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Christmas Menu help

(36 Posts)
Sugarandsalt Sat 12-Nov-16 07:24:21

I'm cooking Christmas dinner at home for the first time this year. 4 adults and a toddler (3 grown men with large appetites!). I've ordered a goose, which I will do with potato stuffing. And Brussels sprout gratin.

Looking for inspiration on starters, sides and desserts please! Preferably something which can be made in advance as I only have one oven. We eat anything except mushrooms.

MrsPnut Sat 12-Nov-16 07:44:26

We have to have prawn cocktail for starter on Christmas day, it is family law and there would be mutiny if I tried to change it.

We also make pigs in blankets, lots of pigs in blankets because there needs to be some for the cook to nibble on whilst they finish cooking and also leftovers to stuff into sandwiches afterwards.

Sugarandsalt Sat 12-Nov-16 07:49:37

Prawn cocktail I could do. Are pigs in blankets sausages with rashers wrapped them? My toddler would certainly love them! Has anyone ever done a red cabbage side in advance?

SpaghettiMeatballs Sat 12-Nov-16 07:51:07

How old is your toddler? I wouldn't do a starter with a very young child. There is a limit to how long they will sit nicely and how much they will eat. You don't want your efforts wasted because they are fidgeting by main course.

I go straight for Christmas dinner so my pre-schoolers eat it and are still in good moods for it.

I do a decent cheese board at the end in place of a starter and the DCs are allowed to leave the table for this if they wish.

SpaghettiMeatballs Sat 12-Nov-16 07:52:55

I got red cabbage from M&S last year because I'm lazy. It was really nice.

I do sprouts with lardons and chestnuts.

PotteringAlong Sat 12-Nov-16 07:53:12

You can definitely do red cabbage in advance and freeze it - it freezes really well. I usually make proper stuffing in advance and freeze that too.

Sugarandsalt Sat 12-Nov-16 07:57:08

She's 2.5. I'll probably let her wander around playing with her toys etc until dinner is served. She'll nibble away anyway

Artandco Sat 12-Nov-16 08:00:15

Smoked salmon starters

ShutTheFuckUpBarbara Sat 12-Nov-16 08:03:33

Chicken liver pâté is very easy to make, and the ultimate make-ahead starter (just omit the booze if your toddler is going to want to try it)

For dessert, a frozen parfait is a good option after a rich main. Maybe something like this :

ScenesFromAnItalianRestaurant Sat 12-Nov-16 08:08:09

I make this red cabbage. It freezes well and is delicious.

ScenesFromAnItalianRestaurant Sat 12-Nov-16 08:10:58

Also ds is planning this pudding - he practised it last week, and it was lovely, and I'm not a pudding lover. You can make and freeze ahead and just finish on the day.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Sat 12-Nov-16 08:14:13

double check your goose size...there is not that much meat on a goose compared to size

we don't bother with starters, and for sides I do roast dinner stuff, but fancier

so fancier roasties, colcannon instead of mash, herbed roast parsnips, cheesey leeks, buttery carrots with a orange zest

also love all the sauces, cranberry and especially bread sauce...deeeeeeeeelishh!

Sugarandsalt Sat 12-Nov-16 08:25:06

My toddler will probably try anything. And if she likes it she will pronounce it "yummy and gooey" which she thinks is a compliment! (If I'm sounding a bit smug it's because she ate almost no solids until she was 2 so it makes me very happy to see her eat!).

I love chicken liver pate but it's very rich and heavy before a goose I think! Delighted to hear red cabbage can be made in advance. Parfait sound like a good dessert.

Might make some platters of cheese and nibbles that can be eaten in front of the tv later.

So I'm thinking: prawn cocktail to start, goose, roast potatoes, potato stuffing, roast carrot/parsnip, red cabbage and sprouts, then parfait. And then platter of pig in blankets/other nibbles with leftovers later (we will have dinner at 1ish).

SweepTheHalls Sat 12-Nov-16 08:26:40

What's potato stuffing?

