Festive Foods for your Christmas Table
Christmas is coming up and that means that you will need to start planning your Christmas menu! A Christmas feast is always big, delicious and full of extraordinary recipes, from breakfast straight to dessert after dinner! Here, we have a list of recipes that made with some of our very own cheeses and yoghurts that we think would work perfectly for your Christmas Table! Some recipes are classics, some are Greek and some we thought would just be delicious for Christmas!
LET’S TALK BREAKFAST:
Papaya Stuffed With Yogurt Fruits, Chia Seeds And Kiwi Fruit
This recipe is perfect for Christmas morning along with a selection of other breakfast options! The refreshing taste of papaya and kiwi fruit will get you up and ready for a day filled with family and friends and the yoghurt and chia seeds will give you the energy to get you through all the festivities!
Ingredients: (this recipe is per single serving)
Papaya cut in half
100g Gourmet Greek Yoghurt
Half a kiwi cut in slices
50g chia seeds
Cut papaya in half and remove seeds
Put all ingredients into papaya in a fashionable manner
Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon
This recipe, perfect for the breakfast table, is delicious, nutritious and full of Christmas spirit! Cinnamon, honey and pumpkins, for some reason these three things always makes us think of Christmas festivities, so this recipe is filled with Christmas goodness!
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water (if making gluten free increase the water to 1/2 cup)
1 cup flour (regular or gluten free flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Whisk all of the ingredients in a bowl and chill for 1 hour.
Spray cooking spray lightly in a pan over medium heat.
Pour 57 grams of batter in the center of the pan and swirl around in circles to spread evenly. *If making gluten free, you will have to spread this out with a rubber tipped spatula)
Cook for 30 seconds to a minute on one side (until lightly golden).
Flip and cook for 15 seconds.
Plate and repeat.
Cranberry and Cream Cheese Pinwheels
These pinwheels are the perfect Christmas appetizers! After a big lunch you would probably want to go for a lighter meal to save yourself for a fest of a dinner! These pinwheels are delicious and will definitely become a traditional Christmas meal!
227g Gourmet Greek cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup diced green onion
170g Gourmet Greek mature cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Traditional Flatbread
Place the cream cheese in a medium sized mixing bowl and heat in the microwave or set out until it is completely softened.
Stir the softened cream cheese until completely smooth, then add in dried cranberries, finely diced green onion, shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, and Worcestershire sauce.
Stir the above ingredients until well combined.
Lay out a large square of plastic wrap and lay one flatbread on the plastic wrap.
Spread half of the cream cheese mixture evenly over the top of the flatbread, then starting from the left hand side, roll the flatbread tightly all the way across to the right side like a jelly roll.
Wrap the plastic wrap tightly around the rolled flatbread and place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Repeat with the second flatbread.
Once chilled, remove from the fridge and unwrap.
Slice each flatbread into individual 1.27cm thick pinwheels to create approximately 15 individual pinwheels.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
The Festive Cheese Board
A cheese board is always a winner, especially when there are lots of people and you want to keep them entertained with food! Fruits, curred meat, cheese and bread is the perfect combination!
Our suggestions for a cheese board include:
Cheeses (all available on our website)
Soft Spreadable Cheese
Curred Meats, crackers, bread
LET THE DINNER FEAST COMMENCE!
Greek Yoghurt Mashed Potatoes
Considering that Greek yoghurt makes a great substitute for cream, butter or milk, this recipe is just as creamy and fluffy as regular mashed potatoes, but they’re a little healthier and lighter. Adding cream or milk can help to make a dish extra rich and tasty, it can also make the meal rather heavy and calorie-rich.
900g yellow potatoes 3 tablespoons Gourmet Greek Salted Butter, melted, or extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste ½ teaspoon ground black pepper ⅔ cup Gourmet Greek Low Fat or Double Cream Yoghurt ⅓ cup milk
Optional: 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives and/or 226g Gourmet Greek Mature Cheddar or Gourmet Greek Gouda, grated (about 2 cups)
PEEL potatoes and cut into 2.5 cm pieces.
