WoW Blog

Holiday Recipes and More from Victoria's Top Caterers

November 28th, 2014

It's that time of year again - when the more the table is filled with unbelievable goodies, the merrier the holiday. So we reached to our Victoria WoW culinary experts to share their favourite Christmas recipes, plus tips for food and drink pairings, and we loved their responses. Add these to your collection, and you'll spruce up your holiday traditions in a fun and delicious way. Thanks to Victoria WoW members, this might be your tastiest Christmas yet!

A Traditional - and Yummy - Breakfast

We know that WoW Member Villa Marco Polo is beautiful in the summertime, because we loved our Event there last August. And winter is just as lovely. A stay here is like a step back in time. The winter Christmas season offers a wonderful opportunity to continue that tradition, gently lifting guests from the hullabaloo that so often seems to dominate this time of year.

Guests to the Villa are welcomed with Nordic mulled spiced wine or hot Vancouver Island Organic Apple Cider, which they can enjoy in the library or living room, with the backdrop of logs crackling in wood-burning fireplaces. Their rooms are beautifully decorated, fresh pine scents the air, and tiny clear lights twinkle from bare branches in the Italianate garden.

And so how do you capture the magic of this charming getaway at home? With warm breakfast, of course! The Villa serves these recipes all year long, but especially at Christmas.

 

WALNUT ORANGE CRANBERRY MUFFINS

2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup firmly packed light sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 large egg
4 tablespoons walnut oil
1⁄2 cup milk
1⁄2 cup of strained fresh orange juice
11⁄2 cups of frozen cranberries, unthawed
1⁄2 cup walnut, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Grease the muffin cups with butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray.

In a bigger bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, walnut oil, milk, orange juice until blended. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until evenly moistened. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Fold in the cranberries and nuts just until evenly distributed – do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into each muffin cup. To prevent the muffin top from overflowing, do not fill all the way to the rim of the cup.

Bake until golden, dry and springy to the touch, 23 – 25 min.

Delicious at room temperature or still hot!

CANDIED GINGER BAKED GRAPEFRUIT

Candied ginger spread:
2 cups of candied ginger cubes
1⁄4 + cup apple juice

Place the ginger in the food processor and add apple juice. Choose the high speed and pulse a few times to cut the cubes into smaller chunks. Turn the processor on and watch if it gets too bulky. If it does, add some juice until the spread has a desired consistency.

Slice grapefruit in half, de-seed, and with the sharp knife or a special grapefruit knife, run around inside edges to slice the fruit into sections. Do not remove.

Spread the ginger paste lightly on the top of the grapefruit. Place grapefruit in the baking dish (add some water to the dish to prevent the juice from burning on the hot surface)

Broil for 6 – 10 minutes. Enjoy warm!

WARM LEMON SOUFFLES

For 6-8 
3⁄4 C + 1 T whole milk
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1⁄2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1 tsp lemon extract
1-2 tablespoons limoncello (optional but trust us - you want to use it!)
3 large egg whites


Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 8 ramekins (or 6 larger ramekins) with butter and sugar. Bring milk to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk 1⁄4 cup sugar, cornstarch, and yolks in bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Return mixture to saucepan; bring to simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Whisk in lemon juice and peel. Cool.

Using electric mixer, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually beat in remaining 1⁄2 cup sugar. Continue beating until stiff but not dry. Fold 1⁄4 of whites into lemon mixture. Fold in remaining whites. Spoon mixture into prepared dishes, dividing equally.

Bake until puffed and brown on top, about 18 minutes. Serve immediately. Soooo good!

Be the Host with the Most!

With the holidays fast approaching, many hosts and hostesses are strapped for ideas when it comes to the perfect spread of food for their gathering – whether it be an office Christmas party or intimate cocktail party with loved ones. Be a little adventurous! Stray from your usual repertoire of mini quiches and sausage rolls, and intrigue your guests with this delicious canapé and beverage pairing!

Created by Truffles Catering Chef Jana Stewart and Event Planner Sheliza Dewji, you can trust this combo to be a big hit. Truffles Catering is one of Victoria’s leading professional caterers for corporate events, weddings, office functions, social occasions and celebrations - so much so that they recently delighted hundreds of happy locals with hot chocolate and seasonal treats at the Christmas Lights Across Canada. Now, you can create a little of their magic at home with these two amazing recipes, designed to compliment one another.

Goose Sausage & Chestnut Crostini
Ingredients for Goose Sausage:
50g + 1 tbsp Unsalted butter
15g Onions, finely chopped
225g Lean goose meat, cut into chunks
1 Egg white
200 mL Whole cream
6 Cooked chestnuts, chopped and pureed with honey
2 tsp Thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:
Melt 50g of butter in a frying pan and add onions, cook until translucent.

Put the onions and goose meat in a food processor, puree until smooth.

