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Christmas dinner make-aheads & Yorkshire Pudding

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  • Lisa Dec 2, 2004 07:45 AM
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Never having eaten or made Yorkshire Pudding, I'm wondering if it could be successfully made ahead, refrigerated or frozen, and reheated?

Anything (else) you usually make for Christmas that can be done ahead?

Thanks so much!!!

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  1. c
    Caitlin McGrath

    Yorkshire pudding, like popovers (they're essentially the same thing) are an of-the-minute, last-minute thing. You want to serve it hot and puffy straight from the oven, or there's not much point.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

      You need to put in to bake when the roast comes out to stand before carving. Cold YP is an unappetizing dish.

    2. You can make the batter for Yorkshire pudding and refrigerate it overnight. I wouldn't recommend freezing and reheating, though I have frozen puds at the supermarket. The best recipe I've ever used is Nigella Lawson's in 'How To Eat'.

      As for what can be made ahead for Christmas dinner, well that depends on your menu. A lot of Americans seem to not have turkey after having it for Thanksgiving. I'm not American and don't live in the U.S. so my idea of Christmas dinner is turkey, roast potatoes, vegetables, etc.

      If you can outline your menu, I can advise on what can be made early.

      1. Thanks so much for the Yorkshire Pudding advice. I'll do it the day of.

        In general I'd like to start some traditions that are more, well, traditional than the ones I grew up with. Which, I guess, is why I'd love to hear about other peoeple's traditions more than just hit the cookbooks, if you know what I mean. It does seem like a lot of people do a second Thanksgiving-like dinner, though it seems so harvesty for winter.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lisa

          Interesting thought about turkey being harvesty - never having had Thanksgiving it never ocurred me. The difference with Christmas dinner (to me) is roast potatoes (Yukon gold make the best, I think), roast parsnips, and brussel sprouts. And of course the Christmas pudding, fruit cake and mince tarts ;)

          All the veg can be prepared a day before and kept in plastic bags Iincluding any you want to put in the stuffing), potatoes can be peeled and kept in water in the fridge. If you're going to roast them, parboil for 5 mins or so, drain, rough them up with a fork a bit, and toss in a little semolina. I put the roasting pan with oil in it on top of the stove to heat, put the potatoes in, coat them with oil then put them in the oven.

          Cranberry sauce can be made a few days ahead too.

          A tip on the Yorkshire pudding, whether you use a muffin pan or make one big pan of it, is to heat the fat in a hot oven before pouring in the batter. And no peeking halfway through.

        2. c
          Caitlin Wheeler

          We make a huge pot of garlic potatoes au gratin that could probably be made ahead then reheated. It goes beautifully with roast beef and creamed spinach (the other staples) and is a lot less last minute fussy than Yorkshire pudding (which I love, but is really best made with beef drippings and fatty roasts aren't easy to find). Dessert is steamed persimmon pudding with brandy butter.

          1. I am going to try Yorkshire pudding this year, as we're serving, as we always do, a whole strip. Gravy and mashed potatoes are usually semi-last minute, although we do the gravy an hour or so before we eat. I always serve a dish of relishes - cornichons, fancy carrot curls and cut radishes, all done the day before. I serve a day-before dessert, like mousse or buche de noel, which I'm going to make this year. I make a broccoli-cheese casserole, my boys' favorite, and do that the day before. Salad can be made early in the day or even the day before and dressed just prior to serving. We're serving Trader Joe's butternut squash soup as an appetizer. My husband and I will finish up in the kitchen while the rest of the gang slurps soup.

            1. WE have prime rib on Christmas ( except for two non red meat eaters, who will have chicken.) Don't make Yorkshire pudding, but do make popovers, which the chicken eaters love, too. I serve twice baked potatoes, which can be done ahead of time, and popped back into the oven to cook again. Not sure of what kind of soup before the meal, but have seen lots of posts on squash soup, and that may be an idea. Vegatables are easy to prepare, and will takekust a bit of time. We will probably go with green beans, a tossed salad and some kind of mushroom dish. Anybody have any ideas?. I cook the green beans quickly in salted, boiling water, then rinse them off in cold water. Then into a saute pan with butter, S/P and a bit of onion. Easy and fresh tasting.

              3 Replies
              1. re: macca

                I make the same dinner for Christmas and have done both the popovers and the Yorkshire pudding, both work well but both need the rendered fat from the roast. I normally make mushroom caps sauteed in wine/garlic/olive oil and served with shaved parmesan. This year I'm going to serve a cream of roasted mushroom soup from a recipe I found on Epicurious. I made a sample batch of it last week with some minor modifications and it was fabulous.

                1. re: Ellen

                  This is an idea I have really embraced this year. I've done two small batches of mussels in a green Thai curry and coconut soup/sauce, one with fresh mussels, one with frozen New Zealand green-lipped ones. Verdict: Frozen are faster, easier to both prepare and to eat, better, and foolproof, in that they come already on the half-shell - no nasty surprises. I've roasted two ducks in the past two weeks to figure out the crispy-skin issue; I think I've got it down now. Maybe. ;o)

                  The mussel recipe, BTW, takes 15 minutes from start to finish and tastes like you've worked on it all day. I cheat and use canned curry paste, but you can make your own in advance if the canned stuff is too hot. It's from a cookbook called "Thai Cooking Class" by Somi Anuntra Miller. Dunno if it's still in print, but it's worth looking for - I paid a whopping eight bucks for mine. Such a deal!

                  1. re: Ellen

                    I think I will look up the mushroom soup recipe. I do like squash soup, but that is something that is easy to make anytime. The mushrrom soup sounds a little more "special" for the Holidays.
                    On the Popovers, I don't use the rendered fat when I make them at Christmas (due to the chicken-only guests), but I do put butter in the popover trays, pllut them in the oven to get hot before filling them with the batter. They come out great every time. I make the popovers while the prime rib is resting.

                2. Yorkshire pudding is so good because the of the fat rendered from the prime rib. If you don't have enough fat drippings, slice off some fat from the finished roast (there is always some that remains) and render it in a pan.

                  (We all fight over the yorkshire pudding--best part of the meal!)

                  1. I can't thank you guys enough! I'm definitely trying Yorkshire pudding, I'm psyched to try this semolina trick, mushrooms & creamed spinach. And more ideas for next year! Thanks so much. Oh, and garlic mashed potato gratin.