Christmas cooking and entertaining
‘Tis the season for food and drink; a time of celebration with family and friends and what better way to enjoy Christmas than with a table laden with turkey and all the trimmings. Not forgetting those showstopping desserts and, as you settle down to watch a suitably festive film late afternoon, a warming hot chocolate with marshmallows and squirty cream. Here’s how to celebrate in style and see out 2023 with a bang. Here at The Kitchen Think, we’d like to thank you all for reading and supporting us this year – have a wonderful Christmas and see you on the other side.
HOW TO CARVE THE TURKEY
Turkey with all the trimmings first became popular for Christmas dinner throughout the 16thcentury, continuing into the Victorian age and is still the go-to roast for the present day, where it’s accompanied by pigs in blankets, sprouts pan-fried with pancetta, potatoes roasted in goose fat and a homemade gravy to serve. Premium kitchenware brands ZWILLING and STAUB’s Resident Chef, Paul Bough, has these helpful carving tips for the perfect slice on the big day:
- You’ll need a sharp chef’s knife, sturdy carving fork, a wooden or plastic carving board to catch the juices and a serving platter. Use a knife sharpener before starting for best results.
- Before carving, let the turkey rest for 15 to 30 minutes, as this allows the juices to settle and enhances the flavour. Don’t cover with foil, as this traps the heat in, resulting in overcooked and dry meat.
- First, remove the wishbone, legs and thighs, then carve each section at a time with the meat flat against the cutting board. A sharp knife is key, as it will cut cleanly. It will also make it easier to keep the skin intact – perfect for guests who want some of the crispy skin.
- Use the carving fork to hold the meat still and steady while cutting. Cut against or across the grain for tender slices and avoid flipping the turkey around. Angle the knife slightly for thinner slices and remember to save the bones and juices for stock or gravy.
ZWILLING and STAUB also have the perfect knives and cookware for Christmas. ZWILLING’s Pro 20cm carving knife has a slender yet strong precision forged steel blade with a cutting edge that extends along the full length of the blade. Made from ZWILLING’s special formula steel and ice-hardened, it’s robust and fully rust-free.
STAUB’s cast iron cocottes are perfect for cooking and serving up Christmas roasts as well as sides, starters and puddings. They come in a variety of sizes as well as beautiful colours and some special editions with patterned tops, too. They are ovenproof and can also be used under the grill and on any hob, including induction, with optimum heat distribution. What’s more, they deliver moist, juicy roasts thanks to their structured lid that creates ‘aroma rain’ where moisture created during cooking drips down onto the meat for the ultimate in flavour and tenderness. Our favourites are the 33cm Oval Cast Iron Cocotte in Basil Green, the 41cm Oval Cast Iron Cocotte in Black, the 24cm Round Cast Iron French Oven in White Truffle and the 24cm Oval Cast Iron Oven Dish in Black.
You’ll also be thankful for ZWILLING’s FRESH & SAVE vacuum food storage this Christmas. Perfect for leftovers, the glass containers can be vacuum sealed with the wireless vacuum pump and kept fresh in the fridge for up to five times’ longer. They can also be stored in the freezer and can be used in the microwave and oven with lid removed to heat up for a Boxing Day brunch. Pic below shows the ZWILLING FRESH & SAVE 2.8L Glass Vacuum Gratin Dish.
CHRISTMAS EVE PREP
Before the big day, get organised on Christmas Eve by doing as much as you can to get ahead. British cookware and kitchenware brand ProCook has these helpful tips:
- Do as much prep as possible, so you can have a more relaxed Christmas Day and spend time with friends and family. Check that your turkey has defrosted and is ready to be cooked on Christmas Day.
- Prep your vegetables by chopping and storing for cooking the next day. If any vegetables are prone to discolouring, they can be kept in water with some sort of acid, such as lemon or vinegar. Carrots and parsnips can be chopped and placed in the fridge.
- Parboil sprouts, chill, and finish in a frying pan with bacon bits just before serving.
- Peel, chop and boil your potatoes, so they’re ready for roasting the next day. Cover and keep in the fridge until needed.
- Make your stuffing, wrap and store in the fridge.
- Cook your red cabbage and reheat on Christmas Day.
- Make your bread sauce and store it accordingly. Bread sauce will thicken overnight, so make it looser than normal.
- Create a checklist of all the different tasks that need to be done on Christmas Day with timings.
PERFECT POURING & PUDDINGS
There’s also a mouth-watering Clementine Pavlova recipe, which serves 6, takes just 20 minutes to prepare and 70 minutes to cook. It’s the perfect showstopper and family and friends are sure to be impressed
To create the perfect Christmas mood in your kitchen, AGA Cookshop has these gorgeous Festive Fairiestextiles. The chef’s pads are perfect for protecting AGA lids while the double oven gloves and gauntlets are a must for taking the turkey and roasted veg out of the oven. There’s also a tea towel, children’s apron – ideal for making mince pies – and we just love the enchanting, whimsical fabric.
AND RELAX… WITH AN INDULGENT HOT CHOCOLATE
Once the plates are cleared away and the dishwasher’s loaded and switched on, it’s time to put your feet up and relax with a hot drink. Dualit’s cordless Handheld Milk Frother can help create everything from an indulgent hot chocolate to a flat white, latté, mocha or milkshake. It works by texturising hot, frothed milk at the touch of a button and is the perfect treat at the end of this busy day.