30 second quiz?

"IT'S NOT CHRISTMAS WITHOUT CAVIAR"

Aldo Zilli's five tips for adding a little bit of Italy to proceedings


Celebrity superchef, Aldo Zilli, holds the world record for the most pancake flips in a minute. Guess how many? Go on, guess. In fact, ask your colleagues. Make a quiz of it. Closest to the correct answer wins a cup of tea made by the furthest. 

As riveting as our cookery world record trivia is, and it is riveting, we should probably get to the point of today's email. We interviewed Aldo, chef consiliere for San Carlo, to find out his top five culinary Christmas tips...

CHRISTMAS EVE: COOK FISH

"In Italy Christmas Eve is a big meal," says Aldo. "Don't go to the pub this year then wake up on the big day feeling awful. Invite some friends round - cook something. In Italy, it's tradition to have fish. Here's a recipe that's perfect. Simple, light, delicious."

PROSECCO, NOT CHAMPAGNE

Join the revolution. Snub champagne in favour of prosecco. Aldo recommends Millesimato 2012. At £17 it's far cheaper than champagne. (Interesting aside: Like champagne, real versions of prosecco can only be produced in one Italian region - Veneto)

CAVIAR CANAPÉS

With the money you save on bubbly, push the boat out on the canapés. "Italian caviar goes wonderfully on small jacket potatoes," says Aldo. "Just add a little sour cream then a teaspoon of caviar. I recommend Osetra Classic, [£75]." 

A RICH RED

Barolo is produced in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. It's a rich, deeply concentrated full bodied wine. Aldo's Christmas favourite is this, 2004 Barolo Cannubi (£53). "It's bold enough to handle any roast and pairs well with mature cheese."

SIZE UP YOUR TURKEY

"Every year people make the same mistake: buying a bird that's too big for your fridge or oven. Less is more, when it comes to turkey. Cook something else on boxing day, don't plan on having leftovers. And remember, the shops are only shut for two days. Don't buy to excess."

DIGMAS: ROLLER DISCO MEETS DINING CLUB

The worst pun in the social calendar, 'Digmas', returns to the Custard Factory tomorrow and it looks superb. Combining a roller disco, award-winning street food from 'Digbeth Dining Club', a robot-making workshop and the best handmade, modern and vintage stalls in Birmingham, you should probably attend. More details

PEACE IN OUR TOWN

It's been a mind-blowing year for Peace. An opening slot on the NME Awards Tour, the release of their debut album, South by Southwest, Glastonbury, Later With... Jools Holland. Yeah, they've done alright, and they're capping it all off by coming home (okay, adopted home) to play The O2, tonight. Tickets (£16.87) are available. Right this way.  
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Images: Pink Sherbet Photography (Flickr) / Geishaboy500 (Flickr)
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