Food is the perfect way to bring people together. The more original and creative you can make your food, the better. A simple home-cooked meal with friends and family members is sure to brighten any day. And of course, nothing can beat a perfectly cooked Christmas meal! Preparing a festive menu that everyone will love is no easy feat, though. It requires planning far in advance and knowing how to execute a variety of dishes in various foods tubes at once without overwhelming your guests or your kitchen. If you are looking for some creative and fun ideas for Christmas Eve dinner this year, then read on.
Oxtail Soup for One or Two at a Time
This hearty soup is perfect for a crowd, as the ingredients can be added to a large pot and shared between two or three people. You can make this soup ahead and freeze it. Thaw the soup and gently heat it before putting it in a bowl and serving it to your guests. If you are having trouble deciding which of your guests should have which part of the soup, then simply make a decision based on how they are lying in bed that evening.
1 tbsp ginger-lemon paste 2 tbsp vegetable oil 2 cups tomatoes 2 bay leaves 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar 2 tsp fish sauce 1½ tsp sugar ½ tsp salt 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced 4 oz oxtail, cut into 2-inch pieces
1. In a large stockpot, combine the ginger-lemon paste, oil, tomatoes, bay leaves, and vinegar. Let the vegetables cook for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.
2. Stir in the fish sauce, sugar, salt, and green onions. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the soup is thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Check the seasoning again before serving.
3. Once the soup is made, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Can be made up to 7 days ahead.
Paneer Baked Masala Dosa with Tandoori Spices and Sambal Oelek
Sambal Oelek is a must-have for any Indian party, and if you are hosting a Christmas Eve dinner for your Indian friends, you should definitely give this easy-to-make masala dosa recipe a try. This is one of the simplest dosa recipes you can find, and even if you are not a dosa expert, you will be able to make this recipe pretty much by heart.
For the Dosa: 1 cup plus 2 tbsp rice flour ½ cup water 1 tsp turmeric ½ tsp salt For the Masala: 1 cup mixed spices 2 tsp ghee For the Sambal Oelek: 8 oz mixed cream For the Dessert: 1 to 2 tbsp coconut milk
Make the Dosa:
1. In a small saucepan, combine the rice flour and water and stir until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large frying pan, combine the turmeric and salt and dry- roast the spices until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine the ghee and mixed cream and microwave until combined, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
4. Add the rice flour mixture and the water mixture to the bowl with the ghee and mix well to make a stiff dough.
5. Take the dough and gently shape it into a ball. Place the ball in a oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Set aside and let the dough rise for about 1 hour.
6. Once the dough has risen, slice the dough into half-moons and then into strips. Cook the dosa in a non-stick waffle iron or on a griddle until golden and crispy on both sides, about 2 minutes.
Make the Masala:
1. In a large bowl, combine the mixed spices, ghee, and Sambal Oelek and stir to mix well. Set aside.
2. Make the dessert by gently cooking the cream in a small saucepan until just about medium-fibre, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
Make the Dessert:
1. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk, rice flour, and turmeric and microwave for about 30 seconds. Set aside.
2. Assemble the Dishes: Cut the dosa into quarters and place it in the center of a plate. Top with the masala and serve with sambal oelek.
Nutritional information per serving:
Calories: 234 Fat: 8.4g Protein: 8.3g Saturated Fat: 2.9g Cholesterol: 11mg Sodium: 508mg Carbohydrates: 47g (Note: Nutrition information is estimated and subject to change. To get the most accurate data, please check the nutrition facts label on the back of the product.)
Bread Pudding with Ginger and Coconut Milk
Bread puddings are always delicious, and this one is no exception. If you are looking for a rich, yet simple bread pudding to serve at your Christmas Eve meal, this is the recipe for you. It is made with just three ingredients – bread, milk, and ginger.
You can use any type of bread you like, but we love white bread in this recipe.
2 cups cubed white bread 2 tbsp ghee 1 cup icing sugar 2 tsp ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 350F.
1. Line a baking dish with unbleached paper towels.
2. Place the bread in the prepared pan and dot the top with the ghee.
3. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and ginger together and sprinkle this mixture over the bread.
4. Bake the bread pudding for 1 hour, adding more ghee as needed to prevent sticking.
5. Once the bread pudding is cool, cover it and refrigerate until cold, about 3 to 4 hours.
Spicy Chicken Kebabs with Indian Chutney and Mango Chutney
People often ask us for ideas for how to serve spicy food at Christmas Eve dinner. While we usually recommend Thai dishes, this recipe is actually a good option for Indian food as well. The ingredients for this recipe are mostly spices and chutney, which you can find at any grocery store.
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs 2 medium onions, finely chopped 2 tomatoes, finely chopped 1 green chili, finely chopped 1/2 tbsp turmeric 1/2 tbsp coriander 1/2 tbsp cumin 2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ginger 1/4 cup natural yoghurt 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil 1 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350F.
1. Mix all the ingredients for the kababs together in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Rub the veggies into the chicken thighs and place the kababs in a baking dish.
3. Bake the kababs for 40 minutes, until the chicken is tender and the vegetables are crisp.
4. While the kababs are cooking, mix all the ingredients for the Indian chutney in a mixing bowl and set aside.
5. Once the kababs are done, pour the chutney over the kababs and serve immediately.