The Whittier Miscellany

Great Recipes for the Holidays

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Goodies for the holidays!

Goodies for the holidays!

Goodies for the holidays!

Emma Landis, Entertainment Writer

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Many people can agree that one of the best, least controversial parts of the holiday season is all the delicious food. Every religion and culture has their own delicacies and unique foods for the holidays. Something that many Americans may not realize is that each culture has its own special holidays and ways of celebrating. There are innumerable holidays worldwide, resulting in even more traditions and foods prepared.

In order to be a globally conscious person, it is important to look past one’s ‘personal bubble’ and to see beyond the limited life many Americans live. One interesting way the Danish celebrate the holidays is with Risalamande: an almond-cherry rice pudding of sorts. The name comes from the French version, “French riz a l’amande” (which translates to “rice with almonds”). Risalamande was first made in Denmark in the late 19th century, when the Danish were looking for new ways to make the rice pudding made every Christmas Eve more exciting. However, it did not become popular until later. Risalamande is most commonly served on Christmas Eve, but also can be eaten all throughout December. It is also commonly made during new year’s festivities. Into each batch the host or hostess preparing the dish will stir one whole almond, then whoever receives the almond in their bowl receives a prize. One variation of risalamande for the children includes a small toy or prize that is placed inside of the bowl on Christmas day, then given to the children to find in the pudding. Here’s how to make it:

 

Ingredients:

½ cup (125 g) short grain rice

4 cups (1 l) milk

a pinch of salt

⅔ cups (150-180 g) sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (1/2 l) whipped cream

1 or 2 handful of almonds, blanched and chopped into slivers(except for one almond, which is added whole)

cherry sauce (optional, but highly recommended)

1 small present (optional, but highly recommended)

 

Instructions:

  1. Bring the milk to boiling carefully, in a thick-bottomed pot. Add the rice, and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring frequently to keep the porridge from burning. Add a pinch of salt.

 

Note: If you stop at this point, you have risengrød (“rice porridge”), another Danish winter dish. You can serve this up sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, as is, or keep going to make ris à la mande. This, by the way, is also a typical German dish (Milchreis). Extra tip: first sprinkle sugar and cinnamon, then drizzle a tablespoon of hot, melted butter over the rice. Or serve with applesauce.

 

  1. Stir in the sugar and the vanilla extract and set the finished rice pudding in a cool place (by an open window, or in the refrigerator) until it’s chilled.

 

  1. Just before serving, add the whipped cream and the almonds, stirring them in carefully. The whole almond should be carefully added, and its position randomized, to allow for fair play in the mandelgave ritual.

 

  1. Serve chilled with warm cherry sauce. Some people prefer cold cherry sauce, though.

 

(Picture and recipe via http://www.savorychicks.com/2009/12/ris-la-mande.html)

 

Another food included in the holidays around the world with Avgolemono soup, originating in Greece. Avgolemono is a lemon chicken soup served as the first course on Christmas day in Greek culture. “Avgolemono” means egg lemon in Greek, and the simple dish only has a few more ingredients. It is thought that avgolemono may have come about as a Jewish dish, but can often be recognized as the “national soup” of Greece in many cookbooks. This soup marks the holiday season for many Greeks, but is also gaining popularity in the U.S. Here’s how to make it:

 

Ingredients:

½ cup (125 g) short grain rice

4 cups (1 l) milk

a pinch of salt

⅔ cups (150-180 g) sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (1/2 l) whipped cream

1 or 2 handful of almonds, blanched and chopped into slivers(except for one almond, which is added whole)

cherry sauce (optional, but highly recommended)

1 small present (optional, but highly recommended)

 

Instructions:

  1. Bring the milk to boiling carefully, in a thick-bottomed pot. Add the rice, and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring frequently to keep the porridge from burning. Add a pinch of salt.

 

Note: If you stop at this point, you have risengrød (“rice porridge”), another Danish winter dish. You can serve this up sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, as is, or keep going to make ris à la mande. This, by the way, is also a typical German dish (Milchreis). Extra tip: first sprinkle sugar and cinnamon, then drizzle a tablespoon of hot, melted butter over the rice. Or serve with applesauce.

 

  1. Stir in the sugar and the vanilla extract and set the finished rice pudding in a cool place (by an open window, or in the refrigerator) until it’s chilled.

 

  1. Just before serving, add the whipped cream and the almonds, stirring them in carefully. The whole almond should be carefully added, and its position randomized, to allow for fair play in the mandelgave ritual.

 

  1. Serve chilled with warm cherry sauce. Some people prefer cold cherry sauce, though.

 

(Picture and recipe via http://www.savorychicks.com/2009/12/ris-la-mande.html)

 

Another food included in the holidays around the world with Avgolemono soup, originating in Greece. Avgolemono is a lemon chicken soup served as the first course on Christmas day in Greek culture. “Avgolemono” means egg lemon in Greek, and the simple dish only has a few more ingredients. It is thought that avgolemono may have come about as a Jewish dish, but can often be recognized as the “national soup” of Greece in many cookbooks. This soup marks the holiday season for many Greeks, but is also gaining popularity in the U.S. Here’s how to make it:

 

Ingredients:

 

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

5 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

½ cup orzo or rice

1 pound skinless chicken breast, diced

Salt

3 Tbsp lemon juice

3 eggs

Parsley (for garnish)

 

Instructions:

  1. Sauté onions: Heat the olive oil in a medium pot and sauté the onions over medium-high heat until they are soft and translucent, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Cook orzo or rice: While the onions are cooking, bring another pot of salted water to a boil and add the orzo or rice.
  3. Add chicken stock to onions: When the onions are ready, add the chicken stock and water and bring to a bare simmer.
  4. Drain orzo or rice, add to stock and onions: When the orzo or rice is nearly done — firm, but mostly cooked — drain the boiling water and add the pasta or rice to the chicken broth.
  5. Add the diced chicken breast to the pot. Let this cook 5-8 minutes, then taste the soup for salt.
  6. Temper eggs: Beat the eggs in a bowl. Whisking constantly, add the lemon juice to the eggs. You will need to temper the eggs before you add the egg-lemon mixture to the soup. It takes both hands to do this. With one hand, whisk the egg-lemon mixture vigorously. With the other, slowly pour in a ladle’s worth of hot broth. Do this at least twice, and you can add as many ladle’s worth of broth as you want to the mixture.
  7. Whisk tempered eggs into soup and serve: Turn the heat off the soup. Whisk the soup with one hand while you pour the hot egg-lemon mixture in with the other.

 

(Picture and recipe via http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/avgolemono_soup/)

 

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Great Recipes for the Holidays