This post is a happy sponsored collaboration with Sherry Wines UK with 3 new festive recipes for you: a clementine and rosemary manzanilla cocktail, sherry cream and rosemary pork chops and PX, dark chocolate and coconut panna cotta. For further inspiration, check out my Sherry summer picnic feature with recipes for peach and manzanilla slushie, smoky pork rillettes & olive tapenade.
It is December 1st! And so yes, now we all can start raving about and planning Christmas. Today I went out and bought pine branches and red berries and lots of clementines. Tis the season, and it is freezing to boot so I need no excuses.
You know how much I love sherry, that most underrated of drinks. I am delighted to be working again with Sherry Wines UK, and here I present 3 festive recipes for you, for your Christmas. A bright easy but full flavoured lunch, a gorgeous dessert and a cocktail to get you through.
I wax lyrically about my favourite dry sherries all the time: bone dry fino, briney manzanilla and nutty oloroso regularly grace my table. I am such a fan. There are many sherries though, and sweet sherries are perfect to consider for winter and also for festive celebrations. They are rich and deep and reassuring. They speak of time and luxury and relaxing. For this piece I will focus on three of my favourite sherries and three recipes and recommendations.
One of my absolute favourites, dry like fino but with a seductive almost salty flavour, manzanilla is wonderful with any seafood. Cook clams with chorizo, manzanilla and garlic before finishing with chopped flat leaf parsley. Drink it just as it is, but very cold, or serve it as I suggest here, in a bright festive cocktail with clementine and rosemary.
Manzanilla Orange and Rosemary Cocktail
- 25ml fresh clementine juice
- Two needles of rosemary finely chopped
- 50ml manzanilla (chilled)
- Soda water (chilled)
Add the rosemary to the clementine juice and leave for at least a half hour to infuse. Pass through a sieve (or you can leave them in if you love rosemary, as I do).
Put the clementine and manzanilla in a champagne coupe, and finish with soda water.
Cream Sherry – a perfect festive aperitif
Cream sherry deserves its moment in the spotlight. It is a gorgeous drink with the nuttiness of an oloroso and a hint of the sweetness of a PX. It is lovely as an aperitif (serve it along side some good jamon and almonds), and it works super well as a marinade for these pork chops, which I marinated overnight with cream sherry, rosemary and garlic, before breading and frying with some sage and almonds. Not only does the flavour of the cream sherry work really well with the pork, it functions also as a brine and these chops are perfectly moist.
To serve, as you like, but I can’t resist crispy greens, especially kale. Dress washed and dried kale in some nice oil for roasting at 200 deg C in a single layer until crisp.
Breaded Cream Sherry & Rosemary Pork Chops
- 2 pork chops
- 100ml cream sherry
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped and lightly smashed
- 5 sprigs rosemary
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 50g flour
Oil for frying – rapeseed or groundnut work well
Sea salt and pepper
Bash the pork chops with a meat hammer until quite flat (about half a centimetre). Put in a shallow bowl with the sherry, garlic cloves and rosemary and massage well. Leave covered in the fridge overnight.
Put the beaten egg, (seasoned) flour and breadcrumbs in 3 shallow bowls. Remove each pork chop from the marinade and dip in the flour until well coated, then the egg, and then the breadcrumbs, patting the breadcrumbs in gently.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of the oil and then fry the chops over a medium heat until golden brown on each side.
Serve as you like, with crisp greens; green beans and almonds or simply with lots of paprika potatoes and kale, and of course a glass of sherry on the side.
PX – decadent and gorgeous sweet sherry
Pedro Ximénez or PX is made from the grape of the same name. Naturally sweet, this is best served chilled, and it is beautiful alongside desserts, cheeses like blue cheese or a proper mature cheddar. PX works particularly well with pineapple, also try it in your egg nog for something a little more decadent and different.
For this Christmas, I decided to pair it with chocolate in a panna cotta, which it matches exceptionally well. This panna cotta is made with coconut and so it is dairy free also, not that anyone will notice, it is divine. I like to serve it with a drizzle of PX on top, and some sharp festive redcurrants on the side.
PX, Dark Chocolate and Coconut Panna Cotta
- 400ml coconut
- 150ml PX
- 150g dark chocolate
- 4 platinum gelatine leaves (or enough of alternative gelatine leaves or powder to set 550ml liquid)
- Coconut oil to grease the cups (or another neutral oil)
To serve: a tablespoon of PX per panna cotta and some redcurrants
Small metal moulds, glasses or cups, enough for 550ml divided between them
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 10 minutes.
Heat the coconut milk, but don’t boil it. Turn off the heat, add the chocolate and stir it until dissolved. Add the PX and stir it through, and while the pan is still hot, squeeze the gelatine of water and stir through until it is dissolved.
Grease the cups with the coconut oil or another neutral oil, then pour the mixture in. Leave to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.
You can serve this in pretty cups just as is, but if you want to unmould, dip the moulds for no more than 5 seconds into boiling water (taking care not to get any water in the mould). Any longer and you risk melting the. Place your serving plates on top, and carefully flip over, allowing the panna cotta to squelch its way out. A gentle tap may be required. If it isn’t budging, dip it again briefly, but take care as the gelatine will melt in the heat and you may end up with a panna cotta puddle surrounding.
Serve with a drizzle of PX on top and some redcurrants on the side.