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Making Christmas Perfect Ch.2 - Starters

Making Christmas Perfect - Starters!

Godfreys have been providing perfect Christmases since 1905 - the year in which we were founded by our Great Grandfather!

Godfreys have been providing perfect Christmases since 1905 - the year in which we were founded by our Great Grandfather! Godfreys have been providing perfect Christmases since 1905 - the year in which we were founded by our Great Grandfather! Godfreys have been providing perfect Christmases since 1905 - the year in which we were founded by our Great Grandfather!

Godfreys have been providing perfect Christmases since 1905 - the year in which we were founded by our Great Grandfather!

Back to the future

Over the years fashions have changed in Christmas dishes and menus - but we find that a mixture of traditional and some of the more modern dishes - is usually the best recipe to help create a Perfect Christmas

Making Christmas - Perfect!

So this year’s Godfreys Celebration will continue to be a series of Chapters of recipes - old and new - for each of - Christmas Breakfast and Brunch, Christmas Side Dishes, Christmas Dinner Mains - and finally some Leftovers recipes for Boxing Day - to complete making your Christmas - Perfect!

Continue our mission

We will continue our mission to champion real Free-Range Turkeys by publishing the What makes a fabulous Christmas Turkey Story - in our Christmas Carol Tab

Producing these special birds

So when people gasp in astonishment at the true taste and textures of your expertly hand raised, thoroughly fabulous tasting Turkey - you can point them to the Tab to show just how much hard work, sheer commitment, husbandry expertise and pure passion goes into producing such a special Bird - rather than its pale - and usually dry and insipid tasting, industrially manufactured - and very distantly related cousins 

And so to Christmas Dinner First Course - or Starters - as some prefer to call them

Christmas Starters - the First Course

To have - or to have not - a Christmas Dinner First Course is often hotly debated

With all that explosion of festive foods to come - why do you need to add any more courses?

Here at Godfreys we get literally thousands of customers placing their Christmas orders with us - and so we get to see how some people do prefer a Starter First Course - and some definitely don’t!

Some prefer the light and simple piscine option - others prefer something a bit more voluptuous

Adding to your Perfect Christmas

So to help make your Christmas Perfect - we thought the best idea was to feature some ideas for those of you with a more carnivorous persuasion - so you can either be inspired to use these recipes - or explore further - and then choose - to have or have not - but at least we have offered you the choice of adding to your Perfect Christmas

Prepare well in advance

Many of our customers prepare their First Courses well in advance - so it frees them to concentrate on the final touches to the Christmas feast - or just gives them a little time to spend with their guests around the festive table - before the main event gets under way

By the time your guests assemble round the table for the Christmas dinner, the scene is set for the feast that is to come

First impressions

Their initial impressions - apart from the tantalizing smells wafting in from the Kitchen - will be visual

This is the moment when the guests will appreciate the care taken in setting the table - the sparkling glasses, the polished cutlery, the flickering candles - and the festive flowers.

The First Course should be a continuation of this visual feast. Dishes that look attractive, festive and appetising - but which are not too filling

Delia Smith is an ardent supporter

Delia Smith is an ardent supporter of the First Course saying:
“The starter is all-important, as it whets your guests' appetite and sets the scene for the culinary highlights to come!”  

The kids

Of course, you are about to serve the festive banquet, but if there's one thing that'll put the pressure on, it's knowing your guests are hungry (and the kids will no doubt make sure you're aware).

Before the main event

Presenting some stunning starters or appetisers before the main event will keep appetites at bay and keep the family's mouths watering for the next round. 

French Schools Christmas Dinner

Just as a comparison - we found this charming Menu from a French Schools Christmas Dinner - not one from a posh Lycée - but a normal provincial French High School - just to show how different food cultures perceive what a Christmas Menu should feature - including First Courses - even in these modern times

A school canteen

This is after all a school canteen, but just the names of each dish alone show an enormous respect for, and interest in, food.  

Nothing is too sophisticated

With menus like this, you can see how culturally important food is to the French.  
It's wonderful that young children are expected and encouraged to appreciate all sorts of foods from a young age; nothing is too sophisticated for them.

The Christmas First Course Starter recipes

So on to the First Course Starter recipes that we hope will provide you with some thought-provoking suggestions of just how to make your Christmas that little bit more special

The opener to your Christmas dinner will set the tone for your celebratory feast.

