5 Top Tips for Preparing a Stress Free Christmas Dinner

Stefan Milanec, head chef at Low Wood Bay
Stefan Milanec, head chef at Low Wood Bay

The team at Low Wood Bay will welcome over 150 guests and entertain them with tasty Christmas dishes. Head Chef Stefan Milanec and his staff have all bases covered for festive food provision, and he has some top tips to share when it comes to catering more easily for larger groups.

1. The 2 ‘Ps’ – Preparation and Planning


As with anything, preparation and planning is a key part of it all. Once you have all your ingredients to hand and you know that you have all you need, you are reassured and ready to cook. You don’t want to be rushing around on Christmas Eve looking for rare condiments or finding out that the grocer has run out of artichokes!

2. It’s all in the Timing


Have a clear idea in your mind what time you intend to eat and work backwards from that. It’s also important to make best use of your kitchen space.

3. Call in the Reinforcements


Hosts often come unstuck by taking on too much of the responsibility themselves, so take advantage of Christmas spirit and get people involved – you can delegate tasks like vegetable prep to more willing family members. It’s important to leave nothing to chance and make sure everyone knows what they are doing on the day.

4. Stick to what you Know


There are also some simple recipes which lend themselves to larger groups whilst providing nutritious and tasty Christmas food. The main thing is to stick to the dishes which you know you are already good at and familiar with. It’s not really a time for experimentation but often simplicity and good seasoning is the main secret of success.

If you are not going to heed my advice we have a blog for that too from Lancaster House! 3 Tasty Turkey Alternatives.

5. Leftover Alternative


Lots of people ask me what do for a change to the never ending post Christmas cold turkey sandwiches or turkey curry. Turkey A’La King is a delicious and simple solution.

You can easily dice up left over turkey and add a white wine or cream sauce. Heat thoroughly, mix in some chopped mixed peppers that have been cooked until just tender, and then add a measure of dry sherry just before serving. It goes really well with rice or some ‘bubble and squeak’ made with left over vegetables from the big day.

Low Wood Bay Kitchen Team (Credit: The Westmorland Gazette)
Low Wood Bay Kitchen Team (Credit: The Westmorland Gazette)

The team at Low Wood typically provides Christmas dinner guests with lots of choice, including soup and starter, three or four first course options, a main of roast turkey with all the trimmings or fish or a vegetarian dish, and a selection of seasonal desserts. The details of the full menu will remain under wraps until the week before Christmas.

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