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Christmas dinner top tip

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by bombaysapphire, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I picked up a Sainsburys magazine tonight. I read a great suggestion in there for Christmas dinner. Par-boil your potatoes in advance. Freeze on a baking tray before putting into a freezer bag so they don't stick together. On the day just put your potatoes straight from the freezer into the hot fat and cook as normal,
    It's one less thing to worry about on the day and it says they come out crisper and fluffier this way.
    Mr BS doesn't really like roasties so this will be great for just cooking a few at a time for me.
     
  2. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    This is what I do as I cook lunch at OH dads, before driving on to my mums!


     
  3. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    .. or just line the tin with foil
     
  4. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    I can't see the need to gain time on roast potatoes. It doesn't take long to peel, par boil and rosat them, really, does it ?
     
  5. Tidy away the peelings, take them out to the compost bin, wash yet another pan.....
    No, none of this takes much time it's true but I am not averse to time saving tips for this meal. I also have a very small kitchen so being able to keep it relatively uncluttered is good while other things are cooking - especially as we eat in the kitchen so can't just leave everything til the end.
    You'll probably criticise me for cooking my sprouts in advance, plunging them in cold water and microwaving them......
     
  6. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    No; not at all. It's just that, for me, it's no big deal. Our Christmas meal involves turkey, stuffing balls (cooked separately), sausages wrapped in bacon (also cooked separately), bread sauce, gravy, roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips and sweetcorn. It's all prepared on the day. It honestly doesn't take hours, but then we do get up early......
     
  7. Sounds much like my Christmas dinner bar the sweetcorn. It doesn't take that much time, you're right, and I too prepare everything on the day and have done for 35+ years. I do like the potato tip though because as I said, it reduces the clutter in what is a small kitchen.
    Middle cosmos is coming next week for an early Christmas, we are going to have the goose and I'll give the potatoes a go and see how they turn out. It will give me much more Prosecco time [​IMG]
     
  8. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    We have sweetcorn because eldest son loves it ! I'm all for reducing clutter, too. My kitchen here is not big, but we don't eat in it (ever) so I see what you mean. Our eldest is currently studying in Rome so she's coming back on 14 th, that's when we'll feel Christmas is on the way.......
    I have champagne rather than prosecco, but going shopping in Spain tomorrow so may get some cava....
     
  9. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    If you are cooking for a large number then I'd say it could take anything from 30 minutes upwards to peel and parboil, plus a large, dirty pan.
    I;ll be preaparing mine in advance, and parsnips, and my veggies so I don't have to spend Christmas morning faffing around. I've already braised red cabbage and fozen it for Christmas day.
    I'm sorry Landaise but I'd rather be drinking champagne than peeling spuds and sprouts!

     
  10. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I do that too C! [​IMG]
     
  11. When I said I prepared everything on the day,I realised that I actually prepare all my veggies the night before! Obviously, in my (addled) mind, that counts as The Day.......

     
  12. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I agree. I'd rather leave space in the freezer for other things. Red cabbage is worth it since it's nicer reheated and Christmas Eve is busy enough as it is.
    It's been so long since we've had the full-works-with-all-the-trimmings Christmas meal that I no longer a fancy a plate piled high with ten different things. Even as a child I preferred the Boxing Day treat of cold turkey, bubble and squeak made with sprouts and potatoes [never carrots!] and home-made picallilli.
     
  13. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    That was in response to Landaise's post. Having seen the rest of the thread, though, I have to condede that it's different if you're feeding a lot of people. Small kitchens and Christmas = nightmare!
     
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Cooking the giblets for gravy would come high on my list of time and space savers.
     
  15. Small kitchen, no dining room and only one oven. I am a master juggler!
    Oh, I have a top tip....
    If the weather is cold enough,I put all my wine (white) and bubbly outside on the back doorstep to chill. Saves acres of fridge space. I have been known to put the turkey outside too safe in my recycling box!
     
  16. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    ...and vegetables in our house!
     
  17. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    We did that when we lived in Germany, in fact the balcony became known as the German Fridge. It was so cold, this was 81/82 one night that an entire crate of Beck's beer froze!!

    My tip for Christmas is make a time plan! OK when I taught cookery I always taught Time plans, but it really can help and you won't suddenly remember that you haven't put the potatoes in the oven!! I do it using backtiming, ie you work out when the meal is to be served and work backwards. It's obvious to many of us, but if you're new at cooking big meals, write down times and when you should do something, I think of it as a list of things to do and when to do them.
    Also prep as much as you can beforehand and get others to help, if you have a houseful of people get a takeaway on Christmas Eve or make something that can be frozen and reheated..
     
  18. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    Another top tip is to get The Guardian today, lots of Foodie stuff etc in the colour supplement.
     
  19. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    My top tip for roasting a turkey is .............................
    ...don't bother!
    Unless you are a good cook, they turn out tasteless (implicit in Turkey) and somewhat dry: use some imagination and treat your family to something else!
    Unless you are feeding 10+ you do not need an animal of that size so choose something more appropriate: capon, chicken (treat yourself to an organic free range bird and taste the difference), goose, duck, pheasant, partridge (these for 2).
    Before the children we used to have fillet steak, lamb noisettes, boar, venison rump ......
    .... be imaginative, don't follow the herd!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  20. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I have peeled and parboiled a whole bag of potatoes today. Shaking a massive stock pot full was a challenge but the edges look suitably fluffy. They are now cooling on baking trays ready to go into the freezer.
    One less pan to wash up on the day is going to be a bonus in my little kitchen. We always have to do mash as well because Mr BS prefers it but he can peel and cook those!
     

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