Schulich Medicine & Dentistry shares holiday recipes

The holidays are a time to enjoy the company of family and friends and reflect on the past year, while enjoying the baked goods, seasonal drinks and traditional meals that are prepared. The Schulich Medicine & Dentistry Communications Team recipe collection features submissions of our holiday favourites.

Balkan Doughnuts or Krofne

Submitted by: Brian Blatnicki, Digital Communications Coordinator

1 cup scalded milk
4 ounces (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup 110-degree water
3 large slightly beaten eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour
Oil for frying
Granulated or confectioners' sugar
Prep Time: 90 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 110 minutes

Scald milk and add butter, sugar and salt, stirring to dissolve the butter. Cool to 110 degrees. Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast in 1 cup 110-degree water.

In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, place milk mixture, yeast mixture and eggs, mixing until smooth, add flour gradually, mixing until smooth. The dough might be sticky. If so, use slightly dampened hands to transfer it to a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. For extra-light krofne, some cooks punch down the dough and let it rise a second time until doubled.

Punch down dough and roll 1/2-inch thick on a lightly floured work surface. Cut with a 3-inch round cutter or glass and let rise about 1/2 hour.

Heat oil to 375 degrees in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Use a deep-frying thermometer to make sure temperature is accurate.

Fry in hot oil until lightly brown on both sides, turning only once. Drain on absorbent paper. While still hot roll in granulated sugar or dust with confectioners' sugar.

(Makes about 3 dozen Doughnuts – Krofne)

Baklava Recipe

Submitted by: Narmata Naguleswaran, Web Clerk

3 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cups of water
1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice
4 to 6 whole cloves, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

1 pound (about 24 sheets) phyllo dough
1 pound of walnuts, finely chopped or coarsely ground (you can use almonds, pistachios or any combination of mixed nuts)
¼ cup of sugar
1/3 cup cream of wheat mix
¼ teaspoon of cardamom

To make the syrup: Stir the sugar, water, lemon juice, and if using, cinnamon/cloves over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar dissolves stop stirring and increase the heat to medium, and cook until the mixture is slightly syrupy. Discard the whole cloves and let cool.

To make the filling: Combine the filling ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 12-by-9-inch baking pan with butter.

Place a sheet of phyllo in the prepared pan and lightly brush with butter. Repeat with 7 more sheets. Spread with half of the filling. Top with 8 more sheets, brushing each with butter (Use any torn phyllo sheets for the middle layer) Spread with the remaining nut mixture and end with a top layer of 8 sheets, continuing to brush each sheet with butter.

Using a sharp knife, cut 6 equal lengthwise through the top layer of pastry. Make 1 1/2-inch-wide diagonal cuts across the strips to form diamond shapes.

Before putting it in the oven, lightly sprinkle the top of the pastry with cold water. This constrains the pastry from curling. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake until golden brown.

Once out of the oven, cut through the scored lines. Drizzle the cooled syrup made in step one slowly over the hot baklava and let cool for at least 4 hours. Cover and store at room temperature. If the baklava dries out while being stored, drizzle with a little additional hot syrup before eating.

For added flavor, sprinkle the top with chopped nuts before serving.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Submitted by: Jesica Hurst, Communications Coordinator

1 cup butter or margarine
½ cup white sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup walnuts (small pieces)
Raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy

Add egg yolks and vanilla, and continue beating until well blended

Add flour and salt gradually, until everything is completely blended

Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour

Make into ¾ inch balls and roll in small pieces of walnuts

Place on ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart

Make a thumbprint in the middle of each cookie

Bake for 10 minutes then remove

While warm, make thumbprint again and fill the indentation with ¼ tsp of raspberry jam

Bake for another 5 minutes, then cool on rack before enjoying

Recipe makes approximately 40 cookies

Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Submitted by: Andrea Richter, Communications Coordinator - Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative

2 whole pork tenderloins
salt and pepper
1/3 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon dried leaf sage, crumbled
3/4 cup chopped peeled tart apple
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup herb seasoned stuffing crumbs
1 cup apple juice
4 slices bacon, halved crosswise

Cut each tenderloin lengthwise, but not all the way through. Flatten. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Heat 1/3 cup apple juice with butter and sage.

Stir in chopped apple and onion and stuffing mix.

Spread stuffing mixture over one flattened pork tenderloin then top with the other flattened pork tenderloin. Skewer shut.

Place pork in a shallow baking pan.

Pour 1 up apple juice over the meat then lay bacon across top.

