In this article from Full-Service Restaurant Magazine, Heather Larson discusses the importance of planning ahead to meet staffing needs for the business holiday season.
Ultimately, you must plan to overstaff for each holiday your restaurant stays open. That’s the best way to keep your customers happy. Should the volume of diners dwindle, you can always send workers home early. Also, if you have more staff on hand, if one or two don’t show, you won’t be stranded.
Many restaurants close Christmas & new Years Day eliminating some of the anxiety surrounding which employees should get time off. But the evening before each of those holidays also seems to be a popular time for families to dine out.
Who Should Work?
Jason Chadwick, co-owner of Restaurant Rehab, a restaurant consulting business in Kansas City, recommends scheduling all your key employees on holidays. They effectively run the dining room and won’t make the same mistakes lesser-experienced staff might.
At the Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica, where modern California cuisine highlights the menu, workers can take time off around the holidays. Whoever asks earliest gets first consideration.
“Time off is also based on production,” says Clint Clausen, director of operations. “I will give a server with the highest sales days off over someone who has worked here for eight years, but has the lowest sales.”
Some establishments schedule workers for certain days throughout the year, so as an example Server A works every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If a holiday falls on one of those days, she knows she’ll be working. If she wants to trade, that’s okay.
The last alternative allows for no time off during the holidays. This is typically how hotel restaurants handle staffing.
Is More Pay an Incentive?
“Usually the majority of the staff want to work because it’s a good time to make money,” says Chadwick.
At the two restaurants at the Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie, Washington, if you work full time and you come in on a holiday then you earn eight hours paid time off (pto), says Shannon Galusha, culinary director for Seattle-based Columbia Hospitality, which oversees 15 properties throughout the West, including the Salish Lodge.
Even if the restaurant itself doesn’t pay extra for holidays, most diners feel the holiday spirit and in general tip better than normal.
Plan, Plan, and Plan
If you don’t know how many servers and hostesses you’ll need, do some research. Look at last year’s reservations to see which days and time slots consistently filled and which didn’t.
Tanya Chadwick, Jason’s wife and co-owner of Restaurant Rehab, says get in front of your scheduling for the end of the year now. Use all the avenues you can to let people know you’ll be open on Thanksgiving Eve, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas.
“Reach out to those who made reservations with you last year and ask them to come back,” says Tanya. “Tell them what you’ll be serving so they can inform their party. This personal touch is sure to get you repeat customers.”
If you’re going to need extra help for the holidays, hire them now and get them trained, Tanya says. Don’t wait until the last minute when there’s very little time to train. Also if you employ college students in the summer, now’s the time to ask them to work the holidays.
“Whatever you do, be consistent. Don’t close early,” says Galusha who has 14 years of restaurant experience. “Customers return to your restaurant based on past experiences.”
In this article from Food Republic by Jon Katz, get inspired with tasty craft beers, perfect for this classic holiday. Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays centered on food, and while the turkey may be the star of the show, all too often there’s a tendency to forget about proper pairings. While wine or liquor certainly have their benefits, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect complimentary flavor than the maltiness of beer with the iconic heartiness of Thanksgiving dishes — the sweetness of sweet potatoes with marshmallow, the tartness of cranberry sauce, the breadiness of the stuffing and of course, the juiciness of the turkey.
While beer is slowly earning its due as a perfect food pairing, especially with diverse spreads like a Thanksgiving feast, this is your chance to surprise everyone by matching each course with a different type of beer. It’s not an easy task (the shelves are flooded with winter and fall seasonals), but keep it simple and you’ll nail it. Here are the beers you should pair with Thanksgiving dinner.
1. Harpoon Brewery: Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale
There’s always that “waiting period” when the food isn’t quite ready — someone undoubtedly forgot to put the bird in on time — so you want something to help curb the guests’ appetite without diminishing it. This beer is a perfect way to welcome guests while getting your taste buds ready for turkey and fixins, with its sweet maltiness and hint of fresh cranberry tartness.
2. The Bruery: Autumn Maple
Yes, pumpkin beers are still hanging around, but try something a little more in-line with the meal. If you want some real Thanksgiving flavors, this beer has them all: yams, molasses, maple syrup and spices lend themselves to prepping your palate. It’s not overly sweet and would be delicious with the big meal, but I prefer it with candied nuts and other rich bites that are served pre-feast.
