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Christmas menus. How to plan.

Christmas menu s. How to plan. 

Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations are the perfect excuse to gather family and friends.

If you don’t plan ahead, while everyone is sitting at the table, you may continue to put the finishing touches on the next dish to serve.

Even, from the previous days, you will be making endless queues and suffering the rise in prices that usually occurs on these dates. To make planning the Christmas Menu easier, follow these steps.

How to start planning the Christmas Menu

Surely, for a few days you have been looking at recipes to determine your menu, but if you need inspiration , you can review the Christmas Special of Rechupete Recipes to find the dishes that best suit the tastes and needs of your family.

They are organized by level of difficulty and even by budget, to make it easier for you.

While you decide, make a guest list and write down preferences, intolerances and allergies. Everyone wants to enjoy your dishes! Knowing the number of diners and taking into account some peculiarities, it is easier to plan the Christmas Menu.

To ease your chores , choose dishes that you can prepare in advance and combine them with some that you can finish before serving.

In this way, you will get rid of a lot of work, but you will also give your family the opportunity to get involved in some tasks, while they tell you some secret you did not know. The kitchen can be a great place to find out about the adventures and misadventures of the year, in small committee.

How to organize the purchase

There is always the fear of preparing too many dishes and that the guests arrive without hunger to try the dessert. Or that you feel that they are hungry and devour even the polvorones that they gave you in the job basket.

If you know how many will be sitting at the table, calculate the servings per person . But keep in mind that there will be several dishes that will be served throughout the evening. If you are one of those who enjoy tuppers for work, be generous.

In Rechupete Recipes we try to make everything a little easier, that cooking is a pleasure and of course that you are practical. Therefore, I advise you to read these 10 tips to make the purchase well and how to save in the supermarket .

When organizing the Christmas Menu keep in mind that you can include:

  • Pecking . Sausages, ham, pâtés, creams such as hummus, crudités, cheeses, toasts and nuts.
  • Then it will be time for the central menu with the recipes you have chosen. Dessert and Christmas sweets.
  • Be aware of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks . Surely there will be people arriving by car and others with children.

Before venturing to the supermarket, design your list with all the ingredients you have to buy, in total.

You can do a mock purchase on a supermarket website and get a preliminary estimate of what you are going to spend. If you are not happy, you can modify the menu. Remember that our recipe booklet also includes a guide on how much each dish comes out, so you can get your bearings.

  • Divide the tasks among the guests. Who will take care of the bread? Who will bring the drinks? Do you need extra chairs? Don’t forget anything!
  • You can buy Christmas sweets in advance without problem. Check their expiration date, but they usually last for many months.
  • The ham or sausages and cheeses that you are going to serve, you can keep in your fridge for a while.
  • Vegetables and fruits , the closer to the date, the better. Of course, if you like to make fruits in syrup, you will need to have them at home before, in order to prepare them.
  • The cellar . Once you have the menu you can start making your selection of drinks, if you choose wines or beers, remember that you can pair by contrast or by affinity. It is great to have the usual reds and whites. But why not take advantage and try new varieties or brands? Incorporate rosé, sweet or dry and play with its flavors to pair your Christmas Menu.
  • A cava or Champagne is always welcome. Even to drink during dinner. You can make a cava mix with red berries to create a different cocktail . Although surely after all the work you have done to entertain your dinner, it is also a good idea to have someone else take care of the cocktail bar.
  • Don’t forget to have some non-alcoholic drinks, unless you want all the guests to stay overnight at your house, after the toast.  Water . Always have water or reserve a jug that you can put on the table.
  • And even if you are thinking of innovating … you can get on the trend of a highball or long shot of whiskey with soda in some of its variants to accompany the meal.

If you want to lighten your list of obligations, take the opportunity to ask guests to collaborate by bringing their favorite drink.

