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The next few weeks is all about celebrating the holidays with the ones we love, sipping cocktails and eating delicious food. But instead of hosting a formal dinner, why not keep it casual with sharing plates?
Culinary expert Camille Moore shares recipe ideas that look so good, you may not want to share, with ingredients from Walmart.
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Sweet Onion and Brussels Sprout Flatbread

Makes at least 3 flatbreads, depending on the size of naan you choose

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 7 turns freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 handfuls Brussels sprouts (about 24)
  • 475 g extra smooth ricotta cheese
  • 150 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Also preheat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
  2. To the pan add the olive oil, onions, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook 8 minutes until soft and caramelized, stirring often.
  3. While the onions cook, trim root ends of the brussels sprouts and pick leaves to separate them. Keep trimming the ends as needed to release more leaves until you reach the core of each. Set aside.
  4. Add brussels sprout leaves and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. In a small bowl combine the ricotta, Parmesan and salt. Spread generously over each flatbread, leaving a 1-inch border around the perimeter for easy eating. Scatter the caramelized onion mixture over the top and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes until hot and crispy around the edges. Slice as desired, transfer to a serving platter, and enjoy.
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Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Lemon-Herb Dip

Makes about 20 pieces
When you’re entertaining around the holidays and serving cocktails, it’s important to also serve some substantial bites of food to go with it. It really doesn’t get more “substantial” or stick-to-your-ribs than potatoes and with a little jacket of crispy bacon and an herb-y sour cream dip, these nibbles will taste just like homestyle baked potatoes without all the fuss. The key shortcut in this recipe is the Parisienne potatoes – this way you don’t have to do any scrubbing, or peeling, or even pre-boiling. Just season, wrap, bake, and dip!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 250 ml sour cream
  • 1 bunch green onion, dark green parts only, sliced paper thin
  • ½ bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1 x 400g pkg Parisienne potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 10 turns freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pkg bacon (no fancy flavour, just the regular kind)
  • rounded toothpicks, soaked in water to prevent charring

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet first with foil, then with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
  2. In a small bowl combine sour cream with the herbs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir to combine and season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. In a large bowl toss the potatoes with the oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder to season. Cut about 10 or more slices of bacon in half across. Wrap each potato with 1 piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place onto prepared baking sheet leaving 1-inch of space between each. Note: depending on the size of your oven/baking sheet, you may have to cook these in batches. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then flip and continue cooking another 15 minutes until potatoes and bacon are browned and cooked through.
  4. Transfer cooked potatoes onto a platter and serve with the dip alongside. Enjoy!
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Coffee Spice Rubbed Steak

Makes 4 steaks
Every time I’m invited to Bobby & Yas’ house for a party, they serve Bobby’s signature spice rubbed steak. It’s simply served sliced on a platter and is something we all look forward to. It might seem overly simple, but it’s a delicious way to accommodate guests that prefer leaner fare without sacrificing flavour.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 Tbsp finely ground coffee beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • 2 good pinches cayenne
  • 4 top sirloin cap off steaks
  • grapeseed or canola oil, for cooking steaks

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. In a small bowl combine coffee, cumin, black pepper, salt, sugar, and cayenne. Place a wire rack onto a baking sheet (one that can fit in your fridge). Season steaks well on both sides with the spice mixture, transfer to rack and refrigerate to marinate 2 hours.
  2. When it’s time to get cooking remove steak tray from fridge and let sit at room temperature 1 hour – this warms them slightly, which helps them to cook evenly.
  3. Preheat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Once heated, add a thin layer of oil and 1 or 2 steaks, depending on the size of the pan (steaks should have about an inch of space between them). Cook steaks approximately 2 minutes per side for medium doneness, flipping only once so that a nice crust can develop. Let rest a few minutes on a cutting board before slicing and serving on a platter.
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Teriyaki Beef Bites

Makes about 20 skewers

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 bottom sirloin “tri-tip” steaks
  • ½ cup teriyaki sauce, plus more for brushing
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bunches green onion, white and light green parts only
  • 227 g cremini or button mushrooms, halved
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
  • small skewers, or long toothpicks (rounded rather than flat variety)

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Trim steaks and cut into 1-inch cubes and transfer to a bowl with the teriyaki sauce, ginger, and garlic to marinate for 2 hours, refrigerated.
  2. Place toothpicks into a small bowl with water (just to prevent any burning later).
  3. To assemble the bites: slice white and light green parts of green onions into 2-inch lengths. Save the dark green ends in the fridge for something yummy (like a black forest ham omelette) in the morning. Thread soaked toothpicks through 1 cube of marinated beef, then a piece of green onion, and finally a mushroom half.
  4. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle the skewers with a bit of the oil and place on the preheated pan. Cook, turning occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes total. Steak pieces should be tender and mushrooms and green onions softened and lightly caramelized. Occasionally brush the skewers with additional sauce (fresh, not from the marinade dish). Note: teriyaki sauce does contain sugar so be careful that it doesn’t get overly charred during cooking; lower the temperature to medium if needed.
  5. Serve hot on a platter, drizzled with extra teriyaki if desired.
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Peppermint Brownie Bites

Makes 1 8×8-inch dish
There’s nothing like chocolate and candy canes to signal the holiday season. Rather than serving big, elaborate desserts at your cocktail party, these mini brownie bites are just the sweet nibble your guest will crave. A simple dark chocolate brownie batter, topped with store-bought vanilla frosting (which also comes ready in a container with its own piping tip attached) and crushed candy canes, this will be perfect for adults and kids alike.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), plus more for baking dish
  • ¾ dark chocolate chips/chunks
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 canister cupcake icing (with piping tip attached for easy-ness)
  • 5 peppermint candy canes, crushed

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter an 8×8” baking dish and line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both ends. Spread a little butter onto the parchment as well.
  3. Set a heatproof bowl (think tempered glass or stainless steel) over a small pot of gently simmering water. Add the butter and chocolate to the bowl and melt them together until smooth. Stir occasionally and use a kitchen towel to protect your hands from the heat if needed.
  4. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and espresso powder until eggs are pale yellow and thick – put a little muscle into it. Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture, whisk to combine.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the bowl and stir with a rubber spatula just until fully incorporated. Transfer to prepared baking dish, smooth the top with the spatula, and bake on the centre rack of the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs (rather than with a smear of batter, because that would be too undercooked). Let cool on a wire rack in the pan about 30 minutes then lift out of the pan using the parchment and onto a cutting board.
  6. Cut cooled brownies into squares about 1 ½ inches. Top each with a rosette of frosting, and then with crushed candy canes. Enjoy! Happy Holidays!