We've picked our best starter recipes; with many you can make ahead and serve when you're ready - as well as some that you can make at the table and get everyone stuck in for a more informal day 

Tantalising ideas to get your family ready for the main event dishes are as follows: 

• Prosciutto-wrapped Chicken & Leek Terrine - by Gordon Ramsay
Gordon's make-ahead Terrine is the perfect starter when you're entertaining a crowd
Preparation time 1 hr 30 mins : Cooking time 30 mins - plus overnight setting. Click here for Chicken Breast Fillets, Fresh Chicken Stock
(Click here for recipe)

• Velvety Chicken Liver Parfait - by Barney Desmazery
A little Parfait makes Christmas complete, try making your own with Barney's festive recipe
Preparation time 30 mins : Cooking time 15 mins - plus setting. Click here for Free Range Chicken Livers
(Click here for recipe)

• Chicken Liver Parfait with Sultanas & Raisins - by Sara Buenfeld
Making your own Pâté is an extra-special touch - this version is flavoured with Wine, Cream, Garlic and Sage
Preparation time 20 mins : Cooking time 8 mins - plus chilling. Click here for Free Range Chicken Livers
(Click here for recipe)

• Chicken Liver Pâté - by James Martin
James Martin's luxuriously rich dinner party starter can be made up to two days in advance for fuss-free entertaining - serve with toasted Brioche, Cornichons and Chutney
Preparation time 15 mins : Cooking time 10 mins. Click here for Free Range Chicken Livers
(Click here for recipe)

• Country Terrine with Black Pepper & Thyme - by Sara Buenfeld
A rustic Terrine with French Toasts makes an excellent starter for a special meal and it costs very little to make
Preparation time 20 mins : Cooking time 1 hr 30 mins - plus overnight chilling. Click here for Chicken Livers, Tamworth Smoked Streaky Bacon, Tamworth Unsmoked Streaky Bacon
(Click here for recipe)

• Deep-fried Brussels with Black Pudding & Apple - by Sara Buenfeld
Deep-fried Brussels are a taste revelation, they're dangerously addictive with our mustardy Vinaigrette. Serve as a speedy yet elegant starter
Preparation time 10 mins : Cooking time 10 mins. Click here for Black Pudding Slices
(Click here for recipe)

• Lardo & Apple Bruschetta - by Chelsie Collins
This melt-in-the-mouth Pork Fat with Herbs and Spices goes well with the sweetness of a Granny Smith and makes a delectable starter.
Preparation time 5 mins : Cooking time 10 mins. Click here for Directors Sausage Meat
(Click here for recipe)

• Game Terrine - by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Use whatever Game you can get for this tasty recipe. It requires a little work, but the results are well worth the effort
Preparation time overnight : Cooking time over 2 hrs. Click here for Pheasant, Wild Mallard Duck, Wood Pigeon, Wild Rabbit, Venison
(Click here for recipe)

• Duck & Pork Terrine with Cranberries & Pistachios - by Mary Cadogan
Set aside a couple of hours and enjoy every minute of making this impressive Terrine
Preparation time 45 mins ; Cooking time 2 hrs 15 mins - mature for at least 2 days before eating. Click here for Duck Breast, Tamworth Unsmoked Streaky Bacon, Pork Shoulder, Chicken Livers
(Click here for recipe)

• Gordon's Rustic Pâté - by Gordon Ramsay
An impressive starter from Gordon Ramsay, that's surprisingly simple to put together. Make it a few days ahead to allow the flavours to develop
Preparation time 50 mins : Cooking time 1 hr - plus marinating. Click here for Pork Tenderloin, Tamworth Unsmoked Streaky Bacon, Directors Sausage Meat
(Click here for recipe)

• Slow Belly of Pork, Apple Soup, Garlic Purée & Port Jus - Galton Blackiston
Salty Pork Belly is married with sweet Apple, creamy Garlic and tangy White Port in this impressive Pork Belly recipe; the Green Apple packing a punch on the plate and the palate.
Preparation/Cooking time 2 hours - plus 2 days for the Pork Belly. Click here for Pork Belly Slices - ask us for it in one piece
(Click here for recipe)

• Venison Carpaccio - by Paul Ainsworth
Paul Ainsworth's elegant Venison recipe transforms Venison Loin into a stunning Carpaccio with wonderful Parsnip Purée and Crisps. A bundle of Baby Beetroots completes the picture, resulting in a marvellous symphony of textures and tastes. 
Preparation/Cooking time 60 mins, plus overnight marinating. Click here for Venison Saddle Eye
(Click here for recipe)

• Venison and Black Pudding Scotch Egg - by Nigel Mendham
Nigel Mendham combines rich, gamey Venison with Black Pudding to make an intriguing Scotch Egg. 
Preparation/Cooking time 60 mins. Click here for Ramsays Black Pudding Slices, Hand Diced Venison - ask us to mince it
(Click here for recipe)

We hope you enjoyed this Chapter on Christmas Dinner Starter recipes and ideas for Christmas - and hope you look forward to the next Chapter when we show more Recipes and Ideas for your Perfect Christmas- next up are Christmas Dinner Side dishes - traditional - and not so traditional!

Merry Christmas!

Ps Please do have a look at Chapter One of our Christmas Carol now Live on www.godfreys.co which explains in detail what ensures your Christmas Turkey is going to be fabulous

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