Important dates are drawing near when the entire family will get down to celebrate Christmas like they always do. These are significant days that are noted on the calendars of every nation in the world, where it is customary for the entire family to gather on these days each year.
Christmas is a wonderful, popular custom that greatly influences our cuisine. We take advantage of the opportunity to don our aprons and cook original Christmas recipes during this time of year. We look for recipes that use unique ingredients and are distinct from the meals we typically make throughout the year.
If you want to work ahead and prepare your Christmas menu in time, avoid leaving the preparation of your recipes until the last day. Therefore, here you can find a list of Christmas dinner recipes to prepare in advance and have more time to enjoy with your loved ones.
A good full-course Christmas dinner consists of a starter, main course, and a dessert, which we will introduce to you as an option.
Christmas dinner starter
Roasted peppers and onions Toast with rosemary
Toast is a simple but very successful appetizer, and very delicious! This recipe with rosemary and peppers will be the star dish on your table this Christmas.
Ingredients for Toast canapé
3 Green peppers
8 Slices of bread
2 Garlic cloves
1 Spring of rosemary
2 Red peppers
½ Glass of white wine
3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil from Spain
Salt and pepper
Peppers must be cleaned and dried. Cut the seeds and white filaments from the inside into strips after removing them. Peel the onion and chop it into thin strips.
Add the vegetables and seasonings together with the extra virgin olive oil from Spain to a baking dish that has been buttered. Crush the unpeeled garlic, wash it, and add it together with the washed rosemary sprig. Roast them in a preheated oven at 428 ºF for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with the wine and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Toast the bread in the oven or in a toaster and spread the roasted vegetables on top, without the garlic. Serve the toast right away after garnishing it with a few rosemary sprigs and let your guests enjoy it!
Main dish for Christmas dinner menu
Roast chicken with extra virgin olive and herbs
One of the most common methods of preparing chicken is oven roasting. It is a simple dish that requires minimal effort, though it does take some time. The length of time needed to roast a chicken. Despite the fact that we could cook this dish by just roasting the chicken in the oven with some water and extra virgin olive oil from Spain, we’re going to season it here with garlic and some herbs to give it a special touch. Here we tell you how to prepare it.
Ingredients for oven roasted chicken
1 chicken of about 2kg
2 garlic cloves
A little basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme…. Or other fine herbs of your choice
Extra virgin olive oil from Spain
1/2 glass of water
1/2 glass of white wine
Salt and pepper
To begin, preheat the oven to 410ºF. While it is heating, put the chicken on a baking tray and add a pinch of salt, 1/2 glass of water, 1/2 glass of white wine and a dash of olive oil. All this is to give it more flavor and prevent the chicken from over-drying in the oven.
In a mortar we prepare a sauce. Put the chopped garlic cloves, the fine herbs, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil from Spain.
Now we put this sauce over the whole surface of the chicken. This will give an extra touch to the chicken. Then we put the chicken in the oven already preheated to 410ºF.
After about 20-25 minutes, halfway through cooking, we turn the chicken over. This way it will cook well on both sides.
Finally, after another 20-25 minutes, when it is well browned, remove the chicken and let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve it.
Christmas dinner menu dessert
To finish off the Christmas dinner with the family, there is always a need of something sweet. Here we introduce the typical Christmas dessert in Spain, which is olive oil shortbread (or “mantecado” in Spanish).
Ingredients of shortbread with extra virgin olive oil
100g of powdered sugar
1 pinch of salt
100g extra virgin olive oil from Spain
Toasted sesame to sprinkle on top
Toast the flour in the oven at 160º, on a baking paper or silicone sheet. Make sure it does not burn, stirring from time to time. It will take 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the oven, but the color of the flour should be like vanilla, not more toasted.
Now do the same with the almonds: spread them out and toast them in the oven at the same temperature, stirring also so that they are done on both sides.
Once they are cool, grind the almonds to your liking, depending on whether you like to find small pieces or not.
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients: toasted flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, sugar, and salt, and stir well.
Add the extra virgin olive oil from Spain and although at first you can mix, the knead until you get a well-integrated dough. If you have children, it is time to put them into action!
Make a ball with the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. Set aside a few hours in the refrigerator, or better, until the next day.
Stretch the dough and with a pastry cutter, cut out your extra virgin olive oil shortcakes and place them on a baking paper on the baking tray. Cut the dough pieces, put them back together, knead them lightly and stretch them again to continue cutting, until you have a small piece of dough, which will be the «mantecado» to test.
Sprinkle the extra virgin olive oil from Spain and toasted sesame seeds over the shortcakes and place in a preheated oven at 392ºF. Lower the temperature to 350ºF and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, making sure they do not burn.
Prepare these simple Christmas dishes and leave your loved ones happy for the whole season! Happy holidays!