The festive period is practically upon us, bringing with it the busiest time of the year for caterers. With research from the AA showing that the number of consumers having their Christmas dinner out of the home trebled in 2018, it’s vital that catering professionals are well prepared to serve the increased influx of diners.
Thankfully, the Country Range product selection includes plenty of items to help caterers make it through this busy time while serving guests high-quality food.
From ingredients that take the hassle out of food preparation to ready-to-serve items, here’s our pick of the essential Country Range Christmas products.
Ideal for a range of sauces and stews, you’ll have plenty of use for cooking wine over the Christmas period. After all, aside from the big day itself, there are weeks of festive dining to prepare for, much of which will no doubt focus on rich dishes that diners long for during winter.
The perfect accompaniment to Christmas dinner, cranberry sauce is a must-have in any commercial kitchen and you can put it to good use in both sweet and savoury dishes, like this smashed mince pie tart cranberry and hazelnut meringue recipe.
Dried Fruit and Nuts
Dried fruit and nuts are two ingredients that get plenty of use over Christmas in both sweet and savoury dishes. Offering the perfect alternative for vegetarians and vegans, it’s now commonplace to see nut roasts on the menu. Their rise in popularity means that nuts are now an essential ingredient at Christmastime. They are also a key ingredient for desserts and you can roast them to make a delicious snack that can be served with drinks either before or after a meal.
You should also stock up on dried mixed fruit as they are a staple of much-loved desserts like mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. They form the traditional “mincemeat” for mince pies and brandy-soaked dried fruit give festive desserts their iconic taste. Dried fruit mixes can also be used to make your own stuffing, and will pair particularly well with pork.
Over Christmas, caterers will be creating menus for à la carte dining, but there will be plenty of foodservice professionals also be putting on buffets and catering large events. For these occasions, you will need products that cut down on preparation time in the kitchen, without affecting the quality of the food served. As sandwiches are always a popular choice for lunchtime events and buffets, it makes perfect sense to offer a seasonal option in the form of the Country Range turkey, bacon, and cranberry sandwich filling.
This year we have not one but two mince pie products for caterers; pre-baked deep dish mince pies, and a miniature version that can be served as part of a dessert selection rather than a stand-alone dish.
The “classic” mince pie option is made of an all-butter pastry and filled with traditional mincemeat consisting of dried fruit and spices. Our Frozen Baked Deep Dish Mince Pies can be served at room temperature and will save you the prep time required to bake your own on the premises.
Perfect for a range of occasions, the Country Range Mini Mince Pies are the ideal size to end a decadent meal and can also be served at cocktail parties as they can easily be eaten while mingling.
Christmas is, of course, all about indulging, and there’s nothing more indulgent than a luxurious dessert. To help you serve some delicious sweet dishes, the Country Range team has developed a selection of decadent desserts, including vegan and gluten-free options so that all diners can indulge this Christmas. Our Christmas Products selection includes four chocolate-based desserts and a raspberry gin cheesecake.
You’ll be serving hot and cold drink aplenty over this period so don’t forget to stock up on both! Mulled wine, tea, and coffee will be popular for both daytime dining and evening service as guests crave something warm to stave off the chilly weather, and no evening meal is complete without a delicious coffee to finish.
As for cold drinks, you should stock up on cranberry juice and other juice varieties as they are popular non-alcoholic options and key ingredients for cocktails. They will also help you cater to the needs of younger guests as fruit juices are popular with kids and parents alike, offering a healthier alternative to soft drinks.
Along with some savvy planning, all of these products will ensure that your catering establishment runs smoothly during the festive period, delighting diners with delicious dishes.