The A to Z of Christmas Food
Published: 27 November 2017
Eat your way through the alphabet this festive season…
A for Avocado
Seasonal fruits like cherries, mangoes and avos are a welcome break from heavy main courses. Miguel's Avocado Lime Cheesecake Mousse (pictured) is a light, zingy way to finish off a feast.
B for Brandy
Get into the Christmas spirit - quite literally - with a splash or two of brandy. Brandy butter - made by beating butter with icing sugar and brandy - is perfect dolloped onto puddings or fruitcake.
C for Coffee
Coffee can be a lifesaver during the stressful silly season, but it’s also a great addition to desserts. It’s strong, distinct flavour pairs perfectly with our other favourite vice, chocolate, in eclairs (pictured), tiramisu, and the Queen of Chocolate herself Kirsten Tibballs’ Coffee Milk Chocolate Cake.
D for Desserts
E for Eggs
You really can’t go past a good old pav for Christmas, and Miguel has a fool-proof recipe (pictured). Top with your favourite summer fruits and berries and a healthy dollop of cream. Don’t bin the leftover egg yolks; use them to whip up some lemon and vanilla tarts.
F for Fish
Whether you go for a whole fish, such as a baked trout, or some beautiful fillets – try Miguel’s fancy salmon scalloppini recipe – fresh fish is perfect Christmas Day fare. Impress guests by serving seared tuna (pictured) – they won’t know how easy it was to cook!
G for Grapes
By ‘grapes’ we mean wine, of course! Picking the right blend for each dish seems complicated but is pretty simple: a pinot noir pairs well with ham, turkey loves a crisp sauvignon blanc, while a sweeter, sparkly moscato compliments prawns and other shellfish.
H for Ham
For many, a leg of ham is the centerpiece of Christmas lunch. Recently, Aussie culinary queen Maggie Beer shared her recipe for a stellar Glazed Ham with Figs (pictured), or if mustard, honey and spices are more your taste, try Miguel's traditional Honey Glazed Ham.
I for Infused Oil
J for Jam
Homemade jam, such as Miguel’s Persimmon & Rhubarb Jam, makes a great Chrissy gift. But the fun needn’t stop there – try smothering your favourite soft cheese with cranberry jam, covering it with a dukkah crust then baking until gooey (find the full recipe here).
K for Keep It Simple
Serving up a delicious, crowd-pleasing Chrissy lunch doesn’t need to be difficult. Plan a simple, fuss-free menu such as a roast chook (the chickpea and chorizo stuffing adds a tasty touch) along with one or two salads (try a crunchy Asian-style slaw or a tomato mozzarella salad). Finish with Matt Preston’s easy Cherry Coconut Sundae – it requires just four ingredients and can be made a day ahead for less stress on the big day.
L for Leftovers
Who doesn’t love nibbling on Christmas Day leftovers? Miguel has a fantastic next-day gnocchi recipe to use up any leftover turkey and ham you might have.
M for Macadamias
Macadamias might just be Australia’s most-loved nut. These creamy, melt-in-your-mouth goodies work in both savoury and sweet recipes, such as this decadent caramel macadamia slice (pictured), macadamia and coconut ice cream sandwiches and in a buttery sauce drizzled over scallops.
N for Nougat
Nougat is a French confection made from boiled honey and/or sugar syrup, mixed with beaten egg white, almonds and sometimes pistachios and preserved fruit. Serve it after Christmas dinner with coffee, crumble it over ice cream or Miguel’s perfect pavlova (see ‘E for Eggs’ above for recipe).
O for Oranges
Although kids’ stockings now tend to be filled with wrapped pressies, years ago it was the humble orange that little ones would wake up to on Christmas morning. Celebrate the fresh, summery scent of blood oranges in this crème caramel cake (pictured), or make use of stale bread in an orange and vanilla bread and butter pudding.
P for Pork
Q for Quail Eggs
Quail eggs may not be on your weekly shopping list, but Christmas is the time to do something a little different! Their petite size makes quail eggs ideal for appetisers or entrees, such as these chicken and turkey crumbed quail eggs.
R for Rocky Road
A real Christmas favourite, rocky road is super quick and easy to throw together (no baking required!). Just try to stop after eating one slice…
S for Seafood
Nothing says Aussie summer Christmas better than seafood. From crispy coconut prawns (pictured) to salt and pepper calamari, pan fried scallops and oysters Kilpatrick, we have the recipe for you and your seafood-loving guests.
T for Turkey
Can you believe that the UK alone consumes approximately 10 million turkeys every Christmas? If going the whole hog (or bird, in this case) isn’t your thing, check out Miguel’s pared back turkey breast with festive stuffing. This clever recipe – which still packs a Christmas-y punch with cranberries, pistachios and thyme - can be prepared ahead of time so all you need to do on the day is heat and serve.
U for Upside-down
This delicious French apple tart is actually cooked upside-down, then flipped out of the pan on to a platter. Voila! Best served with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream.
V for Vegan
Whether you’re catering for vegans, or guests with allergies, it pays to have a few egg-free recipes up your sleeve. A Vegan Mixed Bean Raviolo is a great main course option, while this Vegan Lemon Lime Meringue Pie (pictured) is sure to please everyone at the table.
W for Watermelon
It’s fresh, juicy and widely available over the summer months, making watermelon the go-to fruit for Christmas entertaining. Sure, it’s a standout in sweet dishes such as this frozen watermelon and ice cream cake (pictured), but many are yet to explore its savoury options: try a watermelon, feta and mint salad or even pickling the leftover rind.
X for Xmas pudding
Traditionally, this boiled fruity pudding is set alight with brandy on serving. For a fresh, warm-weather alternative, check out Miguel's Christmas Pudding Terrine recipe.
Y for Yule log
This rolled and frosted sponge cake is popular in French festive feasts. Miguel couldn’t resist putting his own spin on the traditional Yule log, transforming it into an ice cream cake.
Z for Zucchini
Pair zucchini with apple and squash for a tangy chutney (pictured), perfect in sandwiches (hello, leftover ham!) or as a dip.