This is a collaborative post.
Christmas buffet essentials
For some people, the best part of Christmas is all the amazing food that’s served up as part of the festive celebrations. If you have family and friends coming over, a Christmas buffet is a great idea, because people can pick and choose their favourites. Even better, you don’t have to plate up, as your guests can help themselves! I’ve come up with some delicious dairy-free Christmas buffet essentials that will ensure that your festive parties run smoothly – and you can concentrate on mingling and entertaining!
1. Garlic mushroom bruschettas
These are perfect goodies to have as part of a festive buffet. They’re quick to make, and are also vegetarian and vegan friendly. Chestnut mushrooms are ideal for this recipe, or you could use a mixture of other mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster or chanterelles for variety.
- 450g mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic
- olive oil (regular and extra virgin)
- a handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- sourdough bread
- Finely slice the mushrooms and finely chop the garlic, then gently fry in a pan with a little regular olive oil until the liquid has come out of the mushrooms and they start to brown.
- Slice the sourdough into 2cm-thick slices, and toast on a hot griddle pan, drizzling a little extra-virgin olive oil over them as you do so.
- When ready, top each slice with a generous portion of the mushrooms, then sprinkle a little parsley over them.
2. Smoky chorizo with red wine
Chorizo, with its big flavours and smoky taste, is a delicious buffet dish on a cold winter’s night. They’re great served with some roast potatoes on the side – after all, the Spanish serve patatas bravas with their chorizo dishes all the time! If you’re short on time, McCain Roast Potatoes are a handy substitute, because they don’t need peeling or parboiling.
- olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 500g spicy chorizo (it will be marked ‘picante’)
- a 125ml glass of red wine
- 1tbsp honey
- a small handful of parsley
- sourdough bread
- Finely chop the onion, and fry in a medium-hot pan with some olive oil until the onion softens
- Finely slice the garlic, add to the onions, and fry for a further 5 minutes, ensuring the garlic doesn’t turn brown
- Cut the chorizo into slices the thickness of a £1 coin and fry until crispy on each side
- Add the wine and honey, stir well, then turn the heat down and cook gently for a few minutes
- Garnish with some finely chopped parsley and serve with the sourdough bread.
3. Nachos with spicy salsa and creamy guacamole
I’m cheating a bit with this recipe! You could make your own nachos, but I’m not sure who’s really got the time to do that, particularly over the Christmas period. Shop-bought nachos are fine for this, but do make sure that you opt for the plain variety with no added flavouring.
- 6 large tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 mild red chilli
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and black pepper
- Skin the tomatoes then finely chop them, then blend half.
- Peel and finely chop the onion, garlic clove and chilli. Add them, along with the remaining tomatoes, to the blended tomatoes.
- Add the lime juice and sugar, and season well.
- 2 banana shallots
- 1 green chilli (mild is ideal)
- 3 avocados
- 1 tomato (large)
- juice of 1 lime
- olive oil
- a large bunch of coriander
- peel the shallots and chop them finely
- cut the chilli in half, deseed, then chop finely
- finely chop the coriander, using some of the stalks as well as the leaves
- finely chop the tomato
- place into a bowl, then add the lime zest and a few drops of olive oil
- stir to combine, then season with salt and pepper
- Scatter over a few coriander leaves as a garnish
4. Smoked haddock nuggets with spicy mayo
These bite-sized goodies are a great addition to a festive buffet. I’ve used smoked haddock rather than cod for a little extra flavour, and the mayo is livened up with some chipotle Tabasco, which you can find in supermarkets now.
- 250g smoked haddock
- 1 bay leaf
- black peppercorns
- 3tbsp plain flour
- 1 beaten egg
- 100g breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil
- chipotle Tabasco sauce
- Place the haddock in a pan, then cover with water, and add the bay leaf and peppercorns.
- Bring the water to the boil, then turn off the heat and leave for 30 minutes for the fish to cook through and infuse.
- Once cool, carefully remove the fish from the poaching liquid and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Cut the haddock into bite-sized chunks, then roll in the flour, then the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs. A second roll in the egg and breadcrumbs will give a crisper finish.
- Heat a pan half-full with vegetable oil. Drop a small cube of bread into the oil; when it bubbles nicely, the oil is hot enough.
- Fry the haddock nuggets for a few minutes, turning once, until golden brown.
- Prepare a bowl of mayonnaise and stir in 8-10 drops of the Tabasco and mix well.
These four delicious recipes are all ideal for a Christmas buffet. They’re all easy to make, and they certainly make a change from the usual festive fare. Whatever you decide to cook, I hope that you have a great Christmas!