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Christmas eve dinner for family pref. to make now and freeze

(10 Posts)
bacon Sun 09-Dec-12 09:22:16

I need inspiration...2 adults and two children. Prefer to make now and freeze as I'll be doing my quick clean and food prep for the big day.

Chicken is out as having turkey for next day. Fish is great, nothing too heavy.

DoITellTheTeacher Sun 09-Dec-12 09:28:57

I'm doing nigella's ham in cherry coke with dauphinoise pots for christmas eve
You could freeze the potatoes so only have to do the ham on the day.

If you like fish how about having a fresh fish platter with nice bread and bubbly - this is our normal christmas eve dinner - then you don't have to worry about cooking anything.

forevergreek Sun 09-Dec-12 09:34:53

Lasagne - easy to freeze and just take out in the morning and pop in oven when you like. Can add some garlic bread/ salad/ veg whatever you like on the day. No prep needed on the day

seeker Sun 09-Dec-12 09:35:06

We always have chicken in red pepper sauce and aromatic yellow rice. It's a mild incredibly tasty curry and the rice is fabulous. The curry freezes well and the rice is quick to make.

bacon Mon 10-Dec-12 13:01:04

Yep, I've decided on Nigella's baked ham with luxury mac. Going to make the cheese sauce now and freeze. The ham wont take much hassle.

ComradeJing Tue 11-Dec-12 06:23:30

Seeker can I have that recipe please?

seeker Tue 11-Dec-12 09:19:13

Chicken in a Red Sweet Pepper Sauce
from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking

2 1/4 pounds chicken parts (We like thighs and drumsticks.)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 inch cube of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 1/2 Tbl blanched, slivered almonds
3/4 lb. sweet red peppers, trimmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 Tbl ground cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/8-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your heat tolerance)
2 tsp salt
7 Tbl vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 Tbl lemon juice
1/2 tsp black pepper

If the chicken legs are whole, separate them from the thigh. Breasts should be cut into four parts. Skin all of the chicken pieces.

Combine onion, ginger, garlic, almonds, peppers, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and salt in a food processor or blender. Blend until you have a paste.

Put the oil in a large, wide, and preferably non-stick pan and heat it over a medium-high heat. When hot, pour in all of the paste from the food processor or blender. Stir and fry the paste for 10-12 minutes or until you can see the oil forming tiny bubbles around it.

Put the chicken along with the water, lemon juice and black pepper into the pan. Stir to mix and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer gently for 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Stir a few times during the cooking period.

Serve with rice.

seeker Tue 11-Dec-12 09:23:48

Aromatic Yellow rice.

I would rank this both as one of the most interesting and the most satisfying meals we have cooked recently.  I have never made stuffed zucchini (or any sort of stuffed vegetable with the exception of these Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms we made last month).  And I have never tried either of these recipes from Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey.  Madhur Jaffrey suggested stuffing her Minced Lamb with Mint into tomatoes before roasting the tomatoes in the oven, but I have a longstanding prejudice against stuffed tomatoes.  I really don't enjoy them.  Alex and I both really enjoy zucchini and Google turned up all sorts of stuffed zucchini recipes when I searched.  Plus stuffed tomatoes are all gross and mushy.  So I decided that stuffed zucchini sounded like a better option.  And I decided that we should make some fancy rice rather than plain basmati rice.  I really prefer plain basmati rice, but I know that Alex really enjoys spiced rice so every once in awhile a try to throw him a bone.  And this rice was really nice.  The sweetness and floral quality of the spices was a nice counterpoint to the spicy lamb mixture.  As for the lamb, it was just delicious.  It had some serious heat, but the spice wasn't  overpowering.  You could still taste the aromatics and the spices in every bite.  The zucchini really soaked up some of those intense flavors, but still provided a nice textural counterpoint to the ground lamb mixture.  It was just a really really nice dish.  Both the lamb and the rice take some time and effort, but they are more than worth it.  The best endorsement that I can give for this meal?  I would make it again and I wouldn't change a single thing.  It really was that good.

Recipes after the jump!

Minced Lamb with Mint Stuffed Zucchini
Adapted from Indian Cooking
By Madhur Jaffrey

1 medium yellow onion, peeled
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp water
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cardamom pods
3 cloves
1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp lemon juice
2-3 large zucchini (about 12-inches long), cut in half lengthwise
1 tsp vegetable oil

Chop half of the onions finely and set aside.  Chop the other half roughly and put it in a mini food processor, along with garlic, ginger, and water.  Pulse to form a smooth paste.  Empty into a small bowl.  Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne.

Add the 2 tbsp oil in a 10-inch saute pan and place over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the cardamom pods and cloves.  Two seconds later, add finely chopped onions.  Stir and fry until they turn fairly brown.  Lower the heat to medium and add the spice mixture.  Stir and fry for 3-4 minutes.  If spice mixture sticks to the pan, add 1 tbsp of water and keep frying.

Add ground lamb.  Break up the lumps and cook, stirring until the meat is browned.  Add salt and mix.  Cover, reduce heat to very low, and let the meat cook in its own juices for 25 minutes.  Remove the cover and spoon off any accumulated fat.  Add chopped mint, garam masala, and lemon juice.  Stir to mix.  Bring to a simmer and cook, covered on very low heat for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and remove cardamom and cloves.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Scoop out the insides of the zucchini with a spoon, leaving about a 1/4-inch shell.  Do not puncture the skin of the zucchini.  Place zucchini cut side up in a baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle zucchini with 1 tsp vegetable oil and season with s&p.  Stuff zucchini loosely with the lamb mixture.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until zucchini begins to soften and the filling is lightly browned on top.

Serve with rice.

Aromatic Yellow Rice
Indian Cooking
By Madhur Jaffrey

2 cups basmati rice
5 cups, plus 2 2/3 cup water
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
3-4 cloves
1-inch cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pats

Put rice in a bowl and wash in several changes of water.  Drain.  Pour 5 cups of water over the rice and let sock for 30 minutes.  Drain the rice in a strainer.

Combine the drained rice, 2 2/3 cup water, salt, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves in a heavy pot and bring to a boil.  Cover with a tight-fitting lid, turn heat to very very low and cook for 25 minutes.  Let the pot rest, covered and undisturbed, for 10 minutes.

Add the small pats of butter to the rice and mix them in very gently using a fork.

Remove whole spices before serving.

We like it with green beans stir fried with mustard seeds, raita and chapattis. Really delicious. Can't wait for Christmas Eve now!

seeker Tue 11-Dec-12 09:25:03

Oops. Sorry. Ignore the blurb and the lamb ( although that looks nice too!) the rice recipe is at the bottom of the c and p.

ComradeJing Tue 11-Dec-12 11:08:11

Thank you! Looks delicious.

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