Merry Christmas

Click on the ornaments to explore the
internationally delicious world of KISKA.


Laufabrauð – Snowflake Cakes

Magnus, Iceland


2 kg flour
60 g sugar
5 g baking powder
pinch salt
475 ml milk
80 g butter
pinch caraway
lard or oil


Mix dry ingredients in a mixer. Heat the milk, butter and caraway in a saucepan without letting the mixture come to a boil. Add to dry ingredients and blend together. Flour a board and knead the dough by hand. Roll into a long tube, up to 100-120 cm long, and wrap in a tea towel. Let the dough rest and cut into about 40 small pieces, approximately 3 cm wide. Flatten with a rolling pin. Using a knife, cut the flattened dough pieces into slices. Carve a leaf, snowflake or your own custom pattern onto the top of each cake. Grease a skillet with lard or oil and fry cakes until golden on each side. Place hot cakes onto paper towel to remove excess fat.

Serve buttered with smoked lamb, boiled potatoes, red cabbage, peas and sweet béchamel sauce.



Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

Jamen, Australia


235 g self-rising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
120 g brown sugar
80 g butter, melted and cooled
125 ml milk
1 egg, lightly beaten

175 g brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa power, sifted
300 ml boiling water


Preheat oven to 180 ° C. Grease 20 cm x 20 cm baking dish. Sift flour and cocoa into large bowl. Stir in sugar. Combine butter, milk and egg. Slowly add to flour mixture, whisking until well combined and smooth. Pour into baking dish.  Smooth top.

To make sauce, combine sugar and cocoa and sprinkle over pudding. Slowly pour boiling water over the back of a large metal spoon, covering pudding. Place dish onto a baking tray. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until pudding bounces back when pressed gently in centre.

Serve hot with cream and berries.


Christmas Beef Soup with Noodles and Sausage

Paul, Austria


1 large white onion
1 bunch root vegetable mirepoix (carrot, turnip, celery, parsley, leek)
1 kg beef soup bones
1 kg beef
4 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pkg (500 g) vermicelli
parsley or chives
8 Frankfurter or Vienna sausage


Cut the onion into quarters and place into 5 litre pot along with mirepoix, beef bones and beef. Add cold water to cover ingredients. Add bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring slowly to a simmer on low-medium heat. Add lid and simmer for at least 3 hours.

Once finished, remove the onion, mirepoix, beef bones and beef. Strain soup through a sieve or cheesecloth into a clean pot. Cut the onion and carrots into smaller pieces. Shred the beef with a fork. Arrange the onion, carrots, beef in a soup plate. Cook vermicelli noodles for 3 to 5 minutes in a separate saucepan and add to soup plate. Pour over broth. Garnish with parsley or chives, as well as nutmeg.

Meanwhile boil sausages for 10 minutes in separate saucepan. Remove with tongs and serve alongside soup.


Sébastien’s Steamed Lobster Feast

Sébastien, Belgium


1 bottle white wine (plus equal amount water)
2 lemons, halved
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch dill
2 tbsp salt
6 lobsters


Pour liquid into a pot large enough to hold 6 lobsters, cover and add lemons, garlic cloves, dill and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower temperature and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lobsters and steam for 10 minutes. Rotate the lobsters to ensure all are cooked evenly. Steam for another 15 minutes. Remove lobsters from pot and serve immediately with melted butter.


Cuñapé - Cheese Ball Bread

Laura, Bolivia


235 g tapioca flour
1 tsp baking powder
470 g queso fresco (substitute Monterrey Jack cheese)
1 egg
1-2 tbsp milk


Pre-heat an oven to 230 ° C. Mix the tapioca flour and baking powder into mixing bowl. Add cheese and mix until cheese is covered in the flour. Add egg to the mixture. If the dough begins to stick, do not add milk. If the dough separates, add 1 tbsp of milk at this time. Divide the dough into 10 equal-sized pieces and shape them into balls. Put a thumbprint into the bottom of each ball to ensure even rising when baked. Place the balls thumbprint side down on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper, or silicon baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and dry.


