish to cook ahead of time, freeze and then reheat at the last minute. I think it is always good to have at least one vegetable you can get on the table with the minimum of fuss but I prefer my cabbage crunchy. This recipe is exactly that, injecting a fresh zing into the Christmas feast and the days that follow. I usually make mine several weeks in advance. You don’t even need to decant it from its glass jar, just plonk straight on the table.

Ingredients:

• 420g beetroot, peeled and grated 500g red cabbage, sliced
• Finely grated zest of two oranges
• 10g cumin seeds, toasted and bashed
• 5g caraway seeds toasted and bashed
• Five juniper berries, lightly crushed

For the pickling liquor:
• 700ml cider vinegar
• 20g coriander seeds, toasted
• 20g fennel seeds, toasted
• 10g black peppercorns
• 20g salt
• One dried red chilli (optional)

You will also need:
• A sterilised 1.5 litre Kilner jar

Prep: 60 minutes | Cooking: Five minutes | Makes: 1.5 litres

Method

First, prepare the pickling liquor. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan, pour on 200ml water and slowly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for an hour.

Meanwhile, put the beetroot, red cabbage, orange zest and spices for into a bowl and toss to mix.

Bring the infused pickling liquor back to the boil, then pour it through a sieve straight over the veg mix. Stir to combine.

This pickle is nice to eat as soon as it cools, but ideally should be packed into a sterilised 1.5 litre Kilner jar, sealed and left for a couple of weeks. It will keep in a cool, dark cupboard for up to six months; once opened, it needs to be stored in the fridge.

We have two copies of Christmas at River Cottage by Lucy Brazier with foreword, essays and seasonal recipes from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, to giveaway this month!

See our other recipes

Star Q&A: Gok Wan

Round & About

Television star Gok Wan, 47, talks to us ahead of his dazzling star turn as the Man In The Mirror in Snow White at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre from 4th December to 2nd January

Hi Gok! How did you get involved in pantomime? “I’ve dreamt of being on stage forever. I first began to think about panto some years back. I was fascinated… Then one evening, maybe 2012 or 2013, I was with Lionel Blair and the very naughty Louie Spence. They said I really should give it a try. I spoke with my agent and Channel Four got involved. I first met Snow White then. There have been other pantos since then but it’s really great to be back with Snow White.”

Q. What’s your character The Man In The Mirror like to play? “Man In The Mirror sounds like a piece of furniture! I’m not and it isn’t! The script is amazing. I finished re-reading it again this morning – the tradition has again been tweaked for the 2020s and I’m excited. The mirror has messages. The mirror motivates. The mirror is magic.”

Q. And your costume… do you have a professional opinion about it? “Do I have an opinion? Oh yes I do! I like it. I was encouraged from the start to contribute input, although the designer anticipated so much that my suggestions could be called incidental. There’s a vital aspect, though, and one I insist on. An aspect that’s seen and unseen – the fit! My costume has to fit and over the Christmas period that could mean adjustments… It’s gotta be done.”

Q. Do you have any pre-show dressing room rituals? “Haha! Not only in the dressing room! Yes, I’m superstitious and my rituals – as you call them – go on throughout the performance; I don’t leave them to lurk alone in the dressing room. What can I tell you? Ahh, there’s ‘first on stage.’ Of course there is going to be stage crew but I like to be the first cast member on stage before a performance. What else? This year in Snow White I am required to fly and when I’m up high, without fail, I whisper a hello to my Mum. I love the flying bit. Love it, love it!”

Q. What is the secret to a great pantomime? “Three ‘secrets’: the first is definitely the audience; the second is likely to be the audience and the third, in my experience, is probably the audience. I like to open the show, to greet and welcome everyone and I can predict within 20 seconds
just what sort of evening it will be. People
have probably had tensions at work, frustrations with traffic, delays or hold-ups – it’s important to me that everyone feels wanted.”

Q. We’re enjoying your new TV show Bling… “I believe you can get a lot from the series. Jewellery can mean so much more than ‘an accessory’ – so often there is special significance attached to a piece. The series sparkles with stories, memories and emotion, as well as amazing technical skills and explanations. It is fascinating. I learned a lot.”

Q. Do you know this part of the world well? “Not really. My home’s London so I’ll commute. I like town and city life. The hustle, the bustle, the noise, the rush, the dirt, energy, sweat, the crowds. I am a absolutely a city boy! I was brought up and lived over a restaurant so it’s what I’m used to.”

