These recipes are devised to make Christmas dinner easy and stress free. Those of you who have cooked a Christmas dinner before will know just how stressful it can be, but try to remember that it should be a time of good cheer to be enjoyed with family and friends. So with this in mind here are a few tips to make it a little easier.

-          Try to compile a menu that you are completely comfortable with cooking.
-          Don’t try anything to complicate that might just fail you when it is too late.
-          I recommend for starters either a good home made soup or a cold starter like the pate or smoked salmon, which can both be made in advance.
-          The pate can be made 3 days in advance and the roast parsnip soup 2 days. Any problems they can be rectified before the day. The dumplings for the soup can be left out making it a little simpler.
-          The pate can be made in individual moulds, making it easier to store and serve. Just decrease the cooking time by 15mins or so.
-          The turkey can be rolled and stuffed the day before, wrapped tightly and stored in the fridge, just leaving it to be cooked on Christmas day.
-          Compile a shopping list of every ingredient, so when it comes to cooking and preparation time you will have everything at hand.
-          Try making yourself a schedule of everything you need to prepare and cook and which order you plan to do them in. This makes sure you don’t forget anything, just tick everything of as you do them.
-          All of the vegetables and potatoes can be peeled and prepared the day before and stored in the fridge. Cover potatoes in water, and cover all vegetables with a damp, clean cloth.
-          If you have enough room in the oven try roasting a selection of veg. Potatoes, carrots, celeriac and parsnips are all very good at this time of year.
-          All the veg can be roasted in the same tray. Heat a large tray in the oven with a little oil and butter cook the potatoes first, after 20mins add the carrots, after a further 10mins add the parsnips or celeriac, season everything well and roast until golden brown and cooked through.
-          The red cabbage can be made a week or 2 in advance and refrigerated.
-          When serving the main course if you have room on the table, try serving all or some of the veg and potatoes in dishes in the centre of the table as this save’s time plating up and means everything will still be very hot.
-          The apple cake for the dessert can be made a day or 2 before and reheated in the oven when needed.

Turkey can be a very difficult meat to cook and a lot of people are so scared of undercooking it that they leave it in the oven for far too long. This makes the turkey very dry and stringy. A good way to test the turkey is by inserting a skewer or a roasting fork into the thickest part, if the liquid comes out clear with no blood at all the turkey is cooked. This applies for whole turkey and the boned stuffed turkey. If testing a whole roast turkey always check the thickest part of the thigh as this takes the longest time to cook.
If using a frozen turkey make sure it is completely thawed before you cook it.

For best results a whole turkey should be roasted in an oven pre heated to 160c and allowed 25 minutes per lb (450g) plus 20 minutes resting time.
For the boned and rolled turkey the cooking time given will be sufficient.

Comments (0)

Post a Comment