A few days ago I put 17 complete Christmas menus, to make it easier for you to configure your Christmas menu and some of you demanded cheap and simple ideas to enjoy at Christmas dinners without spending a lot of money. Therefore, as an extension to the Christmas specials that we are preparing lately, we have compiled these ideas to seven easy and inexpensive Christmas dinners that will surely come in handy.
These menus can be combined by you to adapt them to your tastes and the needs of your family. Your ideas in the comments will also help us to improve our easy and inexpensive suggestions for Christmas. For ease, we have organized these menus into appetizers, starters, main courses and desserts..
The easiest and cheapest Christmas dinners
Although at this time of year we all seem to be a little more prone to overspending and indulging ourselves to celebrate the holidays, we can also prepare a simple and inexpensive menu, without spending much and without giving up the pleasure of good food.
Seven easy and inexpensive appetizers for holiday dinners
For the appetizers, no need to spend a lot of money in acorn-fed Iberian pork ham, barnacles or caviar. There are other much more humble dishes that will fulfill the same function and will bring joy to our tables and make ours happy.
1. The traditional croquettes
Whether they are minced meat, fish, chicken and ham or mushrooms, leek or squid in their ink, any recipe for homemade croquettes it will probably be the first thing that will disappear from the table. Here you have 19 croquettes recipes for you to choose the one you like the most, but we also leave you the complete recipe for the star croquette.
Ham and hard-boiled egg croquettes
Chop the Iberian ham well so that it is in very small cubes. We put the butter and the flour in the pan and as soon as the first one melts, we stir and add half of the ham, so that it is wrapped in that mass or roux. Very slowly, we add the milk in streams, allowing the dough to absorb it before adding more. In this way, we will never get lumps, while if we add all the milk at once, we will have to work more stirring to dissolve them correctly. Meanwhile, we cook the eggs and peel them, also mincing them very finely. As the béchamel thickens and we finish adding all the milk, we taste the salt, because the ham can be enough to season our croquettes pasta. When you are practically at your point, add the rest of the ham and the chopped hard-boiled egg. We will know that it is ready when the entire pan is filled with bubbles, and when you stir the pasta it makes a noise with the pan, forming paths or corridors when passing the spoon. We take out the béchamel and let it cool in a source. I cover it with a kitchen film so that it does not crust over. When the pasta is cold, we form the croquettes and wrap them in beaten egg and breadcrumbs, frying them in batches of four or five croquettes in very hot oil. In this way, we ensure that they do not open to us and arrive with a very attractive appearance at the table.
2. Clams, coquinas, mussels or razor clams
Bivalves go up in price at this time, but the We have from low prices such as versatile mussels to more expensive ones such as razor clams, clams or clams. If you can afford it, I recommend some clams a la marinera or some very clean razor clams with garlic.
3. If you can’t buy shrimp, shrimp are a good alternative.
Prawns, crayfish and prawns, go up a lot in price on the dates indicated. A good option is buy frozen products before the climb or opt for cheaper alternatives such as prawns with which you can make easy appetizers like these prawns with oyster sauce.
4. The dips are cheap, they spread a lot and they like everyone
Shred a tub of cream cheese with a can of mussels, with a wedge of blue cheese or prepare a dip of onion soup with cheese It is very simple and cheap, and it is ideal to start a family dinner by eating and sharing. Here are a few dips to choose the one you like the most.
5. The homemade puff pastry in skewer format are perfect to save
In front of those who sell already made in pastry shops, the homemade puff pastry is perfect to save since in addition to being cheap and delicious, we can customize them to our liking. Here are a few ideas for puff pastry skewers that you can serve as appetizers at dinners these days.
6. Appetizers in a fun format
Some glasses with a cream cheese, some endives with Roquefort well placed, some boards with sausages arranged gracefully, a classic guacamole served in the molcajete or mortar or some stuffed scallops au gratin in the oven are perfect to eat with the family, sharing a table at parties and without spending a lot of money.