Hassled Sat 12-Nov-16 08:28:53

Goose is lovely, but what looks like a sizeable bird turns out to be a third fat - so by the time it's roasted, it's shrunk considerably. I cooked a nightmare meal once where I overestimated the amount of meat and guests ended up with a tiny forkful each. So maybe be mindful of that - you'll need a lot of padding/sides.

Sugarandsalt Sat 12-Nov-16 08:32:00

Thanks Tondelaya, I don't expect much leftovers from the goose, I am working the next day and then travelling so don't want much leftover meat anyway. I prefer turkey but DH loves goose and figured less leftovers anyway.

Can you tell me about bread sauce? It's something I've never tasted (not British!) but some Scottish colleagues tell me it's the best think about dinner! Would it go well with my (hopefully delicious as it's bloody expensive) goose?

ScenesFromAnItalianRestaurant Sat 12-Nov-16 08:33:19

I'm thinking of throwing some beetroot in with the roast potatoes, parsnips and carrots this year, for a change.

Sugarandsalt Sat 12-Nov-16 08:39:29

Sweep potato stuffing is a traditional goose stuffing in Ireland (works well in turkey too). I use my family recipe which is basically cooked potato with scallions, salt, pepper, thyme, a little flour, lots of butter and a little orange zest; it needs to be all mixed very well with you hands. Then added to the bird. Some people grate apple into it as well. I'm not a potato lover but it's delicious.

Getting excited about my first Christmas of my own (and I'm well into my 30s!).

Don't worry everyone, I know the goose won't have lots of meat but it should be enough for 4 adults and a little person- we will eat the legs, wings and giblets too!

MrsPnut Sat 12-Nov-16 08:39:42

I adore bread sauce and will eat it with almost anything including goose.

Sugarandsalt Sat 12-Nov-16 08:44:41

And does it take the place of gravy? I love to cook but always struggle about with gravy (mainly because I don't love gravy so find it hard to judge!).

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Sat 12-Nov-16 08:47:02

my bread sauce starts with half a small onion (a shallot would work too) really really finely chopped, into a pan of milk with a bay leaf, parsley stalks, little bit of celery and a single clove...tie it all in together if you a bouquet garni If you are not keen on the onion being left in then you can leave it in bigger bits and pick it out with the herbs later

I heat that to a boil and then just let it sit until it is cool, pick out the herby bits

Then I break some nice bread into small pieces and drop them into the milk, I don't use breadcrumbs as I think that makes it gluey, if you bash about with a wooden spoon the bread will disintegrate anyways

bring it back to a high heat and keep stirring, and then I let it down with single cream...also at this point add in plenty of S&P and a really good grating of fresh nutmeg

I do mine the day before, it will thicken dramatically overnight, but it will reheat nicely in the micro, and you can always stir in some more cream to let it down wants to be a nice dolloping texture, not runny, sort of like cake mixture

i make mine is a small milk pan, with a couple of slices of bread...and I really really like it in a turkey and ham sandwich spread on the turkey like mayonnaise.

WaccaWacca Sat 12-Nov-16 08:50:30

Tom Kerridge's Christmas Carrots are amazing and you can make ahead. They were the star of Christmas dinner last year, everyone raved about them.


annandale Sat 12-Nov-16 08:51:57

I don't bother with a sit down starter, especially this year - guests arriving 10.30, champagne and bits then before we go for a walk - I will likely do Ritz crackers with a few things, maybe soft cheese and red pepper, smoked salmon and er perhaps pate?

We're having beef this year so will do Yorkshire pudding, with roasts, red cabbage, broccoli and some sort of carrots - I remember doing a thing with carrots roasted in cumin and oil I think, was lush. Will probably do cauliflower cheese. Given all that, I really like the sound of the M&S red cabbage...

Sugarandsalt Sat 12-Nov-16 09:05:02

Bread sauce sounds delicious. I think I'll try that (time to make some of my own traditions!). I think I'll add beetroot to my roast veg too. I can do my Brussels sprout the night before and reheat, and ditto red cabbage and moose so shouldn't be too terrible. DH can clean the house.

FledglingFTB Sat 12-Nov-16 09:30:23

Wacca a block of butter on your carrots! Was it not overly rich? <drools>

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