To book, call 0333 009 6690 or visit atgtickets.com

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Win! A Hawker Hurricane Carey watch

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Win! A Hawker Hurricane Carey dual time pilot’s watch

Designed to pay tribute to one of Britain’s most distinguished WWI fighter aces and commanders, the Hawker Hurricane Carey Dual Time is a perfectly wearable pilot’s watch, drawn from a classic silhouette.

A 43mm case featuring a blend of brushed and polished finishes offers a purposefully reserved look, and a domed mineral lens with anti-reflective coating offers a clear view to the dial.

Nodding to the global exploits of Carey, each timepiece is named after a location he was stationed at during his esteemed career with the RAF.

Browse and shop at avi-8.co.uk

To enter, fill in the form below before 12pm on Friday 31st December

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Win! Christmas at River Cottage cookbook

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Enjoy a taste of River Cottage with a copy of the latest Christmas cookbook

Christmas at River Cottage encapsulates the very best the season has to offer with inspiration, traditions and indispensable recipes for every festive occasion.

These are recipes that have been honed over the years and rooted in the River Cottage foundations of tradition, seasonality and sustainability. As well as the ultimate versions of all the classics, there are a whole host of new ideas for showstopping centrepieces, sparkling cocktails, prep-ahead canapes, edible gifts, livening up leftovers, as well as some of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s festive favourites.  

Accompanying all of this are tips on planning ahead, making natural decorations, effortlessly feeding a crowd and orchestrating the great ‘Christmas dinner’ so you’ll also be able to find the magic along the way. 

There’s a copy to be won to help inspire you through the festive season. 

Find the Brandade with breadcrumbs and red cabbage & beetroot pickle recipes from the book here

To enter, fill in the form below before 12pm on Friday 10th December

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Win! Bijou Von gift hamper*

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*RG10 postcode entries only

Spoil yourself with a luxury gift box from Bijou Von 

Surround yourself in the fragrance of the South of France with a sensuous luxury gift box of goodies from Bijou Von. 

Having been inspired by the scents in the narrow streets of Grasse, Markus Winkler-von Arx and his family undertook a perfume making course and formed a business plan to set up in their Berkshire village home. 

From lavender pillow spray they have on to create a range of hand sanitisers, candles, room sprays and diffusers and are offering you the chance to win the luxury products with a specially created gift box showcasing the range. 

Buying from Bijou Von also boost local charity Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice. Bijou Von donate five per cent of their profits to the good cause. 

Browse and shop at Bijou Von

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Win! £200 at Annie Sloan Interiors

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Win! £200 to spend on Annie Sloan paint & wallpaper

Annie Sloan Interiors is a family-run interiors company based in Oxford. Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint is made here in the UK, supplying a global network of hand-picked, well trained independent businesses all over the world, including on a high street near you!

Our lucky winner can spend £200 at anniesloan.com. That’s enough to transform a room or two using Annie’s revolutionary, market-leading, pigment-saturated products, including Chalk Paint for your furniture, floors and kitchen cabinets, a premium fabric range for curtains & cushions, or the fab new wall paints collection.

Discover the range at anniesloan.com

To enter, fill in the form below before 12pm on Friday 31st December

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Win! Olive & Pip personalised washbag

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Win a personalised make up / wash bag from Bucks-based creative business 

Lucy Murray loves to spread happiness and that’s exactly what she’s doing with her unique personalised gift business Olive & Pip. 

Taking your children’s artwork, she creates gifts full of joy, bags of fun and yet still stylish and useable with a carefully selected colour palette which would look great in anyone’s home, and signature metallic gold print which makes the products really “pop”!  

Celebrating those “look what I made” moments; her products spread happiness – children love seeing how their drawing has been transformed and the grown ups enjoy their adorable artwork.  

You can win of her charming personalised gifts and help spread smiles every day. 

Browse & shop Olive & Pip here

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Win! Advent book of baking

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Win a copy of Anja Dunk’s beautiful new book of festive bakes, Advent.

Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and rum – all delicious flavours that conjure up Christmas and the perfect introduction to the season courtesy of Stollen bites: Stollenkonfekt. 

Anja Dunk shares her treasured recipes for very best of traditional German festive bakes in her beautiful new book which celebrates the coming of Christmas. From frosted cinnamon stars to snow-capped coconut macaroons and a gingerbread house, not to mention the Stollen bites.  

You’ll find delicious bakes to create and share with family and friends as you party this year. 

We have a copy of this gorgeous book, published by Quadrille, to give away. 

To enter, fill in the form below before 12pm on Friday 10th December

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Make it a Turquoise Friday!

