Creative twists on classic Christmas fare
Christmas is a time of celebration and festive foods. And if dishes can be prepared ahead — well great! The more time spent with family and friends the better.
Turkey is an excellent special occasion meat and it can always be prepared in the slow cooker — if you have one large enough. This allows you to use the oven for baking and roasting vegetables without any hassles.
Make a sling for the turkey from a length of folded foil. Place some veggies on the base of the cooker then — using the sling — add the turkey. Leave the sling in place until the turkey is cooked so you can remove it with ease. Ensure the foil is tucked in so the cooker lid closes tightly.
If using stock for sauces or gravy, then make your own using meat bones and vegetables or purchase fresh stock that is sold in some supermarkets in clear pouches from the chiller. Christmas demands the best. At least sauces can be prepared ahead.
Roast veggies are a tradition and a combo of pumpkin, potatoes and different varieties of kumara is always colourful. These can all be peeled and cut up the night before and kept in a basin of cold water in a cool place. Ensure they're well dried before adding to the hot oil in a roasting pan. Rice bran oil will ensure they are crispy on the outside. Add a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme for extra aroma and flavour.