Recipes for Christmas Special 2003

Loet Vos - Pea Soup

Loet likes to make this pea soup a day ahead. Simmer soup until the vegetables are soft then cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat to steaming then add the lemon juice and thyme and proceed with the recipe, adding more water if necessary to thin.

3 cups green split peas 750 mL
1 bay leaf 1
1 leek, chopped (white and light green part only) 1
2 tbsp vegetable oil 25 mL
3 cloves garlic, minced 3
2 cups chopped celery 500 mL
1 small potato 1
1 cup slivered celeriac 1
1/2 tsp curry powder 2 mL
1/4 tsp ground black pepper 1 mL
1 bouillon cube (beef, chicken or vegetable) 1
12 oz Dutch sausage or kielbassa, chopped 375 g
3 tbsp lemon juice or red wine 45 mL
1/4 tsp dried thyme 1 mL
Chopped fresh parsley

Pick through peas to remove any stones. In a sieve, rinse peas and drain. Transfer to a large pot. Pour in enough cold water to cover peas by 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm). Let soak for 1 hour or until softened. Drain and return to pot. Add 7 cups (1.75 L) water, bay leaf and leek. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until peas are very soft.
Meanwhile, peel potato, cut into quarters and then into thin slices. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté potato, garlic, celery and celeriac for about 8 minutes or until starting to soften. Stir into soup with 1 tsp (5 mL) salt, the pepper, curry powder, bouillon cube and sausage. Simmer, stirring often, for about 30 minutes longer or until vegetables are soft.
Stir in lemon juice and thyme. Simmer for 15 minutes longer. Discard bay leaf. Season to taste with salt. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Andrea Vincent -- Rosalinda Cake

8 egg whites 8
1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar 15 mL
1 lb icing sugar (4 cups/1 L) 500 g

2 tsp instant coffee crystals 10 mL
3 tbsp warm water 45 mL
8 egg yolks 8
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 125 mL
1-1/2 cups icing sugar 375 mL
3.5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (preferably Swiss) 100 g
1-2/3 cups unsalted butter, softened 400 mL

Grease and flour a 15- x 11-inch (38 x 28 cm) rimmed baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with lemon juice until foamy. Gradually beat in icing sugar. Beat until very firm peaks form on beaters, this could take 10 to 15 minutes. Spread meringue evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated 300°F (150°C) oven for 45 minutes or until firm on top and sounds hollow when tapped. Immediately cut lengthwise into three strips. Let cool completely in pan on a rack. Save any crumbs that break off.
In a small bowl, dissolve instant coffee in water. In top of a double boiler, whisk egg yolks. Whisk in coffee mixture, then whisk in cocoa and icing sugar. Cook over hot, not boiling water, whisking constantly until thickened, about 10 minutes. Whisk in chocolate until melted. Let cool to luke warm. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter until very soft. Gradually beat in chocolate mixture until smooth and fluffy.
Put 1 strip of meringue on serving platter and spread with one-quarter of buttercream. Place second strip on top and spread with another one-quarter of buttercream. Place third strip on top and frost all over with remaining cream. Garnish sides with broken meringue crumbs. Top can be decorated with the tines of a fork in a wave pattern. Keep cake in a cool place. Best served the same day it is made. Makes 16 servings.

Ludmilla Balaisis - Mushroom Varenikes

Ludmilla judges how much flour she adds according to the feel of the dough. Add enough flour to make a soft, workable dough that is not too sticky. Ludmilla serves the dumplings topped with butter or sour cream.

