Christmas Dinner Ideas for One Person
If you happen to be spending Christmas alone this year, it's likely you will be seeking Christmas some form of dinner ideas for one person. Remember, spending Christmas alone does not mean that you have to forego your dinner, merely that it may have to take a slightly different form.
The dish pictured is merely one idea for an excellent Christmas dinner for one - for which you will find the recipe below - and this page will suggest lots more similar ideas which will be a mixture of the conventional and the practical.
A Brief Word about Spending Christmas Alone
There are a great many reasons why someone could be spending Christmas alone. These could include the fact that their special someone is absent for some reason beyond their control, the fact that they themselves are working and living away from home, or sadly even perhaps that they have no family in their immediate vicinity or friends good enough to invite them over to share in their own family's celebrations.
Whatever the reason may be for spending Christmas alone, it is important not to become despondent and wallow in a mire of self-pity or alcohol fuelled misery. Remember what Christmas is all about and celebrate the Birth of Christ and all the seasonal values to the very best of your ability.
Get the Christmas Tree Assembled and Decorated
It is a fact that very often our mood is determined by our immediate surroundings, especially when we find ourselves alone. If you are spending Christmas alone this year, do not use it as an excuse not to assemble a Christmas tree and decorate your home for the occasion.
A Christmas tree and decorations, together with the right type of Christmas music, will go a long way to lightening and brightening your mood as you prepare your Christmas dinner and help you to enjoy the occasion as much as it is possible to do so, whatever your circumstances.
Braised Venison Haunch in Red Wine and Chocolate Sauce
Slow cooked venison in a delicious, seasonal sauce
Venison is a meat which may turn some people off at Christmas, given its association with Rudolph, et al. I promise, however, that this delicious recipe includes not one ounce of reindeer meat and is therefore entirely Christmas safe.
There are two principal ways in which I prepare this recipe, both very similar. In the bulk of the recipe below, I will describe it as it is pictured to the right. I will then give details of the slight variation on the theme at the end. Please note also that I always use good quality, plain chocolate with a high cocoa content but milk chocolate may be substituted if desired.
- 1/2 lb diced venison haunch
- 3/4 pint fresh beef stock
- 3/4 pint cheap red wine
- 1 medium onion (quartered)
- 1 medium carrot (roughly chopped)
- 1oz chocolate
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2oz basmati rice
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- 1 tsp freshly chopped parsley plus small sprig for garnish
Put the olive oil in to a large pot and bring up to a medium heat. Add the venison, carrot and onion and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the venison is browned. Add the beef stock and the red wine and bring up to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for two and a half hours, or until the venison is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more stock if required.
When the venison is almost ready, wash the rice in a fine sieve and add it to a pan of salted, boiling water, to simmer for around twelve minutes. Drain it well and stir in the chopped parsley and the garlic. Line a small ramekin with clingfilm and pack the rice tightly inside before turning the ramekin upside down on to the centre of the plate. Hold the edges of the clingfilm down firmly and gently lift off the ramekin before peeling away and discarding the clingfilm. Garnish with the small sprig of parsley.
Add the chocolate to the venison and cook for another couple of minutes only until it is fully melted, stirring frequently. Carefully spoon the venison and sauce around the plated rice.
When the venison is cooked, remove around half a cup of the stock only and add to a small saucepan. Place on a low heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Arrange the venison and veg only around the rice by using a slotted spoon before drizzling over the much more highly concentrated chocolate sauce.
Turkey Breast Steak with Fried Egg, Sage and Garlic Roast Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
A traditional Christmas dinner treat for one.
The traditional Christmas turkey is of course likely to be far too much for one person, however small they may now be available. Fortunately, turkey cuts are available to buy in a wide variety of forms and this recipe considers how to cook a turkey breast steak, accompanied by roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts - and a fried egg for good measure!
- 1 turkey breast steak
- 2 medium potatoes
- 6 Brussels sprouts
- 1 large egg
- 1 garlic clove
- Pinch of dried sage
- Corn or sunflower oil
- Little bit of butter
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
The first thing to do is to peel and chop your potatoes in to bite-sized pieces and put them on to parboil in some lightly salted water. As soon as the potatoes are simmering away, add enough corn or sunflower oil to a deep baking tray and place it in to the oven. Put the oven on to preheat to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.
After around fifteen minutes, drain the potatoes well and return them to the empty pot. Gently but firmly, shake the pot to, "Fluff," up the outside of the potatoes before adding them to the baking tray and swirling them in the hot oil. Return the baking tray to the oven.
