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AND Just like that, Halloween is over. We all know what that means, time to prepare for the holidays. Soon we will be buying Christmas presents, planning winter activities and most importantly, planning big meals with all of our loved ones. As great of a time as this is, 8 out of 10 people experience the dreaded holiday stress. Luckily, there are so many tips and tricks to get ahead of the game and minimize all that stress before the season even starts. We went to the experts at the Dirty Apron and had some help from Chef David and his catering team to help make this holiday season stress free!!
Let me try to eliminate some stress from all your cooking with some simple tips this holiday season. Firstly, big groups of people equal even bigger portions. When it comes to veggies, Chef David recommends to pre-cut EVERYTHING. You can do this the day before and have it all ready to throw in a pan or the oven. Another handy thing about cutting your veggies, is that they will cook SO much faster.
It’s not just veggies that can be prepped earlier, it’s your main course too. The more you prep the less work you will have to do with your mother in law breathing down your neck critiquing everything that you do. Try picking recipes that can be prepped before hand, maybe a steak that you marinate over night so you can just throw it on the BBQ fifteen minutes before dinner time.
Lastly, I know most of you will be hosting a crew of family members at your own house overnight. A lot of hosts are so worried about dinner, they forget about the fact that everyone will be very hungry in the morning (thanks to some beverages the night before). For hangover cures, there is nothing better then hash browns, so why don’t you throw those potatoes from last night along with the chopped up cooked veggies, add some spices, maybe some eggs and BAM you are the angel that saved christmas.
Now here are some easy recipes to impress your guests over the holiday season from some of my favorite influencers!
INGREDIENTS (FOR FIRECRACKER PRAWNS)
36 jumbo prawns, shelled, deveined and de-tailed
36 wonton wrappers
3 cups canola/ vegetable oil for frying
- De-vein, de-tail, and shell 36 prawns (try for local BC prawns when available)
- Set out 36 Wonton wrappers and preheat oil to approx. 370 degrees in a small deep pot.
- Place each prawn in the center of wrapper and fold ensuring the tail stays outside of the wrapper (twist and pinch at top). Gently place each wrapped prawn in heated oil and cook until golden brown.
- Remove and drain oil on paper towel, let cool.
- When ready to serve, simply preheat oven to 350 degrees and warm Firecracker Prawns for about 7-8 minutes and serve alongside Sweet Chili Lime Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)
INGREDIENTS (SWEET CHILI LIME DIPPING SAUCE)
1 tsp Sambal
1 fresh lime juice and zest
2 tsp sweet chili sauce
¼ cup water
1 scallion thinly sliced
2 sprigs of chopped cilantro
- In small bowl combine sambal, sweet chili sauce and water – whisk together
- Slice scallion until finely chopped, do the same with cilantro (reserve a bit, if you wish for garnish)
- Add fresh lime juice and zest to bowl of blended ingredients
- Add scallion and cilantro, whisk together
- Serve as a dip
INGREDIENTS (BEET DICE)
6 cooked, peeled and chilled golden beets
6 cooked, peeled and chilled red beets
2oz creamy Chèvre cheese
1 small sprig of fresh thyme
3oz warm water
½ Litre red beet reduction
Beet Cubes sitting pretty.
- Reduce honey, water and thyme in a small pot, let cool and strain into a squeeze bottle
- Cut beets into small rectangles or cubes; the trick here is to ensure all beets are cut and shaped exactly the same
- Using a miniature melon scooper, scoop the flesh out of the centre of each beet cube and fill with soft chèvre cheese
- Scrape of excess cheese, to ensure the top looks clean
- Place all cubes on a flat surface platter or pan with edges and create a 2mm pool on the bottom with red beet reduction
- Let sit for at least 3 hours, pay dry on paper towel
- At Service: plate beets on appropriate platter and drizzle with dressing
COCONUT CURRY MUSSELS
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 shallots or one small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp. grated ginger
- 1 cup off-dry white wine
- 1/4 cup green curry paste
- 1-400ml can coconut milk
- 3 lb. fresh mussels
- 2 limes, halved
- salt to taste
- fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
- fresh bread for dipping
- In a large saucepan over medium heat melt the butter with the oil. Add the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring.
- Add the wine and cook until it is reduced by half. Add the coconut milk and curry paste and stir; increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Taste the sauce and add salt if desired.
- Add the mussels, cover the pot, and cook for 5-8 minutes, until the mussels have all opened. Don’t over-cook them as they will get tough. Before serving squeeze in the lime juice and stir.
- Serve them in the same pan you cooked them in with some rustic bread and fresh cilantro…and the rest of the wine:)
Simple Share Buttons Adder (6.3.6) simplesharebuttons.com
Serves 4 to 6
2 c orange juice
1 tsp ground sumac
1 whole star anise
pinch of saffron
4 to 6 dried figs
1 bottle (750 mL) Cava
Combine the orange juice, sumac, star anise, saffron and figs in a pitcher and refrigerate for 24 hours to allow the flavours to meld. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large clean pitcher and strain the orange juice. Discard the solids.
Combine 1/3 of the mimosa mixture to 2/3 Cava and serve in individual champagne flutes. Enjoy!
SALMON WELLINGTON WITH SALSA VERDE
2 lbs Salmon
1 Large sheet puff pastry (large enough to wrap around salmon)
2 lbs Sautéed Spinach
½ cup Sautéed Fennel
½ cup Lemon- Zested
1 Egg Wash (Whisk until smooth)
Salsa Verde (see below)
Preheat oven to 425 °F. When making this recipe be sure to make sure all ingredients are a cold as possible.
Season the side of salmon and place the fennel, spinach, lemon zest and salsa verde evenly across the whole salmon.
Lift the Salmon onto the puff pastry sheet and roll the pastry around the salmon. Be sure to brush the egg wash on the inside and outside of the pastry.
Place the whole wellington onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 425 F for 15-18 Minutes. Until golden brown on top. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
SALSA VERDE INGREDIENTS
1 bunch Flat leaf parsley, picked and washed
1 clove Garlic
4 Salted Anchovy fillets
2 tbsp Baby capers, rinsed if salted
1 tbsp Strong Dijon mustard
300 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red wine vinegar, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
SALSA VERDE METHOD
Chop the garlic with a little pinch of salt until you reach a paste like consistency.
Chop the anchovies very finely and roughly chop the capers. Put the garlic, capers and anchovies into a mixing bowl.
Roughly chop the parsley and add to the mixing bowl. Add the mustard and mix together.
Slowly add the olive oil and season with the red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
In light of the giving season, we want to give you the chance to WIN 2 HANDS-ON COOKING CLASSES at the Dirty Apron Cooking School!
VALUED AT OVER $375!!!
Hope you all have a wonderful stress free holiday season,
Contest is now closed, congratulations Jeff Serheniuk from Vancouver!
**Contest Rules & Regulations**
The winner agrees to abide by the rules and regulations outlined here http://www.jrfm.com/contestrules/ for pick up at #300-1401 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6H 1C9. Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm.
All prizes must be claimed within 60 days at the offices of CJJR-FM and are non-transferable. After 60 days, prize becomes the property of CJJR-FM, to do with as it may determine, including awarding it to another contestant, and CJJR-FM shall be released and discharged from any liability or responsibility in this regard.
Only ONE member of the household will be eligible to qualify or win in any single Contest.
By entering the Contest, all persons are deemed to have read and to have accepted these rules and regulations.