Are you fed up of the predictable roast turkey dinner that awaits you every Christmas? Warm the cockles of your heart on a cold Christmas night with something more heart-warming than the traditional turkey. Try out our broad selection of five alternative Christmas dinners, over which you will not have to slave off at the stove. These festive meals are quick and easy to prepare, and give you the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy a novel Christmas dinner experience with family and friends.
Game for a Roast
Replace roast turkey with tasty game meats of your choice like venison, quail or pheasant. Moreover, these meats can be served along with the same accompaniments that you use to serve turkey. Season slices of the game meat with salt and pepper and pan fry till golden brown. Serve the meat alongside baked winter vegetables like swede, parsnip, roast potatoes, cranberry sauce and chestnuts that you can further glaze in a stockpot over medium flame with port wine—to relish a succulent roast dinner.
Festive Fish and Seafood
How about a seafood dinner, if you enjoy fish? Prepare a healthy and sumptuous seafood meal, by cooking monkfish, salmon, sea bass or lobster. You can grill or roast these fish with light herb seasonings such as rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic or onion. Cook the fish the evening prior to Christmas, and let it rest in its cooking juice. Serve the fish with your favourite salads or grilled veggies. Pour the cooking juice over the salads or vegetables, to enjoy a flavourful, fish meal.
Warming Cold Cuts
Lay a hearty spread of cold meat cuts that could include smoked pork, pastrami, salt beef or corned beef, a variety of seasoned smoked sausages, ham, smoked crab and salmon canapés. Serve with a selection of cheeses, pickles, cold salads, quiche, breads, spreads, sauces and dips as accompaniments. This way you have less work to do in the kitchen and more time to dwell on the season’s festive pleasures.
Serve sizzling hot barbecue foods by marinating meats that you favour like chicken, pork, beef and even turkey, the day before Christmas. If you prefer spice, use a jerk marinade. Cover up in warm clothes; fire up the barbeque, cook the meats, and roast potatoes and vegetables alongside in it. The meats cook quicker, are juicier and more flavourful compared to traditional meats when barbecued.
World Foods Feast
Try familiar and exotic world cuisines like Brazilian, Italian and Spanish. These world foods will make your Christmas especially special if haven’t tried them earlier, or don’t eat them on a regular basis. Go for Spanish-style roast lamb and grilled langoustines, or simply cook your turkey with ingredients from other cuisines – marinate it in wine, aromatic herbs and spices; or opt for an Italian dinner, by stuffing the turkey with prunes, chestnuts and pear.
Round off your eclectic Christmas dinner with some sweet delights in the form of exotic fruit-based pastries that can include pineapple, mango or coconut. Or settle for sweets from other cultures, like the German marzipan or spiced biscuits known as lebkuchen.
Rachel is a freelance blogger who’s planning on buying a restaurant.