Although most of us are already more than familiar with the classic Christmas lunch and all its glorious trimmings, there’s a lot more that goes into the festive dishes than perhaps first meets the eye.

If you want to stay on top of your Christmas dinner game, the first thing you ought to do is make a list and check it twice!

Yes, keeping a handy notepad and pen close-by as this will help ensure you keep up to date with what ingredients you need, what you’ve already bought, and what needs cooking and when.

There’s more to home cooking than just following a recipe. Using the correct technique and best-quality ingredients are the secret to making your favourite dishes even better.

And, if the good old fashioned pen and paper is a little old school for you, setting reminders on your phone is a perfectly acceptable alternative. Just keep organised.

They say the early bird catches the worm, and when it comes to creating the perfect Christmas feast, this classic saying most certainly rings true. Make what you can ahead of time which will ensure the big day goes off without a hitch — and if your schedule allows it, prep the vegetables the day before.

On a day as hectic as Christmas, facing the horrors of an empty spice rack is the last thing you’ll wish to encounter. So, stocking up your kitchen with fresh ginger, onion, garlic and chillies is a great way of making sure you’ll have everything you need come December 25. And, if you’re feeling a tad adventurous, Granny Mouse knows how:

Keep it awesome – by serving Christmas canapés is a great way to kick things off, whilst tummies rumble in anticipation of the main dinner event. Make them memorable.

Decorate – the food is indeed a priority, putting in a little extra time to decorate your Christmas spread can make all the difference which doesn’t have to break the bank. Granny Mouse culinary artist also highlights to stick to your favourites.

Make sure you also stick to your favourite dinner extras such as wine, a cheeseboard and other personal favourites, or be a little experimental.

Here follows some festive recipes from the culinary artists at the Mouse House:

Duck Liver parfait

ingredients

  • 1kg duck liver
  • 500ml milk
  • 10x eggs
  • 120g red onion diced
  • 800g butter melted
  • 200g butter melted (for top of pate)
  • 250ml port
  • 250ml brandy
  • 20g fresh thyme
  • 1x star anise
  • 5g salt
  • 5g coarse ground black pepper

Method

  • soak duck livers in milk overnight
  • drain and trim off excess sinew and fat
  • sautéed onions until soft
  • add garlic and thyme and sauté for another 30 seconds
  • add port, brandy and star anise
  • reduce by two thirds 2/3
  • remove the star anise
  • place mixture into blender with livers and blend
  • add one egg at a time
  • slowly add the 800g of melted butter until incorporated
  • pass  mixture though a drum sieve and season with salt and pepper
  • pour mixture equally between 4x 1lt chaffing dishes
  • place dishes into a standard gastronome and add water until it comes half up the dish
  • cover with foil and bake in bae marie at 120c degrees for 40 mins
  • remove from oven and check that its cooked
  • allow to cool for 30 minutes
  • then pour the 200g melted butter over them

Lavender and cashew nut crust lamb – serves 5 portions

ingredients

  • 1kg lamb saddle excess fat removed
  • 30 ml oil
  • 3 whole garlic cloves unpeeled
  • 10ml hot English mustard
  • 100g lavender dried and chopped
  • 100g of cashew nuts roasted and chopped very finely
  • 10g onion powder
  • 10g garlic powder
  • 10g salt
  • 800g bread crumbs

METHOD

  • mix all dry ingredients together evenly and set aside to be used later
  • roll lamb saddle and tie with butchers string until it resembles a sausage
  • rub with English mustard
  • season with salt and pepper and allow to stand at room temp for 15 mins
  • heat oil in a pan until oil starts to smoke
  • seal the lamb in the pan until golden brown all the way around
  • smash the garlic once to release oils
  • add to the pan and reduce heat to a simmer
  • fry garlic for 2 mins, be careful not to burn it
  • place garlic and lamb into an oven dish
  • spoon the rendered fat over the lamb
  • roast at 180c for 15 mins (this should take you to medium)
  • remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 mins
  • remove the butchers string
  • roll the lamb in the lavender crust until full coated
  • slice and serve with sides of your choice

White chocolate and lavender crème brule – serves 12

Ingredients

  • 12x egg yolks
  • 1lt cream
  • 120g white chocolate
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 10ml vanilla essence

Method

  • heat cream, vanilla essence, sugar and castor sugar in a sauce pan continuously stirring until chocolate is melted do not allow to boil
  • allow to cool
  • whisk in the egg yolks
  • pour mixture through a cloth to remove chalaza cords
  • pour into 12 ramekins
  • bake au bane marie at 160c degrees covered in foil
  • when custard is a jelly like consistency, remove from oven and bain marie
  • do not get water into the crème Brule at any point
  • allow to cool at room temperature
  • wrap individually  and refrigerate overnight

All in all, be prepared and let us be guided in what advice our “Granny” has to offer! Happy holidays & enjoy from the team at The Mouse House!

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