When ALDI challenged me to host an early Christmas lunch for six friends for under $300, I couldn’t get my Christmas tree up fast enough. I headed straight to my closest ALDI store, list in hand and trolley at the ready.
Bringing all things fancy, beautiful and, above all else, DELICIOUS, to your festive table, ALDI make it super easy to add a touch of luxury to your Christmas menu at a bargain price. And while the challenge was to feed six, I could easily have fed eight, or even more!
I was so impressed with the ALDI Christmas range and fresh produce, not to mention the reasonable prices and value for money, that I threw caution to the wind and decided to tackle a couple of new dishes. I mean, c’mon people, ALDI has lobster tails. Now that would impress Santa himself!
The ALDI Christmas Feast
Sit tight and be prepared to drool as I walk you through what I cooked in our decadent Christmas feast plus I’ll share my guests’ comments along the way.
Hint: Get your pen and paper ready to make your own ALDI Christmas shopping list!
Entrée 1: Lobster Tails with Garlic Butter Glaze
Served with salad greens, fresh nectarine and cocktail sauce.
I can’t lie, I’ve never cooked lobster anything before so I proceeded with caution towards these delicious looking crustaceans. I needn’t have worried, thanks to ALDI’s idiot-proof cooking instructions on the Specially Selected Lobster Tails packaging. The garlic butter glaze is included in the pack, all you need to do is slice, cook and serve. Easy and so, so fancy. Fresh salad with a squeeze of lemon and ALDI’s Colway Seafood Sauce finished the dishes perfectly. For the record, ALDI Specially Selected Frozen Lobster Tails with Garlic Butter Glaze are $29.99 for a pack of two.
“Lobster tails are so sweet in flavour and full of meat, a new favourite ALDI item I’ll be adding to my Christmas menu this year!”
Entrée 2: Australian Tiger Prawns
Served with salad greens, fresh nectarine and cocktail sauce.
Every year I buy prawns at Christmas time and I’ll be the first to say I was mighty impressed by the Ocean Royale Extra Large Australian Tiger Prawns from ALDI. An excellent plump size of beautiful quality, and sweet tasting to boot, you absolutely can’t go wrong at 1.5kg for just $39.99.
Farmwood Whole Turkey Roast, Be
rg Half Leg of Ham on the Bone,
Side Dishes: Fresh Green Beans with Pistachio and Cranberry Butter, Maple Roasted Pumpkin with Feta, Roast Potatoes, Broccoli and Asparagus with Prosciutto, Cranberries and Pistachios.
The main event truly was a feast for all the senses, with an ALDI-laden table of dishes and my guests singing the praises of all things ALDI.
The cooking of the whole turkey (again something I hadn’t dared to do before) was pain-free. I followed the easy cooking instructions on the packaging and, 3 hours later, delivered a beautifully browned, succulent Farmwood Whole Turkey to the table. I was quite impressed by my own efforts. And this 3.8kg, $24.99 bird – it’s going to feed up to 15 guests. That’s EXTREME Christmas bang for your buck. If you like to start with a fresh rather than frozen turkey, ALDI has those too! (Willowton Free Range Whole Fresh Turkey available from 18/12/17)
“The turkey is packed with flavour and so, so tender.”
Of course, it’s not Christmas without ham. I LOVE that the ALDI Berg Hams are 100% Australian Pork, so our Aussie farmers are looked after. I made a glaze for the ham using ALDI apricot jam, mustard and ofrange juice and baked it and the results were of “going back in for seconds” excellence. There were many ooohhs and aaahs from the table. ALDI offers several ham choices, but this half leg cost only $36! ($6.49 per kilo)
“By far the sweetest and most succulent ham that’s ever hit my tastebuds.”
Smallgoods at ALDI rocked my Christmas stockings as it became increasingly clear that price is no true indicator of quality. Wafer-thin sliced prosciutto looked superb for just $3.99 (CRAZY!) and the creamiest of feta cheese for just $3.99 also. SO DELICIOUS.
