Need some Christmas cooking ideas?

Stuck for what to cook for your family this Christmas? Six Kiwi chefs have you covered.

Fancy a day of cricket rounders and a couple of beers in the backyard? Why not try Des Harris' mouthwatering BBQ oysters?

Perhaps you would prefer a champagne brunch complete with grazing table and salmon gravlax from Sean Connolly?

Or for the most iconic Kiwi Christmas menu, Peter Gordon's mum Timmy has the recipe to keep your tummy happy and your heart full.

Whatever your plans this Christmas, we rounded up six Kiwi chefs who shared their favourite family Christmas recipe for you and yours to enjoy.

So Merry Christmas!

Ben Bayly and his children love to make ice cream sandwiches. Photo: Supplied
Ben Bayly and his children love to make ice cream sandwiches. Photo: Supplied
Ben Bayly - Executive chef Baduzzi and restaurateur of The Grounds, Aosta and Ahi
The kids and I love making ice cream sandwiches at Christmas. We always mix it up, changing the biscuit, ice cream and the fruit. This one is our latest favourite, composed of a chocolate mousse that we spread thin and bake at a low temperature until it makes a super yum chocolate cracker.

The ice cream is made of yogurt and it doesn't need an ice cream machine to make. The fruit is either strawberries or cherries this time of year and we simply shave it thin to make salad and dress with elderflower syrup.

Ice cream sandwiches

Dark chocolate mousse cracker
130g dark chocolate
40g room temperature egg yolks
100g room temperature egg whites
45g sugar
Pinch of salt


1. Melt the chocolate evenly and cool to blood temperature. Then stir through the room-temperature yolks.
2. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, adding sugar in three lots to stiff peaks like pavlova.
3. Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
4. Spread onto greaseproof paper, and bake at 100C for one hour.

No churn yogurt icecream/parfait

250g cream whipped to soft peaks
6 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean (de-seeded)
120g sugar
2 leaves of gelatine soaked in cold water
200g full-fat creamy yogurt


Lime zest


1. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla seed together in a bowl over boiling water until light and foamy
2. Add the gelatine
3. Fold through the yogurt
4. Make sure the mixture is cool before you fold the whipped cream
5. Season with the zest of one lime

Des Harris. Photo: Supplied
Des Harris. Photo: Supplied
Des Harris - Executive Chef of The Hunting Lodge

I'm always looking for different, edgy ways to serve dishes simply. This recipe is a great twist to the classic kiwi BBQ and is ideally suited to a green egg/Weber style BBQ with a lid, but it works equally as well in a pizza oven.

If you pay special attention to the cooking of the oyster and remove them individually from the BBQ as they open, you are rewarded with still raw, warm ocean juices. Totally delicious and something that is fun and interactive around the BBQ with your guests.

Equally as nice with a squeeze of lemon juice instead of the mignonette dressing.

BBQ Pacific Rock Oysters with mignonette dressing


1 dozen live Mahurangi oysters

Mignonette dressing

80ml sherry vinegar
20ml forum chardonnay vinegar
1 tsp chives, finely minced
1 tsp shallot, finely minced
Freshly cracked black pepper


1. Combine the vinegar, chives and shallots
2. Add the freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1. Get your BBQ nice and hot.
2. Put the oysters flat side up onto a tray and place into the BBQ.
3. Cover the BBQ with its lid and cook the oysters - keeping a watchful eye - until the lids slightly lift open.
4. Pop open the lids of the oyster, spoon over some mignonette dressing and serve while still warm.

Bee Van de Elzen - Good From Scratch Cookery School

Pate is one of my favourite dishes, and I love to make it and indulge at Christmas time.

Sitting down with this dish is such a nice way to start a summer's evening with friends or family.

I don't often make it, but Christmas is definitely a time where I do want to take the time to make this delicious snack. It will be worth it and it's actually quite easy!

Bee swears by indulging in pâté at Christmas time. Photo: Getty Images
Bee swears by indulging in pâté at Christmas time. Photo: Getty Images
Chicken Liver Pate


500g chicken livers
50g butter
I medium onion chopped finely
3 cloves of garlic crushed
4 good sprigs of fresh thyme
100g of cubed cold butter
3 generous tablespoons of brandy
Salt and pepper


1. To prepare the livers, cut out the membrane and put aside.
2. Heat 50g of butter in the frypan and add the onion and garlic until softened.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Add the chicken livers and cook quickly, browning on each side for approximately 5 minutes but still leaving them a bit pink in the middle.
4. Remove the livers from the pan and pop into a food processer along with the
onions and garlic.
5. Process until everything is well combined, add the thyme and the cold cubed
butter one piece at a time. Lastly, add the brandy and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Combine well.
7. Remove from the food processer and pass through a sieve with a spatula
pushing it hard as you go. Taste and check seasoning.
8. Once finished, place into a small bowl, cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
9. Serve with warmed sourdough, French stick or some toasted Vogels.


Sean Connolly. Photo: Supplied
Sean Connolly. Photo: Supplied
Sean Connolly – Esther, QT Auckland

I make a salmon gravlax every Christmas – I make it on the morning of Christmas Eve, ready to eat the following day. I cure it in orange and star anise – it's a very simple recipe.

