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Pork with figs

When it comes to Nigel Slater’s pork chops, a splash of cider and ripe figs lead the charge on the flavour front, you won’t be disappointed - from A Cook’s Book.

Prep 15 mins

Cook 15 mins

Serves 2

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Dry-brined pork with green peppercorn sauce

We’re huge fans of brining meat, whether in a traditional wet brine or this super-simple dry version. For flavour and succulence, the technique is unsurpassed. Bonus: this recipe produces the best crackling you’ve ever tasted.

Prep 30 mins

Cook 2 hrs

Serves 4

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Salt-baked mud crab

A whole mud crab served in its shell – big, bold and red – is an absolute showstopper, and the salt-baking technique enhances the drama even further. If you want to start your Christmas meal with a bang, this is how to do it.

Prep 10 mins

Cook 40 mins

Serves 2-4 as a shared dish

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Pink grapefruit crème caramels with grapefruit & raspberry granita

What’s summer’s version of comfort food? Wobbly, creamy custards served chilled. Granita is an icy counterpoint to the crème caramel, which is made luscious with three different dairy ingredients. This is from Bill Granger’s book, Australian Food.

Prep 25 mins (plus freezing, chilling)

Cook 5 mins

Serves 8

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Dressed peas with garden herbs

In springtime, fresh peas have their moment in the sun. Elevate them from everyday side-dish to superstar status with a jumble of bright petals, leaves and herbs, and a zippy dressing.

Prep 15 mins

Cook 5 mins

Serves 6 as a side

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Grilled flat iron with pebre sauce

When it comes to grilled meats and what to serve with them, Chileans are among the world’s authorities. Pebre salsa is Chile’s answer to Argentina’s chimichurri – fresh and zingy to cut through the fattiness of great steak.

Prep 5 mins

Cook 10 mins

Serves 4

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Wildflower honey ice cream

Honey and ice cream have a special affinity, with the sugars in the honey helping to keep the frozen mixture soft. Capture the unique flavour of honey from your own local area with Aaron Turner’s recipe.

Cook -

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Peach melba

Duncan Welgemoed’s version of this famous dessert, from his book Africola, couldn’t be easier. The most important thing is to start with juicy, ripe, fragrant peaches, and the rest will almost take care of itself.

Prep 20 mins

Cook 5 mins

Serves 4

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Almond and cherry custard ice-cream

Almond and cherry custard ice cream makes a festive finale for any meal. In Australia, fresh sour cherries ripen just in time for summer entertaining, but frozen ones will work very well too.

Prep 15 mins (plus freezing)

Cook 15 mins

Makes 1 litre

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Sgroppino

Boozy, chilled, super-simple – we’re talking about our plans for New Year’s, but we could equally be describing this grown-up answer to an ice-cream spider. Frozen vodka + Prosecco + lemon sorbet = good times.

Prep time 5 mins

Cook -

Serves 6-8

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Lobster with pink grapefruit and fennel fronds

Lobster is essentially culinary perfection in a very hard shell, so the secret to highlighting its excellence is to intervene as little as possible. Four other ingredients are all you need for this summer-by-the-ocean recipe.

Prep 10 mins

Cook 10 mins

Serves 2-4

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Flourless almond, coconut and vanilla cake

This elegant, versatile cake from Belinda Jeffery may be quick and easy to make, but its flavour is delicious and the texture the perfect contrast between chewy and buttery.

Prep 15 mins

40 mins (plus cooling)

Serves 8-10

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Oysters with yuzu kosho vinaigrette

Some consider it madness to meddle with oysters au naturale – but they haven’t tried this yuzu mix, which amps the wow factor off the charts. Make it your go-to dressing this summer.

Prep 5 mins

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Serves 6-8 as an appetiser

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Ricotta tart with blueberries and hazelnuts

Cooking blueberries briefly with plenty of sugar intensifies their flavour and creates a jewel-coloured syrup to spark joy. Is this one of the all-time great cheesecake toppings? We vote yes.

Prep 30 mins

Cook 45 mins

Serves 10

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Prawn skewers with togarashi

It might sound like a paradox, but precise Japanese-inspired shellfish recipes are perfectly suited to easygoing entertaining. These prawns are a breeze to prepare – the secret is in the seasoning.

Prep 15 mins

Cook 5 mins

Serves 6-8 as an appetiser

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Strawberry and fennel seed trifle with almond-vanilla sponge

If your Christmas crew demands trifle because ‘it’s tradition’, wow them with this strawberries-and-cream version, which elevates sponge, berries and cream to a whole new level. Fresh, juicy, boozy fun – it’s a party in your mouth!

Prep 15 mins

Cook 5 mins

Serves 8

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Tarte tropézienne

Travelling to France for Christmas is out, so bring a little of France to your festive table in the form of this beautiful brioche sweet, filled with creamy orange-blossom and vanilla custard.

Prep 20 mins (plus chilling, proving)

Cook 25 mins

Serves 8-10

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Cured ocean trout

The vibrant colour and prep-ahead features of home-cured ocean trout make for easy festive entertaining. Garnish it with something bright and beautiful to set the scene for Christmas lunch – redcurrants perhaps, or a jumble of edible flowers. This recipe is from Eatable's food and drinks director, Lisa Featherby.

Prep 10 mins

3 days curing

Serves 10

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Rum savarin

A European classic, this rum savarin combines booze-soaked yeast cake, vanilla whipped cream and juicy blackberries. Keep things simple with a plain ring tin, or bake it in your fanciest Bundt pan for a showstopping finale.

Prep 15 mins (plus proving, cooling, soaking)

Cook 30 mins

Serves 6-8

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Cardamom, orange, almond and pear tart

This frangipane-based tart takes a little work, but the result is exquisite elegance itself.

Prep 40 mins (plus 3-4 hours resting, 1-2 hours cooling)

Cook 1 hour 40 mins

Serves 8

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Stir-fried crab with fried garlic, fish sauce and lime

Crab is a messy business – and that’s half the fun here. You’ll want finger bowls and napkins at hand.

Prep 20 mins

Cook 10 mins

Serves 4

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A citrus pavlova

Exotic oranges lend fragrance and colour to this late-winter take on a traditional summer sweet.

Prep 40 mins

Cook 45 mins (plus cooling & chilling)

Serves 10