7. Homemade toasts are our allies
If during the summer you did your homework, you may have some canned tuna from the north, home-made fried tomato and maybe some piparras, peppers and other seasonal products. With them you can organize great appetizers, making toasts and other similar preparations, which will be Much cheaper than if you use cans and commercial products.
Seven easy and inexpensive starters for Christmas dinners
For starters, my general suggestion is to opt for shots or glasses of cream, broths or mini versions of spoon dishes. They are inexpensive, they are comfortable because they can be prepared in advance and a warm starter in a small size comforts everyone.
1. Vegetable cream
Any homemade vegetable cream, be it zucchini, leek and almond, pantry scrap mix or the classic carrot and pumpkin is perfect as a starter at Christmas dinners. Here you have a lot of homemade creams to choose from.
2. Mini legumes
Make a casserole of homemade lentils, some chickpeas with spinach, an Asturian bean stew or a Madrid stew and serve each diner a mini portion in individual format with four or five tablespoons, it is a starter that always goes well. Don’t be in a hurry and try serving it this year. It will surprise you as one of the most valued dishes.
3. Christmas stock
The Christmas stock can also serve as a starter. Whether it is a classic Christmas broth or an adaptation of other broths or soups such as fish and seafood soup, they are perfect to start the menu with a few hot spoonfuls. I recommend you use small plates or bowls so that everyone makes it to the end of the meal without filling up.
4. Christmas consommé
Lighter than a fish soup or a Christmas broth is consommé, the concentrated broth with an intense flavor that we can take naturally, in Sherry or by adding an egg yolk at the time of consuming. With this recipe for Christmas consommé, everyone will be happy.
5. Castilian soup with ham
On some areas of our country It is customary to celebrate the Christmas holidays by starting with garlic soups or Castilian soup with egg and ham. Of course, this soup based on garlic, bread and a ham bone is inexpensive and is perfect for toning. As in the previous soups, I recommend moderation with the quantity so as not to fill up.
6. Vegetables, sautéed and pan-fried
Some confit artichokes, some almost crunchy green beans or any stir-fry are perfect for the occasion. We especially recommend the sautéed wild asparagus with mushrooms, or its variations since you can do it with a little ham, some clams or frozen prawns or using other vegetables such as garlic sprouts.
7. Seafood creams
Although maybe the carabineros cream is beyond our budget, we can also enjoy a seafood cream, using cheaper products. So we can be serving a prawn cream or bisque or my favorite, the crab cream, a classic that is always delicious.
Seven inexpensive main dishes for Christmas dinners
Main courses don’t have to be made from the most expensive items from the fish or butcher shop.
1. Corvina is a very interesting white fish
Instead of looking for the best skewer hake, caught in Burela and with a very high price, a more economical solution is to use other white fish full of flavor and from aquaculture. This way we get lower prices without sacrificing quality. The sea bass with a mayonnaise crust and hidden vinaigrette is one of my classic recipes at Christmas.
2. There are cheaper meats than sirloin or high loin
The beef tenderloin or the high loin are one of the traditional delicacies at Christmas but there are much cheaper alternatives by choosing other cheaper cuts to work with, like the round, the shoulder, the trowel or the tapilla, which we can cook in the oven with very good results. The one in the photo is a round piece cooked with onion, soy and honey.
3. The new cuts of lamb, an interesting option
The shoulder of suckling lamb is an item whose price shoots up at this time of year. However, with the leg or with the carrés that are usually at a better price we can prepare other excellent recipes for Christmas celebrations. Here are 27 recipes with lamb and kid for you to choose from.
4. Alternatives to sea bream
The snapper, haddock or white bream They are much cheaper alternatives than the red sea bream whose price makes it almost prohibitive at Christmas parties. It is time to try other fish, to let yourself be recommended by the fishmonger and dare to change. The one in the photo is a magnificent snapper cooked on baked potatoes.
5. Pollerías are full of interesting options
In addition to the turkey, the poularde or the pigeons, the good ones…