Eat on the Green’s Craig Wilson offers some festive short cuts so you’re not stuck in the kitchen on Christmas day…

Christmas dinner tends to top most people’s list as one of the most stressful meals to prepare. However, it doesn’t have to be provided you get organised. Make your list, check it twice and make sure your Christmas is nice!

There are tons of shortcuts that make life easier on Christmas Day. Gravy, stuffing and sauces can all be made well in advance and stored in the freezer. Even roast potatoes can be par-boiled and frozen ready to roast when you need them.

Rapeseed oil is the secret to perfect roast potatoes and I recommend Macintosh of Glendavney, which is grown, pressed and bottled right here in Aberdeenshire. It has a very high smoke point, so heat until it’s sizzling, pop the potatoes in and you’re guaranteed a crisp roast potato with a fluffy interior. Sides such as vegetables can be prepped and stored in cold water up to 24 hours ahead, ready for par-boiling and roasting on the day. 

While you’re getting your shopping list sorted, you could also cross off your gift list with some easy to prepare foodie presents. Home-made chutney makes a great accompaniment for cheese and biscuits and is really simple to make. Try a twist on a hot toddy with lemon, clementine, honey, whisky and mixed dried fruits, or spiced apples, dates and ginger go wonderfully together too.

Mulled wine can be a great base for a Christmas curd, infuse with orange zest, dried cranberries and cinnamon – simmer together, then blend and strain before gradually combining with egg yolks and sugar, until smooth and thick. Pour into sterilised jars and tie with a ribbon and you’ve got an indulgent treat for spreading on your Christmas morning croissants. 

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