After some time off of the Delhaize food challenge, I am back. This time we have something really huge and festive, as it’s only right and proper for the end of the year. As always please be aware that this article is sponsored by Delhaize. You will find links to my festive 3-course Menu for Christmas in this article.
Delhaize is collaborating with people who blog about food. I managed to become one of the people in Luxembourg who can participate in this project. Therefore I am very happy to present to you articles and recipes that are sponsored by Delhaize Luxembourg.
On a monthly basis, Delhaize hands out a food challenge, specifying the general outline of what has to be done this particular month. This could be the ingredients, a theme or similar things. But also the budget or which brand to use (e.g. the house brand).
Delhaize Food Challenge
Please note that this series of articles has been published in collaboration with Delhaize. They sponsored almost the entire stock of ingredients used in my recipes. They set up a challenge every month, outlining a few guidelines. For the November/December 2016 challenge, the given theme was “3-course menu for Christmas“. Furthermore, they ask to mainly use products of their home brand and set a budget and I’m free to use this amount within the guidelines.
How to Plan a 3-course Menu for Christmas
When I received the guidelines for the challenge I wanted to make something I had never cooked before, but also use ingredients I enjoy working with. Finally, they had to also fit the theme. Therefore my main ingredient was instantly found: chestnuts! They are the ultimate winter ingredient in my eyes and can be incorporated in so many ways. Chestnuts will be the main ingredient of my 3-course Menu for Christmas and you’ll find it in the starter, main course, and dessert.
In my eyes, a soup is always a great way to start a bigger menu, especially when it’s cold outside (and of course: I love soups!). That settled the starter: soup. I wanted to elevate the soup, so I decided to make a creamy mushroom soup with chestnuts. It’s festive, delicious and can be prepared in advance.
The main dish needed to shine. For all of 2016, I wanted to make a basic Beef Wellington, but never really found the right time for it. I am glad that I waited because now was the perfect time. Decided: Beef Wellington with mushrooms and chestnuts it is!
Finally the dessert. That was a little harder to decide on. Ultimately I figured I wanted to do a chestnut cream. But that was too simple and boring and not elevated enough, especially not compared to the soup or right after a perfect Beef Wellington. As there is pastry in the making of a beef Wellington involved, some pastry in one way or another should be in the dessert, too: eclair with chestnut cream!
This menu took me a couple of days to decide upon, but this creative process was a lot of fun and now I was really looking forward to implementing my 3-course Menu for Christmas.
3-course Menu for Christmas
You’ll find detailed descriptions with recipes and plenty of pictures in separate articles for each course. In this article, you’ll find a quick overview for all of them.
Here is the starter, my creamy mushroom soup with chestnuts:
The soup is best prepared in advance and then quickly reheated before service. This saves you a lot of nerves for your big day – learn from me!
One thing about doing something like a Beef Wellington is that there is absolutely no margin for error. Either you did it perfectly and you have the perfect crust, with the perfect filling and a filet that has the perfect core temperature, or you don’t. I was so delighted and relieved when I cut the Beef Wellington as it was absolutely beautiful!
Finally the dessert. I am not a big baker or pastry chef and I had to realise this once more while preparing my eclair with chestnut cream (read the article to find out why 😉 ):
The eclair was really delicious and I learned a lot in the process.
I prepared all of this during one afternoon and early evening. That was really a difficult task and it can be done, yes, but I recommend preparing the soup and the eclairs a day in advance. The soup can be prepared completely the day before. The eclairs I would pre-bake already and make the cream, too. When it’s time for dessert I would fill the eclair and put it back in the fridge.
All of that being said, it was really a lot of fun working on this. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Give it a try, whether you end up with only one course or maybe all of them. Whatever you do, have fun. Happy year-end greetings and cheers!