The Crazy Kitchen: Preparing a family Christmas dinner in advance

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Friday, 14 November 2014

Preparing a family Christmas dinner in advance

When having friends and family round for dinner I always like to prepare as much as I can in advance, to make sure that I don't spend all evening in the kitchen whilst guests are socialising elsewhere. I do this whether it's a summer bbq or Christmas dinner and always choose menus that don't all need cooking at the same time and then serving immediately.

For an early Christmas dinner for the family I chose a simple menu that could mostly prepared in advance.

Starter

roasted red pepper hummus 
baked pita chips

Main

turkey breast wrapped in bacon & stuffed with gammon and cranberry & chestnut stuffing
mashed potato and sprouts
roasted carrots and parsnips
steamed cabbage & broccoli

Dessert

Chocolate & Salted caramel trifle
Christmas pudding (& custard)


(additional tips from Homebase on hosting the perfect Christmas)

Preparing a family Christmas dinner in advance

The day before 
  • I whizzed up a can of chickpeas with some roasted red peppers, garlic and lemon juice to make a smooth hummus, then cut some pita breads into wedges and baked them in the oven until crisp (and kept them in an airtight container to stay crispy).
  • The potatoes were peeled and boiled, and the sprouts added a few minutes before the end of cooking, drained and then mashed with milk, butter, salt & pepper, ready to be reheated before serving (and eaten & loved by a 12yr old sprout hater!)
  • Carrots and parsnips were peeled and chopped, tossed in a little oil and then covered over and kept in the fridge ready to roast the following day.
  • The turkey breast joint was opened out and gammon laid on top, followed by some homemade cranberry & chestnut stuffing, then folded over and wrapped completely in streaky bacon
  • A simple trifle was made by layering up chocolate cake, chocolate custard, whipped cream mixed with caramel sauce, salted caramel and salted pretzels
Preparing a family Christmas dinner in advance Preparing a family Christmas dinner in advance Preparing a family Christmas dinner in advance Preparing a family Christmas dinner in advance Preparing a family Christmas dinner in advance Preparing a family Christmas dinner in advance Chocolate Salted Caramel Trifle

On the day
  • Broccoli and cabbage was prepared ready for steaming just before dinner
  • The turkey joint was roasted a couple of hours before dinner on a bed of leeks and then wrapped in foil - it can be reheated before serving or served as it is with steaming hot gravy over (blend the juices & leeks to make the gravy)
Preparing a family Christmas dinner in advance

An hour before dinner
  • Put the carrots and parsnips in the oven to roast
  • Start steaming the Christmas pudding
Half an hour - 15 minutes before serving
  • Start to steam the broccoli/cabbage and reheat the mash
  • Make the gravy (using juices reserved from the turkey)
  • Lay the starter out
Preparing a family Christmas dinner in advance

Tuck in and enjoy!

Check back in a couple of days to see how we got on during our early Christmas dinner.


this post has been commissioned by Homebase

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