What does Christmas mean in France? Family, gifts, good times AND scrumptious food! It is a real tradition in France to have a table filled with amazing food at this time of the year. Here’s a typical selection to whet your appetite. Enjoy!
Roasted Asparagus = Asperges rôties au four
Asparagus and shallots roasted with a soupcon of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Such a simple and delicious way to start Christmas dinner.
Escargots with Garlic and herb butter = Escargots de Bourgogne traditionnels
A very classic starter for any dinner party. Snails are baked in a delicious garlic and herb butter. Enjoy them with thin slices of toast.
Chicken and mushroom vol-au-vents = Bouchées a la reine
An easy recipe with a small round case of puff pastry filled with a savoury mixture of turkey or roast chicken in a richly flavoured sauce.
Duck and walnut salad = Salade de mâche aux magrets de canard
This salad is an ideal starter that you can change according to your taste, with apple, extra walnuts and herbs.
Fish and seafood
Avocado garnished with prawns = Avocats garnis aux crevettes
A mixture of prawns and chives spooned generously into avocado halves. To die for! Well… the prawns sacrificed themselves for it. Must be good ;-).
Scallops with Pastis = Coquilles St. Jacques au pastis
This makes a lovely Christmas starter, and is quite quick to make with this aniseed-flavoured liqueur from France; a popular brand is Pernod.
Oysters Rockefeller = Huîtres Rockefeller
Cooked oysters are topped with spinach, bacon, breadcrumbs and Pernod, then placed on a bed of coarse salt and lightly grilled before serving. Miam!
Tuna Tartare = Tartare de thon en petits dômes
A divine starter, light and easy to make. Raw tuna is mixed with coriander, ginger, sesame seeds, yellow pepper, olives and olive oil. Served with a crusty baguette.
Quail with prunes and potatoes = cailles aux pruneaux et aux pommes de terre
An elegant meal that is perfect for Christmas dinner. Whole quails are simmered with potatoes in a deeply fruity, sweet and sour sherry
Stuffed leg of lamb with balsamic, fig and basil sauce = Gigot farci sauce avec balsamique à la figue et au basilic
A delicious stuffing and a very easy way to dress up a lamb roast for Christmas or Easter. Turkey doesn’t really feature on our Christmas table.
Roast Beef with Rosemary Potatoes and Madeira Sauce = Roti de boeuf sauce au madère et à la badiane – pommes de terre au romarin
This is an elegant, yet incredibly easy meal to make for formal dinner parties. It also makes a wonderful alternative to Sunday lunch or Christmas dinner.
Braised Capon with Morel Mushrooms = Chapon au champagne et aux morilles
This is a very traditional French dish. Capon (castrated male chicken) is braised in a creamy champagne sauce with morels. Enjoy over freshly cooked pasta.
Chocolate log with raspberries = Bûche au chocolat et pépites de framboises
A chocolate swiss roll is filled with raspberry jam and chocolate ganache, before being smothered in MORE chocolate ganache and decorated with raspberries.
Pear Charlotte = Charlotte à la poireThis heavenly “fortress of sponge fingers” traditionally calls for pears, but you could go for another type of fruit. You could also try another liqueur instead of kirsch.
This is too much to take! I’ll have to put my apron on “immediatement” and try one of these amazing recipes. There are many other traditional Christmas dishes, but we just couldn’t list them all. We love a nice Australian Christmas lunch, but nothing replaces an inviting French Christmas table peppered with delicious French wines.
Over to you
Would you like to tell us about your Christmas food experience? Please do!
Aimeriez-vous nous parler de votre expérience culinaire de Noel? Nous vous écoutons!
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