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Food & Recipes: December 2015 Archives

Julie Van Rosendaal makes New Year's party snacks

Julie Van Rosendaal stops by with appetizer ideas for New Year's celebrations.

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Julie Van Rosendaal's holiday baking ideas

Julie Van Rosendaal shares her holiday baking and cooking ideas.

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Julie Van Rosendaal's recipes for December 22, 2015


Christmas Morning Wifesaver
 
Calgarians who lived here in the eighties will recall the recipe that made the Best of Bridge famous - nowadays the authors say it's more aptly called "Christmas Morning Domestic Partner Saver" - it's a hefty, savoury sort of strata, made with day-old bread, bacon, cheddar and eggs. 

1 loaf crust or grainy bread, thinly sliced
16 slices Canadian back bacon or less of thinly sliced ham
1-2 cups grated aged cheddar or Gouda
6 large eggs
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tsp grainy mustard
1/4 cup minced or grated onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red, yellow or green pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 cups whole milk
dash Tabasco
1/3 cup butter
crushed cornflakes
 
Layer half the bread slices in the bottom of a buttered 9x13-inch or similarly sized baking dish, covering it entirely. Layer with bacon or ham and scatter cheese on top, then cover with remaining slices of bread to make it like a sandwich.
 
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the salt and pepper, mustard, onion, red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, milk and Tabasco. Pour over the sandwiches, cover and let stand in the fridge overnight.
 
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Melt the butter and pour over the casserole, then cover with roughly crushed cornflakes. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes to an hour; let sit 10 minutes before serving.
 
Serves 8.

Leek, Gruyere & Bacon Strata

Adapted from Home Cooking, the latest Best of Bridge cookbook.

oil or butter, for cooking
2 leeks, halved and cleaned well, white and pale green parts thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (or mushrooms, or whatever other veggies you like)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
7-8 cups cubed day-old bread
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (or chopped, then cooked until crisp)
2 cups grated Gruyere, old cheddar or other cheese
8 large eggs
2 cups milk
salt and pepper

Put a drizzle of oil or dab of butter in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat and saute the leeks, red pepper and garlic for 5-6 minutes, until soft. Butter a 9x13-inch pan and spread the bread cubes into it; add the bacon, leek mixture and half the cheese and toss (hands work great for this) until everything is evenly combined, spreading it out evenly in the pan. 

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour over the bread mixture. Top with the remaining cheese and let stand for an hour, or cover and refrigerate overnight.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the strata for an hour, or until puffed and golden. Serve warm.

Serves 8-10.

Eggnog Dutch Baby

canola or other vegetable oil
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup eggnog (or milk)

Drizzle some oil in an oven-proof skillet (cast iron is ideal) and put it in the oven while you preheat it to 450°F.

Whisk together the eggs, flour, and eggnog. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven - keep the oven mitt on it so you don't forget it's hot - pour in the batter and return the pan to the oven for 20-25 minutes, until it's deep golden and dramatically puffed.

Serve immediately, cut into wedges and sprinkled with icing sugar if you like, with fresh fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Serves 6.

Eggnog Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 cup eggnog
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Drizzle (optional):
1 cup icing sugar
2 Tbsp. eggnog

Preheat the oven to 425F. 

In a large bowl - or the bowl of a food processor - combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and pulse or blend with a pastry blender or fork until combined, with some pieces of butter the size of a pea. (If you used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a bowl.)

Add the eggnog and stir until the dough comes together. Gather it into a ball and place on a parchment-lined sheet; pat into a circle an inch thick. (If you like, cover and refrigerate overnight at this point - remove it from the oven and cut into wedges while you preheat the oven.) Cut into 8 wedges with a knife and pull them apart from each other; if you like, sprinkle with coarse or vanilla sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until deep golden.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar and eggnog. Drizzle over the scones while they're still warm, or once they've cooled.

Makes 8 scones.

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