As 2016 comes to an end, one of the wonderful things we all look forward to is holiday meals. No matter your traditions, there are plenty of comfort foods we wait for all year.
If you’re in charge of bringing a dish to share, don’t worry, we have you covered. We’ve put together a list of delicious holiday recipes from around the globe that is sure to impress.
Leaf bread is a traditional holiday recipe from Iceland. Families make this bread together a few days before Christmas. This beautifully decorated, cake-like bread is deep fried and usually served with smoke lamb. This recipe is perfect for family bonding.
- 3 1⁄2cups flour
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 1⁄2 unsalted butter
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. whole milk, heated to 115°
- Canola oil, for frying
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Using two forks or your fingers, cut butter into flour mixture, forming pea-size crumbles. Stir in milk until dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth.
- Divide dough into twenty-five 1-oz. balls; working with 1 ball at a time, roll dough into a 7″ disk, about1⁄16” thick. (Cover remaining dough with a damp towel to prevent dough from drying out).
- Using a paring knife and working outwards from the center of disk, cut rows of nested V’s1⁄4” apart. Use knife to lift the tip of every other V; fold each tip back to cross over the V behind it, pressing the dough to adhere.
- Store cut dough disks between parchment paper and cover with a damp towel until ready to fry.
- Heat 2″ oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 400°. Fry 1 dough disk at a time, flipping once, until crisp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Soupe Crasse (Cheese and Bread Soup)
Cold winter nights wouldn’t be complete without hot and hearty soup. So, all the way from Italy, we bring you soupe crasse. It’s a cheese soup that is typically made with day-old bread.
- 3 1⁄2cups beef or chicken stock
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 10 oz. Italian breadsticks
- 1 lb. Taleggio cheese, sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2small onion, thinly sliced
- Bring stock to a boil in a saucepan; remove from heat.
- Grease bottom of a 3-qt. high-sided skillet with 1 tbsp. butter. Break breadsticks into 21⁄2” pieces. Put 1 layer breadsticks in skillet. Cover breadsticks with layer of cheese. Continue layering breadsticks and cheese; ladle stock over breadsticks one ladleful at a time and heat skillet over low heat. Bring to a simmer; cook, without stirring, for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add onions; cook, until onions are soft, 8-10 minutes.
- Set a fine sieve over a small bowl. Strain butter, pressing onions with back of a spoon; discard onions.
- Drizzle butter over soup; continue cooking for 10 more minutes. To serve, spoon onto serving plates.
French Baked Ham with Spiced Apples & Pears
In keeping with holiday tradition, we bring to you a ham recipe. The difference? This one is from France. The result is a delicious, aromatic and unforgettable holiday centerpiece.
- 1 8-lb smoked, fully-cooked, spiral-cut ham
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
- 4 sweet-tart baking apples, cored and halved
- 4 pears, cored and halved
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Using kitchen twine, wrap the ham first vertically, and then once on each diagonal, making sure to loop around the bottom of the ham, to hold it together. Place the ham in a large, deep roasting pan, cut side down.
- Dissolve the dry mustard in the 1/4 cup water. Stir the mustard mixture into the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves and allspice.
- Brush the maple glaze over the surface of the ham. Arrange the apples and pears around the ham and bake it, uncovered, for 1 hour and 40 minutes, basting the ham and fruit every 20 minutes. Loosely tent foil over the ham if it appears to be browning too quickly.
- Allow the ham and fruit to cool down slightly before removing the twine and serving warm or at room temperature
Vasilopita Cake (Greek New Year’s Cake)
No holiday meal is complete without dessert. This next recipe is a traditional Greek cake or bread that is usually served on New Year’s Eve in celebration of the life of Saint Basil. After baking the vasilopita cake, a coin is inserted through the base and when cut, the person who finds the coin is said to have good luck for the rest of the year.
For The Cake
- 13 oz. butter
- 3 cups of sugar
- 6 eggs (divided into yolks and whites)
- Zest of 2 oranges
- ½ cup orange juice
- 7 oz. yogurt, strained
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 5 oz. self-rising flour
For the Glaze
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 2 tbsp. hot water or milk
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- To prepare this vasilopita, start by dividing the eggs into yolks and whites. Place the egg whites in the bowl of the electric mixer, along with a pinch of salt. Make sure your egg whites, bowl and whisk attachments are clean and free of any water. Whisk the egg whites until the mixture is very thick and glossy and a long trailing peak forms when the whisk is lifted (meringues). Place the mixture in a bowl and set aside.
- Use the electric mixer to mix the butter and sugar, for about 20 minutes, until the butter is creamy and fluffy, like whipped cream. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whilst mixing, allowing time for each one to be absorbed, before adding another. Pour in the orange juice, the vanilla extract, the orange zest, the yogurt and mix to combine. Add 1/3 of the sifted flour and blend, using a spatula. Add 1/3 of the meringues and blend with light circular movements from the bottom up. Repeat with the rest of the flour and meringue (adding 1/3 of the flour and 1/3 meringue and then the remaining flour and meringue).
- To bake the vasilopita, preheat the oven to 390. Butter the bottom and sides of a round non-sticking cake tin (approx. 32cm diameter) and pour in the mixture. Place the cake tin in the preheated oven, on the lower rack, turn the heat down to 345 degrees and bake for 50-60 minutes, until nicely colored and cooked through. Check if the vasilopita is ready, by sticking in the middle of the cake a wooden skewer or toothpick. If it comes out clean, then the cake is ready.
- Let the vasilopita cool down (otherwise it will break) and invert the pan on a plate. Wrap a coin with aluminum foil and stick it in the cake. Invert the vasilopita on a serving platter.
- Prepare the glaze for the vasilopita. In a large bowl add all the ingredients and blend with a spatula to combine, until the glaze is smooth and glossy. Add a little bit more hot water, if needed (the glaze should be like a thin cream). Top the vasilopita with the glaze and even out with a spatula. Don’t forget to carve the number of the year on top of the glaze!
No matter your menu, we hope these recipes or others bring your family together this holiday season. Pick up many hard-to-find ingredients in store or online.