Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go... YIKES!!!!
If you are like me the impending arrival of the jolly man in red is starting to give you a stress headache. So many events to attend, kids are finishing school, presents to buy, trees to put up and decorate AND you need to start planning a Christmas Day menu. It all seems like such a HUGE amount of work for one day.
I will admit I am a little bit of a Grinch at Christmas. While I love seeing my kids enthralled at the magic of Christmas, I tend to think that people go WAY over the top with presents, decorations and food causing them so much stress and bother for one day.
My perfect day would be spending as much time with my kiddoes and family in a relaxed and happy atmosphere and as least time in a hot kitchen as possible in the days leading up to Christmas and on Christmas Day.
Sooooo EDMK tribe I have created some recipes designed to be quick, easy, not give you the debt of a small country in food bills, are delicious and best of all will let you enjoy the day and not be a slave to your kitchen.
So lets start with some simple sides that will compliment your menu whether you are having a traditional lunch, a cold seafood/meat lunch or somewhere in between!
Loaded Roasted Potatoes
Our family is divided when it comes to Christmas lunch. Some believe that you need to have roasted/baked vegetables and others like me think cold sides is the way to go because it is so hot.
Last year to appease everyone I made these loaded roasted potatoes and I have to say they were amazing so much so I decided to share the recipe with you
6 large potatoes
2 tbs olive oil
5 rashes bacon diced
3 tbs sour cream
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
3 spring onions diced
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
3 tbs chives diced
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place potatoes on baking tray and drizzle with 1tb olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 1 hour or until tender and let cool for 15 min when cooked.
While potatoes are cooking put the remaining oil in pan and cook bacon until crispy and set aside.
In a small bowl mix the sour cream, Dijon mustard and garlic powder together and set aside.
When potatoes have cooled to touch cut a cross at the top of each potato and "squeeze" so the potato opens. Place sour cream on bottom and then top with bacon, spring onion and cheese.
Place back in oven for 20 min and when cooked remove and sprinkle diced chives over the top.
This is my kind of side, particularly when you have a feast of fresh seafood on the table. The sweetness of the mango with a hint of spice will leave you wanting more as you dig in and devour your seafood.
For those having turkey or chicken, mango is the perfect fruit pair to your protein!
2 cucumbers sliced
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2 ripe mangoes sliced
1 red onion sliced
1 avocado diced
2 cups mixed lettuce leaves
1 lime juiced
1/2 cup light extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
On a large platter assemble your salad. Mix together the lettuce leaves and spinach leaves and layer on the bottom. Top with the mango, avocado and red onion.
Mix together the olive oil, lime juice, salt and sweet chili sauce until well combined.
Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.
Easy stuffing balls
I love stuffing its the best part of a roast meal, I will however admit I really dislike stuffing a chicken, turkey or piece of meat so this recipe is my go to when I want stuffing.
For those who think stuffing is hard or time consuming, think again! Not only is it quick and economical to make, this is a recipe to get your kids down and dirty in the kitchen and part of the Christmas preparation!
Years ago I used to follow my Nana's recipe and make a tray of stuffing. While it tasted amazing it was not shall we say "pleasing to the eye" so I decided to roll it into some balls and place it around the protein before serving.
There is literally hundreds of stuffing recipes with lots of different ingredients, however I was brought up on a simple sage and onion stuffing and its the one I still use to this day. You can make this ahead of time and place in an air tight container and bake on the day, or you can bake beforehand and then re-heat.
3/4 cup of butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup liquid chicken stock
1 tsp EDMK chicken spice blend (or use a commercial chicken seasoning)
1/2 cup fresh continental parsley diced
2 tsp fresh sage diced (or 1 tsp dried sage)
1 egg beaten
1 loaf of white bread grated on large holes of cheese grater
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with foil and grease with cooking spray and set aside.
Melt butter in pan over a medium heat add onion and celery and cook until tender to 5 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, EDMK chicken spice blend and cook until fragrant.
In a bowl mix together the egg and chicken stock and add the breadcrumbs and fresh herbs and stir through.
Add onion mixture to the bowl and mix well. Divide into portions and roll into balls and place on tray.
Bake until golden and crispy (approx 20 min).