Christmas: 5 Tips For Creating An Inexpensive Holiday Menu

If, for you, the holiday season is synonymous with a tight budget, you're probably planning to skip the most expensive items like foie gras and capon. But fear not, with a bit of cleverness and a lot of appetite for indulgence, it's possible to serve a festive meal at a moderate price. We're going to give you 5 tips for putting together an affordable holiday menu.

Replace the foie gras with a terrine or a pâté en croûte.

Lovers of this festive dish have all noticed: the price of foie gras is soaring. Now more than ever, this Christmas meal staple is a luxury item.

So, if you want to treat your guests without exceeding your small budget, the first tip for putting together an affordable holiday menu is to replace the traditional foie gras medallion with alternatives that contain duck foie gras but in smaller quantities.

You can first opt for a terrine with foie gras inserts. This type of product is cheaper than a classic block since it contains less foie gras.
Another trick is to buy from the caterer a pistachio pâté en croûte with bits of foie gras. This charcuterie product is a classic at most caterers during the end-of-year holiday season.

To make these two starters even more festive, simply serve them with a handful of mesclun, a little onion confit, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

2- Swap the smoked salmon for smoked trout.

If the price of smoked salmon exceeds the budget you have allocated for the Christmas or New Year's meal, be aware that this product can easily be replaced on appetizer canapés and in festive starters.

The first tip for putting together an affordable holiday menu with fish is to swap smoked salmon for smoked trout. Despite the difference in price, these two fish are very similar and your guests will probably not notice the difference.

Another tip is to prepare homemade gravlax. This fairly easy recipe allows for savings as a fresh salmon fillet costs 3 to 4 times less than smoked salmon.

Along the same lines, if you enjoy cooking, you can also replace smoked salmon with homemade salmon carpaccio or with a white fish ceviche verrine. Just serve these starters with toasted bread or with homemade blinis, which are much more economical than store-bought blinis.

Replace the capon with a guinea fowl.

During the end-of-year celebrations, capon and turkey are the most traditional but also the most expensive dishes. The third of the 5 tips for putting together an affordable holiday menu is to replace them with a farm-raised guinea fowl.

This more affordably priced poultry is no less tasty, especially when stuffed. To enhance its flavor, you can prepare a stuffing made from sausage meat, parsley, and prunes or raisins.

Don't forget to baste the guinea fowl with butter before putting it in the oven, to add a bit of water to the bottom of the roasting pan, and to regularly baste your poultry with this juice so that it remains moist.

Swap the Yule log for a pavlova.

Another tip for putting together an inexpensive holiday menu is to skip the traditional patisserie yule log ordered from a local bakery.

To replace this dessert, two options are available to you. You can start by making a homemade yule log, similar to a Swiss roll or a charlotte made with ladyfingers. To shape the charlotte properly, simply assemble the dessert in a loaf pan.

The second, more original option is to serve a pavlova. Pavlova, made with meringue, whipped cream, and fresh fruit, is the traditional Christmas dessert... in Australia! Opt for seasonal fruits such as pears poached in spiced syrup, pomegranate, or mandarins.

5- Replace the champagne with a good crémant.

The last of the 5 tips for putting together an affordable holiday menu pertains to drinks. With the cost of champagne soaring, it is often better to serve another wine rather than a bad champagne.

For toasting with bubbles without breaking the bank, opt for a good crémant. Crémant is a sparkling wine that can come from various wine regions of France.

According to a comparison by the consumer association 60 million consumers, the best crémant from the Loire is la Cuvée Prestige brut Beaujardin. As the icing on the Christmas menu at a low price, this golden sparkling wine costs less than €10!

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Marianne Casamance
Tags: foie gras, salmon, Christmas, price, yule log, guinea fowl, crémant, Pavlova, dessert, capon, champagne, smoked, sparkling wine, trout, Charlotte, poultry, fish, Holiday season, skip, BIT, soaring, baste, Terrine, pâté, meringue, ladyfingers, swiss roll, bakery, pâtisserie, Juice, water, oven, Whipped cream, fruit, Cuvée, Icing, Loire, consumer, France, wine regions, toasting, wine, crémant, mandarins, pomegranate, syrup, poached, Australia, Prestige, Butter,
In French: Noël : 5 conseils pour composer un menu de fêtes pas cher
En español: Navidad: 5 consejos para componer un menú festivo económico
In italiano: Natale: 5 consigli per comporre un menu festivo economico
Auf Deutsch: Weihnachten: 5 Tipps für ein preiswertes Festmenü
Christmas meal: 5 festive menus for all tastes
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