1. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    preparing festive food

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by madhoca, Dec 18, 2010.

    I know there are some good cooks on this forum! I wondered if it was possible to roast a turkey the day before. I mean, could I cook it until it was almost done, then the next day pop it back in the oven again for one more hour to heat it up and brown it off? Would it be very dry or something?

    I've been searching the internet, but no one seems to have the answer to this kind of 'working Mum's' problem. It would be much easier for me to prepare the food over 2-3 evenings before (I have a huge fridge!) I've just heard I have to be at work until 2 o'clock on New Year's Eve, which is when we celebrate a kind of combined Christmas and New Year in my family.

    It's going to be difficult getting everything done on time! Any suggestions about getting turkey and other festive fare ready in advance? Any nice and simple recipies with basic natural ingredients that are easy to find outside the US/UK? Thanks!
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    That would be risky healthwise - what you can do is cook it the night before and then if you serve it with gravy etc that will allow to turkey to seem warm (as long as you have taken it out of the fridge). My Mum did it all the time, veggies etc can be prepared the night before. Other alternative is have the meal on Christmas Eve and then use the leftovers for a buffet on Christmas Day.

    How are you for things for a chilli ? I have a great tex mex thing I do for New Year with beans ? It takes about ten minutes preparation and always goes down well. I make a cheats chocolate trifle to go with it.

    The BBC website is brilliant for food.
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks! I should clarify that I meant, I would finish cooking the turkey for the necessary length of time before we ate it.

    I've found many BBC recipes, or in newspapers etc seem to require ingredients that are not available here. For example, mincemeat and icing can't be found, nor can the type of shallow tins needed for mince pies. Candied peel or ginger, cranberries...the list goes on. On the internet, often the measures are US i.e. Old Imperial measures which are pretty hard to decipher. People bring things back from the UK, but I haven't had the chance to go for 2 years now.

    My best friend in the past when my kids were little was my father's cousin's old book, 'Cookery in The Empire'--her husband was Indian army. There was a great recipe for mincemeat, but most things are too time consuming to attempt as now I'm working very long hours.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    The only way to do it safely would make for an overcooked dry bird. A turkey needs to be cooked to a certain core temperature to be safe, otherwise it will multiply the bacteria and release toxins into the bird overnight. Reheating won't get rid of the toxins.

    What about doing a curry/chilli or something you usually do but making it more special? Last year I did our favourite stew but with topside and lamb shank - instead of stewing beef and hough (neck) of lamb. We added sour cream, I put wine in it etc which I don't normally do.

    When I am in the US I just used things local to the area to make things special.
     
  5. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't been eating meat for a couple of months, because I think I've decided that I'd like to become a vegetarian - personal reasons; not that I won't share, but I don't wanna turn this into an animal rights post, hah.

    Does anybody know any good recipes for something I could replace my meat with at xmas dinner? A lot of the nut roasts I've looked up are very complicated to make and are kind of extreme calorie-wise. I don't think I could stomach Tofurkey, either - it looks yucky!
     
  6. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think a turkey crown as opposed to a whole turkey would cook alot quicker, so perhaps that's something to think about? I wouldn't risk cooking and re-cooking though, because it'd probably dry out, and could pick up00 02#/\1bacteria.**

    ** Omg, mega typo from my dog leaping onto my lap and scrambling about on my laptop! :D It's too cute to delete.
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, I was afraid something like that would be the problem. I'll have to use turkey sliced into *fillets or something and prepare it on the day, then.

    We don't eat any spicy food at all here in the West of Turkey--surprising but true! My husband wouldn't touch chilli or curry, although my kids eat it when they visit England.

    Olive oil, basil, thyme, and strong tomato paste are the basics for just about anything here. We eat yoghurt in savory dishes only, and loads of vegetables, although that's only in the region where I live. Most Turks only really love eating red meat, their idea of 'real food'--if they can afford it. Otherwise, they seem to live off bread and pilav with beans.

    But once a year it's nice to have something a bit more traditionally English.

    *Edit--that sounds a good idea, Ashleigh, thanks.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    This I am more familiar with. I do a cashew nut roast it is fairly easy and not as 'tough' as other nut roasts - no idea about the calorie content though.

    Type cashew nut roast with herb stuffing into google - it is on recipe land the one I use. If you have a food processor it is no work at all - bit more work when it needs bashing out with the rolling pin. I just then serve it with the usual veg and a veggie gravy.

    Other alternative would be a vegatarian stuffing.
     
  9. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you mean fish as well as meat? Salmon is kind of festive at Christmas. In Turkey, we have a lot of different 'meze' dishes which are nice for special occasions and don't all have meat. They are easy to make, low calorie, and look very pretty on the table. You could try Googling 'Turkish meze' and I expect you could see from the ingredients if they seem like trying. We always have some different dishes out for a special meal--but I'd like some more English food for a change as well.
     

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