CHICAGO -- Want to throw a high-end holiday dinner without spending big bucks? Chicago area company ALDI is here to the rescue.
Janice Stahl, a food specialist for ALDI, is here with the foods and recipes that will make your dinner a memorable one. From turkey to appetizers, sides and dessert - they've got you covered.
There's something new every week at the 150 ALDI stores throughout the Chicagoland area, so check out what's new at www.aldi.us.
Be sure to check out the links in these recipes for even more holiday inspiration.
Pea "Pesto" Crostini
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Place bread slices on baking sheet and toast for about 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown. Reserve.
3. In a food processor, combine peas, onion, lemon juice, lemon zest, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. While food processor is running, slowly add oil.
4. Transfer pea mixture into a small bowl.
5. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons pea mixture onto each piece of bread. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese, lemon zest and basil.
TIP: Make pesto up to 3 days in advance and store in an airtight container.
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen
Baked Brie Bites with Sugared Cranberries
1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar and cup water over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.
2. Add cranberries and remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Drain cranberries. Roll in remaining cup of sugar to coat. Air dry on a wire rack for 1 hour.
Baked Brie Bites:
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add orange juice, bacon bits, walnuts, apple, cinnamon and 3 tablespoons brown sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved and apples begin to brown, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in orange zest.
3. Unroll crescent rolls and pinch together seams to create 1 large sheet with each package of dough. Cut each rectangle into 12 squares.
4. Coat a mini muffin pan with cooking spray and place a square of dough in each cup.
5. Cut brie into 24 pieces and place in the center of the dough square. Top with apple walnut mixture and a pinch of brown sugar. Bring edges of the dough square to the center and pinch to create a seal.
6. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Garnish each bite with a sugared cranberry for an unexpected burst of flavor.
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Blackened Turkey Breast with Cranberry Mojito Relish
Traditional turkey flavors with a kick of spice and flavor.
1. For the blackened marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
2. Remove the turkey breast from the netting and immerse in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.
3. For the cranberry mojito relish: In a food processor, add all ingredients and pulse until combined.
4. Preheat oven to 375. Preheat grill on high.
5. Grill the turkey for 5 minutes per side. Place on a sheet pan and cook in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165. Remove from oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
6. Slice turkey and serve with relish.
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Linsey, ALDI Test Kitchen
Mom's Holiday Scalloped Potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Layer potatoes over the bottom of the pan, add a layer of onions. Scatter 1/4 of the butter over the onions, followed by 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Repeat 3 more times.
3. Carefully pour the heavy whipping cream over the potatoes. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Stacey, ALDI Test Kitchen
Wild Hunt Quinoa Salad
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions, set aside.
2. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat and saut mushrooms until brown. Add onions and continue cooking until caramelized. Stir in pecans and black pepper, toss to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir mushroom onion mixture into quinoa, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
4. Sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley before serving.
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Scott, ALDI Test Kitchen
White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies
A holiday color studded delight. Serve warm, la mode for extra fun.
1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a medium sheet pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, rehydrate the dried cranberries by combining with hot water. Let sit for one minute. Drain.
3. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix to combine.
5. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate morsels. Evenly press the batter into prepared pan.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the top is a light golden brown. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
7. Cut into squares or create shapes with holiday cookie cutters.
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen