Going to a Christmas buffet this year? Impress your friends with these 4 festive international culinary delights.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, December is an amazing time in the UK for food lovers!
That’s because it’s absolutely everywhere during the holiday season. From the traditional Christmas fayre of turkey and stuffing, to Christmas cake and mince pies, there’s lots for foodies to enjoy at this time of year.
If you’re going to a party or Christmas buffet, you could play it safe and bring chocolates and cheese on sticks. But at Vita Student we love celebrating the diversity of food, one of the reasons why we hold an ‘Around the World in 80 Dishes’ evening in all of our residences each year.
So if you want to bring a dish that will leave your friends’ taste buds tingling with delight, try these 4 easy international recipes this year:
(Image credit: Liliana Fuchs no changes made)
A gingerbread biscuit loved in Germany every Christmas.
- 250g flour
- 85g ground almond
- 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 200ml honey
- Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
- 85g butter
- 1 pinch of ground cloves
- 1 pinch of grated nutmeg
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 beaten egg white
- Tip all dry ingredients into a large bowl, before heating the honey and butter in a pan until it melts. Add to the bowl, along with the lemon zest, and mix until you’re left with a fully combined and solid mixture. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to cool.
- Pre-heat an oven to 180C. Meanwhile, roll the mixture into 30 balls, roughly about 3cm wide, then flatten to form a biscuit shape. Spread evenly on two baking paper-lined baking trays. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, before removing and leaving to cool.
- Mix the icing sugar, egg white and no more than 2 tablespoons of water to make a smooth icing. Spread onto the top of each biscuit. Then leave to dry before serving.
(Image credit: Su Lin no changes made)
Ciorba de Perisoare
This is a traditional meatball soup served at Christmas time in Romania that’s perfect to share with friends.
The below has been edited to use pre-made meatballs to save you some time!
- 12 meatballs – choose from beef, pork or turkey
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 grated carrots cut into small pieces
- 2 celery stalks cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 beaten egg
- Parsley to garnish
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the vegetables and fry until the onion is clear.
- Add 8-10 cups of water to the pan. Wait for the mixture to start boiling before, one at a time, adding the meatballs.
- Boil until the meatballs rise to the top. Check that they are cooked inside, before adding the tomato puree, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer over a medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Slowly pour the beaten egg into the pot and stir continuously
- Garnish with parsley and serve with some sour cream
(Image credit: Amanda Fernandes no changes made)
Try this popular sweet of India’s Goa region, most commonly eaten during the Christmas holidays.
- 240g of maida flour
- 170 grams of semolina
- 2 tablespoons of ghee butter
- Pinch of salt
- 60g of powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Mix the flour, semolina and ghee butter in a bowl
- Add the salt, sugar and milk. Knead into a thick dough. Cover the bowl and leave for 30 minutes.
- Make marble sized dough balls. Taking one at a time, flatten onto the back of a fork and roll the top to create a curled up shape, ensuring the ridges of the fork are showing on the top. Leave for 30 more minutes, turning once halfway through.
- Heat the oil in a pan. Take one piece of dough at a time and add to the pan, ensuring none of the shapes touch each other. Lower the heat and fry until all have been browned.
- Remove the kulkuls with a spoon and drain off the excessive oil on kitchen roll. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge in an airtight container.
(Image credit: BBC Good Food no changes made)
Naan, spinach & halloumi bites
Not necessarily a traditional dish, but these vegetarian canapes will definitely prove a hit at your festive party.
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 crushed cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons of garam masala
- 160g of washed baby spinach
- 500g of halloumi
- 4 naan bread
- Warm a large pan and add the butter, garlic cloves and garam masala. Chop the spinach and add to pan. Cook until the spinach has wilted.
- Cut the halloumi into cubes and grill until the tops are golden brown
- Warm the naans under a grill then spread the spinach mixture on top of each one
- Evenly add the grilled halloumi cubes to the bread, cutting the bread to make small canapes. Then add cocktail sticks through the halloumi, bread and spinach mixture to secure.