Merry Christmas & Happy New Year everyone! So, I know a few people have told me they have been hanging out to hear what I made for Christmas, but to be honest, the thought of writing it all up makes me a bit nervous.. you see, as in other years, we celebrate both Christmas Eve with a Scandinavian Smörgåsbord, AND Christmas Day with a more traditional spread. To give the recipes the respect they deserve, I therefore have decided to split these two events into various smaller posts, that I will be sharing with you over the next week or so.

Today I am sharing with you my starter for the Scandinavian Christmas Eve: Smörgås. Smörgås are open-faced sandwiches topped with an assortment of items. For my 15 or so guests, I made 5 different toppings, 15 pieces of each: salmon gravlax with dill mayo; matjes herring with beetroot, apple and sour cream; Danish frikadeller burgers with pickled cucumber; prawn with egg, mayo and caviar; and ham, cheese and piccalilli.

3 loaves Schwobbs light rye bread

15 pieces/200g of salmon gravlax (recipe here)
1/2 quantity dill aioli (recipe here)

250g matjes herring, cut into 4cm pieces
15 small slices of beetroot
1 green apple, peeled and cut into small batons (squeeze over a little lemon juice to keep it from discolouring)
100ml sour cream

1/2 cucumber
1 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup caster sugar
500g pork & veal mince

1/4 cup soda water
1 brown onion, finely grated
1/2 cup plain flour
1 egg
1 tsp garlic salt (substitute with regular salt and 1 crushed garlic clove)
oil for frying

15 small prawns, peeled and deveined, tail on
4 hard-boiled eggs, finely sliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
30g black caviar 

15 slices leg ham
200g edam cheese, sliced
1/2 cup piccililli

  1. Cut 75 x 4-5cm rounds from the rye bread using a cookie cutter. Cover and set aside while you make the toppings. Discard the crusts.
  2. SALMON GRAVLAX: Top 15 rounds with a slice of gravlax, and a little dill aioli.
  3. MATJES HERRING: Top 15 rounds with a slice of beetroot, a piece of herring, a few apple batons and a small dallop of sour cream.
  4. FRIKADELLER: Combine vinegar and sugar in a bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved. Finely slice cucumber and add to the sugar/vinegar mix. Allow to marinate for a few hours or overnight. Combine remaining ingredients except for oil. Roll into 15 small balls and refrigerate until needed. Heat a little oil in a pan, and fry meatballs for about 8 minutes until cooked through, gently pressing down on them to create a pattie shape. Keep warm. Place a pattie on each bread round and top with a cucumber pickle. Skewer with a toothpick before serving.
  5. PRAWN & EGG: Top 15 rounds with a slice of egg and a prawn. Add a dollop each of the mayo and caviar.
  6. HAM & CHEESE: Top 15 rounds with a slice of ham and cheese. Add a dollop of picallili.
  7. Place smörgås randomly on 3 large, white plates before serving.

Serves 15 as an hors d’oeuvre.