5 SMARTY tips for a Christmas feast

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The turkeys have found their way to the supermarkets and you’re probably starting to think about what festive treats to cook this year.

To help you in your pursuit of the perfect Christmas dinner, we’ve collected 5 handy tips to help you make sure your food will never be forgotten (in a good way).

How to keep your turkey moist

It might sound strange but cooking the bird upside down will ensure the most succulent breast meat. The method works because the heat circulates the oven, cooking the legs quickly as well as letting the juices fall into the breast. But you should remember to turn the turkey back over 30 minutes before it’s done to brown the top, and let it rest 30 mins before you carve.

You can also use aluminium foil to cover the bird for the first half of the cooking time. Then remove it for the final part of roasting to allow the skin to crisp and stop the meat becoming too wet. Need convincing? See what Nigella has to say about it.

Tips for the perfect roast potatoes

Everyone has their own technique for the perfect roasties, but we’ve extracted a few key steps below. If you want a second, third or fourth opinion, this article on The Guardian has tips from some of the best chefs around.

  1. Use a sturdy roasting pan that won’t buckle or warp in the oven.
  2. Make sure the oven is hot enough – 220° is optimum for a crispy exterior.
  3. Parboil the potatoes for 5 mins in salted water.
  4. Preheat the fat in the pan for about 10 mins before you put in the potatoes.
  5. Shake your parboiled potatoes to rough up the edges before you add to the hot oil.
  6. Baste your potatoes in the fat before cooking for 45-50 mins.
  • Oh and remember to turn your potatoes every 20 mins or so, to keep an even crispy texture.

Try roasting your sprouts

Brussels that are roasted taste completely different to those boiled or steamed. Roasting caramelised the natural sugars, resulting in a much sweeter sprout. So you might find that your fussy easters actually like sprouts after all. Try roasting with bacon or chestnuts for an extra touch.

Master the flaming pudding

If you want your Christmas pudding to be a showstopper remember to heat the spirit you’re going to set alight beforehand. Pour your brandy, rum, whisky or vodka into a metal ladle or saucepan and heat over a gas flame. Light it with a match and immediately pour over the pudding. But remember to wait till the flames go out before serving.

Brush up on your knife skills

Knife skills are an important part of your cooking regime, this video by Tasty is a great tutorial on both safety and technique. You’ll also get to see yet another way of removing the skin from those pesky garlic cloves.

With these top tips mastered, you’re ready to have a very Merry Christmas.

Good luck.

  • SMARTY Team
  • December 9th, 2020