This is a special time of year when we all slow down, take stock, and look forward to a New Year.
At this stage in the festivities, I want lots of comforting dishes that feel celebratory enough to feed friends and family without requiring a lot from me in return.
If you’re in need of a bit of inspiration during your Chrimbo-Limbo, look no further.
Love Your Leftovers
I implore you, please, do not throw away the uninspiring remains of your Christmas dinner. Cold meats are the gifts that keep on giving.
An exciting salad like Christmas Coleslaw is just the thing to perk up your cold roast ham. Serve with a baked potato and a glass or two of Rioja and you’re in business.
If you’re feeling a little more energetic, Antipasti Salad is wonderful with cold turkey, a hard Italian cheese and some focaccia. The salad requires a bit of chopping and boiling, but it’s not hard, and once prepared it keeps for days.
Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup is just the thing for when that turkey carcass has been stripped clean. Instead of throwing it away, break up the bones and make this soup to warm everyone up and keep the colds at bay.
Bring new life to your leftover veg with Bubble and Squeak. Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Cauliflower and Truffle Soup is an elegant and luxurious lunch that will warm you up after a bracing country walk. Forget the parmesan crisps this time of year and just dive in to whatever hunk of cheese you have lying around, instead.
For a low-effort dinner to feed a crowd, Smoky Barbeque Sausage and Bean Stew is just the thing. And despite its cowboy-sounding name, it’s full of the good stuff. Helpful if you’ve had a few too many days of indulgence.
Set it and Forget It
Take the family out for a long walk, go for drinks at the neighbour’s, or while away the afternoon in the pub. Caesar Braised Beef, thrown in the slow cooker, needs only a moment’s work from you shredding the cooked meat after a day of braising. Pack into buns and serve with bowls of huge dill pickles and creamy shop-bought potato salad for a satisfying lunch or dinner to feed a crowd.
Slow-Roasted Shoulder of Lamb will look after itself while you look after absolutely nothing. (Other than pouring your next drink.) The cooked meat and sauce are so versatile you can eat from its various components for days, if you fancy. A real bonus if you want a few days out of the kitchen.
Not that you need it, if your house is anything like mine. With cupboards filled with cookies and mince pies, the coffee table taken over by tins of chocolate, and a bowl of half-eaten Christmas pudding lurking in the fridge, it’s hard to justify knocking up a full-on dessert. Factoring in my desire to put my feet up, there’s about a zero percent chance I’m going to be baking anything.
That being said, if you’re in the mood to make a little something, Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds are about as easy as it gets, particularly if you’ve got leftover pomegranate seeds from your festive fruit salad. Bring out a slab of these over a game of Bananagrams (with a few napkins to go with), and they’ll be so distracted you’re sure to get a few extra words in.