Roast uncovered at 350° for 1 1/2 hours, or until cooked through.

Remove skewers.

Serves 6 to 8

Andalucian Paella

Submitted by: Jennifer Parraga, Director, Communications & Marketing
Source: Orce Serrano Hams

Serves 6 (however I increase the number of chicken breast by 2)

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
500g uncooked prawns
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1 medium red pepper
1 medium green pepper
2 large tomatoes
150g fresh frozen garden peas
500g rice
1 ltr chicken stock
¼ teaspoon saffron
Salt and pepper


Heat the olive oil in a medium sized paella pan, add the garlic and onion and cook gently until soft, then add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides.

Add the peppers and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the rice, counting as you go, (you need to add 3 parts water/chicken stock to one part rice and then cook for 5 minutes. Bring to boil, don’t stir. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or so.

Add the saffron.

Add the peas.

Then add the prawns and cook for a further 10 – 12 minutes until all the liquid has absorbed.

Turn off heat, cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving, garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.

Parmesan Asparagus Spirals

Submitted by: Jessica McGaw, Communications Coordinator

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg white
Grated Parmesan cheese
Sesame seeds (if desired)
15 fresh asparagus spears
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut puff pastry lengthwise into 15 strips.

Wrap each asparagus spear with a pastry strip in a spiral.

Lightly brush with egg white.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and sesame seeds.

Season with salt and pepper.

Place on a baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees until golden, about 20 minutes.

Makes 15 servings

Non-Alcoholic "Champagne"

Submitted by: Paige Mastalerz, Communications/Facilities Assistant

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons grenadine syrup
28 ounces chilled ginger ale (about 2 1/3 cans of pop)

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat.

Stir until sugar is dissolved.

Bring to boil and boil 10 minutes.


Add sugar syrup to grapefruit and orange juices.

Chill thoroughly.

Add grenadine and ginger ale just before serving.

Makes about 1½ quarts.

White Christmas Sangria

Submitted by: Laura Newton, Events Coordinator - Alumni & Development

1 Granny Smith Apple
1 Braeburn Apple
1 heaping Cup Fresh Cranberries
1 large Sprig Rosemary
1 Bottle Pinot Grigio
½ Cup White Grape Juice
¼ Cup Sugar (more, for garnish)
1 Can Club Soda

Pineapple Cheese Ball

Submitted by: Emily Leighton, Communications Coordinator

1-1/2 packages (12 oz) cream cheese
1 can crushed pineapple
2 tbsp seasoned salt (or to taste)
2 tbsp chopped green onion (or to taste)
2-3 tbsp chopped ham (optional)
Chopped pecans (approximately 1 cup)

Combine all ingredients together.

Mash into a ball and chill.

Roll in crushed pecans.

Refrigerate until served. Serve with crackers.

Greek Bruschetta

Submitted by: Kristin Romak, Special Events Officer

This is a simple holiday appetizer with festive colours from the grape tomatoes, basil and feta.

- Fresh Basil
- 1 pint Grape or cherry tomatoes
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- feta cheese (block of feta in brine - not pre-crumbled)
- Olive oil
- whole wheat or multi-grain ciabatta
- Balsamic glaze (not balsamic vinegar - must be a glaze)

Set your oven to broil

Chop all ingredients: 
Cut cherry/grape tomatoes in half (length wise)
Break off full basil leaves from their stems (note, you will need one basil leaf per slice of bread)
Cut block of feta into thin slices (one slice per slice of bread)

Make Garlic Bread:
Slice ciabatta loaf into centimeter thick slices
Prepare garlic olive oil - mince 1-2 cloves of garlic. Mix with 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Brush bread slices with garlic olive oil
Place on foil lined cookie sheet and toast under broiler (depending how far your rack is from the broiler, cooking time will vary). Keep a close eye so your bread doesn't burn.

When done, remove your toasted bread slices from the oven. Keep the toast slices on baking sheet.
Top each bread slice with: a basil leaf, slice of feta, halved grape tomatoes (use 2 - 3 halves depending on the size of the bread)
Optional: sprinkle a pinch of sea salt
Return to oven for a couple minutes to warm the toppings and melt cheese (watch carefully to ensure the edges of your bread slices don't burn). Note: you can skip this toasting step --- it is better to skip this step if this appetizer will be sitting out for awhile.
When done, remove from oven.

Drizzle balsamic glaze back and forth across your bruschettas (I do a zigzag pattern back and forth accross the entire baking sheet of bruchettas)

Transfer to your serving dish/platter and serve!