Advertisement
We've partnered up with Nixers.com to offer a space where you can talk directly to Peter from Nixers.com and get an exclusive Boards.ie discount code for a free job listing. If you are recruiting or know anyone else who is please check out the forum here.
If you have a new account but can't post, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help to verify your email address. Thanks :)

Battle plan for Christmas day meal

  • 27-10-2015 11:30am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    We're hosting Christmas dinner this year. There'll be 8-10 adults and five children. I love cooking and am already going through my Christmas cookbooks and recipes to decide what I'll do. Any one else hosting the big meal of the year and have any tips or tricks for me?


«1

Comments

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 2,295 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Mystery Egg


    Prepare prepare prepare. Make a menu. Then make a shopping list of everything on the menu.

    Think about incorporating elements that can be made well in advance - many soups and desserts freeze well, the ham can be boiled the day before, you can make dauphinoise potatoes which can be cooked 75% of the way through, refrigerated and then popped in the oven for 45 mins on the big day.

    Then, cheat. Buy prepped veg from M&S. Have a cold starter - smoked salmon, prawns, cocktail sauce, fresh brown bread and butter.

    Last but not least, ask for help. Ask people to bring an element - the stuffing, a side dish, a dessert etc. I for one LOVE to be asked to bring a dish when having Christmas at someone else's house.

    Good luck and enjoy!


  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 11,365 ✭✭✭✭ Scarinae


    I've never done the full Christmas dinner myself, but I've seen my Mum prepare it for as many as 26 people - delegate as many tasks as you can! Even your kids can help out with things like peeling potatoes and serving the dishes.


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 12,320 Mod ✭✭✭✭ byhookorbycrook


    Would you consider a boned and rolled turkey?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,531 ✭✭✭ Radharc na Sleibhte


    Prepare prepare prepare. Make a menu. Then make a shopping list of everything on the menu.

    Think about incorporating elements that can be made well in advance - many soups and desserts freeze well, the ham can be boiled the day before, you can make dauphinoise potatoes which can be cooked 75% of the way through, refrigerated and then popped in the oven for 45 mins on the big day.

    Then, cheat. Buy prepped veg from M&S. Have a cold starter - smoked salmon, prawns, cocktail sauce, fresh brown bread and butter.

    Last but not least, ask for help. Ask people to bring an element - the stuffing, a side dish, a dessert etc. I for one LOVE to be asked to bring a dish when having Christmas at someone else's house.

    Good luck and enjoy!

    Great advice. Prep is key.
    Either that or get 3 or 4 big pizzas!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,737 Glitzgirl


    Prepare prepare prepare. Make a menu. Then make a shopping list of everything on the menu.

    Think about incorporating elements that can be made well in advance - many soups and desserts freeze well, the ham can be boiled the day before, you can make dauphinoise potatoes which can be cooked 75% of the way through, refrigerated and then popped in the oven for 45 mins on the big day.

    Then, cheat. Buy prepped veg from M&S. Have a cold starter - smoked salmon, prawns, cocktail sauce, fresh brown bread and butter.

    Last but not least, ask for help. Ask people to bring an element - the stuffing, a side dish, a dessert etc. I for one LOVE to be asked to bring a dish when having Christmas at someone else's house.

    Good luck and enjoy!

    This pretty much covers it ! :) only thing I'd add is to set the table the night before lay out all dishes plates needed etc. I got caught one year when kids had decided to use nearly every piece of Delph that morning and was trying to juggle between plates and cooking and dishwasher !

    Also don't try anything new and unless you have given it a trial run before the big day !
    Good luck :)


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭✭ blondchick


    I would say don't over complicate the menu and remember even though it is Christmas Day people can only eat so much. No need for 5 types of veg and 3 types of potatoes (which I did one year!) Last year we panfried the sprouts with bacon and a little bit of onion, they were very tasty. Good luck but enjoy your day, the first year I cooked Christmas dinner for about 10 people I actually never sat at the table atall I was so stressed and busy rushing around.


  • Registered Users Posts: 61 ✭✭✭ onasis


    I’ve done Christmas dinner for 12 for the last few years so I’ve learned from experience to be well prepared. I do the ham, spiced beef and turkey the day before and I cook a goose on the day itself. I also prepare all the veg and make the stuffing and gravy the day before. I find that one large tray of roasted mixed veg is best, then some roast potatoes and stuffing, peas and sprouts. The sprouts can be blanched the day before and then just quickly pan fried with bacon/pancetta and some chopped chestnuts. I serve a cold starter – usually a mix of prawns and smoked salmon and for dessert I would have some mince pies which I make well in advance and freeze and I make a tart the day before. It’s also a good idea to have some nice ice cream to hand. The most important thing is not to get so adventurous that you end up stressed and not enjoy your day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    We have hosted before but this is the largest number. I've already got a menu in mind. I'm going to skip the starter and have canapes instead while people arrive and I'm doing the last minute bits. Next month I'll do my red cabbage and stuffing and freeze them. My kids are too young to help but I plan on getting all the prep done a day or two before.

