Preparing the Ultimate Christmas Dinner Which Will Make Your Family Come Back Year After Year
Everyone loves opening their presents, but Christmas lunch is the highlight of the day. In Malta, we adopt the traditional British Christmas Day lunch. Everyone always flocks to the dinner table once all the presents have been opened in the morning. There is nothing more special than having the family gather around the table, enjoying good food. Everyone always has a smile on their face as the Christmas music beams in the background as you all chat away. As Malta was previously colonised by the United Kingdom, many British traditions have taken shape on the island. Christmas remains one of the aspects that is largely British. The usual classic turkey dinner is presented around Maltese homes every year. The plates are packed full of other goodies. Here are a few Christmas delights that everyone will enjoy. You can stick to something traditional or try something new to surprise the family.
The Main Event
The Classic Turkey Dinner
This is a firm favourite that has lasted through the years. The turkey has appeared on the Christmas table since the 16th century. According to legend, King Henry VIII was known as the first English monarch to dine on the Christmas turkey. If it’s fine for royalty, then everyone in the family with love it as well. There are many different ways to cook a turkey. This usually boils down to family tradition. Turkey has a tendency to dry so ensure protective methods. Brine the turkey before roasting. This will involve soaking it in a salt-water. Rub some butter over the turkey to add more moisture and flavour. You really cannot go wrong with this classic. If you’re stuck for ideas, it’s always wise to stick to the old-fashioned.
Holiday Ham to Try Something Different
Honey-glazed ham has become popular recently. It’s appearing on the Christmas table at more homes every year. Some families are getting bored of the same old turkey and want to try something different. Baked ham is a great alternative dish. This meal is also a lot easier to cook and manage. If you’re afraid of slipping up, this would be a safe option. The flavours are absolutely beautiful with its sublime caramelised glaze. Don’t forget to add some spices for that extra seasoning.
Nut Roast for All the Vegans and Vegetarians
A lot of people refuse to give up meat because they don’t want to miss out on their traditional Christmas dinner. However, the nut roast is a great vegan alternative. If some of your guests have dietary requirements, be sure to prepare a nut roast on the side for them. The nut roast will be loved by everyone and may even be worth serving as a side dish for the meat eaters. It’s packed with wholesome nuts – chestnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans as the list carries on. It’s also filled with diced vegetables to add that extra flavour. The nut roast is the perfect non-meat alternative because it boasts the taste of Christmas. Who doesn’t love chestnuts roasting on an open fire? This would be a great way to bring them to your Christmas dinner.
The Best Side Dishes
You Cannot Keep Away from the Brussels Sprouts
You either love them or you hate them. However, you simply cannot have your Christmas Day lunch without brussels sprouts appearing on the table. Brussels sprouts became part of the Christmas dinner menu because they align with the season. They’re harvested at the same time as we indulge on the rest of our favourite dishes. They always bring up a funny conversation around the dinner table every year. Besides, you can mix them up a little. Why not try combining them with bacon and chestnuts for that extra Christmas flavour?
Roasted Honey-Glazed Parsnips
The flavours for this are really gorgeous. Serving parsnips by themselves can be boring so take time to put some preparation into them. Smother the parsnips with butter and honey and spread over some seasoning. Roast your parsnips until they are a lovely golden-brown colour. They’ll be sure to stand out. Your guest won’t be able to keep their hands off them.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes to Get Those Eyes Turning
This is another great dish if you want to try something different this year. You’ll also be the star of the family because this dish will be beloved by all. Everyone loves cheese, especially when its melted. Slice up a batch of potatoes and onions. Place them coherently in a baking dish. Sprinkle over some salt, pepper and herbs. Pour the lush cream sauce all around the dish to your heart’s content. Add your favourite melted cheese and bake it in the oven for at least an hour before it’s golden-brown. This will be the first dish to go.
Christmas Pudding Filled with a 5 Pence Coin
You cannot get any more British than the classic Christmas pudding. This remains a firm favourite all around Malta. According to tradition, if you find a sixpence in your pudding, you’ll be blessed with wealth the next year. Families still cook their Christmas pudding with a 5 pence coin to this day. However, my favourite thing about the Christmas pudding is its spectacular display. I love the moment when it is drizzled with brandy and set alight. Serve your pudding with cream or custard when the show has ended.
Yuletide Chocolate Log
Malta has its own version of a Christmas log. It’s made with glazed cherries, biscuits and nuts. You’ll love this chocolate log if you have a sweet tooth. It’s usually the dessert of choice amongst Maltese families on Christmas day. There is always one person assigned to the task of baking the perfect Christmas log. If you’re an expat living in Malta and want to try out this dessert, you’ll be able to find it at your local bakery.
Food is abundant during Christmastime. ‘Tis the season to indulge. You won’t have any trouble finding your favourite Christmas goodies in Malta. The supermarkets will be stocked full of Christmas delights. Due to its Catholic traditions, Christmas remains a big deal in Malta. The whole island is decorated with beautiful Christmas lights as everyone awaits the big day. If you’re looking to move once all the festivities are over, be sure you get in touch with one of our letting specialists at QuickLets. We wish you all a Merry Christmas!