To celebrate ‘The Power of Frozen’, Iceland invited me to a day of Christmas frivolities, cocktails and chef demos to highlight some of their Christmas range. Now in homage to my ‘Real Food, Real Talk’ mantra, let’s get one thing straight; Iceland, for whatever reason does have a cheap and cheerful reputation and I’ll admit, I’ve never bought more than a bag of frozen croissants or spring rolls from their stores. But stay with me here because not only were we shown what is now available to buy in store this Christmas, but also some seriously good food, drink and table decor hacks for the big day with their luxury range. I was pleasantly surprised, and admittedly, tail in-between my legs perhaps.
Iceland’s Turkeys are an absolutely bargain in store. Our chef of the day Neil Nugent, who’s previously worked in 3 Michelin star restaurants shows us his top-tip ways to cook a turkey this year. From cooking in a BBQ with the help of smoked wood chips, encasing the whole bird in a salt crust and covering in gold leaf but with that extra ta-dah. We gorge on smoked turkey a sprout slaw brioche burgers and neck a white wine sangria.
I’m off the try the puds, and for those of you with more of a sweet disposition, Iceland have a fantastic selection of showstopper puddings that need no more than to defrost, leaving you to enjoy time with your guests. From luxury melting snowflakes, to a luxury triple chocolate gateaux and a raspberry and white chocolate gateaux (both pictured below), there really is something for everyone.
Next up and quite possibly my favourite. Lobster tails. Iceland freeze their fish and seafood almost immediately, so unless you plan on buying all your shellfish from a local fishmonger each morning, this is about as fresh as you can get, and with a pack of lobster tails feeding two at £11 a pop, what’s more, it’s a bit of a bargain.
Neil makes lobster tail tacos with charred pineapple, avocado cream and pickled red onions which are absolutely delicious.
Eager to try them out for myself, I head off to Iceland to pick up some Lobster tails and test out a recipe I fully intend on making this Christmas Eve; Lobster spaghetti.
Garlic, cherry tomatoes, white wine and lobster tails in a smooth and simple sauce, it’s a real treat this Christmas time. The temptation, perhaps, with lobster is to overload it with equally decadent ingredients. If you want the lobster to shine through, forget a creamy sauce, forget bacon or cheese and opt for a simple trio of garlic, white wine and chilli flakes – perfection.
If you fancy giving my Christmas Eve lobster spaghetti a go to make your festive period that little more special then scroll down.
- 300g of dried spaghetti
- x2 Iceland luxury uncooked lobster tails
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- A pinch of chilli flakes
- A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 100ml of white wine
- A knob of butter
- A sprinkle of finely chopped chives
- Olive oil and butter for cooking
- Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions in salted water.
- Remove the lobster tails from the packaging and slice one completely down the middle to split the tail in two and set aside. With the other tail, crack the tail by pushing down on it and remove the meat. Roughly chop and seat aside.
- In a pan, fry the two shell-on pieces of lobster tail in a little olive oil and butter until the shell turns red and the meat turns opaque then set aside. In the same pan, add the garlic and fry until it starts to brown and then add the chilli flakes and halved tomatoes. Turn the pan down to a low heat and stir occasionally, allowing the tomatoes to melt into the garlic.
- Add the chopped lobster tail and cook for a further two minutes before pouring in the wine, allow it to simmer for a couple more minutes, the season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Once the past has cooked, add the cook shell-on lobster tails to the pan and drag the spaghetti over into the pan (don't drain it, you'll want the pasta water).
- Keep stirring the pasta, adding a little pasta water as you go to create a silky and creamy sauce.
- To finish, plate up and sprinkle with chopped chives.