Christmas Party

Pre-Christmas period, preparing X-mas Eve

Christmas party, how great to celebrate with family and friends! Aperitifs are very welcome, especially by the host. All nibbles and bites can be prepared in advance, so there will be more time to be with the guests. Soups, cakes and doughs are great appetizers for buffets. Hors d’oeuvres served in small glasses or bottles are real eye catchers and handy sized as well. The Chef’s Handyman team has prepared ideas and has published spicy bites for the feast. Please have a look and get inspired.

Tarte with leak, kale, nuts, cranberries and fennel

tarte with leak, cranberries, nuts, fennel

Chef’s Handyman, tarte with leak, nuts, cranberries, fennel

To make dough, mix 500 g or 1 lb. of chickpeas. Add 1 tsp. couscous spices, 1 dash of salt, 300 g or 10 oz. of flour, 1 tsp. of baking powder, 150 g or 5 oz. of cold margarine or butter, 1 egg for the vegetarian version or 3 tbsp. chia seed soaked in 4 tbsp. of soy milk for the vegan version. Knead with the dough hook. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest in fridge overnight. The next day, place the dough on a parchment paper. Cover with a second one. Roll now the dough out. Rectangle or round shaped. Place the dough into a baking tin.

To make filling, cut the leak, 1 small kale and the fennel into wafer thin stripes. Heat olive oil in a non-sticking frying-pan. Add the leak and the fennel stripes. Quench with 0.5 cups of coconut milk. Add cranberries, 2 tbsp. of couscous spices, 1 tsp. of jeera seeds, salt and black pepper. Close the pan with a lid. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes or cooked through. Cool the vegetables.

Fill the vegetables on top of the dough. Add nuts and thyme. Wrap the overhanging dough over the vegetables. Bake the tarte in oven at 180°C or 350°F for 40-45 minutes. Bake the tarte for 30 minutes in the lower section of the oven and the last 10-15 minutes in the midway. Take the tarte out and cool on wire rack.

Shopping list for 1 tarte with leak, kale nuts, cranberries and fennel: 3 fennel, 3 leaks, 1 small kale, 0.5 cups of coconut milk, 5 tbsp. cranberries, 1 tsp. jeera seeds, thyme, 4 tbsp. couscous spices, salt, black pepper, 500 g or 1 lb. chickpeas, 300 g or 10 oz. flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 150 g butter or plant based margarine, 2 tbsp. chia seeds soaked in 4 tbsp. soy or almond milk for the vegan version, 1 egg for the vegetarian version.

Spinach tarte, sweet and spicy

tarte with spinach

Chef’s Handyman, spinach tarte

To make the spinach tarte, combine 200 g or 7 oz. of flour, 120 g or 4 oz. of plant based margarine or butter, 80 g of sugar, 1 pinch of salt, 1 egg (vegetarian version) or 3 tbsp. of chia seed soaked in 4 tbsp. of soy or almond milk for the vegan version, 1 tsp. baking powder, lemon or orange zest and 2-3 tbsp. of grated almonds. Knead with the dough hook. Apply olive oil in the spring form. Smooth also the side of the baking tin.

To make the filling, place the spinach into a large pan. Add 0.5 cups of soy milk or coconut milk, 1 grated garlic clove, season the spinach with salt and black pepper. Simmer with the lid on low heat for 5-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool the spinach. Then chop the leaves. Soak 5 slices of toast bread in soy or coconut milk. Combine the spinach and the toast bread with 5 tbsp. of cranberries, 1 cup of roughly chopped mixed dried fruits, 5 tbsp. of crystallized fruits,  and lemon zest. Season the mixture with salt and black pepper and place the filling on top of the dough. Apply pine nuts and kumquats slices. Bake in oven at 180°C or 350°F for 40-45 minutes.

Shopping list for one spinach tarte of 20 cm diameter or of a 8-inch diameter cake tin: 200 g or 7 oz. flour, 120 g or 4 oz. plant based margarine for the vegan version or butter for the vegetarian version, 80 g or 2.5 oz. sugar, salt, 1 egg for the vegetarian or 3 tbsp. of chia seed soaked in 4 tbsp. of soy or almond milk for the vegan version, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2-3 tsp. grated almonds, olive oil, 600 g or 18 oz. of spinach, 8 tbsp. of soy or coconut or almond milk, 1 garlic clove, 5 slices toast bread, 5 tbsp. cranberries, 1 cup chopped dried fruits, 5 tbsp. crystallized fruits, 1 orange, 1 lemon, pepper, 6 tbsp. pine nuts, 4 kumquats.

Get inspired of more bites for the aperitif. Have a great pre-Christmas season, yours Chef’s Handyman team.

—> Bundt Cakes: Get inspired, more Bundt Cakes <—

Ideas for the aperitif: Salads & desserts

salad in glasses

Chef’s Handyman, salad in glasses

soup served in bottles

Chef’s Handyman, soups served in bottles

sweet bites

Chef’s Handyman, sweet bites, Bundt Cake


Chef’s Handyman, Vermicelles