Sarma – Cabbage Rolls

Biljana - Bosnia-Herzegovina


1 bun
500 g ground beef
1 egg
50 g rice, dry
2 onions, chopped and separated
pinch salt
pinch pepper
pinch paprika
1 jar pickled cabbage leaves
1 can tomato puree
1 garlic clove, minced
250 ml sour cream


Soak bun in water. Remove and squeeze out excess water. Mix ground beef, bun, egg, rice, 1 onion, salt, pepper and paprika. Rinse cabbage leaves in water and drain. Place a spoonful of ground beef mixture into each cabbage leave. Fold over sides and then roll.

In large pot or skillet, fry remaining onion and garlic in oil until transparent, add tomato puree and water to achieve desired consistency and season with salt and pepper. Place cabbage rolls in sauce. Cook slowly over medium heat for approximately 1 hour.

Top with sour cream and serve with fresh white bread.


Nanaimo Bars

Liz, Canada


Bottom Layer
120 g unsalted butter
60 g sugar
75 g cocoa
1 egg, beaten
300 g graham cracker crumbs
120 g almonds, finely chopped
225 g chopped coconut

Middle Layer
120 g unsalted butter
40 ml cream
30 g custard powder
475 g icing sugar

Top Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate
30 g unsalted butter


For bottom layer, begin by melting butter, sugar and cocoa in a double boiler. Add egg. Stir steadily to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press firmly into ungreased 20 cm x 20 cm pan.

For the middle layer cream butter, cream, custard power and icing sugar. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

For the top layer, melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over middle layer. Chill in the refrigerator until solid.



鍋貼 Guotie, 餃子 Jiaozi – Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

Libo, China


475 g all-purpose flour
175 ml warm water

475 g finely chopped Napa cabbage (substitute regular cabbage)
300 g ground pork
80 g shitake mushrooms, minced
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp grated ginger
80 g chopped Chinese chives (substitute scallions)
1 egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp black pepper
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
½ tbsp. vegetable oil
1 ½ tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine

Dipping sauce
80 ml soy sauce
2 ½ tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp garlic, minced
chili oil



Put flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in water and stir, evenly moistening the flour. Gently mix until all of the lumpy bits have been incorporated. Add more flour or water as necessary. The dough should hold its shape when pinched. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about 2 minutes, until smooth and somewhat elastic. When pressed down, the impression should slowly bounce back. Smooth out the top of the dough and pinch the ends to gether on the bottom. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a plate.


Combine all of the filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add seasonings and mix will with hands.

Forming the Dumplings

Place dough on a floured surface. Cut the dough into thirds and put 2/3 back into the bowl. Cover bowl with plate. Roll out the dough into a 2.5 cm thick log. Cut the log into even pieces, about 2 cm thick each. Roll the pieces lightly in flour and then set each piece aside. Flatten each piece of dough with the palm of the hand. Form into circles.

To roll the wrappers, begin with a lightly floured surface. Roll a rolling pin gently back and forth, while turning the dough. Roll up to about 1.5 cm in from the edge of the dough, avoiding the centre. This ensures the thicker centre will hold the filling, and the thin edges will be easier to seal. Continue rolling the cut pieces until about 10 wrappers are created.

Fill each wrapper with a spoonful of filling. Flatten the filling a little bit in the centre. Fold over and pinch shut. Continue until all wrappers are filled. Cook immediately.

Steaming the Dumplings

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large wok. Place the dumplings in a bamboo steamer basket and place on top of the wok for 8 minutes. Serve immediately

Dipping Sauce

Combine the soy sauce and oils. Add garlic. Stir well.


Gibanica – Traditional Croatian Cake

Tatjana, Croatia

950 g flour
2 ltr hot water, separated
1 ½ kg large, chopped walnuts
800 g sugar
500 g bread crumbs
1 ½ -2 kg apple sauce


For the pastry, mix the flour and ½ ltr of hot water and then divide dough into balls. Transfer to lightly floured surface and roll out the dough into thin sheets, about 30-40 cm in length. Bake in a 150 ° C oven for 2 hours, until light-yellow and crispy. Wrap in a dishcloth and set aside for a few days to rest.

