Yummy Christmas

This Christmas will be extra special with these delicious recipes supplied by two well known Algarve ladies who share the same passion for cooking.

Chestnut Paté by Sally Vincent of

Casa Grande,  Burgau

1 kilo of frozen peeled chestnuts

1 large onion

3 cloves of crushed garlic

200 grams of mushrooms (sliced and cooked)

6 tbs of Brandy

6 tbs of Port

2 tbs of fresh basil or 1 tbs of

dried basil

1 tbs of sugar

1 egg

Salt and pepper to taste 

1 sheet of short crust pastry


Firstly, place chestnuts in saucepan and cover with water (just enough so they are covered) and simmer for 30 minutes until soft enough to mash.

Add seasoning and the basil, brandy and port.

Using an electric hand blender mash altogether and then add the egg, binding so it all comes together as a smooth mixture.  

Line a loaf tin with already prepared or bought short crust pastry, fill this with the chestnut pate and then place the cooked mushrooms on top.

Cook in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.  

Alternatively, for a Christmas party, use small individual squares of pastry and fill with chestnut mixture and close to a point at the top.

The chestnut paté may be accompanied with red wine sauce….

Red wine sauce

Melt 50 grams of butter and add 1 small chopped onion and fry until softened.  Add 2 tbs of flour and slowly add one cup of red wine and 1 tsp of chopped sage.  Cook until mixture thickens and then add a little cream, salt and pepper to taste. 

Carrot Pudding by Marilyn Stebbe of Sweet Marilyn

This recipe is a great alternative to the traditional Christmas pudding for those who are not fond of crystallised fruit.


300 gm granulated sugar

30 gm butter

2 Eggs

225 gm grated carrot

225gm grated potato (half to be saved to add to bicarbonate of soda)

5 gm bicarbonate of soda

250 gm grated hard butter or suet

125 gm sultanas

125 gm currants or just 250 gm sultanas

300 gm unleavened flour

3 gm salt

5 gm ground cinnamon

3 gm ground nutmeg

2 gm ground cloves

Pudding bowl or four smaller bowls (which can be placed in boiling water)


Beat sugar and butter together well and then add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.

Add grated carrots and half of the grated potato.

In a separate bowl, combine together the grated potato and bicarbonate of soda then add this to the sugar mixture along with the sultanas and currants and then the hard butter or suet.

Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and stir only until mixed.

Prepare pudding bowl(s) by buttering the inside of the bowl. Fill the bowls with the mixture and cover using doubled aluminium foil and place over the top of the filled bowls, crisping at the sides to seal and leaving an extra fold of foil in the middle for expansion.

Place bowl(s) in banho maria and add boiling water up to half the height of the bowl(s). Cover and bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for three hours, ensuring there is water at all times.

Serve as you would a Christmas Pudding using brandy butter or sauce as desired.