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London caterer, Rigels Tufa shares his top tips on preparing an easy and luxurious Christmas dinner. “There are many different aspects to a Christmas Dinner, and to make it a little easier and even more luxurious, it is definitely worth preparing some of it before hand as it will leave you with. more time to enjoy with your family.”
1)Fridge space - a few days before Christmas food shopping, try to make as much space as possible in the fridge. It’s easy to come back with bags full of shopping and then not having enough room to store it. Try not to over buy by thinking carefully about how many guests will be coming and realistically how many roast potatoes they might be digging in to - this will also save you time peeling endless potatoes!
2) Turkey - an adult turkey can weigh up to 11kilos, so consider just the crown if you’ve got a smaller party as it will take less cooking time, take up less room in the fridge and reduce wastage. Fresh turkey, rather than frozen will taste much better, and if you can try and source from a local farm shop. We like Rockford Bridge farm shop in Surrey whose turkeys roam free-range in grass paddocks and are grown to maturity.
3)Knives - London caterer Rigels Tufa thinks : "It’s important to invest in good quality knives or sharpening the ones you already have. It’s not only time consuming if your’e using blunt knives but also dangerous." New, good quality knives will make preparing for Christmas dinner much easier when you have a mountain of vegetables to chop. Great knives for home use is the Global range available from John Lewis.
4)Vegetables -- By cleaning, peeling and cutting vegetables the day before and leaving them in cold water over night means that ion Christmas Day they will be fresh and ready for cooking, without having lost their flavour or colour. We here at Con Gusto Catering think that the Romanesco broccoli is a great vegetable to include in your Christmas dinner as this beautiful vegetable adds a little luxury with its beautiful appearance and just needs to be blanched.
5) Lay the table - laying the table on Christmas Eve not only saves time but is a great way to see if you have enough crockery and cutlery for everyone - if you don’t have enough then there’s still time to dash out! It will also give you the time to dress the table to give your dinner party that extra special feeing.
6) Cheese board - it’s easy to get hungry waiting for Christmas Dinner, so a great idea is a vintage cheese board with a selection of grapes, chutneys and jams. Quince jam really compliments a range of soft and hard cheeses and makes a great addition to the board. It is quick and easy to prepare and adds a great sense of festivity. For the adults, it will also go nicely with a well chosen red wine.
7) Keep everyone out the kitchen - when cooking it is always best to try and have as few people as possibly in the kitchen - ideally only those who are cooking. Kids especially are at risk of the numerous hot pots and pans so why not bring out a few board games from the attic to keep everyone entertained and to give you a little space in the kitchen.
8) Prepare the dessert before - a great time saver is preparing the dessert before hand. If you’re looking for a traditional Christmas pudding, you can even start preparing a month before hand. But even trifles and other desserts can be prepared the day before. This really helps as you don’t want to be juggling too many different things on Christmas day itself.
9) Chocolates - Try to avoid bringing out the festive chocolates and truffles until after dinner. Snacking on chocolates during the day will not only fill people up but it will also ruin the taste of the Christmas meal.
10)Enjoy - by preparing lots of the above before hand, it will leave you with more time to enjoy Christmas day itself and to spend time with those around you!
Or - if you'd prefer someone else to do the cooking and the cleaning, let Con Gusto Catering, the London catering and private chef hire company do it for you! Our personal chefs look forward to making your London party extra special!
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