Christmas cooking for one or two

Christmas Corgi
Christmas Corgi

The smaller the number of people you're cooking for, the more you can focus on making what you really want to eat rather than trying to please a crowd. So if you want to spend the whole day eating pigs in blankets or smoked salmon in front of the TV you can. Or push the boat out and see what you can do with a luxurious lobster.

If you fancy cooking something traditional, but on a smaller scale, why not try a turkey breast or rib roast? A small goose can make a fabulous Christmas dinner for a couple - as would games birds such as pheasant, partridge or mallard. Roasting four quail with spices and sprinkling with pomegranate seeds is quick and easy and would look very festive on the table.

Alternatively, go completely off-piste and enjoy the freedom to cook something that you'd never think of having for Christmas dinner when you're surrounded by a big group.

Traditional options - just smaller
How to roast a breast of turkey
Roast rib of British beef
How to cook a perfect duck breast
Individual beef Wellingtons
Showstopping venison Wellington
Pepper-crusted loin of venison
Mustard and marmalade glazed ham

Long, slow and low leisurely lunches
These can put in the oven and left to cook on their own while you go for a walk or down to the pub.
Slow-roasted pork belly with crispy crackling
Tom Kerridge's slow-roast lamb
Slow-braised lamb breasts - an inexpensive cut that responds really well to long slow cooking

Forget tradition - have what you really want
You've never seen a steak sandwich like this. Watch the video and you'll actually be able to smell the gorgeous aroma of meat, butter and herbs. No wonder Gordon Ramsay calls it the crown jewels.
The perfect steak sandwich

Kebab for Christmas dinner might sound crazy, but Maria Elia's perfect chicken shawarma kebab would make a fantastic meal for one or two. She marinades chicken thighs overnight in gorgeous spices to produce a succulent and easily carved treat. The leftovers might just be tastier than the main dish.
Maria Elia's chicken schwarma recipe

Naughty puddings
There's nothing like a sweet sherry trifle at Christmas, but don't rule out things like crème brûlée and white chocolate panna cotta because they can be made in individual servings and keep well in the fridge. And if you like Christmas pudding, but don't want a whole one, why not try a Christmas pudding' cocktail (no pudding required).

It's actually quite hard to make more than two cocktails at a time anyway, so if you're on your own or there are just two of you, make the most of it and get busy with the shaker.
Quick but delicate cosmopolitan
Fresh-tasting bloody Mary
Rum old-fashioned
Berlin blonde
Spiced berry cocktail
White Russian
The rehydrator
Warm cider toddy

More festive food ideas:
Christmas menus: Festive food for everyone
Good Housekeeping's tried and tested Guide to Christmas 2016 food shopping
How to decode a whisky label
What to do with a supermarket lobster
How to have a Scandinavian-style Christmas
The ultimate Christmas countdown

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