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March 30, 2020

Countdown to Christmas Menu – Starters

Posted on December 5, 2011 by in seafood

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Yes! The countdown to Christmas has begun and in 20 days we will hopefully all be celebrating with friends and family whether it be at our homes, a some beach resort or a  far off  holiday destination. Regardless of where we will be, I read and hear about Christmas menus everyday. Moms, grannies and wifes all walk up and down the shop aisles with long lists to get everything ready for this special day on our calender.
My mom starts with her menu in November already. No, wait! She started this year’s menu last Christmas already by  saying( while we all moan and groan from over-indulgence): “Next year we will do this a little simpler, less food!” Huh-um…she has been saying that for the last few decades and every year we have to order more tables to make space for all the food. Now in her defence I have to say, that we are one humongous family and it takes quite a bit of planning to get everybody involved. However I will not change it for the world. I have however made a few changes to the menu and in the following few days, I will be sharing a few delicious Christmas recipes with you. I promise you that you will have more time with your family and less time in the hot kitchen….Ready? Let’s cook!

We begin with starters. Both these recipes have basically the same ingredients, but a different way of preparing them. I have used smoked rainbow trout because it is local, fresh and available and although the trout is somewhat on the pricey side, a little goes a long way.

First up is a Rainbow Trout Terrine.This little starter is most elegant and with a few slices of very thin melba toast, it certainly has a wow- factor. What is even more appealing to me, is the fact that you can make these terrines as well as the melba toast in advance so on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day you basically have to plate it and you are good to go!

Rainbow Trout Terrine
makes 4 small terrines


80gr Cold Smoked Trout
250gr cream cheese
2 tbsp chopped gherkins or capers
zest and juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp grated fresh horse radish
fresh fennel  for serving

Line 6 mini loaf pans with cling wrap and slice your trout the size of the bottom of the pan. Lay a single layer of trout in each pan. Mix the cream cheese,gherkins lemon zest and juice together. Spoon about 1½ tbsp of the cream cheese mixture on top of the trout and place another layer of trout on the cream  cheese. You can add another layer if you have more product, but you must end with a trout layer. Close the cling wrap and place in the fridge. When ready to serve, plate up with a few slices of thin melba toast and a sprig of fennel or micro greens.

Cook’s notes, you can make this in one big loaf tin and serve in slices of use round ramekins. Smoked salmon will also work for this recipe!

Our second starter recipe, is perfect to serve as a snack with pre-dinner drinks, but it can be made slightly bigger and served as a starter. The rosti can be made in advance so again it will be a matter of  1-2-3 and your guests will be smiling.

Angelhair Rosti with Cream Cheese and Rainbow Trout
makes about 15 snacks

2-3 large potatoes
2 heaped tbs of cornflour
80 gr smoked rainbow trout
250 gr cream cheese
1 tbsp grated horseradish
juice and zestof ½ lemon
oil for frying

Grate the potatoes on a fine grater in a big bowl of water and rinse off all the excess starch. Place the potatoes in a cloth and wring out all the water or use a salad spinner. Mix the grated potatoes with 2 tbsp of corn flour and make sure every strand of potato is coated. Heat some oil in a frying pan fry small batches of the potato mix, making sure that each little rosti is crispy  and brown. Drain of a piece of kitchen towel. Mix the cream cheese with the horseradish and lemon and when ready to serve, spoon some of the cream cheese of each rosti, top with some trout and lastly some micro greens.

Just in case these recipes were not quite what you were looking for, maybe you want to try some recipes from my previous Christmas Menus

Easy Cooking for Effortless Entertaining

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3 Responses to “Countdown to Christmas Menu – Starters”

  1. That Girl 5 December 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    My father in law always makes Christmas dinner and we never have starters. But I sure wish we did! He spends 3 hours cooking, starting around 7pm and we're all starving by the time the food hits the plate.

  2. Nina 5 December 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    well, maybe your can bring starters this year, I promise a good result with family!

  3. Sam 5 December 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Looks so pretty and whimsical. Yum!

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