Food & Drink: Holiday Fare From Canadian Cooks

If this pizza-like appetizer doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, then nothing will.Photo: Nataschia Wielink Photography, excerpted from Craft Cocktails

From a festive cocktail and appetizer to a hearty soup and delicious mains, we’ve got you covered with these delicious True North-inspired recipes.


Photo, Nataschia Wielink Photography, excerpted from Craft Cocktails

The Cocktail

Dillon’s Holiday Pomegranate Punch

Makes 8 cocktails

In the winter, it’s not often that you enjoy fresh and bright-tasting cocktails. This one has all the summery lightness that orange and lemon and citrus bring, with more traditional winter flavours of pomegranate juice and sweet apple cider. This cocktail can also be served as a warm punch on an extra-chilly day. To make the warm version, pour the ingredients listed in step 1 (except the gin) into a pot and bring to a simmer. Add 1 ounce of gin to each glass and top with the warm juice mixture. Leave out the sparkling wine and garnish with an orange slice instead of the pomegranate arils.

1 cup fresh pomegranate juice (about 2 pomegranates, see Bar Tip below)

1 cup dry gin

3/4 cup fresh-pressed apple cider

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 bottle (750 ml) dry sparkling wine

15 dashes orange bitters

Orange slices and arils from one pomegranate, for garnish

  1. Combine pomegranate juice, gin, orange juice, apple cider and lemon juice in a punch bowl or glass drink dispenser with spigot. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  2. When you’re ready to server, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and slowing add sparkling wine and bitters. Gently stir to combine. Float orange slices on top.
  3. Serve in stemmed wine glasses and top each glass with a sprinkling of pomegranate arils.

Bar Tip #1: To make the pomegranate juice, remove the arils. (Cut the fruit in half crosswise, turn each half over and give them several good whacks with a wooden spoon.) Add the arils to a blender and blend on high speed until all the arils are broken, about 30 seconds. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing the solids with the back of a spoon to help extract all the juices. The juice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Bar Tip #2: To ensure you punch tastes bubbly and fresh, don’t add the sparkling wine until the last minute.


Photo, Nataschia Wielink Photography, excerpted from Craft Cocktails


The Appetizer

Roasted Cranberry Flatbreads

Makes 2 flatbreads. Serves 8 to 10

If this pizza-like appetizer doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, then nothing will. The goat cheese, cranberries, thyme and maple syrup result in a delight of holiday flavours in every bite. Perfect for your next holiday party, especially when served with a bubbly and vibrant.

1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries

3 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tbsp finely chopped shallots

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, divided

1/4 tsp sea salt

6 dashes cranberry bitters

2 soft flatbreads or naan breads, 10 to 12 inches in length

1 cup soft goat cheese

  1. In an 8-inch square baking dish, combine cranberries, mapy syrup, shallots, half the thyme, salt and bitters. Roast in 375 F oven for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the cranberries curst and the mixture starts to bubble and caramelize along the edges.
  2. Remove the dish from the oven and stir until the cranberries are broken down and the mixture is thick and chunky.
  3. Spread the hot cranberry mixture over the flatbreads, diving it evenly and spreading it close to the edges. Evenly sprinkle the goat cheese across each flatbread.
  4. Bake the flatbreads directly on the oven rack until the cheese is softened and the flatbread is crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a cutting board and sprinkle with remaining thyme. Cut into wedges or strips and serve warm.

Both the above recipes from Craft Cocktails: Seasonally Inspired Drinks & Snacks from Our Sipping Room by Geoff Dillon and Whitney Rorison, published by Penguin Canada. Copyright © 2019 by Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.


Photography, Ryan Szulc, excerpted from Kosher Style

The First Course

Chicken Soup (a.k.a. Jewish Penicillin)

A bowl of matzo ball soup is like Jewish echinacea. In fact, do a double-blind taste test, and I think you’ll find this golden broth goes a long way to healing what ails you, heart and soul. (But especially soul.)

1 roasting chicken, giblet bag removed, trimmed of excess fat and rinsed

2 parsnips, peeled and ends chopped off

2 stalks celery with leaves

2 large onions, halved

6 medium carrots, peeled and ends chopped off

Salt and pepper



  1. Put the chicken in a very large pot and pour in about 12 to 14 cups water, making sure clucky is cove With the stockpot uncovered, bring to a boil, using a slotted spoon to skim and discard the foam that accumulates. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the whole parsnips, celery, onions and carrots and salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered, for at least 2 hours (3 hours is better, though). Skim occasionally as foam appears. With about 10 minutes to go, toss in the parsley and dill.
  2. For a pristine broth, remove the chicken, veggies and herbs from the pot and set aside. Strain soup through a sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth (or a double layer of paper towel), returning the clear broth to a clean po Shred or slice the chicken; discard onions, celery, parsley and dill; and roughly chop the carrots and parsnips and add them back into the soup before serving.
  3. To serve, spoon a ladle or two of broth, then add a few pieces of carrot, parsnip, a bisl of chicken (use the rest for chicken salad sandwiches tomorrow) and a sprig of fresh dill into each bow This is even better bejeweled with a couple of matzo balls, meat kreplach or egg noodles. Shabbat shalom.

