Festive Holiday Foods From Around the World

Festive Holiday Foods from Around the World - Laura Blog

This year, the New Year’s Eve celebrations are taking place at your home! You’re probably already stalking Pinterest for recipes and your inner Martha Stewart is surely coming out, too – correct me if I’m wrong? Maybe you’d like your guests to take a worldwide adventure without leaving the dinner table? Forget the turkey and roast and cook up a storm with delicious delicacies from faraway lands for the yuletide season.

We put together a four-course menu – apéro, appetizer, main course, and dessert – that will surely entice everyone’s taste buds!

1. L’apéro from Russia : zakuskis

Festive Holiday Foods from Around the World - Laura Blog
Credit: frankizbird/INSTAGRAM

Why is this bite-size snack so popular among Russians? It’s an hors d’œuvres that is followed by a shot of vodka! This tasty apéro is made in various ways: cold meats, marinated smoked herrings, caviar and salted cucumbers are quite popular. We decided to go with the traditional recipe of this Russian tapas though, that’s made with trout or salmon.

Ingredients (serves 10)
6 slices of trout or salmon (about 180 g)
160 g of Philadelphia Spreadable Cream Cheese
2 tsp of crème fraîche
Dill (to taste), salt and pepper

– Mix the cream cheese and dill. Add the crème fraîche.
– Spread the slices of fish on a cutting board so that they overlap.
– Spread the cheese-dill mixture. Make a roll out of it and place it in cellophane.
– Place in the refrigerator for an hour. Cut the roll and enjoy the fabulous taste!

2. Appetizer from France : Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Festive Holiday Foods from Around the World - France - Laura Blog
Credit: cook_with_naomi/INSTAGRAM

A classic French cuisine dish, this excellent oven-baked specialty finds itself on many tables at the year’s end. So creamy and entirely delicious, this meal may be prepared in a pan or oven because of its fine and refined flesh. Go ahead and try this cheesy recipe!

Ingredients (serves 4)
16 scallops
200 ml of white wine
1 carrot or 1 leek (white part only)
1 lemon
1 shallot
4 tbsp of crème fraîche
4 tbsp of flour
100 g of Gruyère cheese, grated
15 g of butter
Salt, pepper and some finely chopped chives
4 shell-shaped dishes (porcelain or other) to serve guests

– Preheat oven to 200°C.
– Sprinkle the scallops with flour. Heat butter in a skillet, add the scallops and brown them for 1-2 minutes on each side. When they are golden, take them out and place them on paper towels.

– Peel and finely chop the shallot. Place in a frying pan without grease. Once your shallot is slightly coloured, add the white wine, the chives and the crème fraiche. Next step: add the lemon juice and let it stand.
– In the meantime, peel and dice the carrot (or leek). Cook in boiling salted water.

Seasoning of the coquilles:
– Place each scallop in your dishes with the diced carrot (or leek). Season with salt and pepper and proceed by layering with the grated Gruyère cheese.
– Put them in the oven for approximately 8 minutes.
– Serve warm and au gratin.

3. Main course from Mexico : Mole Poblano

Festive Holiday Foods from Around the World - Mexico - Laura Blog
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Eating mole poblano at home means there’s a special occasion – like the New Year. An authentic Mexican dish, this sophisticated and multi-flavoured sauce is served with tortillas, tamales, or meats like turkey and chicken. The national dish has many variations, with each region having their own specialty. Add some pizzazz to this meal with our rich cocoa recipe – it’s ideal for topping chicken or seitan for vegetarians.

2 chopped onions
3 chopped garlic cloves
60 ml of olive oil
500 ml of chicken broth (or vegetables for vegetarians)
2 crushed tomatoes
1 tortilla cut into strips
60 g of raisins
60 g of pumpkin seeds
60 g of ground almonds
60 g of cocoa powder
2 tbsps of honey
1 ½ tbsps of chili seasoning
1 tbsp of paprika
2 tbsps of sesame seeds
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
1 pinch of ground clove
1 pinch of ground coriander
1 pinch of ground cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste

– In a saucepan, cook the onions and garlic in olive oil until they turn brown. Add the chicken broth (or vegetables) and tomatoes.
– Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
– In a frying paying, sauté the remaining ingredients for a few minutes – with the exception of the cocoa and honey.
– Add the sauté ingredients, cocoa and honey to the onion mix.
– Boil water. Cover, reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Make it a puree by placing in the blender. Top your chicken or seitan with this spectacular sauce.

4. Dessert from Philippines: Bibingka

Festive Holiday Foods from Around the World - Philippines - Laura Blog
Credit : kawalingpinoy/INSTAGRAM

In the Philippines, the holidays are of high importance, as it’s one of the two countries in all of Asia that’s predominantly Catholic. Crazily enough, people there are so festive that they begin preparing for the big feast in the month of September! And since this country holds the world record for having the longest holiday season, you could only imagine the flavorful table that awaits them on December 25th. At midnight, family and friends gather together to indulge in bibingka, a delicious celebratory rice cake.

Ingredients (serves 4)
500 ml of rice flour
1 tbsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
3 eggs
200 ml of sugar
375 ml of coconut milk
80 ml of melted butter
Some grated coconuts
4 banana leaves for decoration

– Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare 4 pie dishes or ramekins, if possible, and cover the bottom with the banana leaves.
– In the first bowl, beat the rice flour, baking powder and salt. Once done, add the coconut milk.
– In the second bowl, slightly beat the eggs. Add the sugar and whip again. Proceed by adding in the melted butter and beat again.
– Gradually pour the mixture of the first bowl into the second and whisk.
– Divide the dough between the four dishes and pour on top of the banana leaves.
– Place the cakes on the top rack of your oven and cook them for 20-25 minutes.
– Turn the bottom grill on low temperature for 2-3 minutes. Wait until top of cakes are golden brown.
– Take the cakes out of the oven and let them cool down. Brush with a little amount of melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar and grated coconut.

Is there another holiday recipe that makes your mouth water? Let us know in the comments below!


Adapted from French by Tania Di Palma


Written by Pauline Ponchaux

Straight from Northern France, Pauline has great admiration for “baked-just-right-baguettes”, waffles, and sweets at brunch. Films from the '80s and '90s are almost a religion, and she adores reciting memorized lines from her favourite movies at any given time. Since she moved to Quebec, Pauline has developed a passionate curiosity for the reoccurring discrepancies between the “current temperature” and the “feels like temperature” advertised on The Weather Network. She also likes: reading in the metro, strumming the strings of her ukulele while dreaming of beaches and sunshine, trips to exotic places, Barcelona and Güell architecture (and let’s not forget sangria of course), cats, Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, and The Beatles.

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