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Serve festive favourites with a twist

Deep fry mince pies for a mandarin flavour

Caterers wondering how to turn the usual Christmas sweets into more creative cuisine should not feel they are bound by the traditional conventions.

A recent charity auction in aid of Action Against Hunger entitled the Mince Pie Project saw 36 professional chefs raise almost £10,000 by selling batches of the old favourites made to their own recipe.

McCormick's resident expert Chef Steve says judging culinary competitions is one of his sources of inspiration and although this particular event was not run in such a way, why not take some of the ideas on show as inspiration for your own recipes?

One variety of the sweet prepared by Ashley Palmer-Watts' closed the bidding with a £1,000 bid - almost double that of second-place Henry Harris's, which sold for £600.

Food writer James Ramsden said he thought these would be a disaster when he saw them being prepared at the Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen, but claimed they were delicious and tasted of mandarin.

So why try mixing up an old favourite with a new method of preparation?

Related Products: Bacon Bits, Cinnamon Sticks, Cranberry Sauce

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