1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided 50 mL
2 lbs mushrooms, chopped (about 8 cups/2 L) 1 kg
5 large onions, chopped (about 5 cups/1.25 L) 5
Salt and ground black pepper
Butter, melted
1 cup water 250 mL
2 eggs 2
1 tbsp vegetable oil 15 mL
4 to 6 cups all-purpose flour 1 to 1.5 L

In a large skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat. Fry mushrooms until they release a lot of their liquid and are browned. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Fry onions until golden brown. Remove from heat and add to mushrooms. Let cool. Grind in a meat grinder or chop coarsely using the pulse function in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, whisk together water, eggs and oil. Gradually stir in 4 cups (1 L) of the flour. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for about 3 minutes or until smooth. Let rest for 15 minutes. Cut dough in half and roll each half out like a fat sausage. Cut each roll into 32 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Working on a flat surface, roll each ball into a flat circle, about 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick.
Place a scant tablespoonful (15 mL) of the filling in centre of circle of dough. Moisten the edge of one half of the circle. Fold over opposite side to make a half moon shape, sealing very well with fingers. Place on a floured tray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook dumplings, 6 to 8 at a time, for about 4 minutes or until dumplings rise to the surface of the water. With a slotted spoon, transfer dumplings to a buttered casserole dish, tossing to coat with melted butter and keep warm. Repeat with remaining dumplings. Makes 64 dumplings.

Aida Oducada - Spring Rolls

Serve these spring rolls with your favourite dipping sauce.

1 tbsp vegetable oil 15 mL
3 tomatoes, chopped 3
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
1 onion, chopped 1
1 lb ground chicken 500 g
Shrimp sauce or fish sauce
Accent seasoning
4 thin slices cooked ham, cut into strips 4
1 lb cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped (about 8 cups/2 L) 500 g
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced 2
8 oz bean sprouts (about 4 cups/1 L) 250 g
1 egg white 1
20 to 25 spring roll wrappers 20 to 25
Vegetable oil for frying

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté tomatoes, garlic and onion until softened. Add ground chicken and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink. Add shrimp sauce and Accent seasoning to taste. Stir in ham, cabbage and potatoes. Simmer, stirring often, for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Stir in bean sprouts. Transfer to a sieve to strain off liquid. Let filling cool completely.
Lightly whisk egg white to loosen. Place 1 wrapper on flat plate with one corner toward you. Brush the 2 edges furthest from you with egg white. Spoon about 1/2 cup (125 mL) filling in the centre. Starting with the corner closest to you, fold up over filling to make a roll. Fold in both sides and roll up to enclose filling, pressing edges to seal. Place on a tray lined with a clean towel and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.
In a wok or deep frying pan heat about 1-1/2 inches (4 cm) of oil over medium heat until a small piece of wrapper turns golden in about 30 seconds. Fry spring rolls, 2 to 3 at a time, for about 5 minutes, turning once or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining spring rolls, adjusting heat as necessary to keep oil hot, but not too hot. Makes 20 to 25 spring rolls.


Rosette irons are an essential tool for this recipe. They can be found at specialty kitchenware stores and online at The rosettes are best eaten the day they are made, leftovers can be stored in a cookie tin for a couple of days.

2 eggs 2
1 cup coconut milk or whole milk (approx.) 250 mL
1 cup all-purpose flour (approx.) 250 mL
1/3 cup granulated sugar 75 mL
Vegetable oil for frying
Icing sugar (optional)

In a blender combine eggs, coconut milk, flour and sugar. Blend until there are no lumps. The mixture should be the consistency of a pancake batter and should ribbon when dropped from a spoon. Adjust by adding more flour if too thin or more coconut milk if too thick. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a deep fryer or deep saucepan, heat 4 inches (10 cm) of oil to 360°F (175°C) or until a little of the batter dropped into oil floats and turns golden in 15 seconds. Hold the rosette form in the oil until well heated. Dip form in batter so as not to cover the top of the rosette and immediately deep fry until golden. The batter should slide off the form or ease it off gently with a small knife. Turn and fry for about 10 seconds on other side. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining batter, adjusting heat as necessary to keep oil at the correct temperature. Serve dusted with icing sugar, if desired. Makes about 60 rosettes.

