Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Your Holiday Cooking Guide

Hard to believe we're entering the start of the holiday cooking season.It's a time when even the most experienced home chefs panic. Don't. There's a guide to help you navigate any big meal fromThanksgiving to Christmas, from New Year's to just a big Sunday dinner with family and friends.

The New York Times put out this special guide in their Wednesday paper today. It's separate from the  Food section but it has some of the best recipes from the Times recipe book plus a day to day guide on getting ready. It is a four-page fold out and the recipes can be cut out if need be. To be honest you'll want to keep this is very handy.It features the classic turkey, sides, and pies.What I like is the timeline in which to prepare. It makes planning for Thanksgiving a dream and can be altered to fit any prep time before a big meal. It starts with making a guest list which will give an idea of how big a bird to buy.A second and definite must do is deciding whether to have a sit-down dinner or buffet., depending on the number of guests.One of the smartest suggestions is taking stock of kitchenware along with the oven. Are there enough pots and pans for the sides? Is the oven big enough for the bird you want? You may have to get two turkeys or have a diner roast your bird. Two weeks before , check t see if you need tablecloths . extra glasses or even a gravy boat. Also The Times recommends writing up two shopping lists; one for perishable goods and one for non perishables. A week before it's time to make the pie crusts and cranberry sauce along with cleaning out the fridge and freezer to make room.

The recipes come from the best. Julia Moskin, Melissa Clark, Sam Sifton and Kim Severson have contributed as well as the famed Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey. Emily Weinstein and  Amanda Hesser have also given recipes as well. Kim Severson gives us a dry brined turkey that's punched up with white wine.Gravy is a must and Sam Sifton has a good one.It too has a half cup of white wine along with the turkey fat, flourn and turkey or chicken stock.Of course, there has to be stuffing, also coming from Mr. Sifton.It has apples and chestnuts along with a cornucopia of herbs and spices. A dash of hot sauce is added for kick. Every holiday meal needs sides and there are some tasty ones here. Guests and family will flip over the Hassselback potatoes made rich with both Gruyere and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Even the most adamant Brussels sprout haters will think twice about them being served with heavenly pancetta.Thanksgiving is all about the dessert and there are three good recipes to choose from (Or you can make all three).Melissa Clark gives us her double apple pie which is not only spiced with cinnamon but with ginger and nutmeg.She also has a brandied pumpkin pie given a kick with the liqueur and enriched with whole cream and three eggs. There is also Craig Claiborne's cheesecake, a great ending to any meal.

Thanksgiving and any holiday meal should not be a time for panic or fear. Follow The New York Times guide and recipes and watch the big day breeze'll be not only a time of giving Thanks but also for good eating!


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