3. Brewery Ommegang: Scythe and Sickle
This is one of my favorite seasonal beers and it’s just perfect for Thanksgiving. The amber ale is packed with malty goodness from rye and oat flakes and tastes similar to a mashup of the bready maltiness of brown ale with the spiciness of a saison from Ommegang’s fantastic Belgian yeast. It’s perfect for hearty side dishes, but it also won’t overwhelm the succulent flavors of the turkey.
4. Brasserie Dupont: Saison Dupont
With so many incredible farmhouse ales coming out of the U.S., it’s easy to forget about the Belgians that inspired them. Many have high levels of wild yeast which won’t necessarily tickle every palate at the table, but here we have a truly pleasing Belgian classic: a rustic, spicy saison with a delicious citrus fruitiness. It’s dry with a beautiful, delicate champagne-like carbonation and enough bready malt to balance things out. This would pair well with any turkey, but at 6.5% ABV it would definitely cut the fat of crazier variations – turducken, I’m looking at you.
5. Founders Brewing Company: Breakfast Stout
Despite how much we battle against it, eating as much tryptophan-laced bird as one does on Turkey Day, it’s just really difficult to stay awake and digest after a massive meal. If you find yourself on the verge of nodding off, a little breakfast stout is what you need to push on through the dessert course. A variety of coffee and chocolate added to the brew results in something you could probably call dessert on its own, but is absolutely delicious with cake or pie! Serve this on the warmer side of cool and watch as even professed stout haters fall in love.
6. De Struise Brouwers: Pannepot Old Fisherman’s Ale
Beers from De Struise tend to be somewhat harder to locate but we’ve given you a few days’ head start – so here’s your assignment! Belgian quads are perfect as a digestif to help kick back from all the food you just ate. This one is huge at 10% ABV but it’s absolutely delicious – spicy and roasty with tons of dark fruits like raisins and figs, and just a touch of booziness. Complex and one of the best examples of a quad you can try – treat yourself for the holiday!
For more thanksgiving inspiration, check out our Pinterest page!
Thanksgiving is full of delicious food, but don’t overlook the drink possibilities for this festive holiday! Check out this Mashable cocktail list from Brooklyn bartender and food blogger Mallory Lance of Mallory’s Kitchen to turn a turkey dinner into unique cocktails for your guests.
Muddle 1/2 teaspoon of turkey bouillon and one brown sugar cube with a couple dashes of bitters. Add 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1/2 oz. rosemary clove simple syrup*, and 2 oz. Wild Turkey Rye. Shake vigorously over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a sprig or two of thyme.
*Rosemary Clove Simple Syrup: Combine 1 cup white sugar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 1/4 cups water in a saucepan. Add two to three sprigs of fresh rosemary and 1 tsp. whole cloves. Stir well, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain out the rosemary and cloves and store in a glass bottle with a fresh sprig of rosemary.
Muddle three raw haricot verts until nearly liquefied and add to a cocktail shaker. Add 1 oz. simple syrup, 1 oz. fresh lime juice and 2 oz. gin. Add ice, shake and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with two haricot verts and almond slivers.
*Simple Syrup: Combine equal parts water and white sugar in a small sauce pan, heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using.
Buttery Potato Cocktail
Potato vodka, puréed potatoes, unsalted butter, salt, dill, black pepper.
Directions: Peel and chop one baking potato into one-inch cubes. Place in a small pot and add enough water to submerge potatoes. Boil until tender.
Strain out most of the water, reserving about 1/4 cup and purée the potatoes completely in a blender or with an immersion blender. Add 2 tbsp. of butter and salt to taste. Allow to cool. In a cocktail shaker, add 2 oz. potato vodka and 2 heaping teaspoons of potato puree. Add ice and shake vigorously until the glass is frosty. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with dill and black pepper.
Peel and chop half of a small butternut squash and half an apple into one-inch cubes. Place squash in a small pot and add enough water to cover it. Boil until tender.
Strain out most of the water, reserving about 1/4 cup. purée the squash and apple completely using either a standing blender or an immersion blender. Stir in 2 tsp. brown sugar and allow to cool completely.
In a cocktail shaker, add 2 oz whiskey, one heaping teaspoon of butternut squash apple puree, 1 oz. rosemary clove simple syrup and 1 oz. lemon juice. Shake and strain into a saucer and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
If making cranberry juice from scratch: Add 2 cups fresh cranberries, 2 cups water, an orange peel and 1/2 cup sugar to a pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain out cranberries and allow to cool completely.
