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Tips for quick and easy Christmas meals

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Christmas dinners don’t always have to be about big hunks of meat with elaborate side dishes. Sometimes simple works best.  After all, the season is really about family and friends.  Whether you’re looking for easy recipes that you can pull off, or you’re just throwing together a small last-minute dinner gathering, here are some easy ideas for whipping up a Christmas meal on the fly.

 

Start with a soup

Photo by Chef E
Soups like this Corn and Porcini Chowder from Chef E are easy to whip up and serve as a popular starter for dinner guests.

Soup is a god-send starter for the time-strapped cook. It’s hard to go wrong with a basic, comforting cream soup made with mushrooms or potatoes.  If you’re out of cream, you can even replace it with a healthy tofu or potato puree to thicken it up.  Just use a powerful blender like the Electrolux Powermix Silent for a silky concoction.

For a simple but delicious Christmas soup idea, check out Chef E’s easy Corn, Bacon and Porcini Mushrooms Chowder soup recipe.

 

No turkey? Go fowl

For small, intimate gatherings, serving up a whole large turkey could be rather overwhelming both in terms of preparation and portion.    Rather than cooking  a whole bird , try serving up smaller parts instead, such as turkey breast, which can be served on its own.  The turkey stuffing in this case can be served on the side as dressing instead.

Similarly, you can replace the turkey with a smaller bird like duck or chicken. These meats are easier to cook due to their size, which allows you to serve them up more tender and succulent. The Electrolux EOK96030X steam combination oven is a versatile appliance whose low temperature cooking feature can evenly cook meats to a perfect doneness for small dinner parties.

If you’re throwing a larger dinner party and need a whole bird, check out Chef E’s easy turkey recipe.

 

Add a personal touch to store-bought foods

Photo by GRUS1
You can glaze your own leg of ham in the oven for an easy dish to serve at Christmas dinner.

Some dishes are best left to the professionals – and you can still take the credit by adding some finishing touches.  A glazed ham for example, can be easily made with a leg of ham pre-cooked and bought from the store.

Just peel off the ham skin, leaving the fat, score a diamond pattern into the fat, then stick cloves into the center of each diamond.  Spread a home-made glaze generously over the ham and bake it in the oven at 200oC for about 1 to 1½ hours, basting the ham with the glaze every 20 minutes. The Electrolux EOB31001X convection oven can help this process by ensuring hot air is evenly circulated through the oven during baking.  This prevents your ham from being  charred on one side or comeing out undercooked on the other.

For dessert, just add your own frosting to a store-bought fruit cake and top it with fresh or candied fruits to finish the meal on a sweet note.

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