Christmas Dinners

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Christmas Dinners

Post  ScarletOne on Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:42 pm

On the HW forum, before it became deaded, there was a thread up and running dedicated to cooking christmas dinners: special tricks and ways of cooking to make it extra special and delicious. I thought I'd start a similar one on here!

I'm cooking my first ever xmas dinner this year. I've cooked roasts loads of times before, but want my xmas dinner to be more special than a regular roast. Any experinced Christmas cookers got any particular tricks or hints?
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ScarletOne

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Age : 33
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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post  misstaz on Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:39 pm

I have loads!
Always have a practice dinner a week or so beforehand if you haven't done it before. Plan what you want to make, don't go mad and do loads of dishes. If there's anything you can prepare the day before, do, (like prepare the sprouts, pre chop the carrots then bag up and put in the fridge. Cheaper than buying the ready prepared crap from Tesco).
Use the water from boiling the sprouts to make gravy.
Parsnips are lush if you par boil them for a couple of mins then drain and toss in a mix of plain flour and fresh grated parmesan.
I do my veg the Jamie oliver way, all in the same roasting tin with different flavours. Less washing up or fuss.

I could go on but you may fall asleep!
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misstaz

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post  ScarletOne on Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:26 am

Noooo it's not boring at all! The more tips, the better! I love cooking :-)

Thanks for the advice :-) the parmesan parsnips sound scrummy, and I LOVE roasted vegetables. I usually just boil them, so might roast them at Chrimbo to make it extra special.

Do you usually make your stuffing and gravy from scratch, or use packet stuffing and bisto? I always cheat but might give the real deal a bash this year. Will have bisto and tesco stuffing mix on standby though in case it goes horribly wrong!
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ScarletOne

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post  misstaz on Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:51 pm

I don't do stuffing as can't have wheat but to be honest, I reckon you can't go wrong with a bit of paxo!
The gravy I make with the juice from cooking greens and a bit of bisto which I put ready in a pan then when I take the meat out, I stick it on the side under some foil to rest, drain the juices into the pan and heat it up for a couple of mins to thicken.
If you fancy roasting the veg, try the following:
Carrots with honey and fresh thyme leaves
Potatoes with olive oil, chopped fresh rosemary leaves, sea salt and some garlic cloves (whole, unskinned)
Quartered red onion (or some shallots) in some balsamic vinegar
Sweet potatoes with olive oil and cumin seeds
40 mins on Gas 6 or thereabouts. It's easy as you can prepare the veg in their mixes beforehand, ( I just stick them in a food bag each, add the mix, seal and squidge!
Par boil the potatoes for about 5 mins before tossing them in their mix, the carrots for a couple of minutes.
You can shove everything in the same roasting tin, just goive them a quick turn about halfway through cooking.
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