Recipe for 10 tamales:
- 10 big peruvian corns on the cob
- 1/2 kg of chicken
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 50 g of toasted peanuts
- 230 g butter
- 12 Peruvian pitted black olives
- 1 big onion, chopped
- 4 dry mirasol chili paste
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- 10 Banana leaves
- Salt and pepper
Grate the corn of the cob.
In a frying pan, put 30g of butter. Sweat off, the chopped onion, the garlic, salt, pepper, the mirasol paste and the chicken, cut in pieces.
When the chicken is browned, cover with water and allow to cook on a low heat.
Heat 200g of butter in a pot. Add the corn and stir constantly. Add the chicken mixture. Allow it to cook gently until the corn masa thickens.
Wash the banana leaves. Put a spoon of dough over two leaves; add a piece of chicken, 1/4 of a hard-boiled egg, a little of toasted peanuts and an olive. Cover with more dough and wrap as a gift. Tie with a strip of the same leaf.
When all the tamales are done, cook them in a big pot with a little of water for an hour.
Recipe for 4 people:
- 500g chicken thighs
- 12 cl good Japanese soy sauce
- 12 cl sake
- 12 cl mirin*
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- salt and pepper
Meanwhile, in thick bottom sauce pan bring the soy sauce, mirin and sake to the boil. Add the sugar and allow to reduce to a light glaze.
Take your chicken thighs out of the oven. Place them hot in clean bowl and pour the sauce over them. Coat them well with it and put them back in a medium hot oven to glaze for 20 minutes. Stir them from time to time.
* Mirin is a kind of rice wine to sake, but with a lower alcohol 14% instead of 20%. There are three general types. The first is hon mirin (true mirin), which contains alcohol. The second is shio mirin, which contains alcohol as well as 1.5% salt to avoid alcohol tax. The third is shin mirinmirin-fu chomiryo (imitation mirin), which contains less than 1% alcohol yet retains the same flavour (new mirin).
Gluten free, lactose free, nut free, suitable to pregnant women.
In Canada, it is tradition to end the Christmas dinner with a slice of yule log. This dessert consists on a sponge cake roulade made to resemble a log of wood. It is said this dessert comes from the traditional French "buche de Noel" or Christmas log.
Recipe for 10 people:
For the sponge:
- 3 egg, separated
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla, extract
- 1 tbsp dark rum
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 oz melted butter
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 2 oz butter
- 2 oz cream
- 2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
Place the egg yolks, ½ cup of sugar, the vanilla and rum in a mixing bowl. Beat vigorously with a hand whisk until the mixture is thick and makes a ribbon.
Beat the egg whites separately in a clean bowl until the form firm peaks. Add the remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed.
Fold the two mixtures together. Carefully fold in the remaining ingredients and when the mix is almost blended add the butter and finish mixing.
Immediately pour the batter into the ready baking pan and smooth it gently into an even layer. Place in the oven and bake for about ten minutes or so. Be carefull of overcooking it or you wont be able to roll it up.
Remove from the oven and trim off the dried out edges and turn the sponge onto a slightly damp tea towel that has been thoroughly dusted with powdered sugar. Sift an even level of powdered sugar over the top of the cake then gently roll it up into a log-like cylinder.
Meanwhile heat the cream in a small saucepan, then add it to the chocolate again stirring until you reach a smooth consistency.
Stir in the sugar and cocoa.
Unroll the cake and leave on the towel. Sprinkle it with a bit more rum. Spread your filling evenly over the cakes surface then roll up again using the towel to help. Slice off about one third of the cake at a 45 degree angle. Place the roulade, seam side down on a serving platte and position the smaller piece next to the larger one so that it resembles a branch. Frost with the chocolate icing. Draw a fork through the icing to help it resemble bark.
Finally dust with icing sugar.
Vegetarian, nut free, suitable for pregnant women.
