While Christmas is meant to be a jolly and bright season, many of us feel extra burdened during this time. This holiday can be quite depressing for some of us due to many unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and excessive commitments which we have unwittingly brought on ourselves. All of these could essentially amount to anxiety and stress.
Before this holiday debt carries on as a tradition, we should reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Instead of racking our brains and breaking the bank for buying the “perfect” gifts, there are alternatives such as a simple night-in gathering with families or friends. Gifts don’t have to be just tangible items, sometimes our time, thoughts, and efforts are worth so much more than a tub of mud mask or luxury hand cream.
Cooking together is actually a fun activity to do during the holidays. Not only is that a good way to bond, share family traditions, and make priceless memories together, it’s ultimately an act of love! So, if you want to skip the overpriced Christmas lunches or dinner buffets this year, here’s a simple 3-course Christmas meal recipes using Bohae’s Bokbunja which you can cook with your loved ones regardless of your cooking skills!
Bokbunja is a dessert wine so naturally, it’s sweeter than your usual Merlots or Cabernets. Nonetheless, bokbunja is an excellent red wine substitute for both drinking and cooking. Just remember to reduce the sugar content from your recipe if you choose to cook with bokbunja.
'CLASSIC FRENCH ONION SOUP' as Starter
- 1½ pounds (about 5 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions 3-4 large onions, cut end to end, then sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter I use salted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup Bohae’s Bokbunja
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 quarts low sodium beef broth, store-bought or homemade
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 French baguette, cut into rounds
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half, to rub on toasted bread slices
- 2 cups grated Gruyére cheese
Heat butter and olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Cook onions, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme, covered, over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Uncover, raise heat to medium-high and add salt. Cook, stirring frequently until onions are deep, golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. (If looking very dry or burning, add a little water to deglaze the bottom of the pan.)
Add Bohae’s Bokbunja and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until evaporated and onions are dry about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves and thyme.
Sprinkle flour over onions, stir to combine for about 3 minutes to cook off the flour taste.
Add the beef broth, stir well to combine and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring and skimming occasionally, if needed.
Meanwhile, make croutons. Preheat oven to 325º. Place bread rounds on a baking sheet and bake until crisped and lightly browned, about 20 minutes, flipping halfway and basting with a little olive oil. When done, rub each piece with cut garlic clove, set aside.
- Taste onion broth for salt and pepper. To serve, ladle warm soup into oven proof bowls, top with 2 croutons and a generous amount of grated Gruyère cheese. Place under broiler to melt and lightly brown. Enjoy!
'BOKBUNJA BOLOGNESE SPAGHETTI' as Main Course
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 500g beef mince
For the bolognese sauce
- small pack basil leaves picked, ¾ finely chopped and the rest left whole for garnish
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 beef stock cube
- 1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 125ml Bohae’s Bokbunja
- 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
To season and serve
- 75g parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 400g spaghetti
- crusty bread, to serve (optional)
Put a large saucepan on medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil.
Add 4 finely chopped bacon rashers and fry for 10 mins until golden and crisp.
Reduce the heat and add the 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 celery sticks, 2 garlic cloves and the leaves from 2-3 sprigs rosemary, all finely chopped, then fry for 10 mins. Stir the veg often until it softens.
Increase the heat to medium-high, add 500g beef mince and cook stirring for 3-4 mins until the meat is browned all over.
Add finely chopped leaves from ¾ small pack basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp tomato purée, 1 beef stock cube, 1 deseeded and finely chopped red chili (if using), 125ml Bohae’s Bokbunja and 6 halved cherry tomatoes. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 1 hr 15 mins stirring occasionally, until you have a rich, thick sauce.
Add the 75g grated parmesan, check the seasoning and stir.
When the bolognese is nearly finished, cook 400g spaghetti following the pack instructions.
- Drain the spaghetti and stir into the Bolognese sauce. Serve with more grated parmesan, the remaining basil leaves, and crusty bread, if you like.
'THE BERRY PUNCH' as Dessert Cocktail
- 1 container (473ml) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed
- 2 bottles (1 liter each) unflavoured carbonated water, chilled
- 1 bottle (1 liter) ginger ale, chilled
- 355ml frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
- 355ml Bohae’s Bokbunja, chilled
Place strawberries in a blender; cover and process until pureed. Pour into a punch bowl; stir in remaining ingredients.