Christmas dinner is often the meal of the year for those who celebrate the festival and, typically with multiple elements to it, it is easy for stuff to go wrong. Never fear, here are a few tips and tricks to refine the hardest parts of your Christmas dinner.
- Add sparkling water to your Yorkshire pudding batter
It might sound odd but if your recipe is only using eggs, flour and milk, you can come out with a stodgy pudding, leading people to choose store bought Yorkshires on the big day. However, the homemade Yorkshire pudding can be much improved by halving the amount of milk and replacing it with sparkling water to add air to the batter.
- Heat the fat before cooking the Yorkshires
Yorkshire puddings are often cooked in fat, whether that be vegetable fat or animal fat, because it doesn’t burn at the high temperature the Yorkshires need to cook at. One of the key ways to get your Yorkshires to rise is to heat the fat before placing the batter in the baking tray for cooking. It only needs a few minutes, be careful it isn’t left in for too long otherwise it will be too hot and the puddings will burn before they have had chance to rise.
- Stir-fry brussels sprouts
Brussel Sprouts are probably the most controversial part of any Christmas dinner, you either love them or hate them – nature’s marmite. However, if you have someone at the table who dislikes sprouts you can try shredding them and cooking them at the last minute with some oil, salt, and chillies (maybe even some pre-cooked walnuts) to make the sprout more palatable. Drizzle them with lime juice once they are cooked, just before serving.
- Soak the potatoes in water
If you want crisp roasties you are going to need to remove some of the starch from your potatoes. The best way to do this is soaking the potato in cold water after peeling them, left for about 15 minutes will give you a lighter potato when cooked
- Par-boil the potatoes
The roast potatoes aren’t just about the crispy outside it is also about the softer middle. The best way to achieve this, and drastically cut your roasting time down, is to par-boil the potato for six minutes before putting them in the oven. This can cut the roasting time from 50 minutes all the way down to 30 mins.
- Heat the fat before cooking the roast potatoes
Do as you would for the Yorkshires in the roasting tin for the potatoes. This will lead to the outside of the potatoes being beautifully crisp as it will lightly fry in the fat before roasting.
- Cook the parsnips in butter and honey
Parsnips are an often-overlooked part of the Christmas dinner but with this simple trick they can become your favourite part! Simple drizzle over some honey, for vegans you can use agave or maple syrup for the same effect, and add a few cubes of butter and you will have the most beautiful parsnips!
I hope this has given you some ideas of how to elevate your Christmas dinners! Feel free to share your dinners with @impactfoodmag.
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