Christmas is a hectic time for many— some are doing their last-minute gift shopping, while others are trying to finish all their errands and work commitments before the holiday break. On the other hand, there are those who are busy planning out and preparing all the food they will cook and serve for Christmas eve dinner or Noche Buena.
Preparing a holiday feast for the family is actually time-consuming and requires effort from several people. And sometimes, it can even be so stressful because of all the things needed to be done in the kitchen but there is so little time. Good thing, there are dishes you can actually prepare a day or two before December 24! (Read: Meet Chef David, The Man Behind The Vatican Christmas Cookbook)
Preparing ahead will not only take some work off your hands, but it can even make your dishes taste better as those with marinades can really soak in. Here are some of the food and sauces you can start preparing in advance before Noche Buena.
Noche Buena Dishes: Creamy Smoked Salmon Soup
Soups can take quite a while to cook especially if it has meat or fish in it. You would have to wait for the meat to cook before making the soup itself, and you’d also have to cook the vegetables. On top of that, the liquids also take time to simmer— making it a tedious and time-consuming process. Luckily, you can prepare this soup ahead of your dinner and just freeze it until you have to use it! (Read: Four Fun Facts About Noche Buena)
Find the recipe for creamy smoked salmon soup here.
Noche Buena Dishes: Ham and Cheese Croquetas
One of the things that make a party THE party is finger food. It could be chicken lollipops, hotdogs on a stick, lumpiang shanghai, or just crackers and nuts— anything that you can grab and eat with your hands, really. (Read: How do you eat healthy while in quarantine? We asked a nutritionist-dietician!)
The ham and cheese croqueta is not only delicious but also easy to make— plus, you can make it days before the event and just keep them in the freezer! It’s crunchy, filled with ham (which we all have at home during the holidays), and has lots of cheese. What more can you ask for?
You can follow the recipe for this here.
Noche Buena Dishes: Make-Ahead Gravy
Because Christmas is a time for fried chicken (since every household seems to have a bucket or two every Noche Buena!), we all need to have a large bowl of gravy on the table. But sometimes, the gravy that comes with the bucket of chicken just isn’t enough. Luckily, you can make your own gravy and enjoy free unlimited sauce at home. And you can cook it ahead of time, and just store it in the freezer until you need to use it.
Here is a recipe for make-ahead gravy.