If you are holding a Christmas function over the next few weeks you'll realise that a traditional roast and fruitcake meal sound much less appealing in the warm Australian climate, compared to the cooler Northern hemisphere. If you are looking for some ideas for function food that are festive but not heavy or hot, here are some ideas to get you started.
While roasting a turkey in the warm weather can see too much as the oven heats the house, shutting the lid of a barbeque can let you slow cook your turkey to perfection. If you don't have enough room under the hood, try a small cut of turkey such as one or two turkey breast on the bone. These can generate plenty of meat for a small roast and are generally done within an hour or two depending on the size of the breast.
Prosciutto wrapped chicken tenders
If a glazed ham seems like too much work, you can easily substitute in chicken tender wrapped in prosciutto, which can be cooked on the barbeque in less than 10 minutes. With a honey mustard glazed they taste very similar to glazed ham but are much quicker to cooker and don't require turning on the oven on a hot day.
Cold pumpkin and potato salads
While few can deny the fact that mashed potatoes are delicious and go well with most Christmas food, they also take a lot of cooking on a hot day. Instead, use a cold potato salad (mixing chives, mayonnaise and cold boiled potatoes). Or, try a more modern take by creating a pumpkin salad using cold roasted pumpkins, pine nuts and feta mixed with baby spinach and rocket. These salads are delicious and keep the spirit of the starchy sides, without needing cooking on the day.
Christmas cake popsicles
Rather than serving piping hot Christmas cakes, you can make some delicious Christmas cake inspired popsicles by softening a tub of rum and raisin ice cream and mixing in sultanas, cherries, and brandy custard. You can them refreeze into popsicle containers for some Christmas cake you'll really want to eat on a hot day.
Finding cool Christmas food help to make sure your upcoming function stays appropriate festive. By precooking and using barbeques, internal areas do not get as hot leading to a more comfortable meal for the people organising and attending your Christmas function.