When the pastry is ready, mix the walnuts, breadcrumbs and sugar in a bowl. Break about 8-10 sheets of the pastry into small pieces and add to the walnut mixture. Dilute half of the apple sauce with the remaining hot water. Grease a 50 cm diameter cake pan. Place the remaining pastry in the pan and add half of the apple sauce mixture. Add the walnut mixture. Smooth and pour in the remaining apple sauce. Bake for up to an hour, or until golden brown.

Best served fresh from the oven.





Pivní guláš – Beer Goulash

Jan, Czech Republic

500 g pork
500 g beef
3 large onions, medium dice
salt and pepper, to taste
1-1½ bottles Czech pilsner
½ bay leaf
½ tbsp cumin
235 g bread crumbs
1 pkg store bought sauerkraut


Cut the meat into cubes and sear in a saucepan along with the onions and lard. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze saucepan with beer. Add spices. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Add just enough sauerkraut to be level with the beer. Simmer for 1 hour on low heat. If sauce is too thick, add up to ½ bottle more beer to taste.


Christmas Pudding with Brandy Butter

Steve, England


450 g stoned raisins, chopped
55 g mixed peel, chopped
55 g blanched almonds, chopped
225 g currants
225 g sultanas
115 g plain, or self-rising flour, sifted
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground clove
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
30 g ground almonds
450 g ground suet
225 g fresh, white breadcrumbs
450 g light brown sugar
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
25 ml brandy
225 ml milk
25 g unsalted butter

Brandy Butter
85 g unsalted butter
85 g caster sugar
grated rind of ½ an orange
30 ml brandy (or to taste)


Mix together stoned raisins, mixed peel and blanched almonds. Mix together in a large bowl with all of the fruits, sifted flour, spices and ground almonds. Blend thoroughly until all of the fruit is well coated. Work in the suet, breadcrumbs and sugar. Stir in eggs. Add brandy and milk, stirring until the pudding has a soft, dropping consistency.

Butter two pudding basins and spoon in mixture. Cover each with a pleated, double layer of buttered, grease-proof paper. Tie down with a pudding cloth. Set the pudding basins in a pan(s) of boiling water, reaching two thirds up the sides of the basins. Boil steadily for 6 hours, topping up water as necessary. Remove puddings and allow to cool. Cover with grease-proof paper and pudding cloth, put in cool place for at least 2 months to mature.

To make brandy butter, cream butter until soft and beat in sugar and orange rind. Beat in brandy until mixture is frothy. Chill in refrigerator 2 to 3 hours until solid.

Before serving, boil the pudding for a further 4 hours. Turn out of basin and garnish with a sprig of holly. Pour over warmed brandy and set alight. Serve with brandy butter.



Magret de Canard à l’Orange – Duck a l'Orange

Elvin, France


2 duck breasts, 350 g each
30 g sugar
15 ml white wine vinegar
125 ml chicken broth
60 ml orange juice
4 oranges
30 g butter
salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 190 °C with rack in middle position. Using a sharp knife, crisscross the fat side of each duck breast without cutting the meat. Salt and pepper the breasts. In a nonstick, ovenproof skillet, brown the duck, fat side down, for about 15 minutes over low heat. Remove the breasts and set aside. Spoon out excess fat from the pan and set aside (about 15 ml). Return breasts to the pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Place the breasts on a plate and over with foil. Let stand for 5 minutes and discard the excess fat.

In the same skillet add brown sugar and vinegar. Deglaze with broth and juice. Bring to a boil over high heat until the mixture is syrupy. Add the oranges and cook to warm through. Remove pan from heat and add butter, stirring until the sauce is smooth, taking care not to damage the oranges. Salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the duck and cover with sauce. Serve with new or mashed potatoes and celeriac.