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Treat yourself to a luxurious holiday in the Maldives or Mauritius and enjoy some fabulous Black Friday deals with Turquoise Holidays

Turn Black Friday Turquoise with 50 per cent off selected holidays to the Maldives and Mauritius booked from November 26th to 29th.

Turquoise Holidays is offering guests exclusive deals with fabulous prices on spectacular hotels for 2022.

The idyllic Indian ocean paradise of the Maldives and Mauritius offers holidaymakers glorious tropical sunshine amid breath-taking natural beauty, not to mention endless sunshine.

Choose from Constance Moofushi and Constance Halveli in the Maldives both including flights and seaplane transfers.

Travel in May and seven nights in a beach villa at Constance Moofushi, all-inclusive, will cost £2,649 per person, saving £3,100 per couple.

Holidaymakers can enjoy 50 per cent off water villas for travel from April 1st to December 26th, 2022 and 50 per cent off beach villas between May 1st and October 31st, 2022.

Constance Halveli offers seven nights in a water villa, bed & breakfast, from £2,499 per person for travel in May, saving £2,750 per couple. Water villas enjoy a 50 per cent discount for those holidaying from January 4th to December 26th, 2022 and the same amazing saving on beach villas from May 1st to October 31st.

Mauritius invites you to sample the delights of the Constance Prince Maurice and the Constance Belle Mare Plage at prices reduced by 50 per cent for the accommodation.

Junior suites are available at the Constance Prince Maurice for travel from January 7th to December 22nd from £1,549 per person (based on travel in June). Stay for seven nights on a bed & breakfast basis and enjoy return private transfers and flights included in the price, a saving of £1,500 per couple.

Constance Belle Mare Plage has stunning deals for both couples and families. Couples will love benefiting from 50 per cent off prestige rooms, prestige beachfront rooms, junior suites and beachfront junior suites for travel from January 7th to December 22nd, 2022. Spend seven nights half board in a prestige room with return private transfers and flights from £1,449 in June, saving £1,180 per couple.

Treat the family (two adults & two children under 12) to seven nights in paradise staying in a junior suite for £4,600 when travelling in August, saving £2,400 per family.

These exclusive offers and savings are only applicable to bookings made between Friday, 26th November and Monday, 29th November for the Maldives and Mauritius.

Visit www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk or call 01494 678400 to find out more and to book.

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Media Sales Account Manager

Round & About

 
Media Sales Account Manager

Full time, permanent position
Office-based, in Wallingford
£22,000 -£25,000 pa. salary depending on experience

An opportunity has arisen to be our next Media Sales Account Executive on our award-winning commercial team.

About the role

Reporting to the Sales Manager, you will manage an existing client base of advertising customers, maintain current sales levels whilst building key relationships through effective account management. Once you are up to speed with your current customers, you will also source new revenue streams and sell multi-platform, advertising solutions to businesses across the Thames Valley and the Home Counties, ultimately increasing the volume of advertisers in our award-winning magazines and on our website.

If you currently work in advertising sales and want to transition to a company that has continued to publish through the pandemic, in addition to the last 27 years, this is a great opportunity to work for a family run business that really cares and invests in its employees and wants them to succeed and develop. If you work in other sales or account management roles and believe you can be a success at advertising sales, we want to hear from you too. You must be organised, self-motivated, able to work to deadlines and interact well within a buzzy team environment.

We have an extremely rewarding package with a competitive salary, a good bonus structure and uncapped commission to be earned. Our team culture is friendly, supportive and sociable. We are based on the award-winning Howbery Park, with a canteen, gym, tennis court, free parking but also importantly a beautiful green environment on the river Thames to work in.

About the company

Round & About Magazine is the regions’ leading free publication and the 11th largest circulating free magazine in the UK. Started in 1994 and now covering 7 counties, reaching over 538,731 homes every month with 26 area-specific magazine titles, we have a strong brand and well-known product for you to sell. We will be adding 1 new area edition of the magazine within a year and are keen to expand our sales team.

Additional pay:
· Commission pay
· Bonus scheme
· Quarterly bonus
· Performance bonus

Benefits:
· Company events
· Company pension
· Discounted or free food
· Free on-site parking
· Wellness programmes
· Monday to Friday – no weekend work

COVID-19 precaution(s):
Our offices are operating with full Covid regulations in place, including distancing, cleaning and testing.
· Social distancing guidelines in place
· Virtual meetings
· Sanitisation, disinfection or cleaning procedures in place

If you fit the requirements and are interested in the Media Sales Account Manager role, please send a cover letter and CV to

Find out more about our team