Guess what? Eggnog with no eggs can still leave you in a festive mood. This recipe proves it! Blended cashews and toasted coconut give the drink its oh-so-good creaminess, while dates infuse it with the sweetness that good eggnog commands. Serve with a dusting of nutmeg.
For a finer drink, strain mixture through cheesecloth-lined sieve or use a nut milk bag.
Place cashews in bowl, cover with water and let soak for at least 4 hours. Place dates in separate bowl, cover with warm water and let soak for 20 minutes. Be sure to reserve date soaking water.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Spread coconut on rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring every
2 minutes, until evenly golden brown. Keep a close eye on the oven so coconut does not burn. Remove coconut from oven and let cool.
Drain cashews and place in blender along with 1/2 cup date soaking liquid and 1/2 cup coconut milk. Blend until very smooth. Add drained dates, remaining coconut milk, toasted coconut, maple syrup (if using), vanilla, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Blend until smooth. If mixture is too thick, blend in small amount of water. Adjust sweetness if desired by using more maple syrup.
Pour into glass container and refrigerate until cold.
This recipe is part of the Holiday staples, veganized collection.
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.