The celebration of Christmas in our house begins with breakfast which consists of ham and eggs, toast and freshly brewed coffee. Of course the presents are opened pre breakfast…that would be just cruel to make you wait! Around lunchtime I head back into the kitchen to prep the turkey and the stuffing. Some people believe that cooking the stuffing inside the turkey can lead to food poison but I’ve never cooked it separate from the turkey and have never been sick. Next, I’ll make pastry for the apple and lemon meringue pies. Christmas music is playing in the background and I’ll be singing (out of tune, of course!) to our old-time favorites, dancing a bit in the kitchen and planning in my head the next steps to make the dinner special. Trying to select which top 5 favorite recipes for Christmas was a difficult one for me as it’s akin to trying to choose which child you love more. The 5 I’ve chosen might not seem typical but boy are they tasty! The tourtière (French-Canadian meat pie) is a Christmas eve family tradition that my mom started many years ago. She would serve this along with Mediterranean soup. I make the tourtière as well but usually serve it with a side salad. If you don’t want to cook a whole turkey, the Peking turkey makes for a nice change especially if you’re not cooking for a large group.
Apple Pie in a Jar – perfect for those who are gluten intolerant or if you just want a change from making a traditional apple pie.
Mince Pie Cookies – don’t like mincemeat? Try these soft, chewy cookies and fall in love with mincemeat.
Peking Turkey – mandarin and cranberry stuffing with hoisin roasting sauce – a delightful Asian twist on a North American tradition.
Tourtière – this meat pie has a few variations but I prefer my mom’s.
Lemon Squares – don’t want to make lemon meringue pie? This is the perfect lemon fix without the fuss.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: See you next year!