When it comes to Christmas dinner it helps to have some expert advice at hand!
At M&B our Kitchen & Dining buyer, Julie is our Cooking guru!
We asked her to put together her top tips for cooking a great dinner on Christmas day!
We all know that Christmas is one of the most important meals of the year. We all love to talk about our Christmas Traditions and dinner will always feature heavily in that! However, if you are the one tasked with making this most monumental of all meals happen, you might not be looking forward to it as much as others. So with that in mind, we have put together what we think is the essential list of tips, tricks and gadgets to get ahead for the big day and make kitchen chaos a ghost of Christmas Past!
Preparation is the key, and there is always something that can be done ahead of time to help make the day itself go a little more smoothly. Here are our best tips to help you plan ahead!
- Set the table the night before. Granted, this means you must ban your nearest and dearest from the Dining Room on Christmas Morning, but it does mean the perfect excuse for a festive breakfast in front of the tree! To add a little flair to the décor, why not use these fabulous Glass Labelling pens to label your guests glasses. An easy table plan and nobody’s glass goes astray!
- Roast, Mashed, Boiled or in the stuffing… no matter what method you choose, and who says you have to choose? (grammar is horrific there now!!!!) Potatoes are the perfect thing to get ahead for Christmas dinner. The day before, parboil your potatoes and roast them until they are a very pale golden colour. Simply roast for a further 30 minutes on the day and the perfect roast potatoes are simple. (if we could get the Le Creuset dishes up, they’d be a good link product here) Mash is another great get ahead, all you need to do is gently heat it up on the day and it’s done. For super smooth mash, the Joseph Joseph Helix Potato Ricer makes short work of the job.
- Sauces are something that can always be made ahead. Bread Sauce and Cranberry sauce should keep for a few days in the fridge and in the genius OXO pop containers you can be sure they are well sealed and safe to store.
- Dessert is one of the easiest things to make ahead. If classic trifle is what you fancy, serve with a flourish in our Simplicity Trifle Bowl. This year, our Kitchen Buyer Julie is making a simple Eton Mess and serving it in these stunning Gin Glasses. Made the day ahead and brought out to impress guests, then simply washed and refilled with a nice after dinner drink, what’s not to love?!
So you’ve done as much as you can the day or days before, the day itself is here and it’s time to get down to the main event. What are you going to need to ensure that this bird is cooked to perfection while you remain calm and in the festive spirit!
- A good roasting tin will ensure that the meat stays juicy, this one which comes complete with rack will mean that the skin crisps up nicely without drying out. Premium Roasting Set
- Nobody likes a dry bird… so to make sure that your guests are still talking about yours with envy for days to come, basting is key. The Joseph Joseph Flavour Bud is a great little gadget for this, injecting the basting juices right back into the meat, genius!
- What with boiling potatoes and veg, trying to make gravy and maybe fry some bacon in an effort to convince somebody to eat the sprouts, that hob is suddenly looking very overcrowded. The Universal Steamer allows you to free up some space while you stack and steam your veggies to perfection.
- Finally, you need to make sure that the Turkey is cooked properly, you want your guests to remember your meal for the right reasons!! To check it’s cooked properly the Deluxe Thermometer Fork tests the inner cooking temperatures of meat and poultry to ensure they are cooked to perfection.
The moment of truth! The hard work is done and the end is in sight, but before you can hang up your apron and let somebody else take care of the wash-up, dinner must be served.
- You want to get that bird out in one piece, these stainless steel lifters will make light work out of it.
- As head chef, you get the honour of carving your perfectly cooked turkey. The Jamie Oliver Carving Board features a handy well to catch any juices. These can then be added to the gravy to add real depth of flavour. Combined with the Brooklyn Carving Set you will be sure of getting the perfect slice.
- Gravy is the icing on the cake for me on Christmas Day!! The Meadows and Byrne team can’t get enough of the stuff! To guarantee that the gravy is smooth and tasty, we use the OXO Gravy Fat Separator to make sure that all the juice from your delicious meat is captured in the gravy, with none of the fat.
And that’s it! Now I think you deserve a glass of wine, put those feet up and relax.
Julie – Kitchen & Dining Buyer Meadows & Byrne
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