This time of the year is fast approaching and although this Christmas may be less sparkling than usual and you may not host many dinners or simple friends get together, you may still need to have a quick extra or a small treat ready to be revealed.....
I thought about 3 little ideas which are again easy and quick to prepare and may make one of your moments a palatable one!
Christmas Tree Starter
Preparation time: 20 minutes
1 pack round crackers or oatcakes
Cheddar cheese or a similar hard cheese
Brie or a similar soft cheese
Sun dry tomatoes
Olives - black and green
Round small salami slices (of your choice)
little mushrooms and artichokes in olive oil
4/5 rosemary sprigs
Take a big and large wooden chopping baord and create your little tree on top of it.
Starting with one long row of rosemary, add other rows of the above ingredients, one at a time for example one row of crackers, then one of pieces of cheese and one of black olives, then one of sun dried tomatoes. Can add a sprig of rosemary every 2/3 rows and mix the ingredients according to their colour as well.
Make every row a little bit shorter than the previous one in order to create a triangle shape (like a tree) ending up with a star made of the softer cheese. Add some edible sprinkle if you like!
It is easy, merry and very tasty!!!
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Cripy on the outside and tender inside with a nutty flavour.
Serves 4 - Preparation itme: 5 minutes - Cooking time: 20 minutes
400gr brussel sprouts
4/5 garlic cloves
Zest of 1lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Choose sprouts that are hard to squeeze and little. The bigger they are the bitter they will taste.
Trim off the ends and take out the outside damaged leaves.
Rinse in cold water.
Pad them dry very well. Halve them and cut a cross symbol through any tough stem on bigger ones.
Put them on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Add thin slices of garlic, some olive oil, salt and pepper, a generous amount of grated parmesan and the lemon zest. Also add some flakes of butter and drizzle with olive oil.
Mix them up and bake in the oven (180C degrees) for 20 minutes till they become golden brown. Do not worry if they look a bit burnt.
Put them on a serving dish and sprinkle some more parmesan cheese on top before you serve them.
If you pad them dry very well and place they will become more crispy!
Put the sprout cut - side down at on the pan and will get a bigger caramelized area!
Pandoro with Hot Melted Dark Chocolate
Serves: .... - Preparation time: 5 minutes - Cooking time: 5 minutes
1Pandoro - 750 gr (you can also find smaller ones if you do not have many guests)
Dark chocolate 100-150gr (I like 70% top)
Any non-dairy milk (best ones in this case are almond oat, hazelnut)
Cut the Pandoro cake horizontally in 5/6 cm thick stars and then place them one on top of the other (on a serving tray) so that each star point will not sit on top of the one below, staggered.
Put the chocolate with the milk (last minute) in a small bowl inside a pot of boiling water and melt it on low heat stirring continuosly. The sauce should not be to thick so add the milk slowly until you get the right consistency.
Pour it on top of the Pandoro when still warm and drizzle the coconut flakes on top as well.
Decorate each empty star top with one berry on each.