Whether you are a keen chef or have been given the all-important role of cooking this year’s Christmas feast, it can often be tricky to know how to make each recipe your own and ensure that your meal stands out from the crowd. With the constant introduction of weird and wonderful dishes, the British public are continuing to become ever-growingly open to putting an innovative twist on some of our favourite traditional foods.
As Christmas is quickly approaching, it is most definitely time to start considering starting your food shopping for the big day and deciding what recipes you will create to cook up delicious Christmas food with a twist.
10 Christmas Food With A Twist Recipes
Here at our Indian Restaurant in Milton Keynes, we love to experiment with different spices and ingredients in dishes, particularly when it comes to creating our festive menu. We always aim to stick to our roots with traditional Indian dishes, however, incorporate popular tastes of Christmas to entice guests to try something new.
If you’re like us and are keen to put a twist on this year’s Christmas dinner, take a read through our top ten recipes for some inspiration!
1. Mincemeat Samosas
It simply isn’t Christmas unless there is a mouthwatering tray of freshly baked mince pies ready to delve into with a cup of tea. A great way of giving the traditional shortcrust pastry mince pie a makeover is to use thin, crispy filo pastry instead to bake your own mincemeat samosas.
Mincemeat samosas are incredibly easy to make, depending on whether you opt for making your own pastry or purchase shop-brought pastry. Using filo pastry makes a lighter, crispier alternative.
The mincemeat itself does require a considerable number of ingredients to achieve the rich taste, the main including the following:
- Dried Fruits – apricots, cranberries and sultanas
- Spices – cinnamon and nutmeg
- Cooking Apples
- Orange – zest and juice
Although there are a number of different ingredients used to make mincemeat, the process is made easier as they will not need to be cooked before creating your samosas. All you will need to do is mix together the dried fruit, apple, orange, spices, pistachios and brandy, then leave for half an hour to ensure the flavours are developed. Once developed, stir in the honey and then its time to start forming your samosas. Samosas only take a maximum of 20 minutes, which makes them a quick and easy, yet tasty snack.
For a full Mincemeat Samosa recipe, take a look at BBC Good Food.
2. Toffee Eggnog
Eggnog is known as the ultimate festive drink. Dating back from as early as the 13th century, Eggnog was originally used to keep you warm over the Winter as the days become colder. Now is it guaranteed that no matter what Christmas market or celebration you attend around the globe, you are guaranteed to spot Eggnog on the menu.
Due to the age of Eggnog, it is no surprise that people have taken it upon themselves to put a unique twist on the drink, our favourite is this toffee flavoured Eggnog. Toffee Eggnog can be created with or without the addition of alcohol, depending on the age of your guests, however, for the most traditional route, we suggest sticking to adding a dash of rye whisky.
Similarly to the pastry in the mincemeat samosas, it is up to you whether you chose to brave making your own toffee syrup. If you do, the only ingredients you will require are brown sugar, butter, cream and water, all slowly heated in a saucepan until a runny consistency is achieved.
We love this Quick Toffee Eggnog recipe on The Spruce Eats.
3. Apple Cider Glazed Ham
Creating and drizzling an apple brandy glaze over your Christmas dinner ham is perfect for combining sweet and savoury tastes. Guests can enjoy the saltiness of the ham with a touch of sweet honey-like glaze.
The great benefit of adding a glaze to meat is that the ham can be put into the oven to cook and the glaze can be created in the meantime. To create the glaze, the following ingredients will be required:
- Apple Cider
- Cider Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Chilli Powder
- Apple Pie Spice
The cider, honey, cider vinegar and dijon mustard will need to be simmered in a saucepan while regularly stirring. Once combined, the butter, chilli powder and apple pie spice can be added and when thickened, the glaze can be drizzled over the ham. You may want to keep some of the sauce to one size to serve with the meat if guests would like extra.
4. Sweet Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Brussels sprouts have always remained a controversial topic, you either love them or hate them. For those sprout lovers, there are numerous different accompaniments you can add to your dish to give a unique twist.
Our favourite is the Taste Of Home, Pomegranate-Hazelnut Roasted Brussels Sprouts, which combines rich, sweet and savoury flavours to give sprouts a delicious tang.
