February 16, 2021
The northwestern coast of Italy is shaped a bit like a gently curving upside-down "U," with the western-most part slanting southward toward France and Monaco.…Read This Post
We just finished our 10 Days of Holiday Recipes on social media and thought we’d recap them here for easy reference!
It is our hope that they can help make your holidays brighter, or at least more delicious. Here at The International Kitchen we also hope you caught our special holiday thank you to all our travelers:
Whether you’re looking for something savory or sweet, we’ve complied some of our favorites for you to enjoy!
This is one of the most quintessential Christmas sweets. Every house in Italy will have some version of it over the holidays. It’s made from a sweet, enriched dough riddled with dried and candied fruits, and citrus zest. My colleagues made fun of me for making my own when it’s so easy to find in stores, but then they tasted it homemade and learned why I do it! It’s not a difficult bread to prepare, and oh so satisfying.
Salt cod, or baccala, is a popular ingredient for Christmas Eve in many countries in Europe, and here it is paired with a savory tomato sauce. You might serve it as part of a “Feast of Seven Fishes,” which is popular in Italy on Christmas Eve, or as a stand-alone entree.
This particular recipe comes from our friends at our best-selling Mediterranean Cooking Experience.
“Le Réveillon” is one of the biggest meals in France and it happens on Christmas Eve following midnight mass. It is one long feast of course after course! This roasted fig recipe is one our friend Chef Nikki likes to include. Nikki is the host and instructor for our Cooking in the French Alps vacation, and you can bet that they know their Christmas traditions in the Alps!
I like to joke that the “holidays” make me want to put “hollandaise” on everything, but it’s true. There is something about this creamy, rich, tart, savory sauce that I absolutely adore, and during the holidays it dresses up almost any dish, whether meat, fish, or vegetables.
If you click through to the recipe, you’ll get an added bonus: learning all about butter!
We have a few recipes for poached pears in our blog archives, but this one for pears poached in port is one of our favorites. It comes from Chef Robert Ash in Burgundy, with whom we have worked for decades. He is one of our best chefs. Learn more about Chef Robert and how to cook with him in France here.
It literally translates to “little hats in broth,” but this is one of our favorite holiday pastas. The cappelletti are a type of tortellini filled with different meats and parmigiano, The broth should be rich and luscious as well. It is a classic Christmas Eve dish hailing from Emilia-Romagna, home to our Flavors of the Real Italian Countryside cooking vacation.
You can bet they’ll be eating it there come Christmas Eve!
This classic French dessert is a real stunner. It might seem complicated, as you have to make meringues, crème anglaise, and caramel, but the results are worth it! This particular recipe hails from our friend Diane in Napa Valley, but you can also learn it during many of our cooking vacations in France!
These pumpkin ravioli “Mantua-style” are wonderful and distinct, with the inclusion of an Italian ingredient that is hard to find here: mostarda. But you can make it yourself, don’t worry. It’s a sweet and spicy sauce that has been used for thousands of years.
This tasty treat comes from the region of Abruzzo. It is a sort of sweet fried raviolo, and although the filling will vary from family to family, it usually includes some mixture of honey, nuts, and cocoa.
This particular recipe hails from our friends in Vasto. Check it out!
Last but certainly not least are Cartellate. This is by far our most popular Christmas recipe. It hails from Puglia, the heel of Italy’s “boot” and one of our favorite regions. (Learn more about why we love Puglia!) These are basically strips of fried dough dipped in a sweet syrup. They are very ornamental, though, with a distinctive rose pattern.
We hope you enjoy these and other recipe from The International Kitchen this year. And we wish you many joys this holiday season.
By Peg Kern
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