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Inspired Holiday Food

Bon Appétit!

Inspired Holiday Food

By Nicholas Waters
Owner, Toque Catering
Toque Catering Nick Waters

Organizing menus perfectly tailored to accommodate unique events and culinary needs is par for the course when you have a catering business like Nicholas Waters has. Regardless of the season, he and his staff have to be prepared to offer different catering styles—anything from a traditional 9-course Chinese dinner to galas, fundraisers, cocktail parties or special family group events. “We have to be ready for anything,” says Waters. “It’s important to me that I offer all of the extra touches my clients expect from me.”

Ever wonder what chefs eat for lunch? Even though their regular monthly chef’s menu can be very impressive [see Chef Eats], when he’s on his own, Waters’ favourite food to prepare is potatoes.

“You can do a lot with potatoes,” he said. “Creativity can be brought to any dish, even a simple potato.

His staff and other chefs—many of whom come from diverse culinary backgrounds—get inspired by regional, cultural and seasonal ingredients to create a wide variety of innovative culinary dishes.

Here’s a tempting appetizer for holiday crowds that’s sure to appeal! Recipe can be halved and leftovers frozen for last-minute gatherings—or late-night snacks!

Spiced Cranberry Lamb Meatballs

5 kg 10 lbs Ground lamb
8 Garlic cloves, minced
2 cm 1 inch Piece of ginger, microplaned
2 Onions, small diced
3/4 of the recipe Cranberry burnt orange relish (see recipe below)
30 ml 2 tbsp Thyme
15 g 1/2 cup Parsley, chopped
250 ml 1 cup Orange juice
60 ml 4 tbsp Nick’s spice (blend equal parts toasted fennel seed, cumin seed and coriander seed)
4 ml 1 tsp Chili flake
1 Zest of one orange
To taste Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
2. Prepare the cranberry burnt orange relish by processing all its ingredients in the food processor.
Transfer to a small serving bowl.
3. In large bowl, combine the meatball ingredients— including 3⁄4 of the relish recipe—and shape into 30
g/1 ounce meatballs.
4. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray it with olive oil spray.
5. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve the baked lamb meatballs immediately with a dash of remaining relish on the side.

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Cranberry Burnt Orange Relish

2 cm 1 inch Piece of ginger, microplaned
8 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Onions, finely diced
2 Oranges, zested and segmented
3 Charred oranges, juice of
30 ml 2 tbsp Thyme, chopped
2 ml 1/2 tsp Chili flake
8 ml 2 tsp Cumin seed, ground
4 ml 1 tsp Black peppercones
4 ml 1 tsp Cinnamon
8 ml 2 tsp Salt
1 Bay leaf
2 Cloves, ground
125 ml 1/2 cup Sherry vinegar
125 ml 1/2 cup Honey
60 ml 1/4 cup Maple syrup
600 g 20 oz Frozen cranberries

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