recipes for TVNZ close up christmas

It’s all about doing things in the right order to make this super simple. Please note we used our favourite recipes and made changes for this budget approach.


Make mint dressing in food processor do not wash bowl after completing.


herb-parsley dressing:

½ cup oil

¼ cup white wine vinegar

½ tsp salt

2 tsp sugar (or honey)

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 ¼ tsp dry mustard

2 minced garlic cloves

1/3 cup finely minced parsley

3 Tbsp fresh basil or mint, chopped finely


Place all the ingredients in your machine and process for a few minutes. Chill for several hours, or leave overnight so that the flavours blend together. Allow the dressing to come back to room temperature before re-shaking – then serve.


You need some of this dressing for the salad and the rest for the hot potatoes.




pawpaw, avocado, chicken and bacon salad with fresh herb dressing

Serves 6


6 cups cooked chicken meat (we actually used 2 cooked chickens from supermarket – skin and bones removed)

8 cups salad greens (we used one soft lettuce)

1 fresh pawpaw, sliced (we used half a pawpaw)

1 large red onion, finely sliced into rings (we used ¾ red onion medium sized_

2 avocados, sliced

6 rashers bacon, rind removed and cut into strips

½ cup freshly toasted pine nuts (we did not add this for budget option)


Roast your chicken according to the instructions given. Allow the bird to rest while the rest of the salad is quickly prepared.


Place the washed and prepared salad greens on a large platter. Slice or shred your chicken meat. If you choose to slice, make the pieces a manageable portion size. Scatter the chicken meat, pawpaw, onion rings, avocado and the freshly grilled bacon over the platter of salad greens in that order.


Drizzle with salad dressing and top with pine nuts.


NOTE: This salad is best served at room temperature. It’s best served with slightly warm chicken and freshly grilled bacon.



Now with the dirty food processor bowl…

mussel dip

Add 1 pottle-drained mussels

125g traditional cream cheese

2-3 tbsp chopped parsley

¼ red onion

1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


Blitz in food processor bowl till smooth.

Serve with French bread as a starter.



Dessert – make that now


1 small trifle sponge from supermarket bakery

1 punnet strawberries

410g can drained fruit salad

4 tbsp passion fruit pulp

600g Thick and creamy custard

300ml fresh cream, softly whipped


Into your trifle bowl – break up half the sponge, top with half the drained fruit, a few strawberries and 1-2 tbsp of the passion fruit pulp – add a little sherry if you have to hand.


Repeat sponge fruit etc. Heat custard in microwave for a few minutes and pour over fruit. Place in fridge to cool.


Top with whipped cream, any remaining strawberries and drizzle a little more passion fruit syrup over the top.



jersey bennes

Scrub and steam with fresh mint and drizzle mint dressing from above over them as they cool.



pea and feta salad

Put 1 tbsp butter into a large pot.  Melt. Add 500g packet frozen mint peas and turn off heat, but leave covered sitting in stove.

Add 1 tsp sugar and season with salt.

When cool place in bowl with 150g goats’ feta (diced) and top with shredded fresh mint.

So good – so simple!



roasted veges

chop up capsicums and carrots and toss in olive oil and a little Indian inspired spice mix (carrots love cumin, coriander etc) and scatter with fresh rosemary and roast for 20 -30mins 180degC – keep an eye on them depending on thickness of vegetables – serve at room temperature.