Christmas cooking: secret tips for a stress-free dinner

If the responsibility of Christmas dinner rests on your shoulders this year, you might be feeling more pressure than usual to pull off an unforgettable feast. The good news, we’re here to take the stress out of both the build-up and the big day.

Below you’ll find top tips – and a few Chef secrets – to help you feel cool, calm and collected this festive season.

3 tips for the build-up

Plan your menu

Whether it’s a quiet dinner for two or you’ve a crowded table to please, we all know organisation is the key to a successful meal – especially one as important as Christmas dinner.

A good idea is to plan your menu ahead. What are you going to serve for your starter, main and dessert? This way, you won’t be left rushing to sort things out on the day.

Online shop early

For a calm and comfy Christmas, get your big food shop done early. You don’t want to be doing a last-minute dash to the shops if you’re slaving away in the kitchen.

This year, online shopping will be busier than ever, so make sure you book your delivery slot before they all get snapped up. Once your menu is set, start compiling your shopping list – you can tweak things as you get closer to your delivery date.

Prep your ingredients

Prep your ingredients the night before to save time and so that you can enjoy Christmas day properly. Peel the potatoes, chop the carrots and get the rest of the veg ready to cook. Leave them in pans of cold water overnight.

Don’t forget to take your meat out of the fridge, too. Bringing it to room temperature will make it quicker and easier for you to cook. Plus, it’ll make the meat more tender – and tastier!

3 Chef secrets for the big day

Season, season, season

A quick win for a delicious Christmas dinner is to season your meat, stuffing, gravy and veg well. Seasoning simply means adding flavour to your food in order to enhance its taste. It’s something that every chef swears by – and it will guarantee smiles around your dinner table.

Rosemary, ginger, nutmeg, peppermint and cinnamon, are all festive favourites of top chefs.

Don’t forget about the drinks!  

Getting the drinks flowing is just as important as feeding those hungry mouths. Like with your main meal, plan the drinks you’re going to serve. Whether it’s complimentary cocktails or teas and coffees, make sure you’re stocked up on ingredients, glasses and ice.

Don’t underestimate how long making drinks can take either. If you need to concentrate on the food, delegate to your sous-chef.

Make the most of the leftovers

Sometimes the best thing about Christmas dinner is the leftovers. Not only will the flavours taste even better the day after, you won’t have to worry about what you’re going to cook for the rest of the Christmas period.   

From turkey and ham pie to sprout remoulade, here are lots of recipes to use up your leftovers:

The FlavorStone Diamond

You’ll also want to kit your kitchen out with equipment that’s going to make your life easier. Turn to the FlavorStone Diamond and its Chef’s Collection.

You can use the FlavorStone Diamond on gas, induction, electric and ceramic hobs, as well as in your oven and on your grill – just what you need with all those different foods at Christmas.

It has a square shape too, which gives you 25% more space than ordinary circular pans, so you can cook all your ingredients with ease. And its diamond infused surface means it’s 3X tougher than most.

Plus, if you upgrade to the new Chef’s Collection, you get additional features, including extra quick touch detachable handles for switching from one step of a recipe to another!

Shop the FlavorStone Diamond here.