Friday, 24 December 2010

A Three Course Christmas Dinner for One Person

A few days ago on this blog, I looked at Christmas dinner ideas for one in respect of vegetarians. It is entirely possible of course that non-vegetarians will also be looking for Christmas dinner ideas for one person, given that purchasing a large turkey or goose is unlikely to be a viable option. This is most likely to be the case where someone is spending Christmas alone but could even be for a sole non-vegetarian at a Christmas dinner party!

Christmas Dinner Appetizer/Starter: Smoked Mackerel Salad with Yoghurt Dip

This incredibly simple recipe requires quite literally no cooking. The smoked mackerel is purchased vacuum packed from the supermarket.


1 smoked mackerel fillet (or smoked salmon)
4 large lettuce leaves
1/2 small red onion
1 tbsp low fat natural yoghurt
2" of cucumber
4 small fresh mint leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


The dip served with this dish is essentially a very simple Indian raita. This should be prepared first. Simply half the cucumber lengthwise, down through the core, scoop the seeds out with a teaspoon and discard them. The flesh of the cucumber should then be finely diced, the mint leaves finely chopped and the two stirred through the yoghurt.

The lettuce leaves should be shredded and the red onion half finely sliced. They should be mixed together with salt and pepper before being arranged on the serving plate, beside the raita in a small bowl.

It is likely that the skin will still be on the smoked mackerel fillet but this can easily be peeled away by hand. The mackerel should then be broken in to large flakes and arranged over the salad immediately prior to service.

Christmas Dinner Main Course: Chicken Casserole with Fried Potato Slices and Brussels Sprouts

This delicious chicken casserole is easy to prepare, fairly quick to cook and both warming and delicious on what may be a very cold and biting Christmas Day. I bought a quarter of a whole chicken, incorporating breast and wing, from my local supermarket for this dish but it can be made with any chosen part of a chicken.


1/4 whole chicken
1 small onion
1 small carrot
1 stick of celery
2 pints fresh chicken stock
1 medium potato
5 or 6 Brussels sprouts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sunflower oil for frying
Little butter
Pinch of ground nutmeg


Put your oven on to preheat to 375F/190C/Gas mark 5. Put a very little oil in to a non-stick frying pan and brown the chicken piece over a high heat. This should only take a couple of minutes. Do not wash the pan at this stage as the potato will be fried in the remnants of the chicken juices.

Peel and quarter the onion and wash and roughly chop the carrot and celery stick. Add the chicken to a large casserole dish and arrange the chopped vegetables around it. Pour over the heated chicken stock and place in to the oven for around forty to forty-five minutes.

The potato should be washed and dried but not peeled. Slice it across the way to a thickness of 1/4". When the casserole is almost ready, add a little more sunflower oil to the frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. Add the potatoes and season well with salt and pepper. Fry for 8 to 10 minutes each side, depending upon how brown you wish them to be.

The casserole should be removed from the oven once the potatoes are in the frying pan. This is to allow the chicken to rest. Remove the chicken only from the dish to a heated plate and cover with foil.

Please be careful not to overcook your Brussels sprouts. This is the most common reason why so many people find them unpalatable. They should be washed in cold water and any loose or discoloured leaves removed and discarded. Do not remove too much of the stalk or make a cross in the bottom. These actions serve only to cause your sprouts to break apart during cooking. Boil for a maximum of 8 to 10 minutes (depending upon the size of the sprouts) in lightly salted water. Drain well and toss in a little butter and ground nutmeg.

The casseroled vegetables should be arranged on a plate and the chicken piece on top. The sprouts and potatoes can be added and the dish served.

Christmas Dinner Pudding/Dessert: Apple, Mincemeat and Rum Pie with Fresh Cream and Chocolate Dusting

This delicious pie can either be made in advance and served cold/slightly warm or be ready to be added to the oven when the chicken casserole is removed. I have made it in a quantity which would easily serve two generous portions - as one portion of a dessert like this is rarely enough and the second portion can be enjoyed perhaps as a late night snack.


2 Bramley apples (or other apples suitable for cooking)
2 tsp granulated sugar
Juice of quarter a fresh lemon
2 tbsp mincemeat
1 tbsp dark rum
4oz puff pastry
1 small beaten egg for glazing
1/4 pint whipping cream
Small piece of milk chocolate and sprig of mint for garnish


The apples should be cored, peeled and roughly chopped. They should be added to a large saucepan with the sugar, lemon juice and around a tablespoon of cold water. The lemon juice will stop them oxidising and discolouring. They should be placed on a medium heat until they start to break down. This will take about ten minutes. They should then be transferred to a pie dish and allowed to cool.

The mincemeat and the rum should then be added to a saucepan and heated until the liquid begins to simmer. This will boil off the alcohol which would add a bitter taste and also make the pie perfectly suitable for children or teetotallers. The mix should then be spread evenly over the apples and again allowed to cool.

When the fruit is cooled, the puff pastry should be rolled out large enough to cover the pie dish and placed on top. The pastry should overhang the dish edges slightly to allow it to be crimped in place. The pastry should be glazed with the beaten egg and a couple of slits made in the centre to serve as steam vents. The pie should then be placed on a baking tray and in to the oven at 375F/190C/Gas mark 5 for thirty-five to forty minutes, until the pastry is risen and golden.

The cream should be whipped just until it begins to form soft peaks. It should then be spooned over a portion of pie on a plate and the chocolate grated over the top. The small sprig of mint forms an attractive final garnish.

You can find lots more tasty Christmas dinner ideas for one or more people via the links below:

Christmas Dinner Ideas for One Person
Christmas Dinner Ideas for Spending Christmas Alone

I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and next week I'll focus on some ideas for a New Year dinner or two...

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