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.
While sablefish’s texture and fat content stand up admirably to the heat of the grill, this firm fish is also delicious poached. For this recipe, sablefish’s luxurious taste is combined with a light fragrant broth of lemongrass and ginger punctuated with the heat of Thai chili. Sustainability status Sablefish, also known as butterfish or black cod, is a rich and satisfying fish, plentiful in omega-3s and sourced sustainably from the Pacific Northwest. Skin and bones Sablefish has large pin bones. Ideally, your fishmonger will remove them, but if not, before you begin, locate them along the fish’s centreline and, using a pair of needle nose pliers, grasp them firmly to remove. You can leave the skin on for this recipe, which may help the fish hold together a little better while cooking, but it can be tricky to peel the skin away from the cooked fish and discard before plating. I opted to remove the skin first and simply keep a close eye on the cooking time, being careful to remove the fish from the poaching liquid before it flakes apart.
These mildly spiced salmon tacos served with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds will bring a party together. Make a small quantity of salmon go further when you pair it with a fresh red cabbage slaw featuring citrus and cilantro. Drizzled with some bright lime yogurt, the flavours come together perfectly. Sustainability status Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are considered among the most sustainable, as the fishery is subject to limited harvests. With salmon stocks in decline, supporting managed fisheries such as these can help maintain populations into the future. That may also mean eating salmon less often than we do now. Salmon is a favourite Salmon is the most popular variety of fish in Canada and the second most popular in the US.
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
The delicate flavour of shrimp is highlighted with just a touch of lemon and a hint of mustard, while radish and celery give some fresh crunch to this dish. Eat it in lettuce cups, on top of greens, or served on whole grain bread for a filling snack. Sustainability status Both wild and farmed shrimp can be sustainable depending on where they’re caught and how they’re raised. See our article “Sea Change” for more information about choosing ethical shrimp.