Guest post by Luke James
Some people tend to use Christmas dinner as an opportunity to enjoy a reliable meal, and consider having turkey and all the trimmings just as important as presents. However, others get tired of preparing and eating the same meal every year, and want to try something a bit more adventurous. This might mean using different meats, experimenting with vegetarian and vegan dishes, or looking overseas for some more distinctive meals. Some great alternative Christmas dinners include:
1 – Moroccan Orangery Duck with Couscous
A relatively simple dish to make, this involves using duck with Moroccan oranges, ground cumin, and honey – the duck is baked with an orange glaze, and served with couscous, as well as spices like ground cumin. A full recipe for this unusual dish can be found here.
2 – Venison
Rather than going with the traditional turkey or goose this year, you might want to try cooking a haunch of Venison. This dish involves marinating the venison with rosemary, garlic, rapeseed oil, and salt, and using your barbecue or oven to slow cook it to perfection, before serving it with full Christmas trimmings.
3 – Lamb Wellington
Another meat option, lamb wellington is a little more complex than a turkey roast – you need to trim lamb cannons, and serve with seasoning and pastry folded around the lamb to create a wellington shape for baking. The full recipe is available here.
4 – Pork Vindaloo
If you want something a bit more spicy at Christmas, then this Goan dish could be a good idea – traditionally made by Goan Christians in South East Asia on Christmas Day, pork vindaloo is served with plain, boiled, or jeera rice, and tends to use a combination of spices and malt vinegar, rather than wine for marinating; see the full recipe for background on this dish.
5 – Vegan Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart
Christmas can be a difficult holiday for vegans in terms of finding the right dishes for Christmas Day; however, this needn’t always be the case, and there are a lot of different recipes that can be tried. One of these recipes is a butternut squash and mushroom tart – this is made with a squash custard, crust, and vegan butter, as well as with mushrooms and maple sage, and is expanded on here.
6 – Red Pepper, Feta, and Courgette Lasagna
For a simple vegetarian dish on Christmas, you can’t go wrong with a red pepper, feta, and courgette lasagna; this dish can be made with olive oil, crumbled feta and mascarpone, with the seasoning layered over the vegetables and baked.
7 – Salmon Koulibiac
A traditional Winter dish from Russia, salmon koulibiac involves baking salmon fillet with rice and mushrooms, and can be marinated in white wine, and combined with pastry. More details can be found at this site.
8 – Roast Goose with Prunes and Almonds
A good option if you still want to use a traditional goose main course, this dish varies the Christmas staple by using goose liver, vegetables, prunes, and almonds for stuffing. The goose can be baked and marinated for 1 and three quarter to 2 hours, and can be served up with Worcestershire sauce.
Would you try any of these alternatives meals for your holiday dinner? Do you have any other suggestions?
About the author: Luke James writes about cooking and staying healthy although Christmas dinner is possibly the one exception! He recommends Mr Hughs as they offer rapeseed oil, a great healthier alternative to regular cooking oil. In his spare time he enjoys running, swimming and trying to become a better cook.