Christmas is not far away and we are all looking forward to spend some quality time with our families and friends….. and of course not to forget the Christmas Dinner. I have to admit that I am looking forward to Christmas dinner since August (I know, not normal and very wrong…. :)).
In German culture the main event/meal is on the Christmas Eve. I try to keep the tradition alive, so Paul and I have two big-ish meals two days in a row (but I think Paul likes it :)).
Several weeks ago I received Christmas Edition of BBC Good Food magazine which does have some excellent Christmas meal ideas – healthy and the not so healthy. I got super excited and started planning our Christmas Eve dinner. For long I couldn’t decide to go for roast Turkey or Beef. But finally I made my mind up – Turkey! As not only is it delicious but also will give us some left-overs (hopefully) for days after the “battle”.
In the last few days I have been thinking about what technique to use. I want to keep each ingredient “alive” and bring out the maximum flavour of each one. But also about the combination and nutrients. And bearing in mind that we will start our training for Bath Half marathon just after Christmas I don’t want us to gain unnecessary pounds only because it is Christmas! But still want to have a delicious meal.
Christmas Eve menu for two – plus left overs.
(No starter as the meal itself will be enough)
Roasted Turkey – In this case I will only use the Turkey breast. Watching MasterChef Professional the other night gave me the idea to poach the meat before roasting (one of the chefs poached pigeon before roasting it). This allows the meat to keep the moisture inside. So instead of using extra butter as an outer layer to trap moisture in, I think poaching is a very good alternative and much healthier.
So my take on the Turkey (with skin on). Poach in water bath (carrots, celery, bay-leaves, peppers, onion) for 15 minutes. Once out of water bath, salt the Turkey. Stuff some Thyme and Lemon under the skin. Lay with rashers of bacon (for extra flavour). And put in the pre-heated oven.
Sweet potato and Carrot bake with bread crumbs (rye bread crumbs for me please, which I have already made)
Roasted Brussels with bacon
Home made gravy
Cranberry sauce – home-made with fresh cranberries
Pink grapefruit and dark chocolate mouse on a bed of berries compot and crushed pistachios with honeycomb swirl.
Water – good old water.
Prosseco with fresh Orange juice
(Since we started to train harder we reduced our alcohol consumption to a very limited amount. One reason is that we do have long runs on the weekend and alcohol just doesn’t fit with it. And the other reason is that during my course work I learned that you get a whopping 7 calories from 1 gram alcohol! And those calories you can’t burn off by doing more exercises the liver breaks it down and transport straight into the blood stream.)
As you can see Christmas doesn’t mean dreading the meals and finding time to burn all the calories consumed. It is all about balanced diet, making the most of the fresh ingredients, keep it simple but still delicious and of course nutritious. Pre-planning is the key and some of the items you can make in advanced and either freeze it or keep in the fridge.
The exact recipes for everything to follow. And I will be tweeting about my progress on the day! Can’t wait!