José Pizarro's top tips for Christmas dinner

José Pizarro shares his top tips for getting ahead on the Christmas dinner, plus his secret ingredients and serving suggestions.

José Pizarro sitting at table with wine glass

Ever wondered how to make your Christmas pud extra special, or what to do with your leftover turkey? We asked José Pizarro how to add a Spanish twist to the standard Christmas menu. If you want a one-stop shop for all your Christmas recipe needs, check out our Christmas kitchen hub

1. What’s your top tip for cooking Christmas dinner?

Roast turkey with lemon & garlic with slice removed on Christmas table
Get your family involved. Share those jobs so you don’t put all the pressure on yourself.

2. Do you have any tips for getting ahead on the Christmas dinner?

Turkey on serving plate with herbs and cranberries
Doing prep the day before is great, but don’t spend the whole day rushing around by yourself. Invite the family over early, open a nice bottle of wine and enjoy the Christmas Eve prep together. Make it part of the celebrations rather than a chore.

3. What’s the most important ingredient in a Christmas pudding?

Chocolate Christmas pudding topped with chocolate sauce and cherries
Add a little Pedro Ximenez for a Spanish touch. It tastes delicious.      

4. What's your tip for making the perfect mince pie? 

Hazelnut mince pies in gold box
We don’t have mince pies in Spain, but my tip would be to eat them with a lovely Spanish sweet wine.


5. Do you have a secret to the perfect roast potato?

Roast potatoes in serving dish with spoon
Adding half a tsp of baking soda to the water helps break the potatoes down so they go really crisp. Aside from that, make sure the fat you cook them in is hot enough. Don’t be impatient and put them in too early.

6. What’s your favourite meal to make with Christmas leftovers?

Macaronic cheese in dish on napkin
Turkey and vegetable croquetas are a brilliant way to use your leftovers. They’re really delicious.

7. What’s the best way to serve Brussels sprouts?

Sweet potato, onion and Brussels sprout hash topped with poached eggs in pan
I like them fried with bacon, but for something a little different, try them with anchovy, chilli and lemon. 

Found these useful? Read our other celeb top tips...

Tommy Banks' top tips for Christmas dinner
12 ways to do Christmas like Nigella
Raymond Blanc's top tips for Christmas dinner
Nadiya Hussain's top tips for Christmas dinner

What are your essential Christmas dinner tips? Leave a comment below...

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