Christmas dinner make-aheads & Yorkshire Pudding
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.