Simple twists for a memorable Christmas dinner

12 December 2017 | Schwartz

The festive meal used to be the reserve of Christmas Day, but these days the long work lunch, early feasts with friends, and weekend tests of the pub’s new seasonal menu will have many of us indulging throughout the month. If you’re organising a holiday spread, make it one to remember by switching out traditional dishes with something slightly different. Wow everyone at the table by swapping turkey for chicken flavoured with zesty lemon and marjoram, boiled veg for spicy roasted roots, and heavy Christmas pudding for heavenly poached pears in mulled wine spices.

Roasted chicken with walnut stuffing or vegan nut roast

Roasted chicken with walnut stuffing

While it may be a Christmas tradition, turkey has been known to divide a table. So why not mix it up with a wonderfully zesty chicken instead? This recipe is simply flavoured with zingy lemon, garlic and marjoram. Reminiscent of oregano, marjoram has a more floral aroma that’s just perfect in this lighter roast dinner. Make sure you use a little butter and a few twists of garlic salt to make sure you get that perfect roast chicken skin. Once that’s in the oven, move onto the filling. This easy stuffing recipe with breadcrumbs and walnuts is ready in just three steps: fry the onions in a pan, stir in the other ingredients, and pop it in the oven.

Alternatively, go vegan with our tasty nut loaf. Sundried tomatoes, apricots, carrots, lentils, sesame seeds and – of course – nuts make this one showstopper main that’ll impress carnivores too. A good sprinkle of fragrant mixed herbs, pungent garlic and golden turmeric add a delicious depth to the dish.

Roasted root vegetables

Roasted root vegetables

Spice up your sides with this wonderfully crisp oven roasted vegetables recipe. Far tastier and crispier than traditional streamed or boiled veg, these beauties are sure to go down a treat. You can choose whatever produce you prefer, but carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes are all bursting with flavour at this time of the year. Simply peel and cut the vegetables into chunks, coat them in oil and add some all-important seasoning. You don’t even need to think about which herbs to use, as our Garlic and Herb Wedges mix contains the perfect balance of garlic, parsley, pepper and basil – so you can just sprinkle it on and pop it in the oven. No one can say that veggies are boring when you serve these up at your festive feast!

Sautéed Brussels with balsamic and thyme

Sautéed Brussels with balsamic and thyme

This is the best Brussels sprout recipe to turn a humble Christmas side dish into a taste sensation – perfect for even the most avid sprout-hater! These green vegetables taste far better when they’re sautéed rather than steamed, as it adds a crispy texture into the mix. Cooking Brussel sprouts with bacon will infuse the dish with whole new layers of flavour, giving it a beautifully smoky edge. All you need to finish this dish off is a few teaspoons of earthy thyme and a dash of sweet balsamic vinegar. Soon you’ll be asked to serve sprouts all-year round!

Homemade mincemeat

Homemade mincemeat

By Christmas day, most of us will have consumed a fair few mince pies. Make sure yours stand out from the crowd by making not only your own pastry, but also your own mincemeat. This mincemeat recipe packs in far more flavour than the pre-mixed stuff, with the fresh and zesty citrus perfectly plumping up the juicy sultanas, raisins, currents and dates. Surprisingly, this easy mincemeat recipe doesn’t take as long as you may think. All you need to add is those distinctive festive flavours of spicy ginger and our expertly blended Mixed Spice seasoning with cinnamon and nutmeg – not forgetting the all-important dash of rum. Sweet mincemeat keeps for a long time, and even improves in the jar.

Poached pears in mulled wine

Poached pears in mulled wine

You might have tried poached pears in red wine before – but have you tried cooking them in mulled wine? This delicious Christmas dessert is the perfect alternative if you’ve already gone overboard on the mince pies and fruit cake. Steep the pears in an indulgent mixture of rich red wine, warming brandy and a sachet of our Mulled Wine Spice seasoning, then add zingy orange juice to lighten the deliciously boozy mixture. Simmering the fruit for around 45 minutes will leave you with beautifully tender spiced pears – then reduce the sauce to a glossy glaze and serve. Don’t forget a dollop of cooling fromage frais for that final touch.


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