Creative flair and familiar flavours combine to create an accessible and delicious alternative to more traditionally festive fowl.
6 semi-boneless quails
2 lemons, zested
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) black peppercorns, ground
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter
2 Tbsp (30 mL) blackberry honey
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt, to taste
Lay quails flat onto cutting board, skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil, then rub in lemon zest and pepper. In a thick-bottom pan at medium to low heat, add a small amount of oil, then place the quails skin side down. Sauté until skin becomes crispy (about 7 minutes).
Once crisped, add butter, honey, and thyme. Flip quails over and baste for 45 seconds. Serve.
2 bulbs fennel, shaved finely on mandoline slicer
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 tsp (5 mL) fennel seed, toasted and ground
1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt
2 lemons, juiced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) chili flakes
Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl. Toss together until well mixed. Wait 5 minutes before you serve to allow fennel to wilt slightly.
Cranberry and Chestnut Marmalade
1 cup (250 mL) fresh cranberries
2 cups (500 mL) cranberry cocktail
1 orange, zest and juice separated
1 cup (250 mL) white wine vinegar
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
1 cup (250 mL) canned unsweetened chestnuts, roughly chopped
2 cups (500 mL) dried cranberries
In a large-mouth pot add fresh cranberries, cranberry cocktail, orange juice, vinegar, and sugar. Reduce by two-thirds or until thin syrup consistency. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Serve warm or cold.
source: "Make This Holiday Feast a Rare One," alive #290, December 2006
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.
Treat yourself to a steak dinner, using tofu instead of meat. The tangy chili-spiked marinade does double-duty as a finishing sauce and transforms otherwise bland tofu into a dish that’ll sound your taste buds’ fire alarm. Bird’s eye pepper would be a good substitute for habanero if needed. Dousing the fire If you find yourself with a mouth on fire after taking a bite of a chili-infused dish, don’t try to douse it with water. Instead, reach for a glass of milk. The protein casein in dairy is known to help subdue the flame. Water won’t help nearly as much.
Ice cream cakes and/or cookies are everyone’s favourite. And here’s a great option for a delicious “Dad’s” cookie cake that’s gluten free! A simple-to-make cookie cake that’s made even easier when the dough is tossed together in a food processor. End a delicious Dad’s Day meal with this deliciously cool and creamy sweet dessert. Best beer? Extra yum when served with small glasses of chocolate-flavoured stout or porter. When Dad loves his cookies We made this delicious dessert into a cake, but it can easily be made into individual ice cream cookies. Roll out dough into 1/4 in (6 mm) thickness and cut into 2 in (5 cm) rounds. Bake, cool, and chill. Once chilled, spoon ice cream in between chilled cookies. Freeze until firm. Drizzle with melted chocolate or dip into melted chocolate.