Alternative Christmas Food Ideas for your New Kitchen
We all know the drill of a ‘traditional’ Christmas. It’s the time of year when we really make use of our brand new kitchens, stretching them to their limits as we cook dinner for the whole family. And that tradition requires a huge turkey for a huge oven, hours of cooking, roast potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, gravy, brussel sprouts (or as Brexiteers might call them, freedom sprouts), and chipolata sausages. However, this is not the traditional Christmas meal for everyone and most of it is quite recent in fact, so what is the alternative?
Christmas is so old a tradition that it not only predates turkey (called peru in Spanish) and even predates Christianity when it was called Yule. Turkey did not turn up in England until the 16th century with the ‘discovery’ of the New World by Columbus and Cabot. While turkey spread as a main roast from there the predominant roasts beforehand were goose and boar. It is therefore, perfectly fine, if you do not like turkey, to go for boar or perhaps a gammon roast with applesauce and the usual accompaniments. Plum pudding, often boiled, seems to have been for all social classes during the 19th century.
Go Vegetarian or Vegan
Meat is not for everyone, for matters of pure taste, religion, or for other moral reasons. While Christmas is associated with meat, particularly pork and poultry, you do not have to go down that route if you do not wish to. Here’s 3 ideas for an alternative meal thanks to the Independent.
- Root vegetable tarte tatin - puff pastry, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, banana shallot, sherry vinegar and other ingredients. A fairly easy recipe; especially if you buy shop bought puff pastry, but a healthy one too. Of course, with a new kitchen, now is the time to perfect your homemade puff pastry!
- Veggie Wellington - possibly a lot easier to cook than the meat equivalent, the veggie wellington also requires your mastery of puff pastry.
- Vegetarian Pithivier - Another pastry based vegetarian dish here. More puff in fact - no shortcrust this Christmas. Like the ones above it mixes pastry with vegetables for an overall healthy meal.
Vegetarian foods are genuinely the healthy option. If not for Christmas day itself, but for a few days around it. The indulgence of Christmas is ok but can be a problem if it involves too much indulgence over a long period. Having some healthy foods like these helps give the body a break and fill it with nutrients.
Go for Fish
So far we’ve not mentioned an alternative to red and white meat, fish. If you do not want a vegetarian Christmas or pork or turkey, consider salmon fillets stuffed with cod as a simple alternative. Many of these stuffed parcels tied together looks very impressive when served on the table. Accompany with lemon halves, herbs, and tartar sauce. If the pastry dishes above sounded nice, you can make your own salmon en croutes with or without spinach stuffing.