Shopping list

  • Christmas is coming and you can save a lot of money buying now at a good price and freezing for when the holidays come. The savings are substantial and in our house this has been done for many years, my mother is very farsighted.
  • In the event that you are going to put shellfish. I leave you with this post on how to buy and preserve seafood . Do not stop reading it.
  • When you are ready to make the purchase, keep in mind the foods you want to order or have to order online . Also, organize the food you have to buy in a specialized store that is not close to home.
  • Go ahead and buy fresh produce before prices rise and freeze. Or opt for deep-frozen for some of the dishes on the Christmas Menu.
  • The days before Christmas or New Year’s Eve, shops and supermarkets are usually crowded. And something you could buy in 10 minutes can take hours, running the risk of running out of the product you were looking for and having to change the menu. Avoid complications and plan your Christmas Menu.

What foods can be bought in advance and frozen?

First of all, make sure your freezer is at least -24º for optimal freezing, especially for seafood.

Sea products

  • Take advantage of the offers of the previous days and look for fresh fish that have not been frozen. Otherwise, in the deep-frozen section, you will find many options. They are usually already clean and pre-cooked, thus saving time.
  • If you prefer to buy deep-frozen seafood , make sure they are from a recognized brand. You want your Christmas Menu to be delicious!
  • In order for the seafood to preserve all the properties , move them from the freezer to the fridge the night before.

Raw seafood that you can’t freeze

  • Oysters, clams and barnacles, for example. Although its prohibitive price for these dates makes you think several times whether or not you want to continue the tradition of including them in your Christmas Menu. If they have been frozen, better avoid them.
  • Unless you are going to include them in some cooked recipe such as clams a la marinera , some fabes with clams (the Asturian recipe that I propose is succulent and tasty) or you can choose clams with artichokes to incorporate some vegetables.
  • But the star dish of rice at Christmas is rice with lobster , a way to succeed and be like a real chef with your guests.

The meats

  • If there are lamb shoulder sticks , legs, chops and sirloins or other pieces that you plan to grill on your Christmas Menu , you can also leave them in the freezer.
  • Chicken is always a good investment, you can have it in the freezer and serve it stuffed or use it to prepare the base broth of some recipes.
  • The stuffed pularda is a classic of the Christmas Menu. And, just like chicken, you can prepare it and keep it in the freezer. Of course, remember that they will need your time to defrost correctly.
  • If you serve them cold, put them in the refrigerator 48 hours before serving them, so that they are completely defrosted.
  • Instead, if you are roasting a whole turkey , it may be best to reserve it at the store and take it home the same day. Its preparation takes several hours in the oven and, due to its size, it will occupy almost the entire refrigerator.

Consider some vegan and vegetarian options

We are increasingly aware of what we eat and we know the importance of vegetables and legumes on our table. Include vegan and vegetarian options on your menu.

In addition, it is possible that some of your diners decline due to these food trends. It’s always okay to try new flavors or experiment with new recipes.

To whet the appetite

  • The humus with some vegetables raw or crudiités is always an easy, delicious and practical option.
  • Mutabal, Baba Ganoush or eggplant cream is a recipe that always shines on the table.
  • The Tapenade of olives can accompany breads and toasts to snack before sitting at the table.
  • The guacamole Mexican is easy, practical and even the smallest tend to stay happy. Combine it with a pico de gallo sauce and remember to have corn tortillas or nachos.

Starters

  • A cream of vegetables with a different touch, is a substantial and inexpensive option that you can prepare in advance.
  • For example, cream of pumpkin and curry and cream of leek can be a good choice. For the decoration you can replace the traditional ham with some croutons if you have vegans or vegetarians on the table.
  • L a cream of pumpkin and carrot we have in our recipe is very rich, is very light but tasty.

Then the most substantial

  • A good rice , always enters through the eyes and when you try this recipe with boletus , you will adopt it for the whole year. The vegetable paella also always creates fans at meetings.
  • If you want to innovate, prepare a red lentil Dahlo curry , very substantial and it makes you warm up right away.

These are just suggestions, there are many more options that you can find in our cookbook. Surely you will discover something easy and practical with ingredients that everyone likes.

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