Recipe: Anja Olaug Jelinek’s Updated Christmas Buffet

Am I the only one who doesn’t eat Christmas food for 14 days? Something happens to the flavors on the classic Christmas table after the third, fourth, or fifth time, and they seem to stick to the palate and the whole body smells like fish fat and pickle. Sorry, that was a disgusting description, but I think there are more of me who crave something else on weekdays, or why not on Christmas Eve. That’s why I created a small buffet inspired by Eastern European and Lebanese cuisine. The flavors, textures, and spices are somewhat reminiscent of classic Christmas foods, but come in a new outfit.

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Bulgur salad cooked with orange, turnip, salted almond and pomegranate. Photo: Anja Olaug Jelinek

Recipe: Bulgur salad cooked in orange with turnip, salted almonds and pomegranate

6 smaller portions

Base this power to me go to the On weekdays: thin bulgur, some cabbage or salad, something sour and some salt that may have little resistance when chewed. The best thing is that it can change infinitely. Here with orange and pomegranate that makes the salad even more festive.

2 dl bulgur + 3 dl water

Zest from 1/3 of an orange

one orange juice

1 broth cube

1 deciliter of roasted salted almonds

2 large stalks of turnip

1 pomegranate

1 tablespoon of good olive oil

Place the bulgur, water, orange peel, orange juice and stock cube in a saucepan. Let the water boil, mix everything quickly, put the lid on and set aside until the bulgur swells. It takes about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the turnip from the stems. Rinse with water, divide with scissors, and massage until soft.

Cut a pomegranate into four parts, and peel them in a bowl of water, so the kitchen won’t feel like a bomb. The kernels will sink and the peel will float easily. Strain the seeds into a strainer.

Chop the almonds into large pieces and mix all the ingredients for the salad.

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Pita with Västerbotten cheese and herbal oil.

Pita with Västerbotten cheese and herbal oil. Photo: Anja Olaug Jelinek

Pita with Västerbotten cheese and herbal oil

about 15 bits

My dear child has many names. Pita is a Bosnian pancake with phyllo dough, cheese and eggs, and it is incredibly good. It is also called burek in other countries and may have more names. This pita contains our beloved Västerbotten cheese and a delicious herbal oil. I recommend making a double batch and freezing it, you want a lot of this.

10 sheets of tortilla dough (usually equivalent to 1 package)

1 deciliter of rapeseed oil

1 egg


300 gm cream cheese

200 gm grated vesterbutin cheese

3 eggs

2.5 dL fat milk

1/2 deciliter olive oil

1/2 teaspoon flake salt

herbal oil:

2 dl of fresh parsley

1 dL fresh mint

1/2 deciliter olive oil

1/2 teaspoon lemon peel

Set the oven to 175 degrees. Mix all the herbal oil ingredients. Beat eggs, milk, olive oil and salt. Whisk cream cheese and fasterbutan cheese together.

It’s time to start assembling the pie. Grease a sheet of phyllo dough with rapeseed oil and put it in an oven dish, and do this with three sheets of paper, laying them on top of each other.

Visually divide the cream cheese, herbal oil and eggs into three parts. Spread a third of the amount of cream cheese and herb oil on the foil, and pour over a third of the egg mixture. Grease a sheet of rapeseed oil and place it on top, do this using two sheets of paper. Now you have to make two similar layers so that you get a total of three layers. Finish the last layer with three sheets of paper that you grease with rapeseed oil. Finish by brushing with scrambled eggs.

Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares. They do not need to be served hot and can be left in the refrigerator until the next day or usefully frozen.

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Walnut balls with roasted paprika sauce with saffron.

Walnut balls in roasted paprika sauce with saffron. Photo: Anja Olaug Jelinek

Recipe: Walnut balls in a saffron-roasted paprika sauce

4 large portions at the buffet are guaranteed to serve 6 people

Walnuts and roasted peppers are a true classic. They are such a perfect, quiet pair, who might just be in the way of food. Here paprika sauce gets a warm hug from the saffron that elevates it to new heights. This dish is incredibly good and is a must, I think.

Saffron Paprika Sauce:

1 gram of saffron

3 teaspoons water

3 red peppers

1 yellow onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 can whole tomatoes (about 390g)

1 broth cube

1 deciliter of water

Flake salt and black pepper

Walnut balls:

100 grams of walnuts

2 dl of breadcrumbs

1 deciliter of grated Parmesan cheese

1 yellow onion

1 clove garlic

4 eggs

1 tablespoon soy

1 teaspoon seven spices

Set the oven to 225 degrees. Cut the pepper into large pieces and rinse. Put it with the peel on a plate or in the form and sprinkle it with rapeseed oil. Leave it in the oven for 30 minutes. Mix with puree.

Stir the saffron in 3 teaspoons of water.

Roast the nuts in the oven for about 10 minutes, you can do this while the peppers are in the oven. This makes walnuts much more flavorful. Mix nuts in flour. Peel the yellow onion and mix.

Mix all the ingredients for the balls, squeeze the garlic and leave to swell for 10 minutes.

Fry in butter until the balls get a beautiful golden color.

Continue with paprika sauce. Finely chop the yellow onion and garlic. Gently fry in rapeseed oil. Remember not to have so much heat that the onions burn, they must be fried carefully. Raise the heat and squeeze the tomato puree and fry, stirring, until the puree starts to release the oil and burns a little. Pour the paprika puree and saffron water and mix. When the sauce begins to boil, pour in the tomatoes, stock cubes, and 1 dL of water. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer.

Taste the sauce with black pepper and flake salt. Add walnut balls.

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You can get perfectly roasted potatoes by pre-cooking them in baking powder.

You can get perfectly roasted potatoes by pre-cooking them in baking powder. Photo: Anja Olaug Jelinek

The Recipe: Perfectly Roasted Potatoes

6 servings

Surely there’s no one who doesn’t love perfectly roasted potatoes? You can get this by choosing the right potatoes, putting them in a water bath, pre-cooking in baking powder and grilling in plenty of oil. The baking powder pulls the starch from the potatoes into the water, the starch settles on the surface of the potatoes and you get a crunchy surface when the potatoes are roasted in the oven.

600g of hard potatoes

1.5 tsp baking powder


1 deciliter of rapeseed oil


Set the oven to 250 degrees with the grill function.

Wash the potatoes and cut them into two parts, put in a cold water bath for 15-30 minutes.

Pour and fill the saucepan with fresh water just to cover the potatoes and add the baking powder and salt. Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes.

Pour the potatoes and mix with rapeseed oil and flake salt. Place it upside down on a plate. Roast for 10 minutes, flip the potatoes and grill for another 10 minutes.

Serve with Turkish yogurt with pistachios, dried flowers, or something else nice.

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