Provender Brown Perth Deli
3 Christmas Entertaining

Easy Christmas Entertaining From Provender Brown!

In the spirit of goodwill to all, we’ve pulled together the one stop Provender Brown Christmas Day shopping list!

There is something truly unique about Christmas Dinner – we gear ourselves up for an almighty feast of delicious, rich foods and lashings of wine, only to fall asleep in front of the King’s Speech before waking up and starting all over again!

As a lover of food, it won’t surprise you that for this exact reason (unashamed gluttony!) Christmas is one of my favourite days of the year. Having the shop, however, means that I don't have as much time to spend prepping food as I might like and so have had to devise quick and easy (but still delicious) solutions for Christmas entertaining. 

In the spirit of goodwill to all, I've pulled together some of my favourites to share with you.

See also: 

The Cheese Shop

The Deli Counter

The Off Licence

Christmas 2
Christmas Entertaining
Christmas 2
Christmas 2
cheese adn wine

Quick & Easy Festive Canapés

They say first impressions count the most, so make sure you welcome your friends and family with some tasty bites. Also great for parties leading up to the big day or for munching while you tackle the wrapping!

One of my go to resources for canape ideas is the Tracklements recipe pages.  Really imaginative and super easy, I've pulled out my top three to save you looking!  Click the links to go straight to the page. 

  1. Mustardy Bacon-wrapped Cocktail Sausages with Prunes & Apricots – we recommend using chipolatas & streaky bacon from Puddledub.
  2. Camembert & Hazelnut Parcels with Tracklements Christmas Spice Chutney
  3. Cranberry & Brie Tartlets – save time and use Les 3 Toques mini pastry cases

Drinks For Your Canapes

For Christmas Day it has to be champagne and you’d be hard-pushed to beat Charles Heidsieck.  From the original Champagne Charlie, and the smallest of the Grandes Marques, these wines are elegant, beautifully balanced and captivatingly complex.  They’ve also won a shower of awards over the years, often seeing off the better known champagne houses.  Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne

If however you have a houseful, you might understandably be looking for something a bit cheaper!  Personally, I often find Prosecco a bit sweet and I really recommend trying our Gambellara Monopolio Durello Spumante instead.  It's made in Northern Italy and has a fresh saline minerality with delicate aromas of papaya and plums and at £13.50 is incredibly good value.

Christmas Day Starter Ideas

Prawn Cocktail may be traditional - and we do love a bit of Marie Rose Sauce - but you really should try these amazing ready to use options from Inverawe Smokehouse.  This year, I'll be opting for their new Smoked Salmon Mousse with Trout Caviar - it looks amazing!

  • Inverawe Salmon Terrine –  roast smoked salmon flakes and smoked trout mousse. It looks spectacular and tastes fantastic. Just turn out onto a dish with some seasonal garnish or trout caviar to impress and ENJOY! It couldn't be easier.  It come in three sizes - 170g serves 1-2, 350g serves 3-4 and 500g if you're feeding  a bigger crowd.

  • Inverawe Smoked Salmon Mousse with Trout Caviar - a very special treat of delicate smoked salmon mousse with Trout Caviar gently folded in. This makes for a delicious and dramatic pate or place into your favourite mould and garnish. An easy but stunning starter for grand dining and I promise everyone will love them. To serve, just add light melba toast or French bread.

  • Capreolus Dorset Air Dried Beef - Made using silverside of grass-fed PGI West Country raised beef. The beef is cured with herbs, spices and port before being slowly air-dried for several weeks. It is perfect served with a salad of lettuce and rocket with shavings of parmesan and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Remember, you only want to whet the appetite for what is to follow so a little goes a long way.

  • Pear, Date & Walnut Salad with Stilton Dressing - perfect if you're catering for vegetarians or would just like something a bit lighter.  I find the BBC Good Food website a great resource for recipes and that's where I found this one - recipe here >

Wine For Your Starter

I love the Martin Codax Alba Martin Albarino, it's crisp, dry and refreshing making it perfect with any seafood dish - in fact it's what all the Spanish are drinking whilst consuming our Scottish seafood - and at £13.50 it won't break the bank.

