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The dress-it-up, dress-it-down CHRISTMAS LUNCH

Every year, I wonder how much people stray from their family traditions for the big Christmas meal. A straw poll of friends and colleagues revealed most rely on tried-and-trusted favourites, cooking only one or two new things each year, so I decided to create a menu to help with that. These recipes all have something extra to dress them up for Christmas, but we’ve also included instructions to cook each one simply. You can make the whole lot as a beautifully balanced menu or choose one, two or three jazzed-up dishes and strip the rest back… You’re in charge! Whatever you choose, I hope you enjoy the cooking and the eating – and I wish you a very merry Christmas. REBECCA SMITH, FOOD EDITOR

Christmas lunch menu for 8

Herbed crab, saffron and chilli mayonnaise with toasted baguette

Roast turkey with fennel and paprika Proper gravy

Baked pork, almond and marsala stuffing with bread sauce topping

Roast potatoes and apples with bacon and herb salt

Balsamic and brown sugar roast carrots and parsnips

Brussels sprouts cooked in foaming butter with crispy chestnuts

Seasonal greens with hazelnuts and lemon

Panettone, vin santo berries and zabaglione cream trifle


Start with a glass of fizz as an aperitif (see p82 for my choices). A classic white at Christmas for the crab toasts is a fine applescented chablis; a more adventurous alternative would be lime-scented Australian dry riesling. With the turkey, choose a medium-weight red with fresh red berry fruit, such as a chianti classico or young red rioja crianza. Vin santo, the ‘holy’ sweet wine of Italy, golden and nutty, is the perfect sip with the trifle. Serve it lightly chilled –divine indeed.

Herbed crab, saffron and chilli mayonnaise with toasted baguette


Herbed crab, saffron and chilli mayonnaise with toasted baguette


Omit the chilli, saffron and garlic and stick to a classic crab mayo.

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About delicious. Magazine

The Christmas & New year Delicious fulfils all your festive cooking needs. As well as our best-ever big day lunch, there are gifts for foodies, Christmas shortcuts, and three wise men – Hugh F-W, John Torode and Nigel Slater bearing recipes and tips. There are also cocktails and canapés, dramatic desserts, GBBO's Frances Quinn's cake styling and frangipane mince pies. And because there’s still regular cooking to do, we’ve included a Timesaver Meal Planner, too.