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Something Different for Christmas Dinner

Probably since you can remember, you’ve always had turkey for Christmas dinner, but why is turkey the traditional roast for your festive feast? It’s more than likely because in the old days, of all the traditional livestock, cows and chickens were needed for their milk and eggs – so the poor old turkey was deemed expendable, and hence became the popular choice after Henry VIII was the first person to have a turkey dinner for Christmas back in the early 1500s.

These days, there are plenty of alternatives when it comes to the centrepiece of your holiday dinner, and if you want to break with tradition and have something different for Christmas dinner, you won’t be short of options. So while serving roast turkey may not exactly be different, whether you just want to try cooking your turkey differently this year, or you like the idea of not having to slave over the oven with a turkey baster and meat thermometer in hand, here are some different ways to roast your turkey this festive season.

Bacon Wrapped Turkey

We first did this one at the huge Thanksgiving banquet we catered for Mullen & Mullen Law Firm. There were 30 people there and it was a huge hit. When it’s done well, turkey is the perfect roast for your Christmas dinner. Moist, succulent and tasty, there’s always enough for everyone – and usually leftovers for turkey sandwiches for the next few days too! It’s true, it’s hard to improve on a well-roasted turkey, but if it is possible, this might just be the way to do it. Wrapping the turkey in a herb butter-basted bacon jacket (try saying that after a couple of egg nogs), not only looks great, it will make your festive roast taste even better too.

Spatchcocked Turkey

Depending on how you cook it, and how many you’re cooking for, roasting your turkey can sometimes seem to take up most of your Christmas Day (and often Christmas Eve as well). While the others are enjoying the festivities and a few drinks, you’re more than likely stuck in the kitchen staring at a turkey that just doesn’t seem to be cooking fast enough. Fear not, there is an alternative. Spatchcocking, or butterflying your bird, is not only quicker, but you’ll probably find it means your turkey cooks and tastes better too.

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Bacon Wrapped Spatchcocked Turkey

Can’t decide between the tasty addition of bacon to your Christmas turkey, or the quick and easy spatchcocked version of the traditional festive roast – well this could be the perfect option for you. You get all the succulent flavour of the bacon wrapped turkey meat, in a roast that probably cooks and tastes much better, and doesn’t take anywhere near as long as a normal bird. Your family will think you’ve worked a Christmas miracle!

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Smoked Turkey

In our Something Different for Thanksgiving Dinner post, we looked at smoking your turkey instead of the more traditional approach of simply roasting it. For any of you who were thinking about trying this for your holiday dinner this year, we thought you might like some more details about how you can smoke your Thanksgiving turkey, with thanks to the Cooking with Jack Show.

Something Different For Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and for many that will mean the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner of turkey and all the trimmings. However, if you fancy a bit of a change, and as long as your guest aren’t going to string you up for breaking with tradition, why not try one of these delicious alternatives instead. Once they taste them, your dinner guest will be saying “what turkey?”.

Champagne Baked Ham

Hams can be quite traditional at Christmas, so it’s not a huge leap to make one the centrepiece of your Thanksgiving Dinner. This is another alternative to turkey that’s pretty straightforward to prepare and cook, and the addition of the champagne means it’s special enough to make a great holiday dinner.

Prime Rib Roast

You can’t beat a good Prime Rib Roast, and it’s a great alternative for your Thanksgiving Dinner, as it’s much less hassle to cook than turkey. Once you’ve spent a few minutes preparing it, the oven does the rest of the work, and with only a few basic ingredients you’ll be amazed how something so simple can taste so good.

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey

OK, so smoked turkey isn’t much of a change from your traditional roast turkey, but cooking it this way gives it a whole different flavour, so you might as well be eating something else! Don’t be put off by the fact that your turkey’s appearance will be a little bit different to what you might be used to, when you taste it you won’t care what it looks like!

Something Different For Dinner With Zucchini

Massively under rated, but but hugely versatile, the Zucchini makes a great base for a whole host of recipes, from a traditional salad, to pizza and even muffins. Here are some great zucchini recipes from eatingwell.com for your dinner table – they’re nice and healthy too!

