Swiss chef Ralph Schelling prepares a festive meal for four with inspiration taken from across Europe. And there’s even a sandwich for the hosts to enjoy later.
Homemade earl grey tea-cured salmon blinis
400g fresh salmon (loin or royal fillet)
35g cane sugar
25g coarse salt
10g loose leaf earl grey tea
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
Zest of one lime
2 tbsps sour cream
Dill or chives
Remove any salmon bones then mix sugar, salt, tea leaves, coriander seeds with the lime zest in a small bowl.
Coat the salmon with the mixture and cover. Leave this to marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
When done, scrape off the sugar and spice, drain off the liquid and leave in the fridge until ready to use.
Cut the salmon into thin 2mm-3mm slices using a sharp knife. Drape across the blinis and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of herbs.
Pintxos with jamón ibérico and tomato confit
2 large red tomatoes
1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
100ml tomato juice
2 tbsps jam sugar (caster sugar works too)
1 pinch of salt
4 slices of baguette
2 tbsps olive oil
400g jamón ibérico de bellota slices
4 pickled chillies, such as guindillas
Cut the tomatoes into small dice. Put in a medium pan with the vanilla seeds, tomato juice, sugar and salt and mix. Boil then reduce to a simmer and leave on a low heat to reduce for 2 to 3 hours. Once reduced, leave aside to cool.
To serve, lightly toast the sliced baguette, drizzle with olive oil and top with jamón, pickle and a dollop of the tomato confit.
Ralph’s tip: For a veggie version, swap the jamón for manchego cheese.
Sherry-and-honey-glazed brussels sprouts
Serves 4 as a side
350g brussels sprouts, washed, stalks trimmed, outer leaves removed
5 tbsps olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest, grated
2 tbsps honey
1 tsp chilli flakes, lightly crushed
Preheat oven to 230C.
Mix the olive oil, sea salt, lemon zest, honey, sherry and chilli flakes.
Spread over the sprouts in an ovenproof dish making sure they’re all covered.
Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes (the former for firmer sprouts, the latter for softer ones).
Schupfnudeln (potato dumplings)
500g floury potatoes
1 egg yolk
¼ of a nutmeg
150g plain white flour
15g butter, for frying
Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the potatoes on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Let them cool a bit then halve and scoop out their insides. Mash the skinless potatoes in a food mill or with a hand-mixer until perfectly smooth. Mix in the egg yolk then grate and mix in the nutmeg. Allow the mixture to cool.
Add flour into the potato mixture to form a dough. Roll out on a floured surface to a thickness of 2cm. Cut into breadstick-like sausage shapes (2cm by 7cm). Form by rolling by hand with a little flour. They don’t have to be neat.
Boil water and salt heavily. Cook in batches for about 3 minutes each, lifting them out with a slotted spoon or spatula onto a paper towel to soak up moisture.
Now heat butter in a coated frying pan and fry the Schupfnudeln in portions until they brown a little all over (for about 4 minutes). Season and serve.
Duck legs on red cabbage
Serves 4 as a main
500g red cabbage
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp of clarified butter
2 bay leaves
3 tbsps red wine vinegar
100 ml red wine (or chicken stock)
4 duck legs (around 300g each)
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp of chinese five-spice
1 tsp sweet paprika powder
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tart apple
1-2 tbsps redcurrant jelly
Remove the tough outer leaves from the cabbage, halve it and cut out the stalk in a wedge shape. Slice the cabbage into 2mm strips. Put in a large bowl, season with salt and sugar and knead vigorously. Cut onions into 2mm strips.
Heat clarified butter in a wide frying pan on a medium heat. Sauté onions for a minute then add cabbage and bay leaves and simmer, while stirring regularly, for 5 minutes or until it softens. Add vinegar and red wine and bring to a boil then turn off the heat.
Cut the thigh bone out from each of the duck legs.
In a small bowl, combine the honey, five-spice, paprika, salt and olive oil. Massage duck legs with seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Place the red cabbage into a roasting dish at the bottom of the oven and the duck legs on a rack above it, (so that the juices fall onto the cabbage).
Roast for 30 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180C for a further 45 minutes.
Towards the end of the cooking time, peel and grate the red apple. Remove the red cabbage and duck legs from the oven and mix the apple into the red cabbage. Salt to taste, season with redcurrant jelly and serve.
Panettone bread and butter pudding
250g panettone, cut into 1cm thick slices
250 frozen berries (such as blackberries and blueberries)
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
200ml double cream
60g icing sugar
Icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Spread butter on the panettone slices.
Spread berries on a 20x30cm baking tray and arrange the panettone on top of them in slightly overlapping layers – this can be a neat or as jumbled as you like.
Whisk the eggs, egg yolk, milk, cream and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Pour some of the egg mixture over the panettone slices and let them sit for 5 minutes. Repeat the process a few more times until all the mixture is used.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned but still a little wobbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cranberry sauce
4 smoked, streaky bacon slices
80g leftover stuffing
50g butter, soft
4 thick slices of bread
4 tbsps leftover gravy
4 slices of turkey (or any other leftover poultry)
100g leftover cheese (gruyère works well)
Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Fry the onion for 10-15 minutes until browned. Add the cranberry sauce and continue frying for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the bacon in another skillet over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until golden and crisp. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel, then add the stuffing to the same pan. Fry for 3 minutes until it begins to crisp.
Preheat the grill to high.
Butter one side each of two pieces of bread. Put these slices, buttered-sides down, onto a work surface and add a tablespoon of gravy to the unbuttered sides of each slice. Then add half the onion to each and equal amounts of bacon, turkey, stuffing, cheese and the remaining gravy. Butter the remaining slices of bread and top the sandwiches with them with their buttered sides facing up.
Put the sandwiches on the grill for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown then close the oven door, with the heat off, to allow the sandwiches to cook through and for the cheese to melt. Serve warm.
Schierker Feuerstein Count Mast
120ml Schierker Feuerstein
1 large ice cube
4 ribbons of lemons zest
Combine the Schierker Feuerstein, gin, vermouth and ice in a mixing glass and stir well.
Strain directly into coupette glasses and garnish with lemon zest. Enjoy.