Excerpted from Kosher Style: Over 100 Jewish Recipes for the Modern Cook by Amy Rosen. Copyright © 2019 Amy Rosen. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


Photography, Cathryn Sprague, excerpted from Tawâw

The Mains

Lamb Chops with Beets

Makes 4 servings

I really like making meals that don’t require the use of utensils to enjoy them. So while I am not a huge fan of strong lamb flavours, I do love lamb chops. They have built-in handles: you can just pick one up, mop up some beet sauce and enjoy.

8 cups (2 l) Bison Bone Broth

8 medium red and yellow beets, leaves trimmed

¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 racks of lamb, with about 8 lamb chops each

2 tbsp (30 ml) canola oil, divided

1 small leek, white and pale green parts only, cut into ¼-in /0.5-cm rounds

12 fresh mint leaves, for garnish

12 blackberries, for garnish

  1. In a large pot, bring the bison broth to a vigorous boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes to an hour, until it reduces to a syrup (watch it carefully to avoid scorching). You should end up with about 6 tbsp (90 ml) of reduced broth.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the beets in a pot of boiling water for 30 to 45 minutes (depending on the size of the beets), until they pierce easily through to the centre with a paring knife. Drain and let cool slightly. When they’re cool enough to handle, slip off the skins (you may want to wear rubber or latex gloves to avoid staining your hands).
  3. Place 2 cooked beets in a blender. Add the maple syrup and reduced broth. Purée until smooth. Taste and season with salt to taste. Set aside.
  4. Cut the remaining beets into ½-inch (1 cm) cubes and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, season the racks of lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add half the oil and sear lamb, browning on both sides of each rack, for about 3 minutes total per rack.
  6. Transfer the seared lamb to a wire rack in a roaster. Roast in a 350 F (180 C) oven until the internal temperature reaches 125 F (52 C) for rare, about 10 minutes (depending on the size of the racks) or a few minutes longer to 135 F (57 C) for medium-rare. See Tip, below.
  7. Remove from the oven and tent very loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  8. While the lamb is cooking, add the remaining oil to a skillet over medium heat. Heat the oil until it shimmers, then add sliced leeks. Sauté on one side only for about 5 minutes, until golden.
  9. To serve, cut the cooked racks into individual chops. Place a dollop of beet purée onto each plate. Arrange 3 or 4 chops per plate (depending on how many people you are serving), along with some of the caramelized leeks and a few cubes of cooked beets. Garnish with mint leaves and fresh berries.

TIP: If you are using a conventional oven, you may need to either cook the dish a little longer or increase the oven temperature by 25 F (4 C).

Excerpted from Tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisinecopyright © 2019 by Shane Mederic Chartrand and Jennifer Cockrall-King. Reproduced with permission from House of Anansi Press,


Photography, Ryan Szulc, excerpted from Kosher Style

Roasted Salmon with Horseradish Sauce & Pickled Onions

Serves 8 to 10

A head-turning dish full of vibrant flavors, from pickled onions to herbs to horseradish, and colors to match (hello, pink and fuchsia), this side of salmon could easily usurp gefilte fish at your next Seder.

For Pickled Onions

1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp kosher salt

1⁄4 cup sugar

1⁄2 cup water

1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced


For Horseradish Sauce

1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

3 tbsp jarred beet horseradish

Juice of 1⁄2 lemon


For Salmon

3-1⁄2 lb whole side skin-on salmon

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp herbes de Provence

1⁄2 tsp sea salt

Pepper to taste

  1. To make the pickled onions, place vinegar, salt, sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Place prepared onions in a bowl and pour the hot vinegar mixture overtop. Let cool on the counter for 1 hour, then put in the fridge to chill.
  2. For the horseradish sauce, stir together the mayonnaise, beet horseradish and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place salmon, skin side down, on the baking sheet. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Roast salmon in 450 F oven until just opaque in the centre, about 20 minutes. Serve with pickled onions and horseradish sauce on the side.

Excerpted from Kosher Style: Over 100 Jewish Recipes for the Modern Cook by Amy Rosen. Copyright © 2019 Amy Rosen. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.