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Christmas Dinner
Christmas dinner varies around the world, so why not trade in your turkey and spuds for something a little more adventurous?Reuters
Bacaloa a la Vizcaina
Bacalao a la Vizcaina is the main dish eaten in Mexico at Christmas and special occasions. It consists of a colourful mix of dry, slated cod, tomatoes, peppers, onions and olives and is very popular in Spanish-speaking countries such as Cuba. Ingredients 1 lb boneless salt cod, soaked as described above 1 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4" thick rounds (I leave them unpeeled) 1 large onion, sliced into thin rings 1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips 3 garlic cloves 1/3 cup olive oil plus a little more for the saucepan 1/3 cup dry white wine 1/3 cup water (preferably from the water used to simmer the cod) 1 tsp white vinegar 1 1/2 cups canned diced or crushed tomatoes (I use fire-roasted tomatoes) 3/4 cup (or 6oz jar, undrained) diced roasted red peppers ("pimientos morrones") 1/2 Tbs Pimentón (mild smoked Spanish paprika) or other paprika Black pepper to taste: I use several grinds from my pepper mill 2 whole roasted red peppers, sliced into thin long strips (for garnish) How to Make Soak the salted cod in about 2 quarts of water, changing the water 3 times over the course of 8 hours. Drain and cut the fish into bite-size pieces. Layer the half of each ingredient in the following order: potatoes, cod fish, onions, hard-boiled eggs, capers, garlic, olives, roasted red peppers, and raisins. Place the bay leaf on top, then pour half the tomato sauce and half the olive oil. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order. Pour the water and white wine on top. Do not stir. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Recipe courtesy of: http://www.learnspanish4life.co.uk/recipes_detail/913/3-7/bacalao-a-la-vizcaina---bay-of-biscay-salted-codhttp://carolinasaucecompany.bl
Jollof Rice
Jollof Rice is a well-known dish that is eaten in many parts of West Africa. So why not add this spicy treat to your Christmas menu? Although there are many variations of the dish, the most common basic ingredients are rice, tomatoes and tomato paste, onion, salt, and red pepper. It is usually served with meat, chicken or fish as well as salad of coleslaw and fried plantain. Ingredients 2 400g tins of peeled tomatoes, canned 2 small scotch bonnet peppers 1 large onion, chopped 1 red pepper, chopped 2 cloves garlic, thinly chopped 3 cups easy cook, long grain rice 2 tbs all-purpose seasoning (add more if desired) 2 Maggi cubes (knorr chicken or vegetable cubes could be used as an alternative) 1 cup water 2 heaped tbs of butter 2 tbs tomato puree 6 tbs vegetable oil How to Cook Heat a pan of oil, medium heat. Blend canned tomatoes, red pepper, scotch bonnet, garlic, and onions for 1 minute then pours into a hot pot of oil. It should sizzle when it hits the pan. Add puree to the red stew. Cover the pot with lid and leave for 5 minutes. Whilst the sauce cooks, wash the rice in cold water until the water is clear – which indicates it’s clean and ready to cook. Drain all the water from the rice and leave a side. Add herbs and seasonings to the red stew then lower the heat, slightly, and allow it to simmer for another 5 minutes. Make sure you mix the sauce continuously during this process. Add the rice to the stew and mix until all the rice is covered in the red stew. Cover the pot with cling film then cover with the lid. Once the rice has softened (after approx 15 minutes) add butter and water. Stir until butter and water is fully dissolved. Leave to cook for another 5-10 minutes. Rice should be dry to moist and fluffy. Recipe courtesy of: http://www.redbrick.me/2011/02/nigerian-recipe-jollof-rice/http://www.ifood.tv/network/ni
Australia's Seafood Platter
Due to the heat around the festive season, seafood is a great choice for Christmas lunch in Australia. Families often indulge in prawns, lobster well as cooked seafood recipes for the barbecue. Why not get a little fishy this season?http://knottscrossing.com.au
Gujia with Coconut Filling
Christians in India often ring in the season by exchange platters of sweets and snacks with each other on Christmas day. Gujias is a festive treat that is made all over India. They are a deep fried pastry with a sweet filling consisting of coconut, sugar and nuts. Transport your loved ones to India with this creation. Ingredients For the dough: 2 cups maida/all purpose flour 4 table spoon melted ghee a pinch of salt ¼ cup water For the filling: 1 cup dry coconut powder 1 cup powdered sugar (I used my mixie to make it into a fine powder) ½ cup raisins and ½ cup cashew pieces shallow-fried for about 3 minutes ¼ tea spoon saffron/kesar ½ tea spoon powdered cardammom/elaichi 1 table spoon roasted khus-khus/poppy seeds 3 cups oil for frying How to Make First, prepare the dough by rubbing ghee in the flour for about a minute. Add no more than ¼ cup of water to make a stiff dough. Knead it for about 3 minutes, after which you will see that it has become softer. Cover it with a wet cloth. Next, mix all the filling ingredients. Now knead the dough again for 2-3 minutes. Pull a golf-ball size dough (may be even smaller than that) and roll into a thin, 5 inch puri. You can use a round cookie cutter to get perfect rounds. Neatly put 1 table spoon of filling on the one half of the puri. Dip finger in a water bowl and run the finger along the edge of the puri. Fold the puri in half and seal the edge properly. You can twist/fold the edges further to create a nice design. Deep fry 6-8 ghugharas in oil for about 12-15 minutes. Recipe courtesy of: http://mitholimdo.wordpress.com/category/recipe-by-name/gujiya-recipe-by-name/http://mitholimdo.wordpress.co

It is the dinner that many of us spend the whole year looking forward to, and for those brave few lucky enough to be cooking Christmas dinner, it's probably been months in planning.

The tradition of Christmas dinner isn't as old as many people think - in fact, it only really dates back to the Victorian era, when Queen Victoria's German husband propagated the festive traditions of his homeland. However the core constituents of turkey, spuds, steamed vegs and Christmas pudding have been firmly established as national staples for decades, and millions of us have been wolfing this classic foursome down for as long as we can remember.

Some people might be a little tired of the classic Christmas menu by now; if you've grown up with eating the same things every Christmas, it may be time to shake things up a bit. Thankfully, you've got just enough time to scrap the standard fare and start again before the big day.

Christmas is today celebrated in hundreds of ways around the world, so there is a cornucopia of quixotic festive formulas to choose from when mapping out your menu for 25 December.

But just in case you are in desperate need of some inspiration to help spice up your Christmas sit-down, IBTimes UK has got a few ideas to get you on your way.