Celebrating Edmonton’s food scene with some easy-to-make appetizers for your holiday get-togethers – Edmonton

Celebrating Edmonton’s food scene with some easy-to-make appetizers for your holiday get-togethers – Edmonton

What’s Cooking, YEG?

Celebrating Edmonton’s food scene with some easy-to-make appetizers for your holiday get-togethers – Edmonton

Edmonton is known for being a hockey city, but it’s also a foodie’s paradise.

Jesse Woodland is the co-owner of Backstairs Burger and believes life starts at the kitchen table.

As he looks around the city, he believes the food scene is just a natural extension of what Edmontonians love about their community.

“In such a multicultural city, food transcends that,” Woodland said. “It doesn’t matter what walk of life you come from, what you do for a living or where you’ve been or what your cultural background is.

“Everybody can sit down and share a meal together and they can all enjoy that with each other.”

Edmonton’s food scene has blown up in the last decade and dramatically expanded its culture. Popular food chains have brought out droves of people lining up to get a taste.

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Edmontonians especially witnessed that when the city’s first Jollibee restaurant came to town in August 2019. The massive fast-food chain from the Philippines is quickly expanding across Canada and still thrives at its location just off Calgary Trail and 38th Avenue.

Less than a year later, Calgary burger shack Peters’ Drive-In unexpectedly opened a drive-thru window in Edmonton in May 2020 at 5151 Calgary Tr. With traffic lined up for weeks there, it is safe to say Edmontonians were excited.

There has also been a massive increase in local hot spots making a splash on Edmonton’s food scene like Koutouki, where you’ll find authentic Greek cuisine. Native Delights is also going full steam ahead with its food truck and appearances at K-Days and Taste of Edmonton, where people can find delicious Indigenous food.

You can still count on familiarity too, thanks to longtime family-owned Italian favourite Sorrentino’s, which has been around for more than 40 years.

On Boxing Day, Woodland joins Global Edmonton’s Lisa MacGregor to cook up some easy-to-make appetizers and a mocktail that will be perfect for your holiday get-togethers.

Holiday Spiced Brussels Sprouts by Chef Jesse Woodland

1lb Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
1/4lb + 2tbsp butter
1floz maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp nutmeg
1/2tsp cardamom
1/4tsp ground clove
To taste salt and fresh cracked pepper

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3tbsp dried cranberries
2tbsp pine nuts (almonds and pecans work well too!)

After cleaning and halving the Brussels sprouts, rinse under cold water and allow to dry.

Meanwhile, melt the 1/4 lb of butter in a pan over medium heat and add the Brussels sprouts, cut side down.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the sprouts in the butter until seared and fork tender.

Remove the sprouts and place them in a clean bowl, leaving the butter behind.

Turn the heat back up to medium and brown the butter.

Once the butter is brown and gives off a nutty aroma, add the remaining ingredients except the 2tbsp of butter.

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Turn off the heat and mix everything together.

When the sauce is no longer steaming, stir in the remaining butter and season to taste with salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Garnish with cranberries and pine nuts (or your garnish of choice)

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Brad Pearson/Global News

Holiday Mocktail (Warm Apple Cider) by Chef Jesse Woodland

2L apple juice
4 cinnamon sticks
12 cloves
1tsp nutmeg
1 lemon, cut in half

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Place everything except one half of the lemon in a pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Place a lid on it and let it go longer if desired.

1tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup white sugar

Mix together.

Garnishes as desired. Fresh cranberries, orange slices, lemon slices and poached apples all work very well.

Rub the rim of your glass with the reserved half of the lemon and dip into the cinnamon sugar mix.

Ladle the apple cider into your glass and place your garnishes in the cup as desired.

Can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Can add some simple syrup or a spoonful of sugar if you like it a bit sweeter

Also making an appearance on the TV special will be the three local businesses mentioned above: Koutouki, Native Delights and Sorrentino’s. They will be featured showing one of their popular recipes they made earlier this year on Global News Morning Edmonton on the weekends.

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Brad Pearson/Global News

Pear and gorgonzola ravioli with white mushrooms by Sorrentino’s

pear and gorgonzola ravioli -16 pcs
evoo -1 tbl
white onion diced -2 tbl
garlic chopped -1 tsp
more mushrooms please! Mix (sub recipe) -4 tbl
parmigiano grated -2 tbl
unsalted butter -150 gr
Warm stock -6 oz
sage -4 leaves
white wine -1 oz
Sliced Pear -2 pieces
Parsley chopped -Pinch

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In a sauté pan, add evoo and heat up.

Then add garlic, onion and mushroom mix and sauté.

Add stock and butter. Reduce until the sauce reaches correct consistency. DO NOT OVERBOIL. The sauce will separate.

Reduce for 2 mins then add salt and pepper.

Cook ravioli for 2-3 minutes then add to the sauté pan.

Add parmigiano and toss.

Arrange on dish. Add 2 pieces of sliced pear and chopped parsley.

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Brad Pearson/Global News

Shrimp Saganaki by Koutouki

Olive oil
Green and red peppers
Tomato sauce
Saganaki Cheese (yellow hard salted cheese)
Feta cheese
Ouzo (dry anise-based spirit)

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Add some olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat.

Add a package of peeled shrimp

After a minute or so, add in diced onions, garlic (to taste), sliced green and red peppers, paprika, salt and pepper, tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes)

After a few minutes, with shrimp almost cooked, add a splash or two of Ouzo.

Add in some chopped Saganaki Cheese.

Place in a bowl and top with Feta Cheese.

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Brad Pearson/Global News

Bannock by Native Delights

6 cups organic flour
3 tablespoons organic, aluminum-free baking powder
2 tablespoons Himalayan Salt
1 tablespoon organic sugar
1 tablespoon love

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Mix together.

Add warm water until mixture becomes sticky.

Sprinkle flour on top of the dough.

Flip onto countertop.

Cut to size.

Put into fryer at 351 degrees for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Let it rest for 10 minutes then serve with jam or butter.

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Brad Pearson/Global News

Join us on Boxing Day at noon and 5 p.m. on Global Edmonton, and then come back to this page to find all the recipes featured in “What’s Cooking, YEG.”