To create this dish, drizzle melted butter over cooked Brussel sprouts in a bowl then add chopped hazelnuts and a sprinkle of orange zest. Toss together until all sprouts are covered and lastly, top with pomegranate seeds.
5. Cheddar and Caramelised Onion Pigs in Blankets
Although traditional pigs in blankets are irresistibly delicious and are almost everyone’s favourite addition to a Christmas dinner, we love the idea of cooking up a pastry cheddar and onion alternative. Cheddar cheese and caramelised onion perfectly compliment each other and work in harmony with almost any dish.
Creating flavoured pastry pigs in blankets can be a little tedious and is likely to take some patience and practice before you get your creations perfect. Hot dogs will need to be cut into two lengthwise, then sandwiched back together with a piece of cheese and half a tablespoon of caramelised onion in between. Once filled the hot dogs are then wrapped in a piece of puff pastry, brushed with whisked egg and water, then baked until golden brown.
6. Christmas Pudding Strudel
Baking a festive strudel is a fantastic way of giving your leftover Christmas pudding a second life and creating a whole new dessert option. This quick recipe takes only 10 minutes to prepare and 25 minutes to cook meaning that is ideal for those who aren’t too keen on baking but want to try out something new – you can even grab yourself some ready-made filo pastry.
Only a few ingredients are needed to make a tasty Christmas pudding strudel which begins with crumbled Christmas pudding, mascarpone and baileys combined into a mixture. The mixture is then placed onto a foundation of four layers of filo pastry with melted butter between each layer. Once rolled, brush the pastry with butter and then bake for 25 minutes – it really is easy as that!
7. Cauliflower Casserole
Cauliflower cheese is one of the most popular components of any roast dinner, which means it is super easy to add extra ingredients to make the taste just that little richer.
To add a Christmas twist on the traditional cauliflower cheese, we love the idea of before baking, adding a sprinkle of toasted stuffing and walnuts for an extra crunch.
For a full recipe on how to create a tasty cauliflower casserole, take a look at Taste Of Home.
8. Horseradish Breadcrumb Mash
It is very rare nowadays that when you order mash, it is simply made with potatoes, there are a variety of different ingredients that are added to create a creamy, rich taste.
A popular combination is potatoes and parsnips, mashed together and baked until there is a crispy, golden brown topping. A fantastic topping to add an extra crunch is horseradish breadcrumbs which are made through breadcrumbs toasted in a pan with plenty of butter then stirred with horseradish. These are them sprinkled on top of the pre-made mash and served.
9. Citrus and Herb Turkey
If we are talking about Christmas, we cannot forget about the star of the show – the turkey. When it comes to turkey, you do not need to play about with the flavour too much, and only a few extra ingredients can make a refreshing difference.
A keen favourite to add a flavour twist to turkey is to fill the cavity with the following:
- Large onions cut into quarters
- Oranges and lemons cut into quarters
- Herbs including rosemary and sage
Once cooked, the ingredients can be removed from the cavity and laid around the turkey to create a great decorative table centrepiece.
10. Glazed Carrots
Over the Christmas period, when every house is filled with sweets, chocolate and goodies, it can often be tricky to get little ones to swap the sugary foods for something a little healthier. Glazing carrots is a fantastic way to sweeten up vegetables, not to mention how tasty they are. Carrots can be glazed with either honey or a combination of brown sugar and butter, of course, if you are trying to stay healthy, honey would be the better option.
If you opt for the brown sugar glaze, the carrots will be cooked in the sweetened water. Combine butter, brown sugar and water together in a saucepan, then add the carrots and boil.
For those who are interested in a honey glaze, you will need first to cook the carrots and then coat with the honey mixture. To create the mixture, simmer butter, honey and lemon juice in a pan then once combined, add the carrots and coat with the glaze.
Put A Unique Twist On Your Christmas Feast!
We hope our top ten delicious ideas have given you some inspiration on the best ways to put a unique twist on some of the most popular Christmas dishes. Most of the dishes included are super easy to prepare and cook or bake, taking minimal time, which is ideal to create on Christmas day when there are a whole host of different dishes to prepare.