    I was thinking of a boned and rolled turkey because a couple of people don't eat turkey at all so I don't want too much hassle. I'll do a big ham a few days before-I find its always nicer after it develops a bit anyway. Is a boned and rolled one nice? Only ever cooked a crown or a full turkey.

    I love cooking and I'm a total control freak in the kitchen so I won't ask people to bring anything!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 61 ✭✭✭ onasis


    I'm the same - I insist on doing it all myself and don't ask anyone to bring anything (they can bring a bottle of wine if they really want to bring something). It sounds a bit daunting but is really not much different than cooking for 4 or 5, it's just the extra veg. Make sure you have enough plates etc and I think your idea about canapes is great so I might steal that myself. I've never cooked a boned and rolled turkey but lots of people I know do and they say they're great.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,226 ✭✭✭ nikkibikki


    I've only done it twice myself. First time was a disaster! Put it down to experience and braved it again last year but only for hubby and kids. Make stuffing day before. Boil the ham day before and pop it in the oven with a lovely glaze on the day for 30-40 mins. I got the bit of turkey boned and rolled and had it cooking in the slow cooker. It was lovely.

    Have people bring desserts. One less thing to worry about.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    Never thought of doing the turkey in the slow cooker! That would free up my oven a lot. How did it turn out?
    I'm doing a trial run a few weeks before for another crowd so I'll hope to iron out any problems then. I'll make a pudding and a pavlova for dessert, both tried and tested many times.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,737 Glitzgirl


    This thread is making me hungry. :pac: may try make spiced beef this year. Im not a fan of red meat in general but would love to try this for kids and mr glitzgirl!


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    I never did spiced beef either but I think I might try it as it would go down well. Another thing to add to the list!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,737 Glitzgirl


    lazygal wrote: »
    I never did spiced beef either but I think I might try it as it would go down well. Another thing to add to the list!

    I'm just rooting out the cooking and baking thread to ask if anyone has any recommendations on how to make it ! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭✭ blondchick


    I personally don't like a boned and rolled turkey as I think it can be a bit dry and tasteless. I cooked a large turkey breast not to long ago and it was lovely, the meat was all white, it was really easy to carve and there was no waste. It also doesn't take up very much space in the oven.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,226 ✭✭✭ nikkibikki


    lazygal wrote:
    Never thought of doing the turkey in the slow cooker! That would free up my oven a lot. How did it turn out? I'm doing a trial run a few weeks before for another crowd so I'll hope to iron out any problems then. I'll make a pudding and a pavlova for dessert, both tried and tested many times.

    I thought it came out lovely and moist anyway. But it wasn't a huge piece.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ deisemum


    I love cooking and entertaining but for Christmas it's only my husband, children and myself but I like to go all out and make it a bit special since we're long past the Santa stage.

    I like turkey and I do Nigella's turkey in brine plus it looks good and like an American turkey you'd see served up at Thanksgiving. The turkey is succulent and a brined turkey cooks quicker so frees up the over earlier than a non brined bird. I cooked a brined turkey about 3 weeks ago and it was delicious so much so I went out that evening and next day thought we'd have plenty of turkey for a few days only to find the scavengers had devoured most of it and there wasn't even enough left for the dinner. It was a 9lb 7oz turkey.

    My lot insist on Nigella's Chocolate Pudding with Hot Chocolate Sauce, it's very good. You can make the pudding the day before then while the main course is being consumed you can just have the sauce ingredients in a saucepan on a very low heat and just give it a stir at the end.

    Preparation is key, have as much as possible done before the big day. Set the table the night before. Blanch the veg the day before which will help big time if you're short of hob space.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,378 ✭✭✭ Cherrycola


    Cook the turkey and ham the day before, then just portion it up on a tray, the way they do in hotels for weddings etc, slice of ham on the bottom, stuffing in the middle, turkey on top, put a sprinkle of water over the all the portions, cover in foil and bing in the oven to heat. The water helps keep them moist so they almost steam heat.
    Then you just pop each portion on a plate and spoon over your hot gravy, add your veg and spuds, job done.

