Boxing Day Menu ideas?
Ive been arm twisted into inviting 4 people over for Boxing Day early supper, one of which is a very picky eater (no "spicy" foods) and one other is a vegetarian (although eats fish).
I would like something that could be made the day ahead and reheated or possibly assembled in the morning and slow cooked until needed. I am not having Christmas lunch at mine, so I wont have access to any leftovers.
I am at a loss, can anyone suggest anything that would fit my criteria?
Vegetarian is no problem, but that picky non-spice person sure limits the choices! You might make (can be done way ahead of time) something like a vegetable (non-meat) lasagna or other pasta dish. With those easy pre-cooked lasagna noodles now sold, it makes it a pretty simple dish and can be reheated easily. You can also roast vegetables (butternut squash, red onions, potatoes etc.) and serve it with a nice chorizio (eliminated for vegetarian). I had this the other day at The Grove - with a salad -and it was a fantastic lunch. They also had roasted beets as part of the dish. Something with smoked salmon - both could eat that. Prawn risotto?
This says lentil & root vegetable cobbler to me. This is pretty quick so no need to mess about the day before but you could make a start
Fry some onion and garlic together (hopefully the picky one eats garlic). Then add some chopped root veg - maybe parsnip, carrot, celeriac (or whatever feels festive) - about 300gr or so of each. Chuck in a tin of chopped tomatoes; some tomato puree, whatever herbs you think "picky" will eat and about 300ml veg stock. Simmer it for about 15 minutes till more or less tender. Stir a tin of lentils. Also stick in a tin of chestnuts if you want to be ultra-festive.
You can do the previous bit the day before if need be.
Put all this in a casserole. Make the cobbler topping - mix together 225gr self-raising flour; 50gr butter, 75gr cheese (cheddar, cheshire, lancashire - anything not too bland), some mustard and a little bit of milk to bring it together. Roll it out to fit on top of your casserole - it'll be about 15mm or so thick. Score it so it's easy to cut later and stick it on top of the veg mix. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese and bake it for about 25 minutes at 190C.
Seeing as you are pushed for time, buy some varied "stuff" on Monday for a tapas style help yourself starter - include some meat/fish so the flesh eaters don't feel left out. Also buy a super dessert - tarte au citron might fit the bill, with a dollop of mascapone on the side.
There is a perfect dish in Delia Smith's Winter Collection called Salmon Coulibiac.
It is basically a lattice pie. On a sheet of frozen pastry you put a layer of rice/onion/mushroom mixture with some lemon zest, lemon juice, dill and parsley. Next a later of poached salmon, with hard boiled eggs and more dill and parsley. Then another rice/mushroom layer. You top this off with a pastry lattice (you can buy cheap plastic lattice cutters quite easily) and bake it in the oven.
Quite easy to do, although a few different stages (web link at bottom to recipe). Can be completely assembled in the morning and put in the fridge at the stage before you cook the pastry. you then cook it in an oven for 25 mins. Serve with a green vegetable and hollandaise sauce.
Looks spectacular, not spicy, and fish eating vegetarian friendly. I have cooked it a lot and it always impresses.
St Delia's Coulibiac is a definate winner in this household.
Also how about a quick fish "pie". Fry a couple of sliced onions; add a couple of tins of tomatoes and some herbs (dried or fresh). And some white wine. Simmer for a bit to reduce. Add some chunks of fish - cod and the best smoked haddock you can find would be good, but anything "meaty" and poach till almost cooked (you do not want "delicate" here). Bung in some fresh or defrosted prawns to heat through.
Meanwhile, cooked some squares of bought puff pastry in the oven.
Plate up the fish stew, top with the pastry. Serve with some veggies - baked fennel would be good.
Previous advice about starter and dessert still applies.
Sit back and wait for applause.
Pumpkin Ravioli in a garlic sage sauce with butternut squash, apples, and walnuts. Served with a nice white wine and side salad with a light vinaigrette dressing. For dessert have a nice pear tart.
The ravioli can be prepared ahead and stored overnight or even frozen a week before. The butternut and apples chopped the morning of. The sauce cooked before and reheated. The salad isn’t difficult. The pear tart can be store bought or made a day or two before then served cold or reheated.