PUT potatoes in large pot; add about 1.3 cm of water to pot and place over high heat. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to maintain gentle simmer and cover pan. (Alternatively, use folding vegetable steamer in pot.)
COOK until potatoes meet no resistance when pierced with knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir potatoes halfway through cooking, adding more water if it has almost cooked away.
WHISK together in small saucepan over low heat, yogurt and milk until warmed through.
POUR off water from large pot. With ricer set over bowl or potato masher in pot, mash potatoes. Add yogurt/milk mixture, butter or olive oil, salt and pepper, plus any optional additions, and stir in gently.
SERVE immediately, or keep warm in covered bowl set over pan of barely simmering water until ready to serve.
Pumpkin Fritters with Sweet Ginger Yoghurt
This next recipe is a bit of a South African classic! Pumpkin fritters should ALWAYS be part of your Christmas feast, and this recipe is made to impress and to indulge in!
Cooks in: 10-15 minutes Serves:4-6
For the Fritters
500g pumpkin or butternut, peeled and cut into cubes
1 cup self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp sugar
¼ cup milk
Pinch of salt
Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
Zest of 1 orange, for dusting
4-6 Tbsp cinnamon sugar mixed with 1 level tsp cinnamon, for dusting
For the Ginger Yoghurt
1 Tbsp stem-ginger syrup (or use honey)
1 cup double thick Gourmet Greek yoghurt
Mix together until smooth
1. For the fritters, boil the pumpkin until soft and can be easily pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well and allow to cool and steam dry.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl, add in the pumpkin and then mix until you have a smooth batter. This can be done by hand or in a food processor.
3. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat (you need the temperature to reach 180-190C). When the oil is hot, carefully drop in spoonfuls of the batter and fry until cooked through and golden.
4. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat until you have used all the batter.
5. Dust generously with the orange zest and cinnamon sugar and serve immediately with the ginger yoghurt.
Lamb Marinated with Greek Yoghurt
Lamb, a Greek favourite! This recipe will give you a taste of Greek Tradition and will definitely have you drooling! It is quite a simple recipe but note that you will need time to cook it to perfection!
1.5-2.2 kg leg of lamb, boneless and butterflied
15 ml Kosher salt
2 ml black pepper
30 ml grainy mustard
30 ml canola oil
30 ml rosemary, fresh and chopped
15 ml oregano, dried
30 ml garlic, chopped (more if you like)
30 ml lemon juice, fresh
250 ml Gourmet Greek Double Cream Yogurt (do not use low fat)
Have your butcher butter fly the leg lamb for you. This will make sure that it is roughly the same thickness for even cooking. Alternatively you can cube the lamb, skewer and make kebobs.
In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredient, except the lamb.
Add lamb to yogurt mixture, and “massage” the meat with the mixture, including all the crevasses.
Wrap the lamb with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Remove from fridge, wipe off excess marinade.
Grill over medium high heat for 45-60 minutes, (20-30 minutes per side) checking occasionally, this is the best way to cook the lamb, as it gets that nice chard taste for the grill. NOTE: all barbeques perform somewhat differently, if the heat seem to hot, adjust accordingly. (You may also roast in the oven at 180 C for 45 minutes to an hour depending on thickness, and desired doneness.)
Once cooked allow to relax by tenting with foil for 15 minutes before carving.
DESSERT – LETS GO GREEK!
Traditional Greek cookies, traditionally only made during Christmas times! These cookies are sweet and before you know it everyone will have eaten them! This is one of Greeks’ most popular cookies!
For the melomakarona
150g thin semolina
500g flour (soft)
1/2 tbsp baking powder
100g orange juice
3 tbsps cognac
1 flat tbsp powdered cinnamon
1/3 tsp nutmeg (powder)
1/3 tsp clove (powder)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp baking soda
125g vegetable oil
zest of 2 oranges
For the syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
1 orange, cut in half
200g chopped walnuts
Powdered cinnamon (optional)
Powdered clove (optional)
To prepare this melomakarona recipe start by making the syrup first.
