Food takes centre stage as we celebrate being together again this holiday season
Fond food memories are often at the heart of celebrations with family and friends. The dish made from a secret family recipe, handed down through the generations, gracing the holiday table. The mouth-watering aroma of familiar holiday fare filling the house, drawing guests to the dining room without having to say a word. After the isolation of the last few years, people everywhere are looking forward to reconnecting in-person and sharing a meal with their loved ones while evoking those food memories once again.
Recently, Veal Farmers of Ontario reached out to well-known bloggers, recipe developers and chefs to ask them about their most memorable meals.
“Growing up, my mom would always cook us Bangladeshi dishes to ignite our familiarity with our culture and heritage but also to stay connected with the roots they had to give up when coming to a new country. It’s the reality for many immigrant parents,” says Fariha Ekra, the blogger behind the popular @lifewithfarihaa. “On special occasions, we would gather around the table for communal dinners and one dish that was always on the table was veal bhuna (curry). The rich and thick tomato-based tender veal gravy was the perfect complement to dunk our flakey parathas in or have with rice. It’s a dish that I’ve learned to make from my mom so I can pass down the memories of rich Bangladeshi cultural cuisine to my own family someday.”
For content creator Cindy Chan (@cindyluchan) family gatherings and holidays often meant a big hot pot dinner. “Hot pots always have something delicious for everyone and they’re an interactive and joyous way to eat together,” says Chan. “With a pot of bubbling soup in the middle of the table surrounded by a bounty of different ingredients, the hardest part was always choosing what to cook first. Meatballs are always a crowd pleaser, and my Ontario veal meatballs are tender, lean, healthy, and full of flavour.”
Amina Al-Saigh of @HungryPaprikas says that “during the holidays, there’s nothing better than gathering with friends and family around a delicious meal. For me and my family, every holiday meal revolves around a meat dish that is centre stage. Arabs love their meat!”
Al-Saigh likes to serve Ontario veal because “it is delicious and tender with a subtle character that tends to take on the flavours it is cooked with.” Her go-to recipe is a slow-cooked veal rump or loin roast that is smothered in warm shawarma spices. “It’s a great way to feed a crowd with a make-it-yourself shawarma platter,” says Al-Saigh. “My family and I enjoy this so much, and the best part is the leftovers. They make amazing wraps the next day.”
Everyone knows celebrity Chef Raquel Fox is Bahamian, but many people don’t know that she is classically trained in French cuisine. “When I want to make special occasions extra special, I’ll splurge on a veal tenderloin,” says Fox. One of her “show-stopping” recipes is a glazed veal tenderloin with a cranberry and apricot stuffing. “It’s an impressive holiday entrée that can be served family-style or as part of a buffet,” she says. If it’s an elegant appetizer you need Chef Fox likes to serve her guests her Mini Veal Wellington Bites in Red Wine Demi Glacé. Her recipe is a twist on a classic dish with the addition of spinach crepes over mushroom duxelles.
For all these delicious recipes and more, visit ontariovealappeal.ca.
Find the full press release here.
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