Meat

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Angela Hartnett's quick chicken stir fry with honey and chilli recipe. The beauty of this dish is that it's so quick and easy and you can spice it up as much or as little as you want.

Angela Hartnett's quick chicken stir fry with honey and chilli recipe

It can also be supplemented with extra vegetables, such as mushrooms or pak choi. (Serves four as a starter or two as a main)4 chicken thighsA sprinkle of chilli flakes2 tsp sesame oil½ tsp garlic, chopped½ tsp fresh red chilli, chopped200g baby corn, chopped in half200g mange tout peas2 tbsp soy sauce2 tsp clear honey1 spring onion, slicedSalt and pepper Season the chicken with salt, pepper and the chilli flakes. Pour the sesame oil into a saute pan and put on a high heat. Add the chicken and brown all over, then cook for 10-15 minutes, adding a touch of water if it looks dry. Add the garlic, fresh chilli, chopped corn and mange tout and saute until cooked, for about five minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and add the soy sauce, honey and spring onion. Check the seasoning and serve with rice or sauted chinese greens. Recipes. Nigel Slater's venison with chard, and orange pomegranate cake recipes.

Crimson tide: venison with sweet and sour chard.

Nigel Slater's venison with chard, and orange pomegranate cake recipes

Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer There is nothing like a glass of blood-orange juice under a grey-white winter sky to lift the spirits. I have one at my elbow right now. The crunch of a handful of pomegranate seeds, a little lemon zest on the tongue or the scent of a stalk of lemongrass crushed under the blade of a knife will have much the same effect. If I were even remotely religious I might suspect some god or another of giving us citrus fruits and bright, sharp flavours simply to cheer us up in the depths of winter. Outside, the sight of a plume of pink, magenta and orange chard stalks is enough to persuade even the most ardent non-cook to pick up a kitchen knife. Winter stews and casseroles with their woodsy flavours from mushrooms and slow-cooked sweet onions may warm us at this time of year, but I'm not sure they lift the spirits the way bright or sour tastes can.

Chicken sofrito and smoky corn salad recipes. Yotam Ottolenghi's chicken sofrito: The simple preparation belies the complexity of flavours at work in this classic Sephardic stew.

Chicken sofrito and smoky corn salad recipes

Photograph: Colin Campbell for the Guardian Chicken sofrito This relatively simple Sephardic dish yields many layers of comforting flavours. The corn salad that follows it makes a perfect match. If you have a pan that's wide enough to hold the whole chicken flat, butterfly the bird by cutting through the centre of the breast until it opens up (or ask a butcher to do it for you).

Harissa-marinated beef with preserved lemon sauce, plus roasted beet salad with yoghurt and preserved lemon recipes. Yotam Ottolenghi's harissa-marinated beef sirloin with preserved lemon sauce: It seems to carry you away somewhere far and exotic.

Harissa-marinated beef with preserved lemon sauce, plus roasted beet salad with yoghurt and preserved lemon recipes

Photograph: Colin Campbell for the Guardian I have been cooking with preserved lemon for years, using it left, right and centre, but I am still far from reaching my limit. It's one of those rare ingredients, like cardamom, rosewater and lemongrass, that not only paints a dish with a very specific colour, it also seems to carry you away somewhere far and exotic – a cheap trick, maybe, but it works. Making your own is the best option – there's a recipe in my first book, and there are many more online – but they are also widely available in Middle Eastern shops and some supermarkets. Harissa-marinated beef sirloin with preserved lemon sauce Serves four. Brush the harissa into the meat, season with a quarter-teaspoon of salt and some black pepper, and leave to marinade for at least an hour (or in the fridge overnight).

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Mutton, potato and lime curry recipe, plus crushed carrots with yoghurt and pistachios. Mutton, potato and lime curry To all who doubt the practicality of Twitter, the idea of adding coconut cream to this dish came from @NaveenaKottoor.

Mutton, potato and lime curry recipe, plus crushed carrots with yoghurt and pistachios

Stewing lamb is a good substitute for mutton, though it won't take as long to cook. Serve with flatbread. Serves four to six. Roasted butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za'atar recipe, plus lamb-stuffed quince with pomegranate and coriander. Yotam Ottolenghi's roasted butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za'atar: A great vegetarian treat to grace the Christmas table.

Roasted butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za'atar recipe, plus lamb-stuffed quince with pomegranate and coriander

Photograph: Colin Campbell for the Guardian Roast butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za'atar (V) If you want a vegetarian dish to make an impact on the Christmas table, this does the job – it looks great and has really complex flavours. Serves four. 1 large butternut squash (around 1.1kg), cut into 2cm x 6cm wedges 2 red onions, cut into 3cm wedges 50ml olive oil Maldon sea salt and black pepper 3½ tbsp tahini paste 1½ tbsp lemon juice 3 tbsp water 1 small garlic clove, crushed 30g pine nuts 1 tbsp za'atar 1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley Heat the oven to to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Put the tahini in a small bowl with the lemon juice, water, garlic and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Pour the remaining oil into a small frying pan on a medium-low heat.