Starters: The best preparation for Christmas dinner 

 December 8, 2020

By  Tatiana

These are the moments in my kitchen life that I love the most: Everything is on the table and you can eat. But first, of course, we have to take pictures of everything. My feet really hurt while I’m writing this blog as the deadline is approaching. The first photo to present the table has been taken, Luis is now photographing all the dishes individually and my father is enjoying a cup of coffee. We can finally present our second table of December to you! Let me immediately explain what you are seeing.

There are a total of seventeen dishes on the table. They are all starters and amuse bouches. Everything is made or designed to stimulate the eater’s senses. As a host I would be very pleased with the result, but it is mainly seeing the pleasure of the eater that makes me happy the most. Or the eating noises they make. Today we have been in the kitchen from ten in the morning to seven in the evening to get everything ready. It was really quite a job to do this in our small kitchen… And after that we had to make up the table, which of course is not an easy job either! Fortunately, we learn quickly in food photography.

The dishes are inspired by dishes from all over the world, or variations on things from restaurants where I have worked. But I haven’t followed anyone else’s recipe for any of these dishes. All these recipes are things that I came up with myself in the past few weeks. So everything is just as freshly conceived as the ingredients themselves. It will be a job to write everything down for the blog and in my cookbook, but luckily I have a good memory.

One other thing I would like to emphasize is that I have kept the ingredients as simple as possible. These dishes are not about exotic, expensive or hard-to-find items, but rather about the delicious flavor combinations you can create with everyday ingredients that anyone could buy.

But the question now is, what are you all looking at? A cup of French onion soup, a bowl of salmorejo, fresh peeled shrimps with their own homemade aoili. Crazy stuffed eggs with a twist of flavor experience, stuffed sushi balls and something I always call grilled “pain de campagne”. Of course, the onion pie, mini sausage rolls and stuffed grilled mushrooms should not be missed. Just like homemade empanadas with three different fillings, a fresh chicory salad and of course a French artichoke filled with foie.

It feels fantastic and it is great that everything I had in my head really came true… Only one thing I can guarantee you: It’s a lot of work. I don’t know if I would really want to start my own catering business if I had to do this every day. In the end, we didn’t make one dish. Sorry Mr. Tempura, but we really ran out of energy, and there was no space left on the table. So that’s one thing we still owe you!

Of course I will write out a few recipes together with fun facts for you again this week, such as the story about you getting so many snacks on the table. Is there a good time management method, how do you ensure that the flavors come together or what can I prepare or leave out to make the planning fit?

Luis has seen and helped me and also says that some small dishes are the most difficult or require more work. You really have to take the time to cook. And my father made a calculation of how much time we spend per dish: He arrived at thirty minutes per dish. So it can be done, but you have to manage it properly.

Oh and if you can read this you have been sweet this year, and Sinterklaas has not taken you to Spain in his sack! If you don’t know what this means, don’t worry, we’ll talk about Dutch Sinterklaas some other time. And because you’ve been nice and not naughty, you will soon be able to recreate these delicious snacks for your own Christmas table!

And if you can excuse me now, I’m going to enjoy a glass of cava with my father and husband. And eat a sushi ball, because these are calling my name!

Happy Monday night, friends!

Tatiana Tor

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Wishing you a great day, love Tatiana.

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