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All the world loves a holiday, and culinary traditions are the glue that binds cultures together.


Brazil’s Caipirinha

Serves 1

Recipe provided by Midwest Grill co-owners/chefs Marcelo and Gilmar Pinto

910 Broadway/Rt. 1, Saugus, 781-231-2221,


Classic Caipirinha

1 lime

2 tsp. sugar

4 ice cubes

2 oz. cachaça

1. Slice lime into 8 pieces.
2. Mix lime and sugar in a short glass and mash together. 
3. Add cachaça and ice.
4. Stir well. Saúde!


Mediterranean Pumpkin Baklava

Makes 3 dozen

Recipe provided by Ithaki Modern Mediterranean owner/chef Petros Markopoulos

25 Hammatt St., Ipswich, 978-356-0099,

Pumpkin Baklava

1 lb. walnut halves, crushed

1 small pumpkin

(1 lb. shaved pieces)

2 c. clarified butter

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cloves

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 lb. Greek filo dough

1. Twelve hours prior to preparation, place shaved pumpkin in a bowl, add sugar and salt, mix well.
2. Transfer pumpkin mixture into strainer; dry overnight.
3. When pumpkin is dry, place in bowl and add walnuts, cinnamon, and cloves, mix well.
4. Lay each sheet of filo dough flat and coat with melted butter, leaving a 2-in. border.
5. With a spoon, evenly spread pumpkin mixture over each filo sheet, leaving the border clean (do not spread too thick).
6. Carefully roll filo, spreading melted butter on clean border when filo is rolled to end.
7. With sharp knife, cut into 2-in. pieces. 8. Place pieces onto oiled, 10-in. x 12-in. baking sheet. Bake at 340°F for 1 hour.



2 c. sugar

1-1 1/2 c. water

1/2 c. corn syrup

1 cinnamon stick

Zest of one lemon

1. Add all ingredients into pot, bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat slightly, simmer for 10 min.
3. While baklava is still warm, generously pour syrup over each piece; allow to rest for 1 hr. before serving.


Finland’s Joulutorttu (Christmas Tarts)

Makes 18

Recipe provided by Sari Walsh


7 oz. soft butter or margarine

1 c. flour

1/2 c. cold water

1 tsp. vinegar

1 egg


Sweetened prune purée or plum jam

1. Preheat oven to 480°F.
2. Measure pastry ingredients into a bowl; mix quickly by hand (do not overmix).
3. Store dough in a cold place to harden (two hours or overnight in the refrigerator).
4. Roll dough out on a floured board, folding a few times to make a puff pastry. Lay out a 1/4- in. thick sheet of the puff pastry.
5. Cut sheet into 3-in. x 3-in. squares, split corners of each square.
6. Place a bit of prune purée or plum jam in the middle of each square. Fold over every other split end onto the center, to form a windmill-like tart.
7. Brush with a beaten egg; bake for 20 min. or until golden brown.


France’s Beignets de Champignons (Beignets with Mushrooms)

Makes 70

Recipe provided by Cassis Bakery Inc.’s owner/chef David Tsypkin

261 Cabot St., Beverly, 978-922-2053,

3 c. Korean dduk, sliced (flat, oval rice cakes)*Dduk-guk (soup)

8 c. water

1-1 1/2 c. beef brisket

3 eggs

1 clove garlic, minced

2 scallions, chopped (optional)

2 tbsp. soup soy sauce*

1 tsp. vegetable oil

1 small green onion, chopped

1 pkg. dried seaweed sheets (called “kim” or “gim”), cut into thin slices*

Pinch of salt

Sesame oil, to taste

Ground pepper, to taste


1. Boil 8 cups of w ater in large pot.
2. Soak rice cakes in cold water.
3. Chop beef brisket into small
4. Prepare eggs in 2 small bowls: in the first bowl, place 2 egg yolks; in the second bowl, place 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg. 
5. Add pinch of salt to each bowl, mix well. While waiting for water to boil, make egg yolk garnish:
        1. Heat a nonstick pan until v ery hot.
        2. Add a fe w drops of vegetable oil to pan; wipe off excess hot oil with a paper towel, then turn heat off.
        3. Pour egg yolk mixture from first bowl into pan and spread thinly (make “paper” by tilting the pan).
        4. When almost cooked, carefully flip.
        5. Remove from pan, slice into thin strips, set aside.
When the water in pot boils, begin making soup:
       1. Put beef in w ater; boil over low-medium heat for 20-30 min., cover pot.
       2. Add garlic and soup soy sauce to soup (the water will boil off, but keep it at 6 cups by adding water, as needed).
       3. Drain rice cake slices and put into boiling beef soup, close lid.
       4. In 2-3 min., open lid to check if rice cake slices are floating.
       5. Pour in egg mixture from second bowl a little at a time.
       6. Add green onion to pot.
       7. Turn off heat; drizzle in some sesame oil and a little black pepper, to taste.
       8. Transfer soup to serving bowls. 9. Garnish with seaweed, egg yolk strips, and scallions.