forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Sat 03 Nov 12 7:26am

FlippyPhil

Member
From Staffordshire/Derbyshire
Member since Thu 19 Aug 10

A couple of christmas recipe ideas needed

Every other year it's Christmas at the in-laws. My bro-in-law and I like to help our mother in law by doing the meal on the 24th and bringing some extras for boxing day.

This year it's my turn for the main course on the 24th. It has to be something quickk, light and festive. The main problem is I visit my parents and then travel there 500 miles and 3 days earlier. So any precooked solutions need to be freezable and any boxing day treats need to last 7 days before being eaten.

Forget preserves, that's a given she'll be overloaded with jams and chutneys from both of us. Also, while it is the season of goodwill this is really a competition to see who can out do the other - we both think we're the better chef and he has the advantage of being able to prepare stuff later and travel directly there.

So any tips on making a raised meat pie stay fresh for 7 days. Or festive pasta dishes that can be knocked up in a jiffy.

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#2 Sun 04 Nov 12 2:16am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: A couple of christmas recipe ideas needed

Hi Flippy Phil, that is a tall order!

Can you go shopping once you have arrived at your in laws? Something made in advance and frozen, and then supplemented with a beautiful fresh salad is what comes to my mind.

I am no help with raised meat pies, but with pasta a delicious tomato sauce could be made in advance and frozen. I think my choice would be to make a magnificent lasagne and freeze it. cool

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#3 Wed 07 Nov 12 10:39am

TomThurston

Member
Member since Mon 15 Oct 12

Re: A couple of christmas recipe ideas needed

if your wanting the best Christmas dinner ever then make sure you have everything fresh. however if you are unsure where to get this fresh produce from then go to foodbritain and they will act as communicator for you to get in contact with people like farmers so you are able to get what you need

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#4 Sat 10 Nov 12 10:19am

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: A couple of christmas recipe ideas needed

Freeze the pie and wrap it well in newspaper and blankets - it'll easily stay frozen for the journey if you do that and you can get it in the freezer when you get there.

Fun fact: raised pies were actually invented as a means of long-term storing stewed meat, so if you did it old-school mediaeval style it would keep for longer than 7 days. However, they used to drain off all the stock and replace it with butter, and then when they were going to serve it, they would heat it up, drain off the butter and put fresh stock in. And they would serve it hot, which you'd have to, or else you're dancing with botulism. It's an inconsiderate dancing partner.

So if you want to serve cold as we are used to doing these days, freezing is your best option.

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#5 Sat 10 Nov 12 10:26am

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: A couple of christmas recipe ideas needed

Some extra info on freezing hot water pastry, from the Hamlyn Freezer Encyclopaedia ( thumbsup  thumbsup  thumbsup)

"Hot water crust may be frozen baked in the form of pies but due to the high fat content is only suitable for short-term storage, and hard-boiled eggs should be omitted from meat fillings. Storage time... baked hot water crust pies up to 1 month."

So don't make it too far in advance.

It also says that a cooked pie should be defrosted for 2-4 hours at room temperature, but this obviously depends on the size of the pie. You could defrost in the fridge, but I assume you'll want to serve it at room temp anyway.

Edit to add: wrap the pie tightly in plastic or the pastry will dry out in the freezer. Unwrap before defrosting or it will go soggy. I've never done this so I don't know if you're better to defrost open or to wrap in a tea towel - that's what I do for bread. The encyclopaedia is silent on this point so you'd have to make a judgement.

Last edited by hippytea (Sat 10 Nov 12 10:35am)

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#6 Sat 10 Nov 12 2:01pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: A couple of christmas recipe ideas needed

An expensive idea, but what about a whole smoked salmon with all the fixings?  No cooking involved and who wouldn't just want to die over a plate of that?

eta: I meant for the second party.

Last edited by MsPablo (Sat 10 Nov 12 2:13pm)

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