With so many different dietary preferences, it can be a bit of a challenge to meet the protein requirements at the dinner table. That’s why we adopted a mixed grill for the main dish in our holiday menu. We embraced organic firm tofu for the vegans, organic chicken rather than a full-sized turkey, and pasture-raised pork tenderloin rather than ham to create three mains starring one delicious marinade.
Pressing tofu removes any excess liquid, regardless of how firm it is, to enhance its spongelike ability to soak up flavour. For a how-to on pressing your tofu, check out alive.com and search “Cooking with Tofu,” where you’ll find plenty of other useful tofu tips as well.
Tip: Another option for a delicious main is coho or sockeye salmon. Brush generously with our maple syrup marinade and bake at 400 F (200 C), skin-side down, in a large roasting pan for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness, until flesh is almost opaque when tested with sharp paring knife.
In small saucepan, combine marinade ingredients. Whisk together and heat over medium heat for 10 minutes for flavours to fully blend. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place oven racks in bottom and top third of oven. Generously grease 2 small baking sheets or pans. Set aside.
Using sharp butcher knife on cutting board, cut each chicken breast crosswise through the bone into halves. Place 4 pieces on oiled baking sheet and brush generously with marinade. Place sheet on bottom rack of preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Brush with more marinade and continue to bake for 15 more minutes, or until instant-read thermometer reads 165 F (75 C) when inserted into thickest portion of the breast.
Meanwhile, on separate cutting board, cut drained tofu into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes. Place in bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch, tossing gently to lightly coat. Place on second oiled baking sheet, leaving space between cubes. Brush with marinade. Place sheet on top rack of oven and bake for 15 minutes. Using tongs, turn cubes for even browning and crisping. Continue baking for 10 more minutes, or until cubes are crisp.
While chicken and tofu are baking, turn tapered end of trimmed tenderloin underneath and tie with kitchen twine to make it an even thickness. Pat dry. In large ovenproof skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Brown tenderloin all over in hot skillet, turning often with tongs. It should take about 5 minutes. Brush tenderloin generously with marinade and place skillet in oven alongside chicken. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until instant-read thermometer registers 145 F (65 C). Remove tenderloin from pan to a clean cutting board to rest for a couple of minutes.
Turn oven on to broil. Place chicken under broiler for only a minute to crisp up skin, watching carefully to avoid burning.
To serve, place chicken on warmed serving platter. Thinly slice tenderloin crosswise and place alongside grilled chicken. Garnish.
Place grilled tofu on a separate smaller platter and garnish.
This recipe is part of the Super Festive Feast collection.
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.
Coffee-flavoured BBQ sauce? Why not? It’s a strikingly flavourful combo—sweet, tangy, bold, and rich. It can be used not only on pork but on a variety of other meats. We marinated tenderloin in it and doubled up on the smoky flavour by grilling it on a cedar plank. Serve with a side order of grilled broccolini for extra yum. Best beer? You can’t go wrong with an IPA or a honey lager to complement this flavourful dish. Looking for an easy way to grill broccolini? Toss with a little oil and season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Near the end of grilling, place broccolini beside plank with tenderloin on hot grill for about 6 or 7 minutes. Using tongs, turn a few times until tender and lightly charred. Place on platter with sliced pork and drizzle with lemon juice and some shaved Parmesan.
If there’s a vegan or vegetarian in the crowd, then this dish will be sure to please. Chock full of complementary textures and flavours, it not only qualifies as eye candy, but is also a substantial stand-alone meal—a stunning meal in a dish! Best beer? Serve this salad with an IPA or pale ale. For a more adventurous sip, it’s equally delicious with a Belgian pale or dark ale. Endlessly customizable When it comes to this powerhouse salad, the sky’s the limit. Swap out apples with orange wedges, or mix up your greens by substituting spinach for endive. Bump up the protein with some canned chickpeas or black beans, if you wish. Or cut up some corn tortillas into bite-sized strips, fry in pan until crisp, then toss over salad for added crunch.