Coconut Sweetbread - Zalina Narinesingh

The texture and flavour of this fruity loaf improves when made ahead. Wrap cooled loaf and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

1 fresh coconut 1
3 cups all-purpose flour 750 mL
1 cup packed brown sugar 250 mL
1 tbsp baking powder 15 mL
1-1/2 tsp instant (quick-rise) yeast 7 mL
1 tsp ground nutmeg 5 mL
1 tsp ground cinnamon 5 mL
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened 125 mL
1 tsp vanilla 5 mL
1 cup raisins 250 mL
1/2 cup currants 125 mL
1/2 cup each chopped green and red glacéed cherries 125 mL

Wrap coconut with a towel and crack with the side of a hammer. Peel off outer shell and drain out liquid. Chop coconut meat into small pieces. Combine coconut in a blender with 2 cups (500 mL) water. Blend until finely chopped. You'll need 2-1/2 cups (625 mL). Freeze any remaining coconut for another time.
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, yeast, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in margarine and vanilla by hand. Add raisins, currants and glacéed cherries and mix using both hands. Add coconut mixture and stir until well combined. (The consistency is between bread dough and cake batter.) Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Pour into two 9- x 5-inch (2.5 L) greased loaf pans. Bake in 325°F (160°C) oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pans on rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks to cool completely. Makes 2 loaves, about 12 slices each.

Barb Richards

Barb uses any type of bread she has on hand, such as whole wheat or raisin bread. She likes to make gravy with the dripping from the turkey and serves it with cranberry sauce.

1 turkey (12-14 lb/6 to 7 kg) 1
Salt and pepper
Oil to brush on turkey or spray oil
2 tbsp butter 30 mL
2 large onions, diced 2
2 large apples (unpeeled), chopped 2
2 cups coarsely chopped celery 500 mL
Half loaf bread, broken into small pieces (about 7 cups/1.75 L) Half
l package (4 oz/120 g) seasoned stuffing mix 1
1 tbsp dried sage 15 mL
2 tsp poultry seasoning 10 mL
1/2 tsp salt (approx.) 2 mL
1 tsp dried thyme 5 mL
1/4 tsp ground black pepper 1 mL
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots 125 mL
1 can (10 oz/284 mL) cream of celery or chicken soup, undiluted 1
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 125 mL
Chopped pecans and/or fresh cranberries
Water or chicken or turkey stock (optional, for casserole)

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Fry onions, apples and celery, stirring often for about 10 minutes or until softened. Let cool.
In a large bowl, combine bread, stuffing mix, sage, poultry seasoning, salt, thyme and pepper. Stir in onion mixture, apricots and soup and toss to combine. Stir in parsley and pecans and/or cranberries, if using. Season with more salt to taste, if desired. (Mixture should be on the dry side as it will absorb moisture while cooking.)
Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper inside and out. Fill the neck cavity and body cavity loosely with stuffing. Do not pack tightly as it will absorb moisture and expand while cooking. Place any extra stuffing in a buttered casserole dish and drizzle with water or stock to moisten.
Truss turkey or place a small piece of foil over stuffing to prevent drying out. Place turkey in a large roasting pan and brush or spray with oil. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and roast turkey, basing every 30 to 45 minutes, for about 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until meat thermometer reads 180°F (82°C) in the thigh and 170°F (77°C) in the breast and the juices run clear when thigh is pierced. If the breast is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil.
To cook the stuffing separately, cover casserole with lid or foil and bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for about 30 minutes or until hot. Uncover and continue cooking until it has browned on top and is hot in the centre. (An unstuffed turkey will cook faster, check at 3 hours).
Remove the turkey from the oven and transfer to a large carving board. Cover with foil and let rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. Make gravy with the pan drippings (see Barb's Perfect Gravy below).
Scoop out the stuffing into a serving dish and keep warm while carving the turkey.
Slice turkey and put on platter.
Serve with cranberry sauce.
Put gravy in a gravy boat

The turkey drippings, both the browned bits and fat provide the flavour needed for good gravy. Salt and Pepper are essential.
The liquids from the pan can be put in a cup and allowed to settle, skim all the grease off the top.
Pour the skimmed liquid back into the pan, add water if needed, stir in 1 can (10 oz/284 mL) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted and thickener (some people prefer flour) I use a commercial brand of thickener. Keep stirring as it cooks over a low heat. Make lots of turkey gravy as it can be used later for hot turkey sandwiches, chicken pot pie etc.