Kudos to the Chef


If you want to serve a recipe you’ve never made before, test it before the party. When you’re short on time, it’s a better idea to stick to tried-and-true favorites over trying new recipes on the day of your holiday celebration. Have a fantastic time holiday hosts!



Sugar and Nut Glazed Brie

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts or pecans
1 tablespoon brandy
1 (14-ounce) round brie
Apple wedges, for serving
Pear wedges, for serving
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Crackers, for serving

In a small bowl stir together the sugar, nuts, and brandy. Cover and chill for at least 24 hours or up to 1 week.
Preheat oven to 500°F. Place the brie on an ovenproof platter or pie plate and bake it for 4-5 minutes or until the brie is slightly softened. Spread the sugar mixture in an even layer on top of the warm brie and bake for 2-3 minutes longer, or until the sugar melts. Brush the fruit wedges with lemon juice and arrange them around 1 side of the brie. Place crackers around the other side.

Source: Paula Deen, foodnetwork



Escarole Salad with Toasted Walnuts

1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 head of escarole, chopped (about 12 cups)
1 small red onion, thinly chopped
2 ounces Parmesan, shaved (about half a cup)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup of olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the escarole, onion, Parmesan, and toasted walnuts. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Whisking constantly, gradually add the oil. Toss with the salad.

Source: Real Simple


The Pioneer Woman’s Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

2 gallons water
2 cups apple juice
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
2 cups brown sugar
5 cloves garlic, crushed 5 bay leaves
4 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
3 oranges, peeled, white pith removed, skin roughly chopped
1 (20-pound) fresh turkey
1 1/2 sticks softened butter
3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons chopped orange zest

Combine the water, apple juice, salt, sugar, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, dried rosemary, and orange peel in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat immediately, cover, and allow mixture to come to room temperature. Cool mixture in the fridge until you’re ready.

To brine the turkey, remove the turkey from wrapper, remove interior bags (set aside; refrigerate), and rinse turkey thoroughly under cool water.

Place the turkey into a plastic brining bag or a very large pot.
Pour the cooled brine mixture over the top, adding extra cold water if you need more to completely cover the turkey. Seal the bag or cover the pot and allow the turkey to brine in the refrigerator for 16 to 24 hours before roasting.
Before roasting, remove the turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Then soak in a sink full of fresh water for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat dry. Discard brine.

Preheat the oven to 275°F. Truss the bird and place it breast side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover the turkey tightly with heavy-duty foil. Make sure it’s entirely covered (cover over the bottom edges of the pan). Place in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes per pound (a 20 pound turkey will roast for about 3 1/2 hours).

Remove the turkey from the oven and increase the temperature to 375°F. Remove the aluminum foil and set aside. Mix the softened butter with the rosemary and orange peel and rub all over the skin of the turkey, covering every single inch of the skin. Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, near the hip joint. Place the turkey, uncovered, back into the oven. Continue roasting the turkey, basting with butter every 30 minutes, until the thermometer registers 170°F and until the juices are no longer pink. Remove from the oven and cover with foil until you are ready to carve and serve.

Source: ReeDrummond (the Pioneer Woman), foodnetwork.com



Beef Tenderloin with Madeira Sauce

Beef Tenderloin:
1 (3 lb) center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed
cup(s) whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon(s) each chopped fresh rosemary and thyme, or 1 tsp each dried
2 teaspoon(s) each minced garlic and olive oil
1 teaspoon(s) each salt and freshly ground pepper
Garnish: rosemary and thyme sprigs

Madeira Sauce:
2 tablespoon(s) butter
8 ounce(s) sliced crimini or white button mushrooms
3/4 cup(s) Madeira wine
1 teaspoon(s) minced garlic
2 1/2 teaspoon(s) cornstarch
1 1/2 cup(s) beef broth
2 tablespoon(s) tomato paste
1 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dried
teaspoon(s) each salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 450°F. You’ll need a large rimmed baking sheet coated with nonstick spray. Prepare the beef tenderloin: Spread beef with mustard. Mix herbs, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a cup; press on mustard. Place beef on prepared baking sheet. Roast 28 to 35 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of thickest part of tenderloin registers 145°F. Remove to cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let rest about 15 minutes (temperature will rise to 150°F for medium-rare).

Prepare the sauce: Melt butter in large skillet. Add mushrooms; sauté over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until golden. Stir in Madeira and garlic; boil 2 minutes or until most liquid evaporates.

Stir cornstarch into broth until well blended. Add to skillet with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; boil, stirring, 1 minute or until thickened and glossy. Pour into gravy boat and serve with the beef.

Plan ahead: Make the day before; refrigerate covered. Reheat over low heat just until hot, not boiling.

To serve: Slice and arrange on a serving platter; spoon on a little Madeira Sauce. Garnish with herb sprigs. Serve with remaining sauce.

Source: Woman’s Day



Apricot-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

3 pounds sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and cut up
1 cup packed brown sugar
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apricot nectar
1/2 cup hot water
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped Pecans

Place sweet potatoes in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish and set aside. In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon; stir in apricot nectar, water and orange peel. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in butter and pecans. Pour over sweet potatoes. Bake, uncovered, at 350° F for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. 8-10 servings.

Source: Taste of Home



Baked Fall Fruit Compote

4 tablespoons butter
2 large, tart apples cut into eighths, with cores removed
3 ripe pears cut into sixths, cores removed
6 large, ripe plums, halved with stones removed
Grated rind of 1 orange
¾ cup of sugar

Preheat oven to 400° F. Rub the butter over the bottom and sides of baking dish large enough to hold all the fruit. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Turn the mixture into the baking dish and bake, uncovered, until the fruit is soft and baked through—depending on the ripeness of the fruit, this could take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour. When the fruit is done, remove the dish from the oven and set aside to let cool to room temperature before serving. Yields 4 servings.

Source: Anna Pump, Country Weekend Entertaining


Hazelnut Holiday Trifle

Pastry cream:
9 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups milk
Seeds of ½ a vanilla bean

1 pound cake
1 cup dry sherry
1 ½ cup strawberry preserves
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup coarsely ground hazelnuts plus 8 whole hazelnuts for garnishing

To make the pastry cream, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl with a wire whisk until the egg yolks are light and creamy. Add the milk and stir. Pour the mixture into a heavy saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes, until the pastry cream is very thick and bubbling. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the vanilla seeds. Cover with plastic wrap and chill over night.
To assemble the trifle, cut the cake into 3/4–inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices inside the trifle dish. Spoon half the sherry over the slices, making sure they will soak evenly. Spread some of the preserves over the slices. Cover with 2 cups of pastry cream.

In a bowl, beat the heavy cream with the sugar until it is firm. Spread half the cream over the pastry cream and sprinkle with half of the ground hazelnuts. Repeat the process of layering: cake, sherry, preserves, and pastry cream. If desired, spoon the remaining whipped cream into a pastry bag with a tip to decorate the cake. Sprinkle with the remaining ground hazelnuts and top with the whole hazelnuts. Yields 6-8 servings.

Source: Anna Pump, Country Weekend Entertaining

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