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4 International Recipes to Make this Holiday Season

Dec 20, 2013 7:57:59 AM

4 International Recipes to Make this Holiday Season

The holiday season can be filled with excitement for many reasons, but sometimes the menu for your festive parties can become a bit repetitious. While the standard fare of turkey, ham and a variety of casseroles can be delicious, they may also feel a little humdrum. Why not add some international flavor into your meal? It’s not as difficult as you may imagine and most ingredients are available at your regular grocery store. Here are four quick, delicious recipes from countries all over the world to excite your family with whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, The Winter Solstice, or Festivus.  

Almond Green Beans
Green beans are always a solid side option at any time of year. This recipe from gives the traditional sidekick some Southeastern Asian flair. It takes the traditional green bean and mixes it with succulent tomatoes, fresh garlic and almonds for an eye-poppingly delicious side item. It would be a delicious counterpart to ham, turkey, roast beef or whatever holiday centerpiece you choose. The red and green coloring makes it an especially festive side item for Christmas. This easy to make recipe serves four.

1 15 ounce can green beans
1 14 ounce can canned stewed tomatoes
Italian seasoning to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Oil for frying
1/3 cup sliced almonds

Heat the oil in a large pot or fry pan and add the garlic and beans and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and seasoning. Cook them uncovered until the beans are done to your liking for about 10 minutes. Stir in the almonds just before serving.


Jollof Rice
Jollof rice is of Western African origin from the country of Ghana. It is traditionally served in times of celebration with a lot of friends and family. Being that your holiday will most likely combine both of those elements, why not add this to your menu? It features a mixture of spices, vegetables and seasonings that will keep your guests coming back for seconds. With just over an hour of prep and cook time, it is a relatively easy item to make while juggling multiple tasks and waiting for your friends and family to arrive. This recipe from serves four.

2 cups jasmine rice
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced
2 small red onions
2 medium habanero pepper, chopped
2 medium plum tomatoes
1 can of tomato puree
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 large carrots, sliced diagonally
1 cup of French beans, sliced
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of black pepper

In a food processor, blend chilies, tomatoes and 2 onions. Store for later. In a nonstick pan, heat 6 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the sliced onion until translucent then add the tomato puree. Fry for further 3-4 minutes. Add blended tomato, chilies and onion mix to pot. Crumble in the 2 chicken bouillon cubes and stir well. Cover and let it cook through, on medium heat until oil floats on the top.

Add jasmine rice and 2 cups of water, stirring it to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. Turn heat to low. Add green beans and carrots to the pot, with 1 cup of water, and cook till the water has almost evaporated. Cover and simmer on low heat until the rice is cooked through. Serve with grilled/baked chicken, beef, shrimp, or Portobello mushrooms if you’d like.


Chicken Schnitzel
This is a favorite my Oma (German for grandma) from Austria has been cooking for years. It’s one I always request on birthdays or special occasions, such as the holidays. This German-style chicken schnitzel recipe from features all the usual ingredients I have come to know in the delicious, crispy entrée. This recipe calls for chicken, but thin steak slices and pork chops will work just as well. I’ve just always preferred chicken. There are a lot of little steps involved in prepping and cooking schnitzel, but overall, it shouldn’t take you much more than 45 minutes, frying included. This recipe serves four.

4 4 ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼” thickness
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup of all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, beaten to blend
2 tablespoons of whole grain mustard
2 ½ cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges for serving

To start, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Fit a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy straight-sided skillet (not nonstick) with deep-fry thermometer; pour in oil to measure ½” and heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 315°. You want a moderate heat here because chicken breasts are so thin, they will cook quite quickly.

Meanwhile, place flour in a shallow bowl. Whisk eggs and mustard in another shallow bowl. Place panko in a third shallow bowl. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, dredge them in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip them into egg mixture, turning to coat evenly, then carefully coat with panko, pressing to adhere. Working in 2 batches, fry chicken until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer chicken to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet and season with salt. Top chicken with parsley and serve with lemon wedges alongside for squeezing over.


Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
We all love hot chocolate and cookies, especially in wintertime. Why not combine the two? This recipe from blogger Lulu the Baker mixes the two to perfection. If you’re lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with a Mexican style bakery, then you know how delicious those treats can be. This recipe uses cinnamon, a staple in Mexican style cookies, and blends it with cocoa powder to create cookies so divine, you’ll be asking for them as a gift next holiday season. It should take you about 35-40 minutes of prep and cooking time to get the final product, but it is well worth the time and effort.

2 ¼ cups flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar, plus ¼ cup for rolling
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon for rolling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and 1 ½ cups sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in eggs, scraping down sides as necessary. Add flour mixture and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon. Scoop dough by the heaping Tablespoon, roll into balls, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place 2" apart on parchment lined baking sheets, and bake for about 8 minutes, until just set. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack. 


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