In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 oz. tequila, 1 oz. lime juice, 1/2 oz. simple syrup, 1/2 oz. Cointreau and 1 oz. cranberry juice. Shake and strain into a saucer and garnish with cranberries. Feel free to add crushed ice if you’d like.
Add 2 oz. bourbon, 3/4 oz. pumpkin spice syrup and a few dashes of aromatic bitters to a Boston shaker. Stir with a bar spoon for one full minute, then strain over a large ice cube. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.
Brew the espresso, using a french press if possible. Use 4 tablespoons of ground espresso to 2/3 cups water for two lattes. Steam the milk. Pour the espresso and pumpkin spice syrup into the steamed milk and add a dash of cinnamon to the top.
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A toasty warm version of a traditional style carrot soup, perfect for the thanksgiving holiday. Try this recipe from Food52.com for a flavorful soup.
6 to 8large carrots (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1/4cup olive oil
6cups vegetable stock (good quality, not too high in sodium)
1piece ginger, an inch long, peeled
1sprig thyme, plus more for garnish
1/2large sweet onion, chopped
2large garlic cloves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Peel and cut the carrots into 1/2-inch rounds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Set an oven rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat source and turn on the broiler. Broil the carrots until they brown and soften, turning them over with a spatula every 5 minutes or so; this should take 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil, add the ginger and the sprig of thyme and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Put the onion in a medium stock pot with the remaining olive oil. Brown the onion over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, and then add the carrots.
Remove the ginger and thyme from the stock and add the stock to the pot with the onions and carrots. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the carrots are soft enough to puree.
Use an immersion or a standard blender to puree the mixture until smooth. If the soup seems too thick, add more stock or water and reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, garnish with chopped fresh thyme.
Check out our Pinterest page for more Thanksgiving inspiration and soup ideas.
November 22nd, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
This fun twist on the classic turkey staple is perfect for this holiday season! If you’re looking for something different this year, try this recipe for Roast Turkey Soup from SeriousEats.com
2 quarts low sodium store-bought or home-made chicken or turkey stock
1 leftover roast turkey carcass, cut into rough chunks
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2- buy 1/2- by 1/4-inch batons (optional)
1 large onion, finely sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium carrots, diced medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 ribs celery, sliced at a bias (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 pound leftover roast turkey meat, roughly torn into bite-sized pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Combine stock, turkey parts, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer, and cook for 1 hour. Strain broth into a medium saucepan and discard solids.
Add bacon, onions, carrots, and celery. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in turkey pieces and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley and serve.
November 21st, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
This unique blend of tastes is bound to be a hit for your holiday menu. Check out this recipe for from Saveur Magazine.
5 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 large leek, white part only, trimmed, cleaned, and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and chopped
1 rib celery, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup dry white wine
10 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup Cranberry Oil, optional
1. Put sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 2 large pinches salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30–40 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel and quarter sweet potatoes, then set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add wine, scraping any browned bits stuck to bottom of pot, and cook until alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
3. Add stock and reserved sweet potatoes to pot, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.
4. Working in batches, put vegetables and stock into a food processor or blender and purée until smooth, then return soup to pot. Stir in cream, season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Drizzle some of the cranberry oil, if using, over each serving.
Start your dinner off right with this great recipe for Acorn Squash Soup from the Food Network.
3 whole acorn squash, approximately 8 cups when cooked
6 shallots, 1 cup diced, 3 left whole and peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper, freshly cracked, plus more for seasoning
1 stick unsalted butter, in all
4 cups chicken stock, low-sodium
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sage, dry
1 teaspoon savory
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the squash in half on the equator and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut a flat spot on each end so the squash will sit flat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the squash, cut side up. To 3 of the squash halves, add a peeled shallot and to the other 3 add 2 garlic cloves on each. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with 1 tablespoon each of the salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast in the hot oven until very tender and starting to caramelize and collapse, approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the squash from the skin. Reserve the roasted shallots and garlic with the squash. Can be done ahead.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat and when the butter is starting to foam, add the raw diced shallots and saute until they are starting to caramelize, about 5 to 6 minutes. Deglaze with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and stir to remove any fond. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the reserved squash, roasted shallots and garlic and then the remaining chicken stock. Stir to combine, then puree with a stick blender. The mixture will be very thick. Add in the cayenne, white pepper and the herbs. Stir in the cream and Worcestershire sauce and heat slowly over medium-low heat. When the mixture comes to a slow simmer, mix again with the stick blender and stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and turn heat to low. Serve with a fresh crack of black pepper, a nice drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a light sprinkle of remaining Parmesan. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
Thanksgiving soups are a great way to start off the holiday meal. This creamy soup from FoodandWine.com gets a little smoky heat from canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, but then gets cooled down with a swirl of crème fraîche.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
One 3-pound butternut squash, peeled and diced (8 cups)
1 small canned chipotle in adobo, chopped
7 cups chicken or turkey stock or low-sodium broth
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crème fraîche
1/4 cup finely chopped chives, plus more for garnish
In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened. Stir in the squash and chipotle and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and honey and bring to a boil. Simmer until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.