In a pot add all the ingredients for the syrup, except the honey and bring to the boil.
Boil for 3-4 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and remove from the stove.
Stir in the honey and set aside to cool completely.
Prepare the dough for the melomakarona.
In a bowl add the semolina, flour and baking powder and blend with a whisk to combine.
In another large bowl add the orange juice, the cognac, the sugar and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, vanilla).
At the end add the baking soda and whisk immediately the ingredients for 5-10 seconds, until the ingredients combine and the baking soda dissolves and starts to foam.
Pour in the bowl the water, the oil, the orange zest and honey and whisk to combine.
Now it’s time to combine the two mixtures.
Add the mixed flour, semolina and baking powder (from step 2) in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients from step 3 and start kneading the dough for the melomakarona. Knead the dough for the melomakarona using your hands, until the ingredients combine and the dough is smooth and soft.
When preparing a melomakarona recipe, it is very important not to overwork the dough. Knead lightly with your hands (like working with a meringue) until the flour has incorporated the mixture and the dough is really soft.
Be careful not to add any more flour than this melomakarona recipe calls for, as this will make them tough.
Preheat the oven at 180C.
Layer the bottom of 2 baking trays with parchment paper and start shaping the melomakarona. Pinch a portion of dough about the size of a walnut/ 50g (or bigger, if you prefer) and shape with your palms into a smooth oblong shape, like a small egg. Place on the baking tray, push lightly the top with a fork and make some holes on top (not all the way down).
Continue with the rest of the dough.
Place the baking trays with the melomakarona in the oven and bake for approx. 20 minutes, until the melomakarona are lightly browned and cooked through.
When the melomakarona come out of the oven, place them in the cold syrup, flipping them with a slotted spoon to absorb the syrup for approx. 10-20 seconds, depending on how syrupy you like them. (When syrupying the melomakarona it’s best do so in 2-3 batches).
Remove the cookies using a slotted spoon, place on a platter and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Store the melomakarona at room temperature in an airtight container. They will last for all your Christmas Holidays!
Diples are fried folded bites served after being drizzled with honey syrup. Some people also love to sprinkle them with chopped nuts. This dessert’s roots come from the Peloponnese, but it is eaten with the same enthusiasm all over Greece.
500 g all-purpose flour
5 eggs, medium
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
vegetable oil, for frying
800 g granulated sugar
800 g water
juice from 1 lemon
2 cinnamon sticks
50 g honey
In a bowl, combine the flours, eggs, salt, olive oil and sugar with a fork.
Continue mixing with your hands until all the ingredients come together to form a dough.
Divide the dough into 5 balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-12 hours (the longer the better).
When ready, roll out each ball of dough on a lightly floured working surface. Dust continuously so that the dough doesn’t stick to the surface. You need to be quite patient at this stage since it will be hard to roll out the dough for the first 2 minutes. The longer you work with the dough, the more it will soften and be easier to work with (if you like you can use a pasta machine to help you).
Roll out a very thin strip of dough that is 10-15 cm wide. Then cut it 20-25 cm in length (should be 25x15 cm).
Place a pan full of a generous amount of vegetable oil and let it get hot.
Using 2 spoons to help you, turn it into a roll as you fry it. Make sure you add a few pieces of dough at a time so that they don’t stick together.
In the beginning it may be a little hard to give them the right shape but you will soon get the hang of it.
When ready, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain from excess oil.
For the syrup
In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, lemon juice and cinnamon.
Place over medium to high heat and boil for 5 minutes.
Add the honey and remove from heat.
Drop the honey rolls into the hot syrup and allow each one to soak for 2 minutes.
Serve with honey, cinnamon and walnuts.
Let us know what you thought of this blog post and if you enjoyed it share your photos and your outcome! Tag us on Instagram @thegourmetgreek or use the hashtag #gourmetgreekrecipes so that we can see it and feature it!