Mediterranean shooters


With Christmas Day but a golden memory I would like to share with you what delights were apparent on our table this year just gone by.  In the southern hemisphere, Christmas Day is often a very warm affair, but nevertheless we cling to some of our European traditions.


Smoked salmon blinis

However, this year we decided that the starters would be a colourful array of canape type things –very easy to do. Actually, all you need is some imagination. Also, some smoked pancetta, smoked salmon, trout or salmon roe and a few other goodies.

See the olives and bacon upfront!

Here are some ideas on how to make these little marvels– make sure you have plenty of toothpicks and patience. Try smoked beef with hot German mustard, a sliver of Gherkin, a tiny chunk of smoked mozzarella and a crispy crouton. How about delicious pancetta with a sliver of Gran Padano cheese and a tiny ball of melon to offset all those rich flavours.

Smoked beef

One of my favourites was smoked salmon with cottage cheese and trout’s’ roe served on a gluten free blini, absolutely irresistible.

Salmon on baby potatoes

Everybody else’s favourite seemed to be the olives stuffed with hot Peppers wrapped in bacon and grilled for half an hour– intensely salty of course — can be eaten like a bowl of popcorn but shouldn’t be.

Ajo blanco


Also served was delicious cold Ajo Blanco, white almond gazpacho –heavenly on a warm summer’s day and packed with garlic. I have shared this recipe before but will post it again next week in case you want to give it a bash.

Chicken stuffed to perfection

The main courses were superbly stuffed chickens and a ham boiled in ginger beer, finished off with an apricot jam glaze and strictly strategically placed cloves –a showstopper indeed.

Majestic ham

Just in case we had to have something sweet, the final flourish was an intensely rich gluten free chocolate cake topped with whipped cream and berries – Ouch!

Cake almost done!!

Needless to say, the whole thing was accompanied by plenty of excellent South African bubbly. Don’t wait till next Christmas to do this fabulous meal, but make the most of the summer months and spoil those you love.