Two alternative Christmas starters you will love!

Every family has their own set of Christmas time traditions – and many of these families’ food choices tend to be the same each year.

There’s nothing wrong with being excited for a delicious honey glazed gammon, or visualizing that tender, juicy Turkey leg accompanied by your aunt’s annual attempt at Potato salad; but having a bit of a variety on the table makes for a more exciting, enjoyable feast.

A lovely, original starter to add to the menu is the Honey and Mustard Chicken Kebabs. The Oven-baked Honey-Mustard Chicken kebabs are perfect for easy, summer time snacking, and as Christmas in South Africa falls in the heart of summer, it’s a perfect addition.

The sticky sweetness of the sauce is festive and addicting.

Serves 4
You will need:

Chicken Breast cut into 2cm cubes
salt and pepper
Skewer sticks

For the Honey Mustard Marinade
-1/4 cup honey
-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
-2 tablespoons Yellow mustard
-2 tablespoons orange juice
-1 tablespoon soy sauce
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1 tsp EACH parsley paprika, garlic powder & salt
-1/2 teaspoon onion powder
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

Honey mustard dip
Reserved unused marinade in directions
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Whisk all the marinade ingredients together. Skewer the Chicken. Remove 1/4 cup marinade to a shallow dish. Add chicken skewers and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 4-6 hours.

Use 3 tablespoons of the leftover marinade for your Honey Mustard Dip. Whisk in 1/3 cup sour cream and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise. Refrigerate.

Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add the chicken kebabs in a single layer and broil, turning every 5 minutes until cooked through, about 10 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness of chicken, basting with the left over marinade when you turn chicken.
Serve kebabs with Honey Mustard Dip and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Christmas is usually filled with meat heavy dishes. If you are having over vegetarian guests, or want some meatless variety on your table, a crowd favourite is Halloumi.

Chermoula spiced Halloumi with Cauli-quinoa & a Mint Raita is a Like A Chef speciality, but there are many interesting, delicious ways that Halloumi can be served.

Crisp and slightly salty shallow-fried halloumi fries make perfect party food.

Great with a sprinkling of za’atar and a spicy yogurt for dipping, says
(Follow link for full recipe)

Mix the yogurt with the lemon zest and some seasoning, then swirl through the harissa so that you have pockets of hot and cool in the dip.

On a plate, stir the za’atar into the flour, then roll the halloumi in the mixture so that it’s evenly coated. Heat the oil in a shallow, heavy-bottomed pan or casserole dish until 180C on a cooking thermometer, or a piece of bread browns in 20 secs. Working in batches, carefully lower the halloumi into the oil and cook for 2 mins until crisp and golden, then drain on kitchen paper.

Sprinkle over the mint and za’atar and serve with the lemon wedges and the spicy yogurt for dipping.

If you are struggling to find Za’tar, here is an ingredient list to put your own together.

1. 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds.
2. 1/4 cup sumac.
3. 2 tablespoons thyme.
4. 2 tablespoons marjoram.
5. 2 tablespoons dried oregano.
6. 1 teaspoon coarse salt.


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