Chocolate Heart Cookies

Marcus & Julian, Germany


125 g sugar
250 g honey
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp Cardamom
1 pkg vanilla sugar
1 tsp ground coffee
grated peel of 1 orange
50 g melted, cooled butter
200 g grated chocolate
2 eggs
375 g flour
20 g baking powder
1 bar of 70% chocolate


Place sugar and honey in a saucepan and heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Let cool slightly. Add all of the other ingredients, stirring slowly until the mixture reaches a dough-like consistency. Chill the dough for 2 hours. Lightly flour a board and roll dough gently until about 2 mm thick. Do this in small quantities as the dough is sticky. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to shape the cookies. Place on a baking tray and put into a pre-heated 130 ° C oven, with the fan running. Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove when done and cool. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and glaze cookies. Allow chocolate to cool completely before serving.


Cotechino con Lenticchie – Pork Sausage with Lentils

Stefano, Italy


300 g dry lentils
1 onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
30 g butter
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
500 ml vegetable broth
1 pkg Italian pork sausage


Soak lentils in a bowl of water for at least 2 hours, or until softened, changing water at least 2 times. Place onion and celery in non-stick pan with oil and butter and sautee a few minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the lentils and let cook over high heat for a few minutes. Add the broth one ladle at a time, about 4 or 5 times, and cover with lid. Cook over medium heat until the lentils are tender, but not soggy. About 40 minutes. Add more broth if they are too dry. Meanwhile, cook sausages according to package instructions. Slice when done and serve on top of lentils.



Salatka Ziemniaczana – Potato Salad

Klaud & Wojtek, Poland


3 medium sized carrots
3 medium sized potatoes
½ leek, white part
3 hardboiled eggs
2 medium sized apples
3 large dill pickles
1 stalk celery
200 g smoked ham, or sausage
1 can (425 g) green peas, drained
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste


Cook carrots and potatoes in pot of salted, boiling water for 40 minutes. Remove and cool. Thinly slice leek. Cube cooked and cooled carrots and potatoes, as well as hardboiled eggs, apples, dill pickles, celery and smoked ham/sausage into roughly the same size as green peas. Add to bowl along with green peas. Add mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Mix and add more mayonnaise and mustard if necessary. Salt and pepper to taste.



Bacalhau da Consoada (Douro e Minho) – Christmas Eve Cod

David, Portugal


5 thick slices of dried cod
2 kg potatoes, washed and skin-on
2 bunches Portuguese kale (or 1 cabbage), washed
5 eggs
4 garlic cloves
300 ml olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt to taste


Soak cod for several hours to remove salt. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes and set aside on serving plate. Cut the potatoes in half. Boil with eggs in one saucepan until potatoes are fork tender. In another saucepan, boil kale, until fully cooked. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil with garlic. Remove garlic as soon as the oil begins to simmer. Stir in the vinegar and pour sauce into gravy boat. Peel the potatoes and hardboiled eggs. Slice and arrange around the fish on a plate. Serve immediately with dressing.



Honey Cake

Jasmina, Serbia


40 g butter
2 tbsp honey
120 g sugar
4 tbsp milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
450 g sifted flour

6 tbsp semolina flour
2 pkg vanilla sugar
500 ml milk, separated
250 g margarine
200 g granulated sugar
1 lemon, juiced

100 g chocolate
40 g margarine


Preheat oven to 180 ° C. Mix together the butter, honey, sugar, milk, baking powder and egg. Add the flour. Mix and then knead into a dough. Divide into three separate baking pans and bake until golden brown. Allow to cool and remove from baking pans.

Mix together semolina flour and vanilla sugar into half of the milk. Boil the remaining milk. Pour semolina mixture into the hot milk and cook. Set aside and allow to cool. In a separate saucepan, melt the margarine, sugar and lemon juice. Stir into the cooled flour mixture. Pour the filling in between the 3 layers.

Heat the chocolate and butter over low heat. Pour over the cake.


Kapustnica – Slovakian Sauerkraut Soup

Marek, Slovakia


1 large onion, chopped
100 grams bacon (about 5 thin slices), cubed
olive oil
300 g smoked sausage
100 g dried mushrooms
1 handful dried prunes
3 ½ tbsp sweet paprika
2 ltr vegetable stock
300 g sauerkraut
2 tbsp thyme
1 ½ tbsp cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
sour cream


Fry onion and bacon in large pot with olive oil. Add smoked sausage. Cook for about 5 minutes to cook. Then add dried mushrooms, dried prunes and paprika, stirring briefly. Add vegetable stock soon after to prevent burning of the paprika. Add sauerkraut and herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Leave 3 hours over low heat. Remove sausages, slice and put back into soup.

