3 last-minute Christmas menus
Forget weeks of planning and make-ahead dishes. Ingredients for these impressive three-course menus can all be bought on the 24th and the cooking done on Christmas Day.
For a further touch of Christmas cheer, add our last-minute pineapple Christmas cake or these mini Christmas cakes to your meal plan. They can be whipped up on Christmas Day, too, if need be – however, you will probably be more relaxed if you do them the night before!
Menu 1: Crayfish bruschetta, beef eye fillet and easy cherry tarts
Start your meal with a welcoming glass of bubbles and the best bruschetta ever: Chunks of crayfish (buy a cooked one) enveloped in a lemony mayo (bought again) with shaved fennel and salad greens. Go on to beef eye fillet (taken out of the fridge an hour or so beforehand to lose the chill) that’s wrapped in bacon and served with a red wine glaze and baby balsamic veges. To finish: easy fresh cherry tarts (yes, we use ready-made pastry).
Menu 2: Traditional lamb
To begin: Oven baked kumara rosti cakes with scallops and lemon cream. Lamb, once a popular choice for Christmas Day in New Zealand, is our main and it is delicious here roasted with rosemary, garlic and lemon and served with a new potato and pea salad. We’ve added Delaney Mes’ festive raw beetroot salad too. And we finish with a simple (but bound to be popular) strawberry mille-feuille, made with bought pastry.
Menu 3: Tropical feast
Serve a platter of quickly barbecued prawns with their spicy tomato sauce to begin and then it’s on to our lovely tropical-glazed ham that's served with cubes of honey-roasted kumara; a potato salad with snow peas, ginger and mint; and an apple and fennel slaw. The trifle to finish is quickly made - bought sponge and custard with fresh mangoes and blueberries – but is even better if you can squeeze a little time on Christmas Eve to assemble it to allow the flavours to fully develop.
Looking for more menus?
Take a look at our 8 festive menus from breakfast to barbecue, picnics to traditional feasts.