Holiday celebrations have expanded in many different ways. What was once a traditional full-sized bird that had cooks up for hours to prepare—only to fall into a slump after serving—has now morphed into offerings beyond the heavy dinner. Christmas brunch is becoming a popular attraction at various restaurants, and their formal offerings are anything but the big bird.
Place unpeeled beetroots in baking dish. Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) water and cover dish tightly. Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until beets are tender when pierced with skewer. Remove and cool. Peel and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Use as above, or dice and toss into salads.
Although preserved lemon is available at some health food stores and specialty ethnic stores, it’s easy to make your own. Wash 3 organic lemons; cut in half and discard seeds. Very finely dice whole lemons and place in bowl. Stir in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) raw cane sugar and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) kosher salt. Stir to blend. Spoon into sealable jar, tighten, and let rest for 30 minutes.
For an interesting flavour twist, try any of the optional add-ins to the pickled relish: garlic cloves, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, and coriander seeds.
What are quenelles, you ask? They’re egg-shaped dollops from a firm, creamy mixture that add elegance to any dish. Find 2 small spoons with pointy ends and dip them into warm water. Shake off excess water and, with one spoon, take a scoop of quark and pass the mixture repeatedly between the spoons, smoothing each side until a neat quenelle is formed. Practice makes perfect!
Our delicious and visual cured salmon dish is a beautiful example of a sophisticated trend. Itu2019s relatively easy to make and will wow your guests; just keep in mind that youu2019ll have to prepare the salmon 2 to 3 days in advance. Start off your menu with a lovely leek and potato soup and follow it with Salmon and Beet Carpaccio. Finish with a semifreddo cheesecake (a semifrozen dessert much like a frozen mousse) that you can make and freeze in advance.
In small skillet over medium-high heat, heat peppercorns until they start to crackle and pop. Remove from heat. Cool, then crush in mortar with pestle. Transfer to small bowl and stir in dill, then all the kosher salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Stir to fully blend.
Spread half the dill mixture in bottom of glass baking dish large enough to hold salmon. Place salmon on top of dill mixture, skin side down. Evenly scatter remaining dill mixture overtop salmon, pressing lightly to adhere. Wrap dish tightly with plastic wrap to seal, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Turn salmon in dish once a day, basting with liquid that collects; reseal and continue to refrigerate.
While salmon is curing, prepare pickled relish. Peel and thinly slice onion, using mandoline or very sharp chefu2019s knife. Trim tops and bottoms from radishes and thinly slice on mandoline. Arrange in alternate layers in large Mason jar. Combine vinegar, water, honey, and mustard seeds in small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Pour mixture overtop onion and radishes. Bring to room temperature. Seal and refrigerate. Can be eaten immediately or refrigerated for several weeks, although crispness will lessen after 1 week.
When ready to serve, gently scrape seasonings from salmon and blot dry with paper towel. Place salmon skin side down on cutting board. Using very sharp carving knife, slice salmon into paper-thin slices. Thinly slice beetroots using mandoline or sharp knife. Arrange salmon and beetroot slices alternately on large serving platter with some pickled relish. Scatter with orange wedges and diced preserved lemons. If using quark, shape into small quenelles (egg-shaped dollops) and arrange on top. Drizzle dish with oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Scatter a few pea shoots or micro greens overtop and serve with pumpernickel rye bread, mini toasted bagels, and gluten-free seed crackers.
This recipe is part of the Festive Fusions collection.
This stuffed eggplant is built upon layers of Middle Eastern flavours: smoky freekeh, tender chickpeas, and a herbal tahini sauce. The quick-pickled raisins add a sweet vinegary pop. Sweat it out Salting eggplant before cooking enhances the flavour by allowing eggplant to sweat out its bitterness and breaking its spongy texture.
In this enchilada riff, we stuff everything into a roasted poblano pepper shell, rather than tortillas, to pack an extra veggie serving into your meal and trim the starchy calories. If you can’t find poblanos, which are mild, dark green Mexican peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers. Flour power Made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater), masa harina flour adds a touch of corny flavour to enchilada stuffing or a pot of chili.
These crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can do double duty as a fancy starter for a casual dinner party or a light main course on any given night. Meaty and umami-rich portobellos serve as a holder for a light-tasting seafood salad. Gills begone Even though the gills of mushrooms are edible, they will darken and discolour everything they touch. Besides, after you scrape out the gills, you’ll have more room for stuffing. And don’t discard the stems; they can be saved and used when making veggie stock.
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.