Provender Brown Perth Deli
1 Inverawe Catherine Wheel Roulades

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 Queen’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.

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 off 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 Parcels with Hazelnuts and Tracklements Christmas Spice Chutney
  3. Cranberry & Brie Tartlets – save time and use Pidy 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.  BUY Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne>

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.  I'm a big fan of the Salmon Terrine - guaranteed to get the meal off to a great start!

  • Inverawe Salmon Terrine – A triple terrine of smoked salmon, roast smoked salmon flakes and smoked salmon mousse. It looks spectacular and tastes fantastic. Just turn out onto a dish with some seasonal garnish or trout caviar to impress your guests. It come in two sizes - 500g serves 5-6 and the 170g serves 1-2.

  • Inverawe Smoked Salmon Mousse with caviar - Individual pots of luscious, delicate, smoked salmon mousse laced with bubbles of trout caviar. Makes an easy but stunning starter for grand dining and I promise everyone will love them. To serve, just add garnish, light melba toast or French bread.
  • 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: 
No question about this one. It has to be the Bagoas Ledas Albarino which is tasting sublime at the moment. In fact it's what all the Spanish are drinking whilst consuming our Scottish fish! 

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 stuffing and cranberry sauce from scratch - especially when Puddledub and Tracklements have created such tasty alternatives!  Remember the Goose Fat for perfect roast tatties and your family will hold you in the highest esteem forever!  You can find all these in the deli or online.

Wine For Your Main Course
Winemaker, Fiona Turner’s, roots are in Kingussie and her Pinot has just the correct balance of complexity and finesse to compliment the dinner table at Christmas. Tinpot Hut Pinot Noir  £17.99 - a firm favourite in our house for sure! 

If you prefer something more traditional with your turkey, then I recommend Chablis, Prieuré Saint Côme, 2018, a traditionally-made, unoaked gem.  Mouth-wateringly racy, with delicate, apple and lemon aromas and flinty mineral charm.  Extremely reasonably priced at £16.99

Cheese Board Heaven!

The choice is yours but this is my favourite mix. 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.
  • Monte Enebro – a delicious semi-soft goats milk cheese with a slightly lemony flavour, very white paste and blue moulded rind

Pair with Port
A great way to finish would be with a Tawny port from Sandeman - either the Fine or the 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.  Tawney 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 a choice of mince pies from Maclean's Highland Bakery and Pullins - cocktail, full-sized, traditional or artisan - there's something for everyone.  Or if you prefer something more continental, we have Stollen, either from Germany or from our very own Wild Hearth Sourdough Bakery here in Perthshire, lebkuchen, pferrernusse, or beautiful Loison panettone, perfect paired with a wee vin santo.

…and if anyone still feels like eating on Boxing Day, we have no shortage of goodies to supplement your leftovers with pies stuffed full of Game, Turkey & Cranberry, Pork or Chicken & Ham, terrines and pates, smoked fish, chutneys, pickles, breads....

Now, where did I put those elasticated trousers!