Xmas lunch / dinner can be a stressful time especially when you can have the added pressures of not only cooking for numbers but also cooking for “those relatives”
So I have some tips to help de-stress your day and impress that mother-in-law.
1. Plan ahead!
Thats means write a list now of what your planning on cooking.
Write a menu, keep it simple and keep within your skill base. Better to do a few things well then allot average.
Think about numbers, this will affect what you have to cook on, food storage you have, i.e. you may only have one fridge.
Write a prep list. This is what I do as a chef every time I start work. This list will allow you to plan the lead up to the meal. Its also going to allow you to delegate work. Get the whole family involved in the day to spread the load.
2. Clean out our fridge and make room
Do your shopping well before.
Then prepare as much of the food on the days before. That’s chopping the root vegetables, marinating the meat, prepare the nibbles, make those salad dressings, making that cake, even down to selecting the plates you are going to use on the day.
3. Keep it light and fast.
If your going to cook turkey get your butcher to spatchcock it for you. Its takes the cooking time down from 4 hours to 40 minutes.
If its lamb, bone out that leg, marinate it in lemon, garlic,olive oil and rosemary and then bang it on the BBQ.
If its ham, carve it in the morning, sprinkle a little apple juice over it, wrap it in tin foil and serve it warmed from the oven
Use your BBQ, it doesn’t matter if you make a mess, just close the lid and clean it the next day.
Put out nibbles when people arrive, its like having an entree in a restaurant it takes the pressure off the main course timings and means you have a nice glass of bubbles.
Have the dessert ready to go. A good idea is a cake that is easy to be served up with marinated strawberries and a dollop of yogurt.
4. Enjoy yourself. It’s xmas
Merry xmas everyone and I have loved bringing you my recipes and experiences all year and I look forward to talking to you all in the new year!