- Holidays and Celebrations
Christmas Dinner Ideas for Spending Christmas Alone
Spending Christmas Alone Can Be What You Make It
There are a great many people around the world who will be spending Christmas alone this year. For personal reasons, some people will prefer to treat the Christmas and New Year period as normal working days and take nothing to do with the festivities this year. That is all good and well and clearly a matter of personal preference. Unfortunately, the majority of those spending Christmas alone this year will not be doing so through choice. They will be doing so through any one of an infinite number of possible circumstances and may even be actively dreading the holiday period.
Although it will very often be the case that those facing Christmas alone can do little in the way of securing human company over the holidays, there will in most instances be something they can do to enter in to the spirit of Christmas and obtain some limited pleasure from the occasion. This site is dedicated to all of those in such a position and to hopefully providing some Christmas dinner suggestions which can at the very least help to make Christmas alone more bearable.
Christmas Dinner Appetizer Recipes
Smoked Salmon and Mozzarella Cheese Salad
This appetizer recipe is not only absolutely delicious and very healthy, it takes but a few minutes to prepare.
Ingredients per Serving
The smoked salmon slice should be cut in to strips, gently twisted and arranged in the centre of the plate. The cucumber and mozzarella should be sliced in to discs around a quarter inch thick and arranged alternately around the salmon, before the basil is roughly torn and scattered on top.
The extra virgin olive oil is optional but if it is to be included, it should be drizzled over the ingredients before the dish is seasoned and served.
Christmas Dinner Main Course Recipes
Roast Turkey Drumstick
The detailed instructions for the way in which I prepare chips (big French fries) can be found by clicking here. I will in this section focus on the turkey, which can of course be accompanied by roasted potatoes, or any sides of your choosing.
It is patently obvious that buying a whole turkey is not really viable for someone cooking a Christmas dinner for one. Although, in theory, the cooked meat could in fact be frozen in portions to be used at a later date, it is much more practical to buy only a piece of turkey from your supermarket. This particular recipe is for a turkey leg (drumstick) but other parts of the turkey can be cooked in a very similar fashion.
The process for roasting turkey, chicken and other fowl is often grossly over-complicated. Varying the cooking temperature, basting the bird, covering it with foil for certain parts of the cooking process - I have tried all of them over a period of time in the name of experimentation. I have found, however, that all of them are likely to have a negative effect and that the best way to cook particularly parts of a turkey is as simply as possible.
Preheat your oven to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6. Put the turkey drumstick on a baking tray and in to the hot oven for an initial half hour. After that time, remove it from the oven and drape three or four rashers of bacon over it as shown. Cook for a further hour.
Use a fork or a skewer to check that the turkey juices run clear, cover the tray with foil at this stage and set it aside to rest for fifteen minutes. The turkey leg can either then be carved to be served or eaten in the old traditional fashion by simply holding it in your hand.
Chicken and Pineapple Stir Fry with Fried Rice
1 large chicken breast fillet
1 small onion
2 rings of pineapple (canned in its own juice, not syrup)
2 fl oz pineapple juice
1 clove of garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sunflower oil for stir frying
3oz basmati rice
Basil leaves for garnish
It is not essential but whenever I am stir frying chicken, I like to, "Velvet," it. This is a Chinese technique which helps to protect the chicken during the high cooking temperatures involved in stir frying and keep it more succulent. Simply add one egg white to a bowl, along with one teaspoon of cornflour and a pinch of salt. Chop the chicken breast in to bite sized pieces and mix it well through the paste. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for half an hour.
While the chicken is velveting, the rice should be boiled. It should be rinsed under running cold water through a sieve or colander, before being added to a large pot of boiling water and simmered for ten minutes. It should then be drained and run under cold water again to cool it. It should be covered until the stir fry has been prepared, when it will be fried.
Prior to starting cooking the chicken, place an ovenproof dish in to a low oven. This will be required to keep the stir fried chicken warm while the rice is being fried.
The chicken will require to be drained very thoroughly prior to being cooked. This should be undertaken through a colander with fairly large holes, to allow as much of the paste to run off as possible. A little sunflower oil should then be added to a very hot wok and the chicken briefly stir fried until it turns completely opaque. It should then be removed to a plate before the onion, pineapple and garlic are added to the wok (a little more oil may be required) and briefly fried. The chicken should then be re-added for another minute's cooking and the pineapple juice added for a final minute, which will thicken in the remnants of the cornflour to form a lush sauce.
Remove the chicken and pineapple from the wok to the warmed dish and place it in the still warm oven for the few minutes it takes to fry the rice. Wipe the wok (carefully - it will be hot!) with some kitchen towel and add some more sunflower oil. Bring that up to a high heat before stir frying the rice for a couple of minutes.
Line a small serving bowl with clingfilm and tightly pack in the rice. Upend the bowl on to a warmed plate, lift the bowl clear and peel away the clingfilm. Add the stir-fried chicken and pineapple, garnish with basil and serve immediately.
Christmas Dinner Dessert Recipes
Coffee and Mint Cup
Coffee and mints usually forms the final part of a formal dinner. There is of course nothing wrong with coffee and mints for one but I recently got to thinking how coffee and mints could instead actually be incorporated in a Christmas dinner dessert. I came up with a few ideas but found this one to be especially delicious.
3 fl oz prepared coffee
1 fl oz golden rum
1 leaf of gelatine
4 fl oz whipping cream
1 tsp sugar
Sprig of fresh mint
Little bit of chocolate for grating
Gelatine generally comes in either leaf or powdered form. Although I have used the powdered in the past, I find that it can produce a slightly grainy effect and always use the leaf gelatine where I can. You should be sure to check the instructions carefully on the pack which you purchase but the type I used required one leaf for a firm set of 4 fluid ounces of liquid.
The leaf of gelatin should be soaked in a bowl of cold water for five minutes until soft. Three fluid ounces of hot coffee (instant is fine) should then be poured in to a small saucepan and brought to a simmer. The sugar and gelatine should be added and the simmer maintained for two minutes. Take care not to allow the coffee to boil!
The coffee and gelatine mix should be added to a jug and the rum added. Stir well and allow the liquid to cool slightly before transferring to a small serving glass dish. When completely cool, place the dish in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours to set. You may even wish to conduct the procedure to this stage on Christmas Eve to save time.
The cream should be whipped and spread very carefully over the set coffee and rum. If the dessert is not to be served immediately, it should be returned to the refrigerator until required. It should then be placed on a serving plate and the chocolate grated over the top and around the dish on the plate. The little mint sprig should be placed on top as a final garnish.
Christmas Dinner Drink Ideas
Gaelic coffee is the Scottish equivalent of Irish coffee. It is simply sweetened coffee, laced with a generous measure of Scottish single malt and topped with cream. The coffee should be made as normal, sweetened with at least one spoonful of sugar and the whisky stirred in before the cream is poured on top, over the back of a teaspoon to ensure it floats on top of the coffee rather than sinking and mixing through it.
Speciality beers are available at all times of year but it is worth having a browse in your local supermarket to see what is available with a Christmas theme. This is a beer I found in my local Morrison's, called, "Rosey Nosey," and featuring an image of Santa Claus on the label. It is produced by the brewers Bateman's and is delicious drunk with poultry such as Christmas turkey.