Are you bored with the same old salads and meal ideas that you present to your visitors year after year? Then why not try one of these, to make your visitors mouths water or drool when they see your different ideas.

I don't know about anyone else but I do the same old recipes all the time and knew I had to try something different. So I thought I would do some experimenting and try different variations to see what I could come up with for a change.

If you are having large family Christmas dinner then why not cook a pig on a spit. Believe me they are really great and everyone will love this treat and like the barbecue the boys do the cooking so that has to be a plus.

Or you can cook the ham, a full sheep, and chickens in fact anything on the spit. Chickens will take about an hour to cook, a lot quicker than in the oven.

Types of Spit

Make your own open wood fire spit- This can be done using half a 44 gallon drum with a few holes in the base to release ashes and air. This will depend on your no open fire hazard rules and time of year.

Hire a spit for the weekend

Many party hire companies have spits for hire for parties. You will need to book well in advance for these around Christmas time.

Cooking pig on the spit

Before lighting up your spit (wood or gas) you need to score the skin on the pig so as to have nice crispy crackle then coat with salt. You may wish to stuff it with a variety of onions and vegetables of your choice and tie it up with wire or use skewers so as not to lose the pig off the spit when it spins around slowly. It is important that the spit turns very slow.

Insert the steel rod right through the pig or sheep. If you have made your own and do not have it automatically turning then con the guys to take turns at turning the pig. A few stubbies will be consumed during this time.

Roast Pork with Apple and Ginger Sauce

If you are doing your roast pork or ham in the oven then still score it with a knife and then rub in the salt. I like to drizzle the honey and sprinkle dried rosemary over the top.

Another glaze to try: Glaze with a mixture of barbecue sauce and mustard for something different.

Apple and Ginger Sauce

Ingredients

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

2-3 apples

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp malt vinegar

Method

Peel, core and slice apples. Combine the vinegar, sugar and ginger with apples in a saucepan. Cook for ten to 15 minutes or when soft.

You can add a couple of cloves before cooking if you wish. Remove from heat and mash or leave in pieces. Store in sealed airtight jar in fridge and serve with the pork.

Roast Potatoes drizzled with parsley and butter

Ingredients

Potatoes

Sprig parsley

1-2 tbsp butter or marg

Method

Peel and cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Score lengthwise then sideways, so like small squares. Spoon oil over the top and roast in oven until cooked, the cuts should now open up.

Chop parsley fine and mix with the butter. Spread generously over potatoes while hot before serving.

Avocado, pawpaw and ginger salad

Ingredients

2-3 avocados

Bit of fresh ginger

1 tbsp honey

1/4 cup lemon or lime juice

1/2 cup olive oil

Fresh ground pepper

Sprig of coriander

Method

Peel and cut Avocados in half removing the stones. Slice and arrange around the centre of the plate. Sprinkle with lime or lemon juice. Do the same with the pawpaw except scoop out black seeds.

Peel the ginger and grate over the fruit salad then garnish with coriander.

Dressing

Beat or whisk the pepper, honey and rest of lemon or lime juice. Gradually add the oil as you beat or whisk. Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve.

Easy Mini no pastry Quiches

Ingredients

4 eggs

1-1/2 cups milk

Salt n Pepper

1 chopped onion

1 cup grated cheese

3 chopped rashes bacon

1/2 cup SR Flour

Method

Mix onion, bacon, grated cheese and flour together. Add the milk and beaten egg mixture. Mix thoroughly. Grease and pour into little patty pans. Cook in moderate oven until golden brown.

Tip: Other variations that you can add:

Spinach-cook chopped up stalks of spinach and then add the leaves to pot, drain when cooked and add to mixture.

Tomatoes- dice and add raw to mixture. When adding tomatoes you may need to add a bit more flour as tomatoes form more liquid.

Capsicum- dice and add to mixture.

Spices – You can add a variety of spices like chilli or barbecue sauces.

Vegetarians- Leave out the bacon and you can also enjoy these mini quiches.

Experiment with different items in your fridge or pantry.

This should give you a few Delicious Recipes to try this Christmas

Christmas cooking: vegetables