Xmas on-the-go: Chef’s dishes in a flash

By Sergio González | 10:35
Huge seafood dish

Seafood is healthy, classy, fast to cook and fail-proofing

Arriving home and sensing some delicious smell on the tip of your nose can make you moonwalk to the kitchen forgetting where you were going.

Cooking for friends and family is the yummiest way of telling them you care, but our lives run pretty fast these days and few of us have enough hours to spend them cooking long Christmas recipes for our beloved ones.

To make our worries bigger, chefs from every culinary stream in the world propose amazing upgrades to traditional Christmas dinner recipes with new fascinating textures and taste pairings that get us dreaming of a whole new world of scrumptious possibilities.

So here we are once again. We want to give a splendid Christmas menu to honor our guests but between getting home from work and dinner time there are only a couple of hours to make our dishes sparkle. This messy solution is simple, order a catering service. Or keep reading!

From the time food was scarce and going to sleep on  a full stomach was a reward, we continue with the custom of celebrating important events with feasts, although doctors and nutritionist get tired of telling us not to do so. Needless to say, we don’t always command their wishes. If you still want a great banquet but need it quickly, sides and precooking are your friends.

Need some Christmas starters recipes? From Australian summer we can learn quicker and lighter suggestions to enjoy

Ideally, you’ll serve roasted  fish and meat as centerpieces so you get everybody’s satisfaction, but we need things done and ready at the same time. 

Seafood always upscales a table, it’s done in a bit and it’s boiled so conveniently and oven-free. Crayfish and crabs instead of lobsters will allow you to have a shower before everybody arrives. Chefs’ tip you can use if your oven is not fit into cupboards. They cook fish next to the oven, not inside it. The hot air around it’s enough for hakes and breams to be delicious.

To add flavor to your seafood, why don’t you try tourists and locals’ favorite recipe in Spain? Simple and delicious!

Rinse and dry fresh prawns or crabs with a paper towel. Salt them and put aside while you cut the tiniest garlic slices you can. Heat a spoon of olive oil in a pan -when in doubt, the fewer the better- and add the seafood.

Turn them to get done regularly and stir if needed. When they’re half cooked -around a couple of minutes or when they start looking red- add the garlic. Let it cook a little more rand put away from fire. Reach out for that cool Prosecco on the counter -this part is essential- and serve a glass. Enjoy your wine-break and go back cooking. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the prawns and don’t let them cool before eating.

Same recipe is useful for clams, but changing lemon juice for fresh parsley. You should put the clams in salt water a couple of hours in advance and throw away the ones that don’t pop. This is just one version –Almejas a la Marinera, Sea-Style Clams- of a common dish for fishers all along the world. Oil or butter + herbs + clams or mussels = easy Christmas dinner success.

 

Hogs, pheasants and geese were medieval Europe’s choice for Christmas meals. Turkeys won’t arrive from America until 16th century but they only seduced British palates, specifically King Henry VIII’s, if we stick to the legend. Anyway, almighty Queen Victoria was the one to style the current Christmas in UK.

The same proportion of British Xmas dinners who don’t choose turkey, a rickety 24%, is the one of Europeans who have turkey, entitled by American thanksgiving and cheaper prices.

Let’s get our meat roasted faster! There are several things we can do that won’t affect flavor or texture. From Michigan, comes Stan’s experience: soaking the meat in cold salt water the night before will cut down cooking time a lot because excess of water is exuded by salt instead of oven’s heat.

You can marinade your meat with garlic and fresh herbs, Mediterranean style, or with broth and red wine as in 16th century Germany, but anyway, make some small cuts on the meat to place the stuff into it; it will cook sooner and still juicy.

Jaime Oliver has the greatest idea for bird cookers. As breasts tend to be done before legs, he suggests stuffing between the breast and the skin. It takes a little longer, but the result it’s mouthwatering guaranteed.

 Some battered carbs should come along. Potatoes can be boiled or baked the day before but if you cut them slim they are cooked fast enough. From Noma Restaurant in Conpehanguen, named this 2012 best restaurant in the world for third time in a row, we get a way to make the most of our potato purchase and serve a cheap but astounding and photo-uploading worth dessert: chocolate potato crisps!

Easy and delicious Christmas cocktails? Mix one part of cool champagne with two of the creamy juice of your choice. Peaches and pineapple match perfectly, better fresh. If you’re saving this Christmas, a regular champagne becomes, if gently blended with lemon ice-cream, a wonderful Christmas cocktail.

How is Christmas menu for you? Do you keep tradition alive and keep cooking the same old Christmas recipes ?  Let us know 😉

Photo Credit: Bernt Rostad

 

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