The Perfect Christmas Dinner

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The Perfect Christmas Dinner

The Perfect Christmas Dinner

12/21/2016

Starter – Smoked Salmon Carpaccio.  Serves 8

 

You don’t want to load your guests up with a heavy starter before the main event so this colourful creation is perfect to kick off the meal and doesn’t require any cooking.

What you’ll need:

  • 100g of finely sliced radishes
  • 4 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 8 tbsp on horseradish sauce
  • 800g smoked salmon sliced lengthways
  • 200 g of cooked beetroot
  • 4 oranges peeled and separated into segments
  • 4 preserved lemons finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls of bean sprouts
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

 

How to do it:

The great colours and dainty elements of the dish mean that you can go to town on the plating up.  Get stuck in and uncover your inner Picasso.

  1. Soak the radish slices in the vinegar for 30 minutes then drain on kitchen roll.
  2. On each plate lay out 100g of the salmon and add three slices of the beetroot on top.
  3. Scatter six slices of the radish, a few orange segments and some of the lemon over and around the salmon.
  4. Use two teaspoons to create three quenelles from the horseradish – or simply dollop artfully around the plate.
  5. Scatter the bean sprouts and drizzle the oil to serve.

 

 

Roast Turkey and Gravy.  Serves 8 – 10

 

It doesn’t matter how great your trimmings – if you mess up the turkey your dinner is dead in the water.  Follow this tried and tested method to cook an absolute show stopper of moist tasty turkey with delicious gravy.

What you’ll need:

  • 20 ml sunflower oil
  • Quality is best so try to buy an organic or free range turkey. You’ll need a bird of around 5kg and ask you butcher to remove the neck and wings and chip into 2.5 chunks for the gravy.
  • 40g of softened unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ tsp of sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 200 ml water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of corn flour mixed an 1 tbsp of water

 

How to do it:

  1. Take the turkey out of the fridge and let it get up to room temperature. This will help it to cook evenly. Preheat the oven to 230C.
  2. In the meantime fry the turkey chunks in the oil over a medium heat for 10 minutes until golden brown all over.
  3. Season the butter with the salt and pepper and using your hands rub all over the turkey.
  4. Add the browned turkey chunks to a large roasting tin and place the buttered turkey on top. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes remove the turkey and baste all over with the pan juices. Pour the water into the tin and return to the oven reducing the temperature to 160C.
  6. Continue to cook for a further 1 hour 20 minutes. Baste quickly – to avoid the heat escaping from the oven – every 20 minutes.
  7. Check the turkey is cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear the turkey is cooked.  If not then return to oven for another 20 minutes.
  8. Remove turkey from the roasting tin, cover with foil and leave in a warm place for around 1 hour.
  9. When you’re nearly ready to serve place the roasting tin, complete with juices and turkey chunks, over a medium heat and bring to a boil scraping the bottom of the pan to release the caramelised flavours.
  10. Add any juices from the resting turkey and check gravy for seasoning. Add corn flour mix to thicken, strain through a sieve and add to gravy boat ready to serve.

 

 

Drunken Chocolate Trifle

 

We know it’s traditional to have Christmas pudding for dessert but here’s a delicious alternative for those who aren’t massive fans of the time-honoured fruit filled pud.

This is delish, totally simple to make and a fitting finish to a spectacular meal.

What you’ll need:

  • 500ml of readymade custard
  • 100g of quality dark chocolate broken into pieces
  • 400g of shop bought chocolate brownies
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee
  • 100ml Baileys liqueur (or generic Irish cream liqueur) plus one tbsp for soaking the brownies
  • 1 bag of Maltesers (around 120g)
  • 500ml double cream
  • 25g icing sugar

 

How to do it:

  1. Gently heat the custard over a low heat and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted completely.  Cover with a disk of baking parchment to stop a skin forming and leave to cool.
  2. Break the brownies into a large trifle bowl and stir in the 1 tbsp of liqueur.
  3. Lightly crush the Maltesers using a rolling pin and sprinkle three quarters over the brownies.
  4. Pour the chilled chocolate custard over the top and leave to chill.
  5. Combine the double cream with the 100ml of liqueur, sift over the icing sugar and whisk until the mixture stars to form soft peaks. Spoon ontop of the trifle and decorate with the remaining Maltesers

 

For some great trimmings check out these recipes for crispy roast potatoes, posh carrots, bread sauce, balsamic Brussels, cranberry sauce and more Yuletide goodies.