Twinkle lights, movies and family cozy together around the fire. The feeling of Christmas is a hard one to explain, but a magical one to experience. While the focus can often be on material goods, the most important sentiment to take away from the season is the feeling of togetherness. The best way to conjure this is through a family feast. Whether you gather for brunch, lunch or dinner, the food you enjoy together is part of what makes this season so magical. To make a truly memorable Christmas this year take your turkey (and your whole meal!) to the next level.
While turkey is usually the star of Christmas, appetizers are a great way to keep the crowd satisfied while waiting for the main event. Instead of standard appetizers make Mac and Cheese Pakora. These crunchy and delicious favorites will keep guests of all ages happy on Christmas while waiting for dinner.
Make your mac and cheese and freeze for two hours. Take out of the freezer and make into balls, freezing for another hour. Coat the balls in pakora batter and deep fry until golden brown. Serve with chutney or chili sauce.
In place of a regular turkey this year, give tandoori turkey a try. A tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven used in Indian cooking. Food cooked in a tandoor has a delicious smoky flavour from being cooked over coals. You can get that same flavour in your home oven with a few simple ingredients.
Give your turkey an initial marinade with 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp of himalayan pink salt, 4 tbsp ginger garlic paste and 2 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder (or any other mild chili powder). A second marinade is applied an hour later with the same ingredients and the addition of 1 cup of yogurt, 1 tbsp oil and 1½ tbsps of garam masala. Let the turkey sit overnight and then it’s ready to cook. Follow standard protocol for cooking a turkey, which is about 13 minutes per pound at 350 degrees.
South Asian Spiced Turkey Breast
If you’re entertaining a small group this Christmas, you can enjoy a turkey meal without making the whole turkey. Make your Christmas a memorable one with an South Asian spiced turkey breast. Puree 1 onion, 2 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste, 2 cups of yogurt, juice of 1 lemon, 2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander and ½ tsp cinnamon. Marinade 2 turkey breasts for at least 8 hours (or overnight) taking them out at least an hour before roasting. Place in a roasting pan and cook at 475 degrees for 20 minutes and then 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve your tandoori turkey or your South Asian spiced turkey breast with gravy, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, chutney and cranberry sauce or make your whole Christmas meal a South Asian inspired feast and serve with raita, naan and curries. The choice is yours! If you have any room, finish your Christmas meal with an assortment of cookies and chocolates.
Whether your Christmas dinner this year is two people or 20, you can make the experience memorable with good company and delicious food.