You can easily prepare a gourmet Christmas menu without splashing out on oysters and foie gras. Here are ten simple tips for making top-class meals without breaking the bank.
1- Always use seasonal produce. You’ll save money if you go for fruit and vegetables in season rather than exotic fare. Not only are they healthier, you can also use them in a whole range of original recipes. Chestnut crème caramel, anyone?
2- Swap expensive fish and meat for cheaper options: go for chicken or turkey instead of lamb, and choose hake over seafood.
3- Don’t spend a fortune on wine and champagne. You can find perfectly decent bottles in the supermarket at reasonable prices.
4- Don’t cook more than you need. Think carefully about quantities: remember all that food you always have over?
5- Plan your menu and stick to it: you’ll be fine with appetisers, starters, main course and Christmas desserts.
6- Buy as much as possible in advance: you can freeze meat and fish, and drink and sweets will keep for a long time.
7- Go in for a bit of DIY in the kitchen. You can make your own bread, pastries, marinated fish… even your own foie gras micuit! Your guests will love the personal touch and you’ll save a bit of money as well.
8- Forget about a separate children’s menu. It’s unnecessary extra time, stress and expense: the kids will be perfectly happy eating the same as the grownups (it’s their presents they’ll be thinking about).