Kelly Gibney suggests three simple and special Christmas recipes matched with three beautiful Nautilus wines to take the stress out of seasonal entertaining.
Halloumi, zucchini & mint fritters w/ harissa yoghurt
Makes 20 small fritters
These tempting little fritters are the perfect pre-meal bite to serve to your guests. Partner with the Nautilus Cuvee Brut NV
4 medium zucchini
180 grams halloumi – grated
½ small onion – finely diced
2 free range eggs
½ cup tapioca or potato starch (can also use regular flour)
¼ cup fresh mint – roughly chopped.
Cracked black pepper
½ cup Greek yoghurt
1 rounded teaspoon harissa paste.
Oil for frying
To serve: additional fresh mint leaves
Use a box grater to coarsely grate the zucchini. Use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place on a tea towel and roll tightly to soak up any remaining liquid.
Place in a large bowl along with the halloumi, onion, eggs, tapioca flour (or whichever you’re using) and the fresh mint. Stir well until thoroughly combined.
Add a generous grind of crack black pepper. Salt should not be needed as halloumi is very salty.
Heat a generous glug of oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat. Spoon heaped teaspoon of batter into the pan. You should be able to fit about 5 in at a time. Cook for roughly 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Place in a warm oven until you’ve finished the whole batch.
Mix the harissa paste and yoghurt together. Place in a small bowl. Serve immediately. Fritters can be reheated by placing in a very hot oven for 5 minutes.
Asparagus, fennel & salmon salad with preserved lemon dressing and sourdough croutons.
Serves 6 as a side
This salad is full of gorgeous flavour and textures. Perfect for your Xmas table. The bright flavours are a lovely fit for the Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc
2 medium bulbs fennel
2 slices sourdough bread – cut into cubes
Olive oil for drizzling
1 bunch thin asparagus
150g smoked salmon slices
100g rocket leaves
½ preserved lemon – pulp removed
1 small garlic clove
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (could also use brown sugar)
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Place all the dressing ingredients into a small jug. Use a hand blender to blitz. Season to taste. Set aside until ready to use. The dressing will naturally separate. Simply stir before use.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees..
Trim the fennel and cut into wedges (retain a little of the fronds for garnishing). Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, mix well. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing once. Leave to cool.
Drizzle the sourdough cubes with a little oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes.
Pour boiling water over asparagus. Drain after 4 minutes and run under cold water to halt cooking (and retain the bright colour). Lay on a tea towel to absorb excess moisture.
To assemble: Toss the rocket with half the dressing. Scatter over a large platter. Top with the remaining ingredients, drizzle with more dressing as desired and garnish with a little finely diced fennel fronds. A good grind of cracked black pepper on top is lovely too.
Chocolate, cherry & pinot noir pudding
Makes 8 small individual puddings
The addition of Pinot Noir gives a lovely depth to these festive puddings. A delicious dessert alternative to the traditional plum pudding or pavlova
150g room temperature butter – cut into cubes
¾ cup light muscovado sugar
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 free range eggs
1 ½ cups almond meal / ground almonds
125g dark chocolate (I used Whittakers 50% dark chocolate)
½ cup Nautilus Pinot Noir
1 x 425g tinned black cherries
To serve: Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place the butter, sugar and cocoa into a food processor. Blitz until thoroughly mixed. Add the baking powder, eggs and almond meal. Run the machine until combined.
Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or a microwave. Add to the processor while running. Followed by the wine.
Pour the batter into 8 x ¾ cup ramekins that have been well greased and lightly floured. Press 3 x cherries into each. If you don’t have ramekins, you could use 8 holes of a 12-hole muffin tin (line with baking paper)
Bake for 22 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving. They will deflate but this is normal. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days before serving. Bring to room temperature before reheating. Place in 100 degree oven for 5 minutes.
Puddings can be frozen for up to 2 months.