Originally from Bulgaria, Pecev spent more than a decade in Australia and now makes this meringue-based dessert that hails from Down Under for Christmas Day.
6 egg whites
1 ½ cups super fine sugar
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour
6 oz. fresh raspberries
6 oz. fresh blueberries
6 oz. fresh strawberries
Mint leaves for decoration
Strawberry sauce for decoration
- Preheat oven to 250F. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
- Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add sugar 1 tablespoon beating well after each addition until meringue is thick and glossy and sugar is dissolved. Rub a little meringue between your fingers. If it’s still gritty, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves.
- Add the vinegar and cornflour and fold until just combined.
- Spoon the meringue onto the lined tray and use a spatula to shape into an 8” donut or wreath shape. Bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours or until pavlova is dry to the touch.
- Turn off oven and leave, with the door ajar, to cool completely. Transfer to a serving plate.
- Use an electric mixer to whisk the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon onto the top of the pavlova. Decorate the top of the pavlova with raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Decorate with mint leaves and strawberry sauce, if desired. Serve immediately.
Vegetarian Stuffed Red Bell Peppers with Mushrooms and Walnuts
4 red bell peppers
1 cup medium grain white rice
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove
1 carrot, finely chopped
⅔ cup walnuts
¼ cup raisins
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh or dry mint
1 tablespoon oregano
3 cups chicken stock
Black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
- Heat oven to 400° F
- Wash and cut off the tops of the bell peppers (but keep for later, and remove the seeds and interior white bits
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and lightly fry the onions for a minute, or until translucent
- Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until mushrooms are starting to brown
- Add rice and cook for about a minute, or until the rice starts to become translucent
- Add chicken stock, dry herbs and walnuts. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Reduce heat and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed by the rice. Add raisins.
- Leave mixture to cool slightly.
- Spoon in your rice mixture into the bell pepper shells. Cover with bell pepper tops and sprinkle slightly with olive oil. Add about a cup of water in the pan, along with any leftover rice mixture. Cover with foil or lid and cook for approximately 40 minutes, or until peppers are fully cooked. Uncover the foil and cook further for another 5-10 minutes or until peppers are browned on the top. You might need to add extra water to the pan.
- Serve warm.
Sun Bay South
Boursin & Spinach Stuffed Chicken
Quinn prepares this chicken dish for dinner every Christmas Eve.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut thinly in half
1 pack of Boursin cheese
1.5 cups fresh spinach
½ stick butter or olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Sautée spinach quickly in butter or olive oil, careful not to fully cook
- Generously butter the bottom of a 10×12 glass baking dish (may substitute olive oil)
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in microwave-safe dish and set aside
- Butterfly cut chicken breasts in half so they become thin cutlets
- Take a rounded tablespoon of the Boursin cheese and place on top of one of the chicken cutlets
- Put a tablespoon of spinach on top of the cheese
- Place a second chicken cutlet on top (like a sandwich). Prepare all cutlets like this.
- Generously sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika on the top of the cutlet.
- Drizzle melted butter on top of the cutlets and bake covered for 1 hour (may substitute olive oil)
Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh
Also known as barberry rice with saffron chicken, Mostajabian serves this traditional Persian recipe for the winter holidays each year.
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon saffron — grind and add ⅓ cup water to make liquid (alternatively, may use saffron spray)
2 lbs. chicken breast and thigh
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup barberries, rinsed
3 tablespoons butter
4 cups long grain basmati rice
4 ½ cups water
½ cup canola oil
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Note: This is for a PARS DRC240 rice cooker. Individual rice cookers may vary. Please follow your model’s instructions.
- Combine rice, canola oil, water and salt into rice cooker
- Turn time to 60 minutes and let cook
- When done, place serving platter over pit and flip over so crispy rice is on top
- Top with sautéed barberries
- Spread over saffron on top of the crispy rice
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter in skillet
- Add 1 cup rinsed barberries to skillet
- Once the barberries are getting fluffier, add in sugar and mix together
- Take the barberries off the heat
- Sauté onions in grapeseed oil until golden
- Add turmeric
- Add chicken and sauté uncovered 1-2 minutes
- Place lid over chicken while it cooks so the steam will create natural juices (save the juice to put over the chicken before serving)
- Add saffron to chicken. Let simmer with lid for approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Once the chicken is done, place the chicken around the already prepared rice and enjoy.