Serve with dollop of sour cream.


Poolside Watermelon

Jason, South Africa


1 watermelon
1 swimming pool


Slice watermelon. Dependent on hunger level, take one, or more slices. Sit on edge of swimming pool with feet dangling in the water. Insert watermelon into mouth. Enjoy your holiday watermelon feast.


Crema de Mariscos – Seafood Cream Soup

Carlos, Spain


50 g butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
500 g prawns, 6 separated
2 tbsp flour
150 ml tomato sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
100 ml brandy
1 ltr fish stock
salt and pepper, to taste
150 ml cream
spicy oil, to taste


Put a large skillet on medium-high heat, melt butter with olive oil. Add the leeks, carrots and garlic. Sautee for a few minutes. Separate 6 prawns and add the rest to the pan. Stir well until the prawns change colour completely. Stir in flour. Add the tomato sauce and tomato puree. Remove skillet from heat and pour in brandy. Place back on heat, simmer until alcohol is evaporated. Cover with fish stock, about 2 fingers above the rest of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and pass through blender. Pour back into skillet and place over medium heat. Add the cream and stir well until fully incorporated. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes and strain into a clean saucepan.

Meanwhile, lightly oil, salt and pepper the remaining prawns. Grill until colour has changed completely. Arrange a prawn in separate bowls and pour the soup around. Garnish with spicy oil.


Glass med Västerbottensost – Ice Cream with Västerbotten Cheese

Linus, Sweden


100 g Västerbotten cheese
3 eggs, separate yolks from whites
200 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
700 ml whipping cream, unwhipped


Roughly grate the cheese. Whisk egg yolks with sugar until fluffy. Whip the cream with the vanilla sugar. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Mix the cheese with beaten yolks and cream mixture. Fold in egg whites. Pour into a cake pan and freeze for at least 4 hours. Remove from freezer 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with cloudberries, or warm cloudberry jam.


Fondue au Fromage – Cheese Fondue

Stephane, Switzerland


375-500 ml dry white wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp potato starch or corn starch
700 g mixed Gruyere and Emmenthal, grated
1-2 tsp kirsch


In a sturdy saucepan, stir in wine, garlic and starch. Add grated cheese and cook over moderately high heat, stirring often until the cheese is melted and smooth. Cook until the mixture leaves a skin over the holes of a slotted spoon. If the mixture becomes too thick add a little more white wine. Add kirsch to taste. Serve warm in a fondue pot, with dense and crusty white bread.


Pecan Pie

Björn, USA


4 large eggs
235 ml light corn syrup
80 g light-brown sugar, packed
60 g granulated sugar
60 g unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
700 g pecan halves
1 pre-made pie crust


In a large bowl, whisk eggs, corn syrup, sugars, butter, vanilla and salt until smooth. Mix in pecans. Pour mixture into chilled pie crust. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until filling jiggles slightly in the centre when gently shaken, about 1 hour. Cool pie completely in plate, about 5 to 6 hours.

Serve with whipped cream.


Holiday Hallacas – Steamed Banana Leaves Filled with Chicken, Pork and Beef

Paola, Venezuela


Plantain wrappers
5 kg plantain leaves
cooking twine

Guiso Filling
2 limes, halved
1 ½ kg chicken (legs, thighs and breasts)
1 ¼ ltr water
125 ml vegetable oil
1 ½ kg pork shoulder
1 kg lean ground beef
¼ kg lard
4 leeks, thinly sliced
800 g white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
750 ml chicken stock, separated
6 scallions, thinly sliced
½ kg roasted red bell peppers, skin and seeds removed
½ tsp fresh or canned habanero peppers, finely diced
4 pickled sweet cherry peppers, diced
600 g chopped tomatoes, peeled and seeded
60 g capers, finely chopped
120 g pimento-stuffed olives, sliced
120 g pickled vegetables
1 tsp paprika
120 g raisins
300 g shredded papelon (substitute 175 g molasses)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
125 ml Muscat wine
2 tbsp prepared mustard
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

