Now that we’ve broken the seal on talking about Christmas, let’s get into Christmas Starters. It can be stressful when you’re thinking about preparing a Christmas feast for your family and friends, so the best thing to do is to plan ahead of time. If you know exactly what your menu is going to be, then you can work backwards to create a timeline of when things need to be prepped and cooked. Trust us, it will make your life a lot easier and stress free!
Let's talk about some great Christmas starter ideas. A Christmas starter should be decadent and delicious. Oysters are perfect for a canape style starter. Just have a few laid out on a platter of ice and you’re good to go. They don’t have to just be raw either, you can get them with a white wine sauce on them, you can even get smoked oysters, and of course oysters rockefeller. Mix it up, why not have a couple options available? Prawns are also a perfect starter choice for canape style starters. Try making some prawn and avocado tostadas, they’re great finger food and your guests will love them. Pair those with some smoked salmon blinis and you’re set. If you’re feeling fancy, try making some devilled eggs topped with caviar. You could even try trout caviar rather than the pricey sturgeon caviar if you’re working on a budget.
For a sit down starter, you could make up a smoked salmon terrine and serve it sliced with a couple bits of bread. There’s an amazing recipe for smoked salmon with beetroot and vodka creme fraiche that is so delicious and would go down an absolute treat. It’s got just the right amount of festivity to get your Christmas dinner going. Check out the recipe here. The salmon caviar they mention is also known as keta, just in case you were wondering.
To make things even easier, you can prepare some things ahead of time. For example, if you want to serve blinis, you can make them long before you actually need them. Jamie Oliver has a wonderfully simple and easy recipe that you can follow to make your blinis. Take a look at it here. Once you’ve cooked them all, you can freeze them for up to 6 months. All you need to do is let them cool down once they’ve been cooked, wrap them into little bundles of 6 (double wrap them if you want to avoid freezer burn) and pop them into a container in the freezer. Then when you need them, pull them out the freezer and let them defrost, warm them up in the oven and pop your toppings on! It can’t get easier than that.
A classic starter to serve, so let's take a look at another classic; the prawn cocktail. This has been a classic for around 130 years. There are a couple stories about why this dish is called a cocktail; one tells the story of a miner who ordered a whisky and a plate of oysters. Once he’d finished his whisky, he tipped the oysters into the empty glass, covered them in vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, ketchup and horseradish and knocked them back and called it an oyster cocktail. Over time, after the decline of oysters and the rise of prawns, this dish became the prawn cocktail. Another story is that this starter reached popularity during a time when people loved to attach the word cocktail onto anything. This is when cocktail dresses, cocktail parties, cocktail glasses and cocktail tables all came about. So it’s likely that a prawn cocktail was served at these parties and the name stuck! Whichever one of these stories you want to believe, I think we can all agree a Christmas prawn cocktail starter sounds delicious. If you’re looking for a recipe, the BBC Good Food guide has one that is an absolute winner. Check it out here.