‘Tis the season for office potlucks and family gatherings.
‘Tis also the season for fretting about just what to whip up for that discerning group of friends and family.
To help inspire you, Global Edmonton staff are sharing some of their favourite recipes this month.
Kevin Karius’ Ukrainian dinner
Sportcaster Kevin Karius prepared pierogies and cabbage rolls with help from a secret weapon: his neighbour Olga Hnatiuk.
Hnatiuk joined Karius as they showcased two ways to make pierogies.
Karius refers to Hnatiuk’s method as “the old-fashioned way.” It involves cutting rolled-out dough into circles using a can, the edge first dipped in flour.
“You just pinch this,” Hnatiuk says, demonstrating how to close the circle of dough in a half-moon shape around the filling.
“Of course Kevin has a much simpler way of doing it.”
Karius rolls out his dough with a hand-crank machine more commonly used for pasta-making. The sheet of dough is laid over a pierogie-making mould that produces six at a time.
“That’s pretty efficient,” Global News at Noon anchor Kent Morrison points out.
“It is,” Hnatiuk agrees, “but it is cheating.”
Preparation for the filling actually began back in the summertime, with shredded cabbage and larger leaves put into a crock with some brine for fermenting.
To make the cabbage rolls, Karius removes the rib of one of the larger fermented leaves, before folding it around a mixture of rice, onion and bacon.
And because all families love to share opinions on – and over – good food, some members of the newsroom tackled the tough job of being official tasters.
The duo’s dish was a hit with our tasting panel: “Delicious!” declared health reporter Su-Ling Goh.
Lisa MacGregor’s rosette apple pie
“Maybe it tastes good, maybe it doesn’t – but either way, it looks good.”
MacGregor recommends making the crust thick to hold the weight of the apples.
The rosette comes from layering thin slices of Red Delicious apples clockwise from the edge of the crust, in toward the centre.
“Those small pieces that don’t look as pretty are perfect for the centre.”
A mixture of melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon coat the apple slices before the pie goes in the oven.
“The key here – and I learned the hard way many times – is you don’t want to burn the sugar.”
When it came time for the Global News team tasting panel to weigh in, Assignment Editor Cliff Harris stalled dramatically before miming a thumbs down… that he turned into a thumbs up.
Laurel Gregory’s spicy peanut tofu
The newsroom’s resident voice on vegetarian eating, Family Matters host Laurel Gregory, showcased an often-maligned ingredient.
“I chose tofu, because tofu is misunderstood,” says Gregory.
“A lot of people don’t like tofu, and I think that’s a texture thing,” she added, recommending the use of a tofu press to squeeze some of the liquid out.
Gregory loves this recipe from the cooking blog ‘Minimalist Baker,’ which involves marinating, baking, and then sauteing cubed, firm tofu. A spicy peanut sauce coating the tofu as it sautes is the essential final touch.
Her tip: triple the sauce for more options when serving the dish, “Usually when I’m serving this I serve it over rice or in a romaine lettuce boat.”
The trio on the tasting panel gave it unanimous a thumbs up, with reporter Fletcher Kent quickly asking for seconds.
Check out the videos above for the recipes and more tips!