As a Chef, I cook everyday of the week- that does NOT automatically mean I want to spend my entire Christmas in the kitchen!
I love my job but Christmas is family time.
So, if you want to spend 60 mins tops in the kitchen on Christmas day this is how to best prepare.
Before Christmas Day:
You MUST make an action plan and stick to it!
You will need a check list
Boring it may be to some, believe me it works I promise
Think of it a military exercise!!!
DO NOT get distracted!
Look at some of my of Top Tips for making Christmas stress free.
Here’s a quick recap
1-3 Weeks Prior to Christmas:
Prepare the following menu items:
1) Cranberry sauce – freeze or bottle
2) Red-berry mincemeat – bottle
3) Chicken stock from a Sunday roast for the gravy – freeze
4) Make a selection of easy canapés that can be warmed through from frozen.
For example, mini quiches, giant cheese straws, pinwheel pastries, blue cheese and parmesan biscuits etc.
5) Get ahead and cook easy dishes to feed the family so you don’t spend your entire Christmas Holidays cooking. Easy menu ideas include chili, curry, pies and quiches, fruit crumbles, scones, cakes etc.
6) Stuffing – make it early and freeze
7) Little chocolates and maccaron for guests and presents – make and keep in sealed container
8) Peppermint cream place name parcels
make and keep in airtight container, place one on each plate with name tag on Christmas table
9) Grind up your spices for a left over tandoori turkey curry and store in clean jar.
10)Make up mini mince pies using the red-berry mincemeat. Razz the pastry up in 45sec, chill, roll out and cut to fit tins, fill with redberry mincemeat, par bake and freeze – reheat from frozen in just 10mins dust with icing sugar.
11) Clear out the fridge and make lots of soup – blend and freeze
12) Decorate the Christmas cake.
13) Invest in a meat thermometer – I cook my turkey upside down as it reduces the cooking time by half – there is a big debate on this method so to assure you of it’s success , buy a probe to check the temperature of the centre of your meat and then you will have the perfect cooked Turkey.
5 days before Christmas:
Make a check list – tick off as you go
Check you have everything you need in stock
From tape to wrap the presents, matches to light candles, hangover tablets, cough medicine for the kids, don’t forget the cat biscuits – Nothing should distract you!
DELEGATE – give a responsible person of your choice a list of all the drinks you’ll need over the festive period and send them off to get it
You don’t have to do it all – SO DELEGATE – don’t be a control freak
4 days before Christmas:
Take your turkey out of the freezer if it is frozen – it always takes longer than you think to defrost
Go buy all the fresh veg or have them delivered
Wrap your pressies up
3 days before Christmas:
The kids must be on holiday now so get them to make some pretty tables decorations or gifts for the table
2 days before Christmas:
Cook the Ham, make glaze, chill
If you can, why not lay the table?
If this isn’t possible, get all the china, cutlery, glasses and everything you need all in one place ready for you to DELEGATE a table layer, with kiddie assistance
For the control freaks – you can tweak it at the last minute!!!!
Don’t miss my other essential top tips to the perfect Christmas.