Prepare the sprouts by cutting off the remnants of any stalk - not too close to the sprout - and removing any loose or damaged leaves. Do not put a "+" in the base of the sprouts. This essentially serves only to cause the leaves to fall off during cooking. Place them in to a pot, salt and add enough boiling water to cover them. Simmer for twelve to fifteen minutes, depending upon the size of the Brussels sprouts. Remember, sprouts should not be cooked until, "Soggy," but should remain firm and even crunchy to be eaten at their best. Over-cooking Brussels sprouts is the principal reason why children - big and small! - don't like them!
Add a little oil to a non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. Add the turkey steak and cook for four to five minutes each side, until done. Around three minutes before the turkey is due to be ready, add the egg to the pan to begin frying.
Peel the garlic clove and grate it in to a large bowl. Add the pinch of sage. When the other ingredients are all but ready, remove the potatoes from the oven and add them to the bowl and gently swirl them around. Return them to the baking tray and the oven for a couple of minutes only.
Drain the sprouts and return them to the empty pot. Add a little bit of butter and - if required - a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. This gives them a little extra bit of flavour. Swirl them slowly around to ensure even coating.
It thereafter remains only to plate up your meal as shown - and enjoy it!
Turkey Fried Rice Recipe
An extremely quick and sumptuous turkey recipe - with a Chinese twist,
Stir fries are not often thought of as typical Christmas recipes but stir fries are an excellent way of preparing a meal for one at any time of the year. This turkey fried rice recipe is not only incredibly easy to make, it is also fairly quick to prepare and to cook, which is ideal if you perhaps have to work on Christmas Day and this is the reason that you are eating Christmas dinner alone.
- 4oz diced turkey breast or thigh
- 3oz basmati or long grained rice
- 1/2 small onion (very finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped coriander/cilantro
- Approx 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- Corn oil for frying
The first step is to cook the rice by boiling it. Place the rice in to a fine sieve and run it under cold water to remove the excess starch. Boil it thereafter in lightly salted water, for a period of ten to twelve minutes or depending upon the instructions on the pack. Drain it well through the sieve and allow to cool. This is very important, as if the rice is fried while warm, it will stick together and produce a most unappetising result.
When the rice is cold, bring your wok up to a high heat, then add around a tablespoon of corn oil. I have tried various types of oil for frying rice and have found corn oil to produce the best effect. Add the diced turkey to the hot oil and stir fry for a minute or two until almost cooked, before adding the onion.
It will not take long for the onion to glisten and begin to cook, at which point the rice should be added. Remember always to keep the heat turned up very high when stir frying or you risk your food sticking to the wok.
After another couple of minutes, add the soy sauce, stirring only until it is well mixed through the rice. Remove the wok from the heat, stir in the coriander/cilantro and serve immediately.
Grilled Leg of Lamb Steak on Sweet Potato and Parsnip Mash
A truly delicious turkey alternative for Christmas
Lamb is of course a delicious meat served at any time of year and sweet potatoes have long since been used as an accompaniment to lamb. This recipe provides not only a delicious alternative to turkey for Christmas but is prepared and cooked from start to finish in less than half an hour.
- 1 leg of lamb steak (or two small ones!)
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large parsnip
- 1 clove of garlic (crushed)
- 2 tbsp frozen garden peas
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
The sweet potato and parsnip should be peeled and chopped in to approximately 1" cubes. They should then be added to a large pot of salted, boiling water and allowed to simmer for around twenty minutes until soft.
When the sweet potato and parsnip have been simmering for about five minutes, the leg of lamb steak should be placed under a medium to hot grill and cooked for around six or seven minutes each side until done. It should then be set aside to rest while the finishing touches are put to its accompaniments.
The peas should be added to a pot of boiling water and simmered for two to three minutes (check the packet for instructions) while the sweet potato and parsnip is drained and mashed thoroughly. Black pepper to taste and the crushed garlic should then be stirred through the mixture. The mash should then be arranged on the plate in a circle as shown in the photograph, the lamb placed carefully on top and the peas drained and arranged around the edges.
Sweet Potato and Apple Soup for One
A delicious appetizer/starter - or even an early lunch before you start to prepare your Christmas dinner!
Why is it that almost every soup recipe known to man is for four, six, eight, or more people? Do recipe writers not think single people like soup? Maybe they don't think single people are prepared to go to what is very often the bother of making soup for one?
The good news with this soup recipe is that it is provided in the quantities required for one person (albeit a hungry person) and it can be made from start to finish in less than half an hour - including preparation time.
