FED up with turkey but still want a rich and delicious dinner for the New Year?

Celebrity chef Nigel Smith, of the Feilden's Arms in Mellor Brook, has compiled a three-course menu to impress friends and kick-start your culinary capabilities in 2002.

Fillet of Aberdeen

Angus with

Bearnaise sauce


Fillet of beef

3 egg yolks

lb butter, melted

2tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp tarragon vinegar

1 bayleaf

2 dessertspoons finely chopped tarragon

juice of one lemon

3 white peppercorns


Place egg yolks into a bowl over a pan of warm water and whisk until they start to thicken and change colour to a lighter yellow colour. Place vinegars, bay leaf and peppercorns into a pan and reduce by half.

Pour on top of egg yolks and whisk in. Remove from heat.

Gently whisk melted warm butter into vinegar mixture and egg yolks a little at a time until smooth and rich and a thick consistency resembling custard.

Add that to chopped tarragon, lemon juice and seasoning then leave to one side to keep warm.

The sauce cannot be put into a pan and heated. The warm butter sauce should be left at room temperature. Do not cook at high heat with boiling water or it will become like scrambled egg.

Take a fillet of beef and cut into medallions half an inch thick. Place a saute pan onto the stove with a splash of olive oil. When smoking hot, place medallions of beef into the pan and seal golden brown, 2-3 minutes each side. At this stage add a knob of butter and seasoning.

Remove from pan, drain excess fat off the beef and place onto the centre of the plate with the Bearnaise sauce on top.

Gravalax of Salmon


1 side of salmon, 2lb in weight

6 large tbsp rock salt

4 large tbsp chopped dill

3 large tbsp sugar

Zest of three lemons

Zest of three oranges

1tbsp honey

Take the side of salmon and cut into half. Place onto two sheets of foil, flesh side facing upwards. Place chopped dill on top of the flesh of the salmon.

Sprinkle with rock salt, sugar, lemon zest and orange zest and drizzle with honey. Place the other side of the salmon on top, flesh to flesh.

Wrap tightly in foil and place in the fridge with some weight on top to press the salmon together for 24 hours. After 24 hours turn the salmon over and press weight on top again for a further 24 hours. Remove from the fridge, dry excess liquid and salt off the flesh and, using a sharp knife, slice very thinly.

Place onto a plate and serve with some mixed leaves.

Chocolate Marquise


3 whole eggs

1 pint of whipping cream

8oz dark chocolate

1 packet of gelatine

Separate egg yolks and egg whites. Place egg yolks into a bowl and whisk over a bowl of warm water until thick and creamy.

Place cream and chocolate together in a bowl over a bowl of warm water until the chocolate melts. Pour on top of the egg yolks and whisk together. Leave to one side to cool.

Whisk up the egg whites until light and fluffy. Dissolve the gelatine and pour into the chocolate mixture. Add the egg whites, folding in gently. Place into a mould and place into the fridge to chill for 12 hours.

Remove from the fridge and place a knife into hot water before slicing the chocolate. Slice all the way through and place onto a plate to serve, adding seasonal fruits and some fruit coulis.

NIGEL'S TIP: White chocolate can be used instead of dark chocolate if preferred. Do not overcook the egg yolks on a high heat, otherwise it will resemble scrambled eggs. This can be made 3-4 days in advance.

IDEAL DRINK: Asti Spumante is perfect with this meal, so my restaurant manager Kostas Miliotis informs me.

Claudia's Florida delight

CLAUDIA Lowe is the winner of £700 worth of holiday vouchers courtesy of the Florida Department of Citrus.

Claudia, of Preston New Road, Blackburn, entered a Lancashire Evening Telegraph competition in conjunction with the fruit growers' co-operative to dream up the best recipe using Florida fruit or fruit juice.

The Open University lecturer said: "It's an adaptation of a sauce I have been doing for some years. It is very good."

She has no definite plans yet on how to spend her vouchers but would like to visit Prague.

Here is her recipe

Ingredients for four servings

3 skinless chicken breasts

1 onion

Florida grapefruit

1 tbsp oil

For the sauce:

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp vinegar

3 tbsp tomato puree

3 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp dry sherry

3 tsp cornflour

5 fl oz Florida orange juice

Chop the onion finely and cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan.

Add the onion and cook for five minutes.

Add the chicken and stir fry for five minutes.

Put all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add to the pan.

Cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes, uncovered.

Peel and chop the grapefruit.

Discard peel and add fruit to pan two minutes before the end of cooking time.

Stir into the sauce.

Serve with rice and a steamed green vegetable.