Place the mixture in a bowl over ice. Slowly add the egg white and cream while mixing. Add most of the chestnuts (but reserve a little for garnish). Add thyme and mix well.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a 2cm nozzle. Alternatively, you can use a heavy duty Ziploc bag with a 2cm cut in the corner.

Pipe 15cm lengths onto a layer of cling film, wrap the cling film and twist the ends to form a sausage-like shape. Tie down the ends.

Poach the sausages in boiling water for 10 minutes, refresh into an ice bath. Remove and take off the cling film.

 Melt the remaining 1 tbsp of butter in a pain, and lightly brown all sides of the sausage.

 Remove the sausage from heat, cut into 5 cm wide slices.

Place sausage slices on a crostini or gluten-free cracker and garnish with the remaining chestnut puree, roasted red grapes and microgreens. Enjoy with this variation of the classic ‘Old Fashioned’ cocktail!

Burnt Orange & Bourbon Cocktail
Ingredients:
 2 oz bourbon whiskey
2 oz freshly-squeezed orange juice
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Burnt orange slices (sprinkled with sugar and broiled in the oven)
Burnt orange peel (broiled in the oven)

 Combine the whiskey, orange juice and bitters in a cocktail shaker and mix well.

 Place one burnt orange slice in a chilled rocks glass. Add ice, and pour mixed beverage over top. Add a splash of club soda (if desired) and garnish with a burnt orange peel.

Eat This, Drink That

WoW Member Joe the Bartender Ltd. & Connoisseur Catering are a fun, premier company who don't just make fabulous drinks. They'll also show you how to make them with their fun mixology lessons, like WoW members experienced last October. They've recently moved to a beautiful new location that we were more than happy to experience first-hand, and they now offer both drinks and catering for special occasions of all types. 

Since they're pros at mixing food and drink (we couldn't believe their wine and chocolate pairings, for example), we asked for a good combo to serve at a holiday party. And they delivered!

Crostini are great appetizers for parties, because they are easy to make in advance, they look beautiful, and they're practically universally loved. Joe the Bartender Ltd. & Connoisseur Catering suggest pairing a Goat Cheese and Raspberry Crostini (find a good recipe here) with this lovely Cran-Raspberry & Lime Wine Spitzer. Not only is this drink yummy, it's inexpensive, too - talk about a win-win.  

CRAN-RASPBERRY & LIME WINE SPRITZER

INGREDIENTS
Cran-Raspberry Juice. Low Calorie Option will work.
White wine, preferably Pinot Grigio
Club Soda
 Fresh lime
 Ice

DIRECTIONS
Mix 1/3 juice, 1/3 wine and 1/3 Club Soda
Add ice to glass and pour mixture in.
Squeeze in fresh lime and garnish your drink with a slice of lime and fresh raspberries.

Joe the Bartender Ltd. & Connoisseur also created 'Snow Ball,' a great eggnog-based drink that's perfect for the holidays. We shared it on our recent WoW Factor - please subscribe and never miss the latest in Victoria bridal news.

Snow Ball

INGREDIENTS

4 oz eggnog
1/2 oz white chocolate liqueur
1 oz Southern Comfort
Edible gold flakes or chocolate flakes for garnish

PREPARATION

Build the ingredients into a snifter glass and stir lightly.

Sprinkle gold or chocolate flakes on top.

 Sit back by a fire, play some Nat King Cole, and enjoy!

 Sit Back and Relax

Cooking and baking are part of the fun of the holidays, but sometimes we all just want to sit back, relax, and let the experts do the work for us! We have some fabulous WoW Caterers who have treated us at many of our events, and we're sure they can help make your season bright and easy.

Cook's Day Off Fine Food & Catering is one such member, and asked them for their favourite appy and drink pairings for a holiday party. Cook's Day Off of course is the beloved full service cafe and catering company on Fort Street, which has been providing freshness, quality, consistency and value to Greater Victoria for over 22 years - so who better to assist in your Christmas traditions?

To treat your guests well, Cook's Day Off recommends pairing their Hazelnut and Dried Fruit Stuffed Chicken with a Sweet Mango Glaze, with Lyonnaise Potatoes and a Spinach Mandarin Salad. And pair these appetizers with Dragonfly Winery's refreshing Ortega Auxerrois. This is a 100% locally-grown, crisp white wine made with Pinot Auxerrois and Ortega varietals. It has the crispness of cool rain, green apples and honeysuckle flowers. Together, these appetizers and this wine will create a fresh and delightful Christmas evening, sure to entertain all.

Merry, Merry

We'd love to hear about your favourite holiday recipes. Please let us know in the comments what you love cooking Chirstmas-time. And WoW Members, if you have any recipes or food and drink pairings you'd like to share, let us know and we'll share on Facebook and Twitter.

And WoW Members, please don't forget that our RSVP deadline for our Christmas party is fast approaching. We've got a jolly good time planned, and we hope to see you there!

 

 

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