- 1 large sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
- 1 Granny Smith apple (de-cored, peeled and chopped)
- 1 clove of garlic (crushed or grated)
- 1 pint of fresh vegetable stock (prepared in advance)
- 1 tsp freshly chopped coriander leaf/cilantro
Put the sweet potato, apple and garlic in to a medium sized soup pot and add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to allow the mixture to simmer gently for twenty to twenty-five minutes, until the sweet potato is soft. Remove the pot from the heat and sit it on a wooden chopping board. Simply mash the soup with a potato masher before stirring in the chopped coriander/cilantro. Season if required and serve immediately.
Stewing Steak Braised in Red Wine with Roast Potato and Onion Swirl
A dish which I promise is a lot easier to cook than it looks!
This is a recipe which, although fairly simple to prepare, does take a lengthy cooking time of up to three hours, due to the long, slow cooking time required for the steak in order that it be tender. It may well be, though, that you can start it off before settling down in front of the TV and allow it to cook away as you otherwise amuse and enjoy yourself.
- 1/2 lb stewing steak (chopped)
- 3/4 pint fresh beef stock
- 3/4 pint cheap red wine
- 1 red bell pepper (de-seeded)
- 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)
- 3 slices of potato (1/4" thick)
- 3 slices of onion (1/4" thick)
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped, fresh parsley (plus small sprig for garnish)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sunflower oil
Brown the steak in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for another thirty seconds or so in the juices which should have been released by the steak. Add the red wine and the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to keep the mixture at a gentle simmer and cook for two hours, stirring occasionally. After this time, add half the red pepper (sliced) and more hot water if required. Simmer for a further hour (total, three hours.)
When the stew has been simmering for around two hours and twenty minutes, pour enough sunflower oil on to a baking sheet to cover it and place the baking sheet in to the oven. Turn the oven on to pre-heat to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.
When the oven is heated, put the potato slices and the remaining half of the red bell pepper (sliced lengthways in to four) on to the baking sheet. Cook for ten minutes. Turn the potato slices and the peppers and add the onions. After another five minutes, turn the onions and cook for five more minutes.
Stir the chopped parsley in to the stew and season only at this stage with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and arrange the potato and onion slices alternately in a swirl in the centre of the plate, adding the red peppers at right angles as shown. Spoon the stew carefully around the swirl and garnish with the sprig of parsley.
Pan Fried Fillet of Scottish Salmon with Dill Buttered New Potatoes and Broccoli
An extremely healthy Christmas dinner for one option
It is probably not particularly often that fish is considered as forming the main part of any Christmas dinner. Apart from being an extremely delicious fish to eat, however, salmon is also an extremely healthy option at a time of year when many alternatives are anything but. This salmon recipe is one which I prepare frequently, all year round, and simply had therefore to include on this page.
- 1 fillet of Scottish salmon (skin on)
- 7 or 8 small new potatoes (skins on)
- 1 small head of broccoli
- Pinch of dried dill
- Sunflower oil
- Plain or all-purpose flour for dusting
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
The potatoes will take by far the longest time to cook and should therefore be added whole to a large pot of boiling, salted water, to simmer for twenty-five to thirty minutes. The broccoli should broken in to florets and cooked in the same way in a separate pot for no more than eight to ten minutes.
When the broccoli is on to cook, a little flour should be spread out on a plate and seasoned with salt and pepper. A little oil should then be added to a non-stick frying pan and brought up to a moderate heat before a little butter is added to melt. The salmon fillet may then be dusted in the flour (skin side only) and the excess flour shaken off before it is placed skin side down in to the pan.
The salmon should be cooked on a moderate heat until it appears from the side to have cooked halfway through. The heat should then be turned off and the fillet turned only at this stage on to its flesh side to complete cooking in the residual heat while the potatoes and broccoli are drained. A little butter and the dill should at this stage be added to the potatoes.
The meal should then be plated up and the crisped skin should peel easily away from the salmon fillet with the aid of a knife.
Please note that salmon should always retain that little bit of pinkness and moisture in the centre to be enjoyed at its very best.
Do you Know of Someone Likely to Be Spending Christmas Alone This Year?
Why not invite them to join your family celebrations?
As we have already touched upon, there are a great many potential reasons why people spend Christmas alone. Personally, I spent Christmas 2012 and New Year 2012/13 alone through choice. I worked right through the holiday period. I am in a minority in that I wanted to be alone on Christmas. Most people in a similar situation do not...
If, therefore, you know someone seemingly destined to spend Christmas alone and you are having a party on Christmas Day, why not invite them to come along? The likelihood is that they will be alone only through circumstances and would much rather not be.
Please remember The Christmas Message and what Christmas is all about and do your bit for the true spirit of Christmas every year. The act alone should be all the reward that you need...
Merry Christmas Everybody!
Are you spending Christmas alone? Would you simply like to leave a message for someone specific or anyone in general who is spending Christmas alone? Below is the place to do it.
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