You’d think celebrity chefs would have the preparation of Christmas menus down pat! They specialise in catering for groups of people in their everyday work lives – coming up with a theme, sourcing and preparing the food and, of course, serving it to delight of their guests. Christmas feasts have to be, really, just another expression of their exceptional talents.
So, in order to help the struggling amateur cooks in the kitchen in the final countdown to Christmas, we’ve compiled tips from some of the best celebrity chefs…
Queen of the kitchen Nigella Lawson recommends going with the flow. "The party mood almost creates itself, so just exploit it. A tree beautifully lit is always evocative, and I like the element of people coming together... so I'd make one person carve, and get others to pour wine and dollop out vegetables."
One of Nigella’s favourite Christmas recipes is Edible Christmas tree decorations . “I couldn’t have Christmas without these, or at least, not happily. Rituals are essential to give us meaning, a sense of ceremony, and making these peppery, gingerbready edible decorations is how I have always marked with my children that Christmas has begun.”
Spruced up vanilla cake is another of her favourites. “This is a sleight of hand, or a trick of equipment rather than an act of brilliance. True, the cake does look incredibly complicated and seasonally impressive as it comes to the table, but that is all down to the shape of the tin. It’s an expense to get a tin that can’t be used all year round, but it really is a beautifully Christmassy creation, and a doddle to make.” Check out your closest kitchen supplies store.
Here are some more of Nigella’s favourite Christmas recipes.
Jamie Oliver has Top 10 Christmas tips to ensure your celebrations this year are a success.
- Keep your party simple
- Plan ahead
- Make your own crackers
- Declutter your kitchen
- Get the kids cooking
- Prepare for unexpected guests with things like Epic hot chocolate and Cookie dough in the freezer, ready to slice and bake off.
- Think of the veggies
- Love your leftovers – pull out a gorgeous pan of bubble and squeak, followed by a Christmas pudding sundae
- Cook outdoors
- Enjoy yourself!
Or try Jamie's turkey tip. "When cooking a turkey the legs take longer than the breasts, so the breasts dry out while you're waiting for the legs. I push stuffing between the turkey's skin and breasts, increasing the thickness of the breasts so they take the same time to cook."
For great Christmas recipes go to Jamie’s website.
Getting together with friends and family is one of the best things about Christmas. But sometimes, catering for a crowd can be stressful. Kiwi cook Annabel Langbein - star of the TV ONE series The Free Range Cook - gives us some tips to make festive-season food easy.
Annabel says “meringues always make me feel Christmassy”, so try her great meringue recipes or this “essential addition to your Christmas menu” - Chocolate and cranberry slice.
Go to Annabel’s website for other great Christmas recipes.
Best of luck in the kitchen this Christmas!
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