Christmas menu recipes: Your complete guide to festive dining

Look forward to a season of feasting

How to Make Honey Roast Christmas Ham

Planning doesn't just help Christmas go more smoothly, it can be part of the fun of anticipating the festive season. Cooking a Christmas ham (as in the video above), or making a cake, pudding, terrine or gravy in advance can get you in the mood and make you feel more 'Christmassy'. Knowing you have some of the big jobs already done can also help reduce stress in the kitchen.

Making the big decisions in advance and planning your shopping and cooking is probably easier after a little research. These links might help:

Good Housekeeping's Christmas food shopping list for turkey, mince pies and pudding
Taste tests: Which supermarket has what
Taste tests: Best champagne and mince pies
Tips that save you time (including cooking the turkey overnight)
Christmas tips from bloggers

An oldie but a goodie - easy prawn cocktail
Baked figs with goat cheese
Cured salmon and cucumber spoons
Prosciutto and scallop kebabs

Main courses:
Traditional roast turkey
Roast breast of turkey
Roast beef sirloin
Rib roast of beef
Stuffed pork loin roast
Moroccan stuffed lamb (goes well with Persian fragrant rice)
Beef Wellington (great for small party or how about the venison version?)
Roast duck with clementines

Side dishes and accompaniments:
Perfect roast potatoes
Yorkshire pudding
Pork stuffing
Sprouts with chorizo
Gravy (can be made in advance and frozen)
Caramelized carrots and parsnips
Balsamic roasted beetroot
Braised red cabbage (can be made in advance and frozen)
Roast sweet potatoes
Apple, chestnut and pistachio stuffing

Non-meat alternatives:
Honey and citrus roast salmon
Gordon Ramsay's poached salmon
Creamy stuffed roast peppers with mixed grains
Easy mixed nut roast

Don't forget the leftovers
If you find certain members of the family lurking in the kitchen between meals, they might be wondering what's going to happen to the leftovers, as some consider these to be the real treats of Christmas. If you have any ham left over after the sandwiches, try a hearty pea and ham soup. Turkey can be turned into a great risotto (use a chicken risotto recipe) or why not try these turkey, sage and chestnut empanadillas? Gordon Ramsay's tips for Christmas leftovers might inspire more ideas.

If you need a spectacular centrepiece but don't want a Christmas pudding, why not try making a similarly shaped bombe Noël (based on ice cream)? It can be made in advance - but not might stand up as well to flaming bandy. And if you are flaming a Christmas pudding, try using vodka instead of brandy as it tends to be easier to light.

More pudding ideas:
Poached pears in cassis
Traditional sweet sherry trifle
Last-minute Christmas pudding
Brandy butter
Mixed berry Eton mess
Strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake

Cakes and bakes:
Christmas tree decorations
Cinnamon buns (lovely with coffee)
Christmas wreath cake
Boozy Christmas cake
Chocolate Yule log
Quick Christmas fruit cake - perfect with tea or stilton and glass of port
Last-minute Christmas pudding (can be made on Christmas Eve)
Hazelnut biscuits (very quick, and make an excellent gift)
Epiphany ring - perfect for the twelfth day of Christmas (6 January)
Stollen with pistachios
Warm seedy bread rolls (great with soup)

Cocktails, snacks and nibbles:
Champagne strawberry cup
Champagne julep
Quick but delicate cosmopolitan
Fresh-tasting bloody Mary
Spiced berry cocktail
Egg nog truffles
Festive mulled wine
Delicious brandy Alexander
Spiced roasted nuts
Christmas canapes
How to make spicy sausage rolls (with GBBO's Richard Burr)
Mini spinach and chorizo frittatas
Mini roast beef Yorkshire puddings

More festive food ideas:
Christmas recipes to choose from
Quick and easy last-minute Christmas
Festive cocktails, hot drinks and party food
Take the stress out of Christmas
Christmas baking

There's more festive food inspiration in the videos below:

What temperature to cook turkey
What Temperature to Cook Turkey - Gordon Ramsay
How to make white chocolate cheesecake

How to Make White Chocolate Cheesecake
Roasting Christmas turkey with flavored butter

Roasting Christmas Turkey With Flavored Butter - Gordon Ramsay