With the bells already jingling and people starting to get into their festive zones and with Santa coming to town, it is time to unleash the festive mode in you. It is a year of experimentation with people’s taste palettes evolving and holiday food getting more innovative and appetizing. Go beyond the usual roast and experiment with these Christmas specials, easy to make and immensely appetizing and at the same time does not need oodles of your time and patience in the kitchen.
Keeping the tradition and desire for delicious food alive, we bring for you simple yet elegant dishes which will definitely be a refreshing change to your craving taste buds.
Bacon and cheese wrapped pears
Guaranteed to be an instant hit among children and adults alike, this appetizer is easy to make and refreshingly piquant. Using a fruit like pear which is in season takes the salty combination of the meat and creamy cheese to another level. All you need to do is cut firm wedges of the fruit and wrap it in cheeses of your choice and a strip of bacon. Use a toothpick to bind your roll in place and add seasoning as desired
Pro tip: Squeeze a few drops of lemon to prevent the pear from getting brown.
Baked carrots with a yogurt dressing
Capture the colours of the festive season on your plate with this simple yet tempting appetizer. For starters, you need to make a glaze of honey, lemon and vinegar and to coat the carrots in and then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes till they soak the glaze. For the dip, combine Greek Yogurt/hung curd with condiments like chilli, paprika, parsley, oregano and coriander and serve this on top of the carrots. Top this dish with crushed nuts to add texture to the dish.
While the roast can prove to be really heavy on the stomach, you can opt for lighter alternatives like seafood on this day. There are no restrictions to which kind of seafood you can cook but it’s always better to cook a variety of protein for variety and more texture. As a sample meal, we’d suggest a combination of smoked salmon with crunchy tempura fried prawns, grilled mussels in a garlic sauce, crab curry and flash fried scallops with salads.
For a more detailed recipe, check out: www.bite.co.nz
Vegan meatloaf with gravy
As a vegan, do you feel bad about not being able to reach out for the roast? You don’t need to anymore because we have the perfect dish for you which combines the mood of festivities and your food preferences in one. Make the most delicious vegan meal which is gluten free as well with mushrooms, oat flour and red lentils. This dish is hearty, full of flavour and works beautifully with sides like a quinoa salad or roast/mashed potatoes. The rich gravy is a perfect accompaniment and adds more depth to the shepard pie.
For a detailed recipe, check out avirtualvegan.com
Sweet potato casserole
While the humble sweet potato is often overlooked as a choice for a main to create a hearty, festive meal, this casserole often ends up to be the winning dish on most dinner tables. Made with minimal ingredients, this dish is definitely not your usual go-to tedious recipe but definitely delivers the promise of smooth silken potatoes topped with crunch from the pecan nuts. It is usually simple and homely dishes like this which a tie a family closer and help them appreciate the humbler things in life.
For a detailed recipe, check out http:www.foodandwine.com
Originally from Puglia in Italy, this Christmas dessert has worked its way to the most exotic kitchens. It is a respite from the usual desserts laid on our silverware and isn’t very difficult to make. To make this dessert, you need to soak thin ribbons of flour dough in a fig syrup or honey for two hours and then deep fry them in hot oil. It is believed that the texture of the crimpled dough strands represent baby’s Jesus’ frayed clothes as well as a crown of thorns.
This sweet Christmas delight originated in the Philippines and makes for a comforting dessert. Sold outside churches before and during Christmas time, these traditional cakes are simple to make and yield great results. It is made like any other cake but the flour used is typically rice flour with coconut milk to smoothen the mixture. These cakes can be topped with sprinkles or royal icing and taste best when served hot.
Tip: Instead of rice flour, coconut flour can also be used.
Peanut butter cookies
Christmas isn’t the same without a generous plate of cookies which is a bestseller among people of all ages. If you’re done with the usual ginger cookies and want to move over chocolate fudge, peanut butter is your saviour. These cookies can be either crunchy or baked like a blondie (between a cookie and a brownie). They act as perfect munchies and can be served as alternatives to a heavy fruitcake.
We hope your Christmas is merrier with these dishes!And you enjoy them as much as I have compiling this list and trying out most of them.
Written byNiharika Nandi
Niharika Nandi is a media trainee who loves exploring the fields of photography and baking simultaneously. She’s a self-proclaimed professional bathroom singer and believes that caffeine runs through her veins. This adrenaline junkie loves to pen down a million thoughts gushing through her mind at any instant and is very vocal about LGBTQ rights.