Zucchini Gratin

Zucchinis are often used as a healthy and lighter alternative to potato, and this recipe is a great example of where a simple change can make a great meal taste even better, and a little bit better for you. With a crispy Parmesan and breadcrumb topping, your family won’t even know they’re eating healthier.

Zucchini & Shrimp Pasta

Pasta-based meals are always a good ‘go-to’ option for weeknight dinner as they’re usually quick and easy to prepare. This recipe is no different, but it adds some new ingredients and flavors to your family meal, with the addition of some fresh basil and some fresh, juicy shrimps – a great alternative to meat and pasta dishes.

Zucchini Pizza

Whether you’re a vegetarian who simply loves their pizza, or you’re trying to make your family’s pizza night a little healthier, this tasty pizza recipe combines zucchini with sweet peppers and fresh tomato sauce, and any other veggies you want to add, to create a lovely fresh-tasting pizza that’s great for the summer.

Something Different For Dinner With Ground Beef

There are so many things you can make with ground or minced beef, that there’s really no excuse for not being able to come up with a variety of tasty recipes. But just in case you’re struggling, here’s a few from myrecipes.com to get you going.

Tex Mex Meatballs

It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, everyone loves meatballs, and theres a lot to love about this Tex Mex meatball recipe. OK, so it may take a little longer than some of the other dishes to prepare, but you’re family or guests will thank you in the end. Served with tortillas and heaps of tasty sides, they’ll be able to customise these tasty meatballs to their hearts content.

Slow Cooked Bolognese

So a bolognese recipe isn’t exactly new, but this recipe has a few surprises. For a start, served with a different type of pasta makes this a while new dish, and adds a bit of variety to a family favorite. Then there’s the way it’s cooked – no more slaving over a pot of sauce. This recipe is perfect for the slow cooker, which means your family gets great tasting Bolognese in a fraction of the time.

Lasagna – Mexican Style!

If your family is like me, they probably love lasagne. But all that making the sauces and ‘building the perfect lasagne can often take too much time and effort when all you want is a quick and tasty weeknight meal. Enter lasagne with a Mexican twist! Just as tasty but a little different, and an awful lot easier to put together when time isn’t on your side.

Something Different For Dinner With Chicken

So this is the first of what I hope will be many posts, offering all you frustrated cooks suggestions for something different for dinner. If your family is tired of the same old meals week in and week out, and you’re tired of trying to come up with something new, only to discover that nobody likes it, then relax, I’ve got you.

I’m going to be sharing some of the best recipes from my favorite sites – meal ideas that are quick and easy to prepare, and will have your family asking for more. My plan is to break them down by the main ingredient, but I’ll also be adding in some recipes that are a mix of foods, but are cheap or quick or easy… or all three. I hope you enjoy them – happy cooking.

Spicy Chicken & Salsa

Don’t be put off by the thought of having to make a salsa from scratch with this first recipe from Something New for Dinner, if you don’t have time to make it a day or so in advance (and perhaps use over a couple of meals, it’s quick and easy enough to rustle up while the chicken is cooking. In fact, the whole meal is so quick and easy, yet deliciously tasty, it makes a perfect weeknight dinner when you’re in a bit of a rush.

Chicken Kabobs

Chicken is such a versatile and easy to cook meat that there’s litter lay no end to the great dishes you can make with it… you just need a little imagination. One way to make a chicken dish taste even better is to combine it with some other great flavors. This recipe adds in some potatoes and prosciuotto to make delicious kabobs that are great as a quick and easy dinner during the summer.

Chicken Marbella

If you’ve not heard of Chicken Marbella, where have you been? This oldy-but-goody recipe has literally been around for decades and was on pretty much ever dinner table in the 80s. The great thing about this recipe is that it looks as thought you’ve spent hours preparing it, when in fact it doesn’t take very long to prepare at all – plus, it’s perfect at dinner parties or just as a weeknight dinner.

It seems the lovely people over at Something New for Dinner liked our idea of suggesting some great chicken dishes for people who were looking for something a little different for dinner, and they came up with their own list. Take a look at their Something Different for Dinner with Chicken recipe ideas.