700 g lard or solid vegetable shortening, separated
3 tbsp annatto seeds
2 ½ kg pre-cooked white cornmeal
475 ml chicken stock
3 tbsp salt

115 g lard or solid vegetable shortening, sliced
½ kg cooked, shredded chicken
½ kg red bell peppers, cut in strips
2 medium white onions, sliced into thin rings
120 g small capers
235 g pitted green olives, sliced
120 g raisins
120 g blanched whole almonds


Plantain wrappers
Place the leaves in the sink and cover with water. Then, taking one leaf at a time, unfold and wipe each side with a damp cloth. Each hallaca uses 3 leaves. Cut 25-30, each, pieces of the following sizes and set aside in 3 piles:

Base leaf (where the dough is placed) 28 cm x 30 cm
Camisa (keeps water out of filling) 20 cm x 25 cm
Faja (holds ends of Camisa together) 410 cm x 15 cm

Cut one piece of cooking twine per hallaca, roughly the length of an arm.

Filling Stew/Guiso
Clean chicken with lime and rinse well with water. Place chicken in pot with water, bring to boil over high heat, lower temperature and let simmer on stovetop for 30 minutes, until chicken is tender but not falling off the bone. Transfer chicken to a plate; and set aside stock. Shred meat with hands. Reserve ½ kg to use for garnish.

Clean the pork shoulder with lime, then rinse well with water and cut into a fine dice. In a large stock pot, heat oil over high heat; add diced pork and ground beef and cook, stirring frequently, until meats are browned; transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat under the pot and add lard, leeks, green onions, onions and garlic. Add 25 ml chicken stock and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft but not browned. Add red bell peppers, habanero peppers, sweet cherry peppers and cook until vegetables are soft. Add tomatoes and cook 15 minutes at low heat. Add the capers, olives, papelon, pickled vegetables, paprika, raisins, Muscat wine, Worcestershire sauce, salt and black pepper. Add 500 ml of chicken stock. Return the pork and ground beef to the pot. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken strips and cook for 1 hour in low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let rest, covered until completely cooled. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Place 475 g of lard in a pan with annatto seeds over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat, being careful not to burn the seeds. It should be an orange colour when ready. Remove seeds by straining mixture. Set lard aside. Put corn flour in a large mixing bowl and add salt. Slowly add remainder of uncoloured lard and begin mixing into a doughy consistency. Add the coloured lard and continue to mix. Add the chicken stock to the mixture and combine well until a firm, but soft consistency. Knead the mixture. The dough should be a dark orange colour, smooth with no lumps. Make balls of about 7 cm in diameter, set aside and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside the remaining coloured lard to be used to grease the plantain leaves during assembly.

Lightly grease the centre of the base plantain leaf with reserved coloured lard. Take a balls of orange dough and place in the centre of the base leaf. Flatten the dough into a circle about 15 cm in diameter in the centre of the leaf. Use fingers to extend the dough thinly. Place 3 spoonfulls of meat filling in the centre of the flattened dough, as well as 2-3 pieces of garnish elements.

Fold over the plantain leaf against the grain and dough, so the filling is covered. Fold the opposite side over so the filling is completely encased. Bring the ends of the leaf up over the filling on the seam side. Lap the 2 ends over each other to secure the filling completely. Press seams together gently so as to not tear.

Place the hallaca diagonally at one edge of the second square of the plantain leaf, the camisa. Fold the camisa over the hallaca on the diagonal grain and fold the edges over the sides. Use the faja leaf to hold the pieces in place, wrapping it around the hallaca 2-3 times. Tie entire hallaca with twine like a postal package.

Place the hallaca upright, on end, in a large steaming pot. Cover and steam for an hour, keeping water at slow boil and replenishing as it cooks away. Cool hallacas and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Prior to serving, carefully place hallacas inside a pot of boiling water and cook for 35-45 minutes. Transfer from pot to plate with tongs to strain water. Cut the sides of the leaf and carefully open and fold sides back to present the filling.

Serve immediately!



Holiday Greetings from Gerald

Gerald, Austria