In Provence, region in the South-East of France, you will find this very interesting tradition of the 13 desserts of Christmas: "les treizes dessert de Noel". It is said that there are 13 of them, in reference to Jesus and the 12 apostles sitting at the last supper. Their composition varies greatly from village to village. But they all have in common that they will be served all in the same time, on the same table and in good numbers, after the midnight mass.
As I said the composition of the 13 desserts de Noel varies a lot but they all will traditionally start by the 4 mythical ones, named : "les 4 mendiants" (literally the 4 beggars) followed by "la pompe a huile" (the olive oil pump) and the 2 nougats.
So there is a list of the Provencal 13 desserts of Christmas:
- Les 4 mendiants (the 4 beggars):
- Dry figs (symbolizing the Franciscan order)
- Almonds (symbolizing the Carmelite order)
- Raisins (symbolizing the Dominican order)
- La pompe a huile (the olive oil pump):
- les 2 nougats
- Black nougat (made with caramelized honey cooked with almonds)
This give us 7 desserts. There is a lists of desserts that would be commonly used locally :
- Dattes (that could be stuffed with marzipan)
- Calisson d'aix en Provence
- Quince fruit paste (or jam)
- Fresh white grapes
- Christmas melon (called verdau), called green espiran in English due to its colour.
- Fresh oranges (sign of wealth)
- Candied melons
- Winter pear and apples
Along with a stuffed duck or turkey and some spiced biscuits, julegrot or almond rice pudding is served as part of a traditional Scandinavian Christmas dinner.
Recipe for 4 people:
- 125g pearl rice
- 1 litre milk
- 125g caster sugar
- 125g creme fraiche
- 50g butter
- 75g ground almonds
- some raspberry liqueur
- pinch cinnamon
When the rice has completely cool down, stir in the creme fraiche. Transfer your rice pudding into a nice bowl and refrigerate for an hour.
Just before serving sprinkle the ground almond on the top of the rice and drizzle with the liqueur.
"The tradition wants that a whole almond is hidden into the pudding. The one who finds it win a present."
Gluten free, vegetarian, suitable for pregnant women.
In some North American household, Christmas eve dinner often starts by an oyster soup. It is said that this recipe was brought to the U.S by Irish immigrants.
Recipe for 4 people:
- 24 oysters
- 4 cups whole milk
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 50g butter
- salt and pepper
Then, put the milk to simmer into a sauce pan. Add the butter and the water collected from the oysters. Poach the oysters in this liquid for 6 minutes.
Season with salt, pepper and the cayenne pepper. Place six oysters per person in a soup bowl and pour the soup over them.
May be the cause of allergies. Gluten free, nut free, not suitable for pregnant women.
In Jamaica and other Carabbean island the festive season starts with the season of a type of hibiscus growing exculsively in this region of the world. This plant is by no means related to the French sorrel. The people of Jamaica and other island in the area are used to prepare a drink with hibiscus that they enjoy all along the holiday season.
Recipe for 1.5 litre of punch:
- 2 cups of dry sorrel (hibiscus flower)
- 1/4 cup crushed ginger
- 8 cups freshly boiled water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark Jamaican rum
- 2 tins of condensed milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- 1 Vanilla pod
- 1 liter of milk
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 6 rinds of lime
- 1 liter white rum
Now, some will like their drink to be a bit thicker so, for them reduce down the rum-milk mixture on a gentle heat for 20-25 minutes before adding the eggs.
Gluten free, nut free, vegetarian.
This is a recipe for another popular Christmas drink from Mexico. Atole is a light to thick (depending where you are in Mexico) drink made with corn meal (masa harina), sugar flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla.
Recipe for 4 people:
- 5 cups of water or milk
- 1/2 cup masa harina (corn meal)
- 1/4 cup piloncillo
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 vanilla pod, opened and scraped
Gluten free, lactose free (if made with water), vegetarian, vegan, nut free, suitable for pregnant women.