Salmon gravlax


2 parts rock salt
1 part sugar
Zest of two oranges
5-6 crushed star anise
Akaroa salmon fillet


1. Mix two parts rock salt to one part sugar, with the zest of two oranges and 5-6 crushed star anise.
2. Cover one side of Akaroa salmon with the mixture, cover it in plastic wrap and cure overnight.
3. Open and enjoy.

Peter Gordon - Homeland food embassy
My mum makes, without a doubt, the best pavlova ever. I should know as I eat at least one whenever I come back to NZ.

Make the pavlova up to three days before you need it to save the hassle, and store on a plate covered with foil. Make sure you don't put the cream and strawberries on any longer than three hours before you're going to eat it as it'll go soggy.

Peter Gordon's mum Timmy makes the best pavlova of them all. Photo: Supplied
Peter Gordon's mum Timmy makes the best pavlova of them all. Photo: Supplied
My mother Timmy's Pav


3 eggs, use large (jumbo) eggs
1 cup Caster sugar, use just less than a cup
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp malt vinegar, but Timmy says any vinegar is okay

Vanilla honey yoghurt cream

500ml cream, straight from the fridge
2 tsp vanilla paste, Peter Gordon recommends Heilala vanilla paste
3 tbsp honey, any delicious honey will work but manuka honey is great
300 mil thick greek yoghurt, try Clevedon Valley buffalo yoghurt

Strawberry compote

5 tbsp icing sugar
2 punnets of strawberries
½ tsp orange zest, finely grated



1. Set oven at 180C
2. Mum likes to use a hand-held electric mixer for this. Beat the whites until stiff then slowly add the sugar, initially a tablespoon at a time. Once half has been added you can add it a bit faster. Turn your beaters off.
3. Sprinkle the cornflour and vinegar over the top of your meringue and then slowly mix it in - don't beat.
4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and then transfer your mixture onto it with a spatula. Make any shape you want (a log, a round, a square). Place the tray in the oven then immediately drop the temperature to 130C.
5. Bake for one hour then turn the oven off and leave the pavlova to cool in the oven.

Vanilla honey yoghurt cream

1. Lightly whisk the cream and vanilla to soft peaks in a chilled bowl
2. Whisk the honey into the yoghurt and add this to the cream, then continue to beat until you have firm peaks

Strawberry compote

This couldn't be simpler and it doesn't even need cooking. I add a few shots of Golden Stolen Rum if it's an adults-only dessert.

1. Hull the strawberries, then slice about 1/2 cm thick.
2. Toss with the icing sugar and zest and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
3. The juice that runs off is lovely, but keep it separate and drizzle over the pavlova as you serve it or it can make the pavlova go soggy.

Michael and Bee Van de Elzen from the Good from Scratch cooking school. Photo: Supplied
Michael and Bee Van de Elzen from the Good from Scratch cooking school. Photo: Supplied
Michael Van de Elzen - Good From Scratch Cookery School

My parents are Dutch and my mother always cooked traditional recipes for special occasions. Although I am quite partial to a pav on Christmas, this tart reminds me of the holiday season as a child.

The shortcrust pastry I use in this recipe is really short and crumbly, making rolling it quite the challenge - but it's worth the effort. My tip is to keep the pastry really cold and work quickly. Just fill any holes with some off-cuts.

The recipe works well with pretty much any apple but I like a good granny smith apple to balance the sweetness. Make up a big tart and slice, or try smaller individual ones. These are best served warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Oma's Appel Taart (serves 6)

Prep time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins



300g self-raising flour, sifted
150g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
Pinch salt
180g margarine, chilled
1 egg, beaten
Plain flour for rolling


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, vanilla and salt. Cut margarine into small cubes and add to flour mix.

2. Using dough hook attachment, mix together on low speed. Add beaten egg while mixing. Once dough is formed, remove from bowl and knead by hand to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3. Take 1/3 of the pastry, wrap and return to fridge. Using plenty of flour, roll out the remaining pastry to 1.5cm thickness on a clean work surface. Lay the pastry over your floured rolling pin, then gently lay it in a greased 20cm tart tin. Press gently into the tin and use any leftovers to patch rips or holes. Return to the fridge while you prepare the filling.


1 cup raisins
3 tbsp brandy
4 tbsp warm water
3 apples
Juice of ½ lemon
3 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp icing sugar


1. Soak raisins in brandy and warm water for 20 minutes. Peel apples then cut into thick slices around the core. Place in a large bowl with lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon.

2. Drain raisins, add to apples and toss to coat. Retrieve tart base from fridge and arrange apple mix inside. Roll out reserved pastry to at least same diameter as the tart and cut into 2-3 cm strips.

3. Using a long palette knife, lift strips off work surface and lay over apple filling in a lattice pattern. Brush the pastry lattice with water and dust with icing sugar.

4. Bake for 40 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm with coffee cream.

Coffee cream

½ cup cream
½ tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp strong espresso


1. Whip cream with sugar
2. Fold in espresso until combined.











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