The Best of British Turkey Trimmings

We may not be the place to go for a bird, but we can do all the trimmings with plenty of style! I'm a big believer in keeping things simple - I know Nigella would be scowling at me right now, but sometimes I just don't have time to be making everything from scratch - especially when the likes of Tracklements have created such tasty alternatives!  Avian flu is making Goose Fat hard to come by this year (and expensive!) but Duck Fat will give you just as perfect roast tatties and no one will notice the difference!  You can find all these in the deli or online.

Wine For Your Main Course

Don't be afraid to serve red wine with your turkey.  The full-blown turkey dinner with all the traditional sides, is full of flavours and complexity and can work well with a medium-bodied red with relatively high acidity and not too much tannin. 

I am a fan of the Jean-Claude Boisset Bourgogne Pinot Noir (£25), an excellent value red Burgundy from the Côte de Nuits.  The fruit for this wine comes from vines that are an average of 40 years old ensuring that the quality of the blend is far higher than that of a standard Bourgogne.

If you prefer something more traditional with your turkey, then I recommend the Mancy Macon Villages Les Classiques.  A  well-balanced, elegantly fresh white Burgundy, it is medium bodied fresh and fruity, with good citrus acidity balancing the orchards fruit flavours.  At £16.99 it represents excellent value for money.

Cheese Board Heaven

The choice is yours but this is one of my favourite mixes. Make sure to top it up with plenty of Tracklement’s Spiced Christmas Chutney, Peter’s Yard Sourdough Cripsbreads (my favs), Fine Cheese Company Crackers for Cheese and your favourite oatcakes. Complete with a scattering of nuts, grapes and fresh figs and everyone will think you’ve morphed into Nigella!

  • Colston Bassett Stilton – is there any other? A perennial winter favourite.
  • Mont d'or– more commonly referred to as Vacherin, this seasonal cheese from the French alps is soft, oozing and lusciously delicious!
  • St Andrews Farmhouse Cheddar -  a buttery yellow cheese with a creamy texture which is slightly softer than a typical cheddar. Aged for 9 to 12 months for a bold flavour and a well rounded lingering finish.
  • Alp Blossom - this Alpine cheese is covered in dried flowers, which bring a lovley pop of colour to the cheeseboard.  It has a beautifully creamy and nutty flavour with a spicy and floral finish.
  • St Maure de Touraine Ash AOP - a zesty, nutty and herbaceous goats' cheese with a mould and ash rind.

Pair with Port

A great way to finish would be with a Tawny port from Sandeman - either the Fine or if you want something special, go for the 20 year old, or the Offley LBV. The decision is normally helped by how long you wish to keep your port.  Tawny lasts much longer in the opened bottle due to its oxidative process. So if you intend to nurse your bottle go for tawny or if it’ll be gone by 1st January try the Offley LBV, both are fantastic examples of the different styles. 

And Then Later....

Does anyone actually ever have room for more come this point? No... but we'll always stuff in a wee mince pie or a slice of cake!

We have two differnent sizes of mince pies from Maclean's Highland Bakery - cocktail mince pies or full-sized mince pies, both delicious (I should know, i've been munching my way through the bashed ones sitting outside my office!)  Or if you prefer something more continental, we have Stollen, either from Germany or from our very own Wild Hearth Stollen Sourdough Bakery here in Perthshire, lebkuchen, pferrernusse, or beautiful Loison panettone (click and scroll down to see our full range), perfect paired with a wee vin santo.

Food For Christmas Eve or Boxing Day... Or Any Other Night You Fancy!

If anyone still feels like eating on Boxing Day, we have no shortage of goodies to supplement your leftovers with quiches, terrines and pates, smoked fish, chutneys, pickles, breads.

For easiness - and that's what we're all looking for, let's be honest - we've created a new Grazing Selection which comes bagged £45 or boxed £55 and has everything needed to whip up the perfect grazing platter in next to no time. Cheeses, charcuterie, olives, chutney, crackers and oatcakes with delicious white chocolate cannoli to finish off. Just add wine!

Now, where did I put those elasticated waist trousers!