This Christmas, makchic would like you to spend quality time with your loved ones rather than slaving off in the kitchen, getting all hot and stuffy preparing your favourite dishes.
We’ve compiled a list of quick and easy recipes that you can whip up for Christmas and still join the festivities in style. Here are some of our picks.
Easy Pumpkin Soup
One of the easiest dishes you could make to start your guests’ meal is a warm bowl of soup – perfect for this sweater weather that we are experiencing right now. If you are pressed for time, you can always precut the vegetables a day ahead and chill them in the refrigerator, so they are ready to be used when you need them. Here is a quick pumpkin soup recipe that you can try.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large yellow onions sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 15-ounce cans pumpkin puree
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the sliced onions to the pan and cook stirring occasionally until caramelised, about 15 minutes.
- Add the garlic, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to the onions and stir constantly for one minute.
- Add 1/4 Cup of the chicken stock and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the remaining chicken broth, water, and pumpkin puree and stir to combine.
- Turn heat to low and simmer the soup for 20 minutes.
- Turn the stove off and use a handheld immersion blender to puree the soup. Alternately, use a regular blender and puree the soup in 2-3 batches.
- Stir the heavy cream into the soup, serve immediately with warm bread if desired.
Who doesn’t love a good hummus? The soft, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture of hummus makes not only a versatile dip, but it is also a healthier snack option. It is great served on toasted bread, crackers, as a base in a wrap, or on top of a salad. You can also easily store hummus in the fridge for your next party.
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 clove garlic
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste; optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- In a food processor, puree the chickpeas and garlic with the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini (if using), cumin, and ¾ teaspoon salt until smooth and creamy. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
- Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the paprika before serving.
Simple Roast Chicken
Roast chickens are great because there is minimal prep time and you can chuck it in the oven and forget all about it until it’s ready to eat. You can also use the leftovers to make a wrap or use the bones for a hearty soup. We promise we have a recipe that lets you have your me-time while the chicken cooks in the oven and yet doesn’t skimp on flavour.
4 large bell peppers (any color)
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced crosswise
5 sprigs thyme, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 3½–4-lb. chicken, patted dry
1 lemon, halved
- Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 218° C. Heat a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Cook bell peppers in skillet, turning every minute or two, until blistered in several spots, about 5 minutes. (You aren’t trying to cook them, just get some color on them.) Transfer bell peppers to a cutting board and let cool slightly; reserve skillet. Stand a pepper upright and slice off sides, working your way around stem in 3 or 4 cuts. Pull out ribs and seeds; discard along with stems. Repeat with remaining peppers.
- Return peppers to skillet and add shallot, chile, and three thyme sprigs. Season generously with salt and black pepper and drizzle ¼ cup oil over. Season chicken all over with salt and black pepper and set on top of peppers. Place a lemon half and remaining two thyme sprigs in chicken cavity and rub skin all over with remaining one tablespoon oil.
- Roast in oven until skin is golden brown and crisp all over and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 70°C, 60–80 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before transferring chicken to a cutting board and carving.
- Just before serving, squeeze remaining lemon half over chicken and bell peppers.
No-bake Christmas Wreath Treats
If baking is your passion and you are blessed with the talent to make desserts from scratch, you might as well skip this section. This recipe is for us who don’t have the talent and patience to bake. You can thank us later.
• 20 large marshmallows
• 2 tablespoons butter
• Green food coloring
• 3 cups cornflakes
• Red M&M’s minis (about two tablespoons)
- Place marshmallows and butter in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave, uncovered, on high until butter is melted and marshmallows are puffed, about 45 seconds. Tint green with food coloring. Stir in cornflakes.
- On a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, divide mixture into eight portions. Working quickly, shape each into a 3-inch wreath using buttered hands. Decorate immediately with M&M’s, pressing to adhere. Let stand until set.
Merry Christmas Cocktail
Nothing screams Christmas more than delicious cocktails that are sure to put you in a jolly good festive mood.
The cocktail recipe we found for you doesn’t involve hours of boiling or reducing. Just like the Christmas wreaths, it only involves, mixing and pouring. Here’s the recipe.
• 1 ounce Plymouth Gin
• 1 ounce cranberry juice
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 6 ounces club soda (or enough to fill)
• Garnish: fresh (or dried) cranberries
- Pour the gin and juices into a collins glass filled with ice.
- Stir to combine.
- Top with club soda and garnish with a few cranberries.
- Serve and enjoy!
Makchic tip: You can replace the Plymouth Gin with Gin and tonic or add sparkling juice for an alcohol-free option. You can also replace the club soda with sparkling water.