    If you prefer to cook your turkey on the day, Google ITV This Mornings Phil Vickerys turkey recipe, turkey cooks in 2.5hrs and is fabulously moist, but follow his instructions to the letter, tinfoil must be well sealed around the bird so no steam escapes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,130 ✭✭✭ RentDayBlues


    Cherrycola wrote: »
    Cook the turkey and ham the day before, then just portion it up on a tray, the way they do in hotels for weddings etc, slice of ham on the bottom, stuffing in the middle, turkey on top, put a sprinkle of water over the all the portions, cover in foil and bing in the oven to heat. The water helps keep them moist so they almost steam heat.

    I do this every year, regardless of the numbers. I hate missing out on Christmas day to cook!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,378 ✭✭✭ Cherrycola


    Yeah, it makes life so much easier! and frees up oven space. I'd much rather be sat watching Its A Wonderful Life with a glass of bubbly, than juggling trays in and out of the oven for 3 hours!


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭✭ blondchick


    Hi lazygal,are you all set for the big day?


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    Well last year went great! I don't know what we'll be doing this year but no matter what we'll be in our house. I prepared loads in advance and stocked the freezer, then prepped potatoes and some veg the day before. I brined the turky a la Nigella-100% recommend. Spiced beef went down a treat and the ham was the biggest hit. No starter made life very easy, as did doing the desserts the day before.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,737 Glitzgirl


    I'm so ashamed to say I never even got neat the spiced beef last year. I was asking about it in a thread last year and I think ( apologies if I'm wrong ) someone said it's traditional in Cork ? Although I did see aldi and lidl selling spiced beef last year? Did anyone try that ! I'd love to try have some for Mr glitz this year. I personally hate beef but he and the kids are total meat lovers :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,737 Glitzgirl


    Just on the note of this thread I sat down yesterday with my stock pile list. Around this year I always make a list of general items I need to stock up on in the house so im not worried about doing big shopping each week over Christmas ! So excited here making my lists haha


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,780 ✭✭✭ amen


    Glitzgirl wrote: »
    Just on the note of this thread I sat down yesterday with my stock pile list. Around this year I always make a list of general items I need to stock up on in the house so im not worried about doing big shopping each week over Christmas ! So excited here making my lists haha


    Great idea to put a little away every week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,737 Glitzgirl


    amen wrote: »
    Great idea to put a little away every week.

    Oh it's so handy at any given stage here should anything ever happen I don't need to worry about a big shop I would get by with what I have stocked up and only need to get the basics like milk etc it's been a life saver ! And no different at Christmas time or halloween :) great to stock up and not worry about it at the time. Especially at the back to school time as most shops have sales on


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,772 ✭✭✭✭ Whispered


    Glitzgirl wrote: »
    Just on the note of this thread I sat down yesterday with my stock pile list. Around this year I always make a list of general items I need to stock up on in the house so im not worried about doing big shopping each week over Christmas ! So excited here making my lists haha

    Oh any chance of sharing the list? Do we have a thread of House and Kitchen Preperation. Some people seem to just pull fantabulous Christmases out of thin air so it would be great for us budding elves to have an item by item, behind the scenes look. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,737 Glitzgirl


    Whispered wrote: »
    Oh any chance of sharing the list? Do we have a thread of House and Kitchen Preperation. Some people seem to just pull fantabulous Christmases out of thin air so it would be great for us budding elves to have an item by item, behind the scenes look. :D

    Oh god I don't know how useful it wud be but ill share it with you :) I do two separate lists one about now ( with general household / cupboard items ) and a Christmas list depending on how many pepole are coming! I find the general one a very good guide means I can go to the press and pull out anything for dinner at any time without worrying! Is that the one your looking for ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,835 ✭✭✭✭ leahyl


    My mum bought Dunnes Simply Better Whisky Smoked streaky rashers on sale the other day and put them in the freezer "for the turkey at Christmas" :D


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    Glitzgirl wrote: »
    I'm so ashamed to say I never even got neat the spiced beef last year. I was asking about it in a thread last year and I think ( apologies if I'm wrong ) someone said it's traditional in Cork ? Although I did see aldi and lidl selling spiced beef last year? Did anyone try that ! I'd love to try have some for Mr glitz this year. I personally hate beef but he and the kids are total meat lovers :)
    I picked mine up in lidl and followed the cooking instructions on the packet. I cooked it the day before and we had it Christmas Eve cold with salad before the big day!


Advertisement