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Easy Christmas Food Ideas

Home > Perth > Food and Wine | Recipes
by Simone Lee (subscribe)
I enjoy freelance creative writing and being a Mum to my two awesome boys.
Published December 4th 2011
Gone are the days of one person slaving in a hot kitchen on Christmas Day for everyone else in the family. Well alright maybe not, but these days why not allow everyone to relax and organise a plate sharing system?

Allocate a food item or items to be brought by each person coming to your gathering. It's fair on the workload and easy on the pocket. If you're daring enough or flexible with your choice of food, then you could give out generic categories like: Cold Meat, Salads or Desserts.

On the other hand, depending on your family, friends or guests, you may want to be very specific, such as: Turkey Meat, Potato Salad or Pudding and Custard. If you have people in your family whose skills are not possessed within the kitchen, then there are always the bought shop items to use.

Chilli Olives from the deli supermarket, accompanied with Sundried Tomatoes, Variety Cheeses and Crackers is a simple start. Don't like hot? Then try Kalamata Olives instead. A Hot Chicken from the deli for around $10 can feed a few. Also, keep an eye out for specials on Legs of Ham or Turkey.

Throwing together a salad can be left simple. Lettuce leaves; cherry or grape tomatoes; yellow, red, green or orange capsicum; red or white onion; tasty cheese; chop it up and add a light sprinkle of dressing homemade or bought.

Hinging on your likes or dislikes of cold salad items, this can be altered to suite your own taste. Just check out the fruit and vegetable section at the shop or make a trip to a garden market stall. Even better, try and grow just a few things yourself.

Each person brings a plate
Prawns, Roast Meat - so delicious

We usually bring a seafood platter of cooked prawns and sometimes a couple of bugs thrown in, together with thousand island sauce. Green or raw prawns are also good for a garlic or chilli marinade and don't take long to cook. This year, fresh oysters with a homemade lime chilli sauce might be on the menu.

A pre-order a month or a few weeks earlier is best, to avoid last minute extortionate prices or missing out. Better deals can be struck with your local fishmonger by ordering sooner and if possible in bulk. Check the Yellow Pages in the telephone book if you're unsure of where your local seafood outlets or fish markets are.

The traditional hot meal may be losing its popularity in Australia at Christmas with summer time upon us, to state the obvious, but if you're looking for a real crowd pleaser, Roast Pork, Crackle and Roast Vegetables can't be surpassed.

Roast Pork with Sage and Onion Stuffing
Image is courtesy of: Complete Comfort Food Recipe Book

To make the best ever crackle, here are just a few suggestions:

Always ensure your oven is preheated to a moderately high temperature, such as 220°C or 425°F. Cut the entire rind off the meat and score it with lines about 1 centimetre apart, making sure you don't cut all the way through. Lay it back over the meat separately. This gives it a crispier result.

Rub plenty of salt into the rind and if you can refrigerate for half an hour before cooking to let the salt absorb. Some people suggest basting the rind during cooking, but personally I haven't found this method to be very effective yet.

Cook the rind and meat for approximately 20 minutes at first. The high heat helps to crisp up the crackle. Then reduce the temperature to around 180°C or 350°F for the remaining cooking time, allowing 30 minutes for every 500 grams of pork.

Roasted Nuts, Fruit Platters, Rumballs, Fruit Mince Pies, Dips and Finger Foods are just a few more suggestions for 'picking at' on the day.

Chocolate Pudding with Rum Custard
Image is courtesy of: Complete Comfort Food Recipe Book

There are an abundance of ideas to choose from and this only touches the surface. Unless you're a chef or have a creative passion for food, then get your hands on a recipe book and cook to your heart's content.

This is just a list of basic ideas. As they say, you're only limited by your own imagination and with plenty of resources available today, including online, the library, op shops, bookstore sales or a borrowed book, tracking down a few recipes shouldn't be a problem you'll encounter.

Remember, share the load. It's all a part of making your Christmas food ideas easy.
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Why? Make it easy; to share in the preparation of food at Christmas
Your Comment
I think I wanted to make reference to more food ideas in the article than I actually did. Sticks of Twiggy meat, carrot, celery and bread accompanied by a light cream cheese or flavoured dip is a healthy antipasto option.

Slow roasted Lamb Shanks is another roast meat favourite that is really easy to prepare. Preheat the oven to a high temperature, say 220°C. Lightly oil and place the shanks in a roasting pan. Brown for approximately 5-10 minutes in the oven and then remove.

Reduce temperature to 160-180°C depending on your time constraints (the lower the temperature for longer, the better.) Add a premade gravy (homemade or Continental Beef and Red Wine Casserole is great), chunky size vegetables or nothing if you prefer and cover with aluminium foil.

Return to oven for around 2 hours also depending on your temperature. The lower the temperature the longer you can leave it. This makes the meat very moist and tender. The best idea is to check on it after an hour if you are unsure. Use a timer to help you relax and remove when done.

If anyone is interested in a freshly made ‘MacKenzie’s Irish Cream’ Recipe or an ‘Indulgent White Cheesecake’ Recipe, then drop me a line or a comment. Hope everyone has a good Christmas.

by Simone Lee (score: 2|534) 2785 days ago
Remember, the best and basic food idea for Christmas time is to share. Everyone bring a plate of food to add to the party.
by Simone Lee (score: 2|534) 2785 days ago
If anyone is interested in a White Chocodamia Recipe for Christmas please let me know.
by Simone Lee (score: 2|534) 2774 days ago
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