For many, the main event at Christmas is not the gifts or the décor, but the big festive feast.
As much as we all look forward to the seasonal specialty, once you’ve had your work Christmas do, festive meet-ups with friends, and the annual tour of relatives’ homes, sometimes you can struggle to even look at another roast when it actually comes to the crunch. And it’s difficult to come up with new Christmas dinner ideas.
Why not choose to do things a little differently this year? You won’t be missing out on your turkey and trimmings (there’ll be plenty of time for that – see above), and you’ll have the opportunity to try cooking something new in your alternative Christmas dinner.
The experts at Hotpoint have worked with Jamie Oliver to put together these delicious yet different festive recipes which will make for a more unusual Christmas dinner. Try them so you can mix up your menu this yuletide!
Hazelnut crust fish
It doesn’t have to be meat that takes centre-stage on the Christmas dinner table. A perfectly-cooked fillet of fish can make a mouth-watering meal.
- 600g white fish fillets (e.g. cod, hake, sea bass)
- 100g white bread
- 80g hazelnuts
- 5g fresh basil
- 5g fresh parsley
- Fresh dill
- Salt, pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Briefly blitz the white bread and hazelnuts separately in a food processor
- Chop the basil, parsley, dill and garlic, then combine with the nut and breadcrumb mix
- Add three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the nuts, crumbs and herbs, season with salt and pepper, then combine everything with a spatula
- Dip the fish fillets in the hazelnut crumb coating, pressing lightly with your hands to ensure the crumbs coat the fish well. Lay the fish on a drip tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
- If you’ve got a Hotpoint Multiflow oven, cook using the dedicated function (select ‘fish’ from the ‘recipes’ menu, then the ‘hazelnut’ crust fish recipe.) In a conventional oven, go for 200°C/gas mark 6 for around 10-12 minutes, dependant on the thickness of your fish fillets.
A sprinkle of nutmeg in the white sauce elevates this dish with a warming festive spice. Watch as everyone around the table becomes more enthusiastic about eating their greens!
- 750g vegetables (for example, broccoli, brussels sprouts, leeks, cauliflower, fennel)
- 40g grated cheese – ideally gruyere
- 1 tbsp breadcrumbs
- A little butter (to taste)
For the béchamel sauce
- 25g butter
- 30g of flour
- 500ml milk
- Wash and cut your vegetables, then blanche for a few minutes in boiling salted water
- Drain and dry the veg, then add then to an oven dished greased with butter
- To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a pan. Pour in the flour and mix thoroughly to prevent any lumps from forming. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring constantly over a low heat until the sauce reaches your desired consistency
- Cover the vegetables with the béchamel sauce
- Mix the breadcrumbs and cheese together and sprinkle over the top. Dot with a little butter
- If you have a Hotpoint Multiflow oven, cook using the dedicated function (select ‘vegetables’ from the ‘recipes’ menu, then the ‘vegetable gratin’ recipe.) In a conventional oven, 180°C/gas mark 4 for around 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown
Christmas hot cross bun loaf
There’s no law against swapping the panettone or stollen for something a little less traditional. Hot cross buns are good at any time of year, and this recipe gives it a little Christmassy twist.
- 200g mixed dried fruit, such as dates, cranberries, raisins and sour cherries
- 150ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
- 4 tbsp runny honey
- 30g blanched almonds
- 400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- Roughly chop larger pieces of dried fruit, destoning the dates if using, and place in a small bowl. Pour just enough boiling water to cover and leave to soak
- Gently heat the milk in a small pan until slightly warmed. Pour into a jug and add the year and 2 tsp honey
- Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor, then tip into a bowl
- Tip the soaked mixed fruit into the food processor along with the soaking water, and blitz until roughly chopped and slightly jammy
- Add the flour, cinnamon and 1 tsp of seasalt, then pour into the yeast mixture and blitz until you have a smooth dough
- Cut the room temperature butter into cubes, add to the dough and pulse until combined
- Transfer the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and springy. Place in a large flour-dusted bowl, cover with a tea towel and prove in a warm place until doubled in size – about an hour
- Preheat the oven to 170°c/325°F/gas 3. Grease a 1-litre roasting tin then dust with a little flour
- Carefully knock the air out of the dough, then transferred to a clean, flour-dusted surface. Sprinkle over the remaining dried fruit and knead into the dough for two minutes
- Roll the dough to roughly 25cm x 25cm. Break the chocolate into small chunks and sprinkle over the dough along with the hazelnuts, pushing them gently into the dough with your fingertips
- Roll the dough into a loose sausage shape, then careful place it into the tin. Leave to rise in a warm place for a further 30-minutes
- Mix the plain flour with 2 tbsp water, and use a teaspoon or piping bag to draw a cross on top of the loaf with it. You could make your loaf even more festive by piping this into a Christmas tree or a wreath shape instead
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then tip out onto a cooling rack and brush with the remaining honey before serving
The best way to turn out your alterative Christmas dinner is using your Hotpoint Multiflow oven, which comes as part of Avant Homes’ standard specification. Multiflow technology distributes constant and even heat to every corner of the oven for consistently even cooking, so no more burnt edges and raw middles, just perfect results every time.