FOOD - Main course recipes to make your Christmas...
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Dec 13, 2012  |  Vote 0    0

FOOD - Main course recipes to make your Christmas delicious

Compiled by Lisa Day

Yogurt and harissa marinated chicken with sweet potato mash
3 tbsp Greek yogurt
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 tsp harissa paste
2 tbsp cold butter
3 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
pinch ground nutmeg
4 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs plus salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup each torn mint and cilantro leaves
2 tbsp Greek Yogurt

Note: Ensure the mash is prepared while chicken is cooking to maintain proper temperature

Whisk the yogurt with the harissa paste in a large bowl until well combined; whisk in the olive oil. (The mixture will appear curdled.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken and coat well. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.

Set a grill pan over medium-high heat; let stand until almost smoking. Arrange the chicken, skin side down, in the pan. Cook, without disturbing, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the skin is crispy and chicken is almost cooked through.

Flip the chicken and cook for an additional five minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat. Scatter mint and cilantro leaves over the chicken. Serve immediately.

Sweet potato mash
Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well and return the potatoes to the pot.

Add the butter, olive oil and nutmeg. Mash until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the yogurt until well combined. Serve with chicken thighs.
~ Recipe courtesy of Oikos Greek Yogurt

Oven-roasted rack of lamb
A glass of Shiraz pairs well with this roasted pepper rack of lamb. You could also accompany this dish with some grilled potatoes or a Swiss rosti potato.

1 rack (12 16 oz) of lamb, frenched
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 clove of garlic
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1/4 cup of olive oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked black peppercorns
1 sprig of flat parsley for garnish

Place lamb in a bowl with the olive oil, diced garlic and chopped rosemary and marinate four to five hours.
Heat oven to 400 F.

Oven roast the peppers for 30 minutes. Peel and season with salt and pepper, and let rest.

Remove marinated lamb from bowl and place on baking sheet and oven roast to medium or medium-rare 145 to 160 ̊F.
Remove lamb from oven and let rest for five minutes. Season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper and serve with the roasted peppers.

Roasted leg of lamb marinated in red chili, citrus and thyme with cucumber relish
2 dried ancho chilies, stems removed and seeded
2 dried New Mexico chilies, stems removed and seeded
3 cups of orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 leg of lamb
4 oranges
mild vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Roasted leg of lamb
Coarsely chop chilies. Place in blender with orange and lime juices. Blend until smooth. Add garlic, onion and thyme and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the lamb in a large dish. Pour the marinade over it and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling.

Heat the grill to medium/high.
Remove the lamb from the marinade and season all over with salt and pepper. Sear the lamb until brown on the grill.
Heat oven to 360 F.

Place lamb onto a vegetable oil greased baking pan.
For medium rare, cook your lamb until it reaches an internal temperature between140 - 150 F on an instant read thermometer.
Remove lamb and let rest for 10 minutes, while resting brush the lamb with the drippings from the baking pan.
Slice the lamb into 4 portions and garnish with orange halves.

3 cups cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup red peppers, seeded and chopped
1 cup green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp celery seeds
Put all the vegetables into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the vegetables, mix and cover for four hours.
Rinse vegetables well after four hours and press out excess moisture.

Combine the rest of the ingredients into a large pot. Mix well and bring to a boil.
Add vegetables and boil gently for 10 minutes.  
Remove from heat and let cool before serving.

Red snapper with fennel and roasted pepper
Add some fresh cilantro and ginger to kick it up to the next level. Suggested wine: maybe a nice glass of chardonnay or a simple glass of sparkling water with lemon.

8 oz fillet of red snapper
2 tomatoes
1 bulb of fennel
6 oz roasted red pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 medium red onion
2 oz fava beans
3 white asparagus spears
3 green asparagus spears
1/2 cup fish stock
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 F.
Place salt and pepper on snapper with a drizzle of oil and oven bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
While the snapper is roasting, saute all vegetables and garlic in stock pot. Add fish stock once the vegetables are tender. Season the stock lightly with sea salt.

Place all the vegetables and liquid in oversized bowl. Remove snapper from oven and place over vegetables. Drizzle olive oil for garnish.

Salmon with oven roasted tomatoes
Red wine blends well with the oven-roasted  tomatoes and the undertones of garlic and chanterelle mushroom. You can substitute the chanterelle for shiitake if you cannot find chanterelle.