The quality of ALDI’s fresh produce rivals that of a small greengrocer, right down to the prices. From cheap as chips stone fruit to pre-packed salad mixes, they’re all farm fresh and there’s no faulting them. Not only beautiful to eat, they’re brilliant for my Christmas lunch budget.
“I would have gone back for seconds and thirds of tasty greens , if I hadn’t already gone back for seconds and thirds of the ham.”
From ALDI’S Specially Selected range:
Salted Caramel Sponge Bombe
Luxury Mini Champagne Puddings
Shortcrust Pastry Mince Pies
Luxury Black Forest Stollen with fresh berries, vanilla custard and cream
After all that, it was time to indulge our sweet teeth with ALDI’s Specially Selected range of Christmas desserts. And indulge we did, with my guests all vowing to race to ALDI to buy up these sweet treats for their own families to enjoy on Christmas Day.
A self-proclaimed connoisseur of fruit mince pies, the magnificent buttery pastry and generous and rich fruit mince filling of the Specially Selected Shortcrust Pastry Mince Pies ($4.99 for six) saw me go back for a second. In the name of research and all that… it is Christmas after all.
I find it difficult to choose favourites, but the Specially Selected Luxury Black Forest Stollen ($9.99) is definitely up there in my top choices for the day. Perfect for something a little different – it’s not quite cake, not quite bread and lip-smackingly delicious. I highly recommend it for your Christmas table!
“Stollen topped with custard reminds me of Grandma and her traditional recipes.”
Just like the ham, it’s not Christmas without Christmas pud – and boy, did the Specially Selected Mini Champagne Puddings impressed us all. Packed full of plump, moist fruit, almonds, pecans and topped with a delicate gold dust, they quickly won themselves five gold stars for quality and taste. Frankly, it’s hard to believe they are only an ultra-affordable $2.79 each.
“The mini Christmas puddings, if there’s a food heaven, I’m there!”
A real show stopper, the Specially Selected Salted Caramel Sponge Bombe ($6.49) adds all the theatrics you need for a dessert table. A Belgian chocolate sponge pudding, covered in a luxury gold lustre and oozing salted caramel sauce – what more could you ask for?
“The perfect alternative to traditional fruit pudding, the kids (and bigger kids) will love it!”
Might I add, the puddings don’t need to steam for hours on end – a quick whizz around the microwave is all it takes and dessert is on the table in a matter of minutes. Kudos to ALDI, they tasted perfect with this super quick cooking method. Simply heat and eat.
Monsigny Premier Cru Champagne NV
Cuvee Deor The Gold Collection Prosecco
Tudor Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2016
Both ALDI sparkling wines were delightfully pleasant to drink – there’s no tell-tale signs of being a supermarket wine. The bubbles danced on our tongues as we sipped on the Monsigny Premier Cru Champagne NV ($25) and we all agreed the Cuvee Deor The Gold Collection Prosecco ($12.99) packaging is fancy enough to be a gift. Be sure to pick up a bottle or two to present to your next Christmas get together host. The award-winning Tudor Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2016 ($12.99) is a fantastic light red, perfect for pairing with the turkey and a heavier main meal. I’m not much of a red wine enthusiast, but this drop almost has me converted.
“Champagne is PERFECT. That such quality is so easily available from ALDI is AMAZING!”
Set the Scene with ALDI
Needless to say, ALDI isn’t just about the festive food. I even grabbed a few fantastic Special Buys for my Christmas table to set the scene. A string of geometric lights for the table top, charger plates , an elegant gravy boat with saucer and pretty dessert serving ware. And the best thing is, you can use them year after year. Thanks ALDI!
A final word before collapsing in my delirious and smug food coma…
I’m someone who usually runs from supermarket to greengrocer and butcher and back again every year, hoping all the elements of my Christmas menu meet together in the middle. This year I won’t be fussing with such bother and I’ll definitely save money along the way. I’ll be heading straight to ALDI, list in hand (again) and buying all I need from start to finish.
But for now, excuse me while I put my feet up and raise my glass in a toast to ALDI. You guys certainly know how to turn on a value for money feast at Christmas! Skip on over to your nearest ALDI to plan your family’s luxe Christmas feast on a shoestring budget!