Special Meals for the Holidays

December 17, 2019

Who said holiday meals need to consist of turkey and trimmings? For the non-traditionalists out there (or those up for making new traditions), this is for you. 

Many things make meals special during the holidays. It could be the time you spend on it, using premium ingredients, making unique sauces, or using your grandmother’s recipe. But, at the end of the day, what really makes the meal special is the people with whom you are sharing it—even if it’s a burger and fries. 

tomahawk2So why not take the stress out of making that perfect turkey for your in-laws and dare to do something different? Try one of these unique proteins for Christmas Eve dinner, or a New Year’s Day celebration? You can find them all at your local Calgary Co-op store.

Try Tomahawk Steak
The Members’ Reserve Fresh Flavour Locked In AAA Tomahawk Rib Steaks are a type of steak served on the bone—in fact, on an entire rib. The way the meat and bone are cut creates an amazing presentation when it’s brought to the table. It ends up looking a bit like a tomahawk axe (thus the name). Visit your Calgary Co-op meat department to ask the butcher about the tender, flavourful, local tomahawk steak options—you can often find them in the meat counter, but if you need enough for a crowd, we’re happy to help!

How to Serve Tomahawk Steaks
Don’t think that you’ll need one of these steaks per person. Most tomahawk steaks are big pieces of meat, meaning you can serve more than one person off a single steak. The best way to serve a tomahawk steak is to carve thin slices of the meat perpendicular to the bone. Talk to the butcher about how much you’ll need for your crowd.

2019 festive lobster shrimp linguiniGo Luxe with Lobster Claws
Lobster for the holidays? We say, why not? Lobster is light, tasty and a very healthy protein, making it a great choice for folks watching what they’re eating over the holidays. And with so many heavier meals, a light seafood feast is a nice change of pace.

We love lobster claw meat as-is, dipped in a bit of drawn or melted butter with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. Serve it with a fresh and crispy Caesar salad. Or, use the lobster meat in a decadent pasta dish, like this Lobster Claw & Shrimp Linguine. Of course, you can also serve the lobster claw meat alongside your Tomahawk steak for the absolute ultimate, decadent surf & turf. This is an unforgettable festive meal. See the recipe for Lobster Claws with Tomahawk Steak here.

2019 festive shrimp chowderCelebrate with Shrimp
Grilled shrimp are surprisingly easy to make and are always a crowd-pleaser for seafood fans. You can prepare them in a marinade or offer a wide range of dipping sauces. Best of all, they take less than 10 minutes to cook! 

You can serve them on skewers for easy serving and eating, or have your guests scoop the shrimp from a bowl onto their plate. Try accompanying it with a green bean casserole, buttery mashed potatoes, and biscuits. 

Another great idea for those colder days is to whip up a hearty Shrimp Chowder. Our recipe adds the smoky flavor of bacon too for a can’t miss hit that’s great served as a Christmas Day lunch—or make up a batch for that post New Year’s Eve bash!

A great appetizer option for both traditionalists and non-traditionalists, a shrimp ring with a cocktail sauce is a delicious and refreshing way to get your party started. Keep a couple frozen shrimp rings in the freezer so you’ve always got this fresh, tasty, healthy and very popular appie at the ready for guests and impromptu get-togethers.

lasagna holidayPrep some Pasta … like Lasagna
Lasagna can be a surprisingly festive dish and when made in advance, it keeps well and can be popped into the oven when time is short. Traditional lasagna is made of layers of pasta sheets or lasagna noodles, ground beef, ricotta cheese, and tomato sauce. You can load it with different meat, like ground turkey or pork, add sausage, and mix in fresh herbs for a not-your-everyday-lasagna taste. 

For a fun touch, why not top off the lasagna with baby spinach and multicolored cherry tomatoes arranged as a Christmas tree? 

Or visit our deli department and pick up some unique cheeses to lend a special festive flavor to your baked pasta. You could easily swap basic ricotta for an herbed goat cheese from local farm Noble Meadows, or mix in some smoked gouda or smoked mozzarella or melty havarti in one of the many flavours available. Take THAT, holiday lasagna critics! You can make a gorgeous Caesar salad to give some greenery and crunch to the meal too. 

Is your mouth watering yet? These are all delicious festive alternatives to the traditional turkey or ham for the holiday season. Need more ideas? Visit your local Calgary Co-op store for all the holiday supplies you need!

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