4 salmon steaks (8 oz/225 g each)
6 to 8 tomatoes, sliced in half
3 cloves of garlic, minced or sliced
4 tbsp soya sauce
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
4 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp wasabi paste
1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
6 oz chanterelle mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the salmon steaks with the garlic cloves, soya sauce, rosemary, sesame oil and wasabi paste for about four hours. Remove salmon. Boil marinade until reduced, and set aside.

Heat oven to 400 F.
Drizzle tomatoes with half the olive oil and oven roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and bake the marinated salmon fillet for 12 minutes.

Add remaining olive oil to frying pan and saute chanterelle mushrooms until tender; lightly season with salt and pepper.
Place salmon on top of plate with chanterelle mushrooms. Top with roasted tomatoes and drizzle with caramelized soya reduction.
~ Recipes courtesy of Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

Potato gratin
1 cup no fat plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups whole milk
1 large garlic clove, smashed
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 large egg
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8th-inch thick

Heat oven to 350 F (Gas Mark 4). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter and set aside.
Heat milk with garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles rise to surface. Remove and discard garlic. Add one cup cheese and whisk until melted.

Beat egg in a large bowl and gradually add cheese mixture, then salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Whisk Chobani into mixture in three additions.
Place sliced potatoes in two or three overlapping rows in prepared baking dish. Pour yogurt-cheese mixture over potatoes and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake until golden-brown and potatoes are tender when pierced with a paring knife, 40 to 50 minutes. Turn broiler on and broil gratin until golden-brown on top, two to three minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Choliday Stuffing
2 1/2 cups no fat plain Greek yogurt
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
14-oz bag unseasoned cubed bread stuffing
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt
ground black pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Heat oven to 350 F. Saute onions, celery and garlic in oil over medium heat until tender, about six minutes. Add stock and simmer until reduced by one-fourth, about two minutes.

Empty stuffing mix into large bowl. Add onion-celery mixture, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Mix thoroughly. Let mixture cool slightly, then stir in yogurt.

Spread mixture into a 9x13-inch pan. Brush melted butter over top and bake until browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
~ Recipes courtesy of

Artichoke casserole
Serve accompanied with freshly cut vegetables, crackers or croutons.

1/2 cup artichoke hearts, canned
1/2 cup artichoke bottoms, canned
2 tbsp Parmesan, freshly grated
1/4 cup cottage cheese, one per cent milk fat
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green onion, minced
drizzle of olive oil
1 tbsp breadcrumbs

Heat the oven to 200 C.
Rinse the artichoke hearts and bottoms under cold running water. Dry well with paper towel and chop coarse. In a bowl, mix together the artichokes, Parmesan and cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and the green onion. Season to taste and transfer to a baking dish or individual ovenproof dishes.

Sprinkle with a little olive oil and cover with the breadcrumbs.
Cook in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Pork tenderloin with ginger sauce
1 lb pork tenderloin
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup Greek plain yogurt
2 tbsp tamari sauce
2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and ground pepper

Heat the oven to 200 C. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and sear the tenderloin on each side. Remove and place the pork in an ovenproof dish, and cook for eight to 12 minutes or until cooked and golden.

In a small pan, bring the tamari sauce, ginger and garlic to a boil. Add the yogurt and cook over low heat for eight minutes, without boiling.
Remove the pork from the oven and leave it covered to rest for five minutes.

Cut the tenderloin into medallions, or serve it whole as a small roast. Accompany the tenderloin with the ginger sauce and a vegetable julienne.
Tips: The sauce that accompanies this dish can be made in advance and kept cold until ready to reheat.
~ Recipes courtesy of IOGO

And for the leftovers
Turkey, cranberry and brie melts
Loaf of fresh Ciabatta bread or your favourite loaf of artisanal bread
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
Leftover turkey meat about one to two pounds depending on the size of  the loaf
1 can whole cranberry sauce
Medium wheel of brie
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 F.
Cut loaf in half.
Drizzle olive oil on inside of bread, smooth over with brush.
Place turkey on the bottom.
Season with salt and pepper.
Slice brie and put on top of the turkey.
Put cranberry sauce on top loaf of bread and close sandwich.
Place of baking sheet and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese melts
Take out let sit three minutes, then slice into sandwiches and serve.
~ Recipe courtesy of EastDell Estates Gamay Noir

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