Christmas is just over a month away, we chat to BBC Good Food Show Winter chef and HexClad ambassador Chris Baber about his best tips and tricks to ensure smooth festive feasting and entertaining…
You can’t beat a big platter when it comes to having people over.
There’s no cooking involvedIts and can be done in advance.
A great thing to have at the ready with a glass of fizz or mulled wine when people arrive.
There’s no need to get fancy and make individual canapés, just pile a board with some of your favourite cheese, meats, crackers, chutney and olives with some nice bread or bread sticks.
With a few sprigs of rosemary or holly it will look the part too. You could even take it up a notch and chuck a couple of Camemberts in the oven to bake until bubbly and melty ready for some bread dunking.
Get prepped and get organised
Get all of your prep in done well before anyone arrives.
In the kitchen you might want to even make food that can be reheated on the night, like a curry or something low and slow.
If you are cooking fresh get all of your chopping done well before anyone arrives and keep the decks clear. Same goes to setting the table and getting the drinks ready.
Ask for help!
There’s no shame if asking people to bring a few bits with them, especially at Christmas.
If you are hosting everyone for dinner why not ask someone to bring the desserts and someone else to bring the starters. Team work make the dream work.
Ready made hacks
Of course its nice to make everything from scratch but we don’t all have the time or money.
Ready made appetisers that can be chucked in the oven for a party down to things like ready made cranberry sauce for the Christmas dinner. I use them so you should too!
Meals for sharing
I love to make things that can go in the middle of the table and for everyone to help them self.
This is so much easier than trying to go all master chef in the kitchen plating up individual dishes and watch them all get cold before they get to the table. I think its way more fun and social to let everyone dig in.
Plan your time
I think planning and making time is by far the best way to make things easy and stress free.
Look at the time your guests arrive and work a plan back from that, write it down then cross things off the list as you go. Work out the cooking times for everything!
I love to make a big punch or Christmas mulled wine or cider that people can help them self to. A nice hot cocktail is always a welcome treat when you arrive to a Christmas party.
Easy get ahead desserts
Ideally pick something you can make the day before that’s a a doddle to reheat or serve straight from the fridge.
There’s a cracking lemon posset recipe in my new book Easy that you can have made the day before in fancy little glasses ready to serve. Or perhaps my warm apple pie with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Ensure you have the right equipment
Nothing can make me more stressed and agitated than trying to cook and epecially entertain without the correct cooking eequipment and impements. For me it is all about the bst knives and pans, and you won’t get better than HexClad.
Yes you want it to be a good night, and I’m sure it will be! But don’t stress you aren’t cooking for paying guests its your friends, if things don’t go quite to plan don’t worry! Have fun and enjoy it.
The highly anticipated BBC Good Food Show Winter, sponsored by Lexus, is back! It’s the place to go for a delectable feast of flavours, cooking inspiration, and festive cheer for food enthusiasts and families this winter.
This epic winter event promises a foodie extravaganza that will delight the taste buds and ignite culinary creativity in a winter wonderland!
HexClad’s Chris Baber will be taking to the stage at The BBC Good Food Show Winter’s BIG KITCHEN at the start of each session to show the audience how to create quick, 10-minute dishes throughout the festive season.
Chefs such as Nadiya Hussain, food writer Jane Dunn of Jane’s Patisserie, actress and winner of Celebrity MasterChef Lisa Faulkner, and award-winning chefs Michel Roux, James Martin, The Hairy Bikers and Paul Ainsworth will all be at the show.
BBC Good Food Show Winter isn’t just about learning it is very much about trying and buying from the 100s of hand selected food producers and brands at the Show.
The impressive array of artisanal food and drink from local and international producers to sample and buy includes new wines to discover from Yellow Tail, tasty alcohol-free aperitifs from High Point, Cookie Do’s ready to bake cookies, Cornish Cheese Co with the most divine blue cheese, Flower & White’s delightful marshmallow treats and Dipp’d tikka inspired dipping sauces, there is plenty for visitors to discover.
It’s the perfect place to get ahead of their Christmas shopping and pick up presents for loved ones at the Good Food market, stock up on Christmas essentials, and even purchase some early Christmas presents for themselves too!
From picking up the perfect pan at HexClad to a handmade chopping board from Gia Homeware Christmas really can be completed at BBC Good Food Show Winter.
BBC Good Food Show Winter will be at NEC, Birmingham 23-26 November.
For further information visit www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com/winter/ and book your tickets now, with prices starting from £25.