We’ve rounded up some relatively easy and delicious recipes that will take the pressure off and ensure you don’t have to spend the entire celebrations preparing food. Where’s the fun in that? For extra bonus points, these dishes showcase our wonderful Western Australian ingredients, so you can make it a truly local Christmas.
Open on a refreshing note
Welcome your guests with something cool and refreshing. Yes, champers or another sparkling wine is always a good start. But this non-alcoholic fruit punch is so full of flavour and so thirst-quenching on a hot day that you won’t even miss the alcohol. Cooking the mango in lime juice gives it a rich base and you can add extra frozen fruit or soda water, depending on taste (and the amount of people you want to serve).
Create the main event
It’s Christmas so there has to be ham, right? But we can get ham all year round, so your festive offering should be special. Yes, it does take a little effort and planning to make this lovely citrus Christmas ham but you can make the glaze the day before and then start the ham first thing in the morning. That way you can do each step in between preparing the other dishes. Serve it on a platter and decorate with edible flowers, green leaves, such as rocket or watercress, and slices of orange to present it like the gift it is to your guests. (Oh, and if you have any leftovers, here are some great ways to use them up.)
Add a golden side
While we tend to eschew the traditional English Christmas dinner (chances are it’s going to be hot, after all), these sensational Christmas roast spuds are also a must. Crispy and crunchy on the outside and soft and moist inside, they are worth turning the oven back on closer to serving time. The trick is to cook the potatoes until they are just tender and then give them a good shake in a saucepan to coat them with duck fat. A bit of bashing makes them crispier, too. You can do this earlier in the day and pop them in the oven closer to serving.
Amp up the salad
Coleslaw may be an old–fashioned salad but there’s a reason it keeps turning up on menus no matter the decade – it’s super fresh, has a nice texture, and is oh-so-easy to make. This WA-style coleslaw makes the most of local produce and ups the ante with the addition of kale, corn and fresh herbs to the traditional cabbage and carrot. And it goes beautifully with Christmas ham. In the unlikely event it’s not all scoffed on the day, store in the fridge and use in sandwiches or rolls the next day.
Finish with a flourish
If you want to wow family and friends, it’s hard to go past this festive pavlova layer cake. Pavlova is a beloved Aussie dessert (yes, we know the Kiwis also claim it) and while this one takes a bit of time to make, it’s not difficult. You can always make the meringues early (even the day before and store them in an airtight container) and finish off the rest later. And it looks fabulous. Bring this to the table and watch everyone swoon. They’ll still be singing your praises as they tuck into seconds.
Serve a bowl of goodness
Make the most of the abundance of summer’s bounty and serve a big bowl of beautiful fruit produced in Western Australia. You can make a fruit salad as diverse as you like or stick with tried and true staples such as berries, mangoes, rockmelon and watermelon. Just ensure that your fruit salad is stacked with seasonal flavour and you can’t go wrong. Keep it simple and serve with ice-cream or fresh cream, or as a side to the magnificent pav. If you have guests staying overnight, this fruit salad with granola, yoghurt and lime syrup is sure to start their day with a smile.
A merry Christmas indeed!
Wondering what to do with all the leftovers?Three ways with leftover Christmas ham