Recipe for 12 to 15 pasteles:
For the dough:
- 5 green bananas, peeled and chopped
- 1 plaintain
- 1 1/2 lb of taro (Yautia), peeled and chopped
- 1 starchy potato
- pinch of salt
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
- 2 lb of lean pork meat (shoulder or ham), cut in small dices
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
- 1/2 cup water
- salt and paper
- some vegetable oil
- 15 12 by 6 inches, banana leaves rectangles
- roasting string
Reduce all the ingredients for the filling into a food processor to a coarse mince. Then, in a thick bottom sauce pan cook it for a bout 20 minutes making sure to stir from time to time. Allow to cool down and set aside.
For the assembly, take a clean, dry piece of banana leaf, brush it with a little bit of oil, spread on it about 1/2 cup of the masa, then place 2-3 spoons of filling in the middle of the dough and fold the banana leaf into a neat parcel. Secure with a piece of roasting string. Repeat until all the banana leaves have been used. I have to admit it takes a while to get it wright when you've never done that before.
Cook your parcels in a large pot of simmering salted water for 1h30.
Gluten free, lactose free, nut free, suitable for pregnant women.
- 1 oz butter
- 6 oz honey
- 6 oz plum jam
- 1 egg
- 8 oz plain flour
- 2 oz icing sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp each cardomon, ginger, and cinnamon
- 1 tbs crushed blanched almonds
- 2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven at 175 degrees Celsius (350 F).
Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. With different shape cutters, cut out the dough until it has been fully used.Spread some jam on one half of each biscuits and place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees Celsius (325 F) and bake them for another 10 minutes.
Cool them down on a pastry rack, then combine the lemon juice and icing sugar and drizzle some of it over them.
Vegetarian, lactose free, suitable for pregnant women.
Recipe for 6 people:
- juice of one lemon
- two teaspoons salt
- one chicken trimmed and cut into 6 pieces
- two onions, finely chopped
- four tablespoons niter kebbeh**
- four cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
- one piece fresh ginger root, cleaned, scraped, and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon berberé*
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 4 hard-boiled eggs (1 per person), pierced with a toothpick.
In a glass bowl, combine the lemon juice, half the salt, and chicken pieces. Let chicken marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Cook the onions over medium heat for a few minutes in a dry cast iron pot. Stir constantly to prevent them from browning or burning; reduce the heat.
Add the niter kebbeh to the onions, along with the garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cardamom, nutmeg, remaining salt, berberé , and tomato. Stir and simmer for a few minutes. The onions should be soft, tender.
Add the chicken stock, water, or dry red wine. Bring the mixture to a low boil while stirring gently. Cook for a few minutes, then reduce heat.
Add the chicken pieces, making sure to cover them with the sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
After the chicken has been simmering for 20 minutes, gently add the hard-boiled eggs.
Serve hot. The only traditional way to serve doro wat is with a spongy flat bread called injera, which can only be properly made with difficult-to-obtain teff flour.
* berberé is a traditional Ethiopian spice mix that consists of : 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice ; 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon ; 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves ; 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander ; 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin ;1 teaspoon ground fenugreek ; 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg ;1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper ; 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric ; 4 to 6 tablespoons of a combination of ground cayenne pepper and paprika ; 1 tablespoons salt ; 1 teaspoon ginger, fresh (peeled and grated) or dry ; 1/4 cup oil.
** niter kibbeh is an Ethiopian spiced butter consisting of : one pound butter (unsalted), cut into pieces ; two cloves garlic, finely chopped ; one small piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped ; one very small onion, very finely chopped ; one and half teaspoon ground turmeric ; one-half teaspoon ground cardamom ; one-eighth teaspoon ground nutmeg ; one-eighth teaspoon ground fenugreek ; one cinnamon stick ; one whole clove.
Suitable for pregnant women, gluten free, nut free.
Recipe for a medium sized tin:
- 7 g active dried yeast (1 package)
- 180 ml warm water
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 120 g soft butter
- 350 g strong flour
- 115 g chopped blanched almonds
- 60 g candied lemon peel, cut into small pieces
- 70 g candied orange peel, cut into small pieces
- 75 g raisins
- 15 ml lemon juice
Place the dough in clean bowl and allow to raise, in a cool place, for 12 hours.
