By Ada Arinze.
Looking for a way to spice up your Christmas dinner, step away from the good old dishes and make your table look mouth-wateringly unique? I have searched and found a few recipes (thanks to allnigerianrecipes.com) that are bound to do the trick. They are just special twists to the normal dishes that we know, hence they don’t look strange as to discourage guests from trying them out.
1. Whole Roast Chicken: If you watched cartoons as a kid (especially Tom and Jerry), I bet you’ve always wanted to open a covered platter on a dinner table and find a highly garnished whole roast chicken inside. This is an opportunity to try it!
You would need 1 whole chicken, a big stock cube (maggi, etc), 180g of parboiled rice, 1 carrot, 1 handful of green peas, 1 onion, thyme, curry powder and black pepper.
Before you roast the chicken, mix the pepper and stock cube, cut up the carrots and onions into small pieces and parboil the rice.
Put rice in a bowl and add the diced carrots, green peas, diced onions, thyme, salt to taste and some vegetable oil. Stir well and set aside.
Wash the chicken and dry with a towel. Stuff the rice and vegetables into the opening (do not fill it up, remember that rice expands) and tie the legs together so the chicken looks presentable. It would be wiser to use a cock as the skin is soft and easy to cook.
Rub the oil and spices around the chicken and preheat the oven to 350˚C. Serve hot.
2. Meat pie: Rather than use the conventional half-moon shape for your meat pie, why not use a round baking pan to achieve the typical ‘American’ pie shape? You can also use sweet potatoes rather than Irish potatoes and add some apples to create a slightly sweet taste and make your meat pie more dessert-y.
All you need to do is get your round baking pan (the size you wish) and grease it round with butter.
Make your meat pie filling and dough the same way you would if you were making the quintessential meat pie.
Divide the dough in two pieces; one being bigger than the other. Roll out the bigger dough to a 5mm thickness making sure that the diameter of the rolled out dough equals the diameter of your baking pan plus two times the depth of the pan and then some excess to allow for sealing the meat pie.
Fill the dough lined pan with your filling and then cover with the other rolled out dough. Use a fork to seal the pie and brush the top crust with egg whites. Set you oven to 335˚C, and enjoy.
3. Cupcake Christmas: Everybody loves cake. Which is why, sometimes, having a big one plopped in the middle of your dinner table might not be enough for all your guests. It would be practical to make cupcakes instead, and decorate them in a Christmas theme. They are quite easy to decorate; you could even get your family involved and use the opportunity to have a nice bonding time. Cupcakes are also very fashionable this period, so pile them up Christmas-tree style and achieve a modern finish to your food setting. You heard it here first.