Then, punch the dough down, place it back in the dough maker and work the dough with the bread hook for 10 minutes.
Roll down the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and roll it on itself.
Place on an oven tray and allow to raise for 2 hours.
Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees Celsius (375F) for 30 to 35 minutes.
When it is just out of the oven, sprinkle with some icing sugar.
Vegetarian, lactose free, suitable for pregnant women.
For the starter
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast (7g)
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange or lemon
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups unbleached strong flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons brandy
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried or glacéed cherries
- 1/3 dark raisins
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup in total of candied ginger, lemon and orange peel
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Meanwhile, put the butter and the sugar into an electric dough maker, fit the leaf accessory on and set it to a fast speed to work the butter until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the zests and dried fruits as well as the salt. Set the machine on a medium speed and start incorporating the eggs one by one to the butter. Then add the flour, the vanilla extract to the mixture and allow the machine to work for another 5 minute on a low speed.
Then, change the attachment the bread hook and add the starter to the dough and allow to knead for 10 minutes.
Place the dough into a deep, round and well greased tin and set aside in a warm place to raise for a couple of hours.
Start your oven at 190 degrees Celsius (375F) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Take out of your tin and allow to cool down on a pastry rack.
Suitable for vegetarian, pregnant women, nut free.
Recipe for mulled wine:
- 2 large oranges
- 3 pints of water
- 8oz granulated sugar
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 10 cloves
- 2 bottles of good red wine
- 3 tablespoons of honey
- 1 apple, sliced and cored
- 1 orange, deseeded and sliced
- a dash or two of Brandy
Lebkuchen is a German spiced pastry, baked for Christmas similar to gingerbread apart its soft texture. It is often used to make decorated slabs or decorated little houses.
Recipe for 10 to 20 lebkuchen:
- 420g plain flour, sifted
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 200g sugar
- 120ml honey
- 110g almonds, finely chopped
- 60g candied orange peel, finely chopped
- 60g candied lemon peel, finely chopped
For the Glaze:
- 65g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Sift together the flour, baking soda and spices into a bowl. Then, beat together the eggs and sugar in a separate bowl until it becomes thick and creamy. Carefully and gradually add the honey to the egg mixture. Then, add a quarter of the dry ingredients, mixing well with a wooden spoon, like you would do for a sponge base. Repeat 4 times until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
Now add the almonds and the candied peels and stir them into the batter then pour the mixture onto a well-greased baking tray (or spoon individual portions). Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool on a pastry rack when cooked.
Meanwhile, mix the glaze ingredients together. Then, when the lebkuchen have cool down entirely spread over the icing.
There is a recipe for gluhwein:
- 3 litres of dry, German red wine
- 1/2 cup of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of clove
- 10 Cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 cup of fruit alcohol (schnapps)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 3 oranges, sliced
- 3 lemons, sliced
- 8 oz of jackfruit *
- 14 oz light coconut milk
- 8 tablespoons jaggery**
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cardamon
Serve warm or hot.
* Jackfruits are the fruit of a tree of the mulberry family, native of parts of Asia and South-East Asia. Each fruits are about 36kg and pretty much tasteless apart from the sweet yellow sheaths around the seeds that have a similar taste to pineapple.
** jaggery is a brown sugar mass made of both sugarcane and date palm tree, the shape of a truncated cone that is used in the whole of Asia.
Gluten free, lactose free, vegan and vegetarian, suitable for pregnant women.
- 300g "amandelspijs" (almond paste)*
- 300g puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- few red glace cherries
- few nibbed almonds
Meanwhile, melt down the apricot jam with a little bit of water and roast the almonds.
When the pastry is cooked, take it out of the oven, and when it is still hot brush it with the jam. Place alternatively some cherries and almonds on the top of it.
*Amandelspijs is translated by almond meal or almond flour. It is made of ground sweet almonds and is commonly used in confectionery. It is the main ingredient of marzipan.
Suitable for pregnant women, lactose free.