Puree the soup until smooth; season with salt.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir the crème fraîche with the 1/4 cup of chives. Microwave until just melted, 30 seconds. Serve the soup with a swirl of chive cream and a sprinkling of chives.
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November 18th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Looking for a simple, unique dessert for your restaurant guests? Try these delicious cupcakes from Southern Living. Mashed sweet potatoes give the cupcakes extra moistness, while a myriad of spices including cinnamon and nutmeg spice up the traditionally sweet dessert. A simple cream cheese frosting and sprinkle of chopped pecans is all that is needed to top of the dessert with perfection.
Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring once after 4 minutes.
Beat sugar and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Whisk together mashed sweet potatoes, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sweet potato mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Fold in toasted pecans. Place foil baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with vegetable cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.
Bake at 350° for 28 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove immediately from pans, and cool 50 minutes to 1 hour or until completely cool. Spread cupcakes evenly with Cream Cheese Frosting. Garnish, if desired.
Looking for more Thanksgiving inspiration? Check out our Pinterest page for some ideas!
November 15th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Rich and creamy pumpkin ice cream makes this ginger-spiced cake even more irresistible. Made with Earl Grey tea and maple flavors baked right in, this Thanksgiving dessert from Better Homes & Gardens is a delicious combination of favorite fall flavors!
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups pure maple syrup
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves, ground
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 recipe Pumpkin Ice Cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl stir together eggs, maple syrup, sour cream, and melted butter. In a large bowl stir together flour, ground tea, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until well combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
3. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm with Pumpkin Ice Cream.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
1 quart vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon orange liqueur or orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Directions1. In a large mixing bowl combine vanilla ice cream, slightly softened, canned pumpkin, orange liqueur, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Transfer ice cream to a freezer container; cover tightly and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.
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November 14th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Pumpkin is the perfect fall flavor to give your guests this Thanksgiving! This spiced pumpkin cake from Martha Stewart is enhanced by layers of a delectably rich frosting that features cream cheese and goat cheese. Quince, available in the fall, has a fragrant, apple-like flavor. If you can’t find fresh ones, use pears or apples instead.
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans and parchment
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups solid-pack pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup buttermilk
Goat Cheese Frosting
Quince-Ginger Compote (optional)
*Note: Make Ahead! Unfrosted cakes can be stored, wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush two 8-inch round cake pans with butter; line with parchment rounds. Butter parchment; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in pumpkin; add vanilla and ginger. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of buttermilk; beat until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden brown, edges pull away from sides of pans, and a cake tester comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely.
Place bottom layer on a cake stand or platter, and spread evenly with half the frosting. Top with second layer, and spread remaining frosting over top. Top cake with some quince-ginger compote, and serve remainder on the side.
Do you have a Thanksgiving dessert recipe you would like to share? Email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
November 13th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Wrap outside of an 8-inch springform pan with heavy foil. Grease the bottom and sides inside the pan; set pan aside.
2. In a very large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is smooth and sugar is dissolved, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs and vanilla, beating just until combined. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
3. Place springform pan in a shallow roasting pan. Place roasting pan on the oven rack. Carefully pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken.
4. Carefully remove springform pan from water. Remove foil from pan. Let cheesecake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula, loosen the edge of the cheesecake from sides of pan; cool for 45 minutes more. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
5. To serve, remove sides of the pan and cut cheesecake into wedges. If desired, top with Cranberry Sauce, sugared cranberries, and/or mint leaves.
Place 1 cup of whole cranberry sauce in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until combined.
November 12th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
The turkey might be the main event, but offering a variety of side dishes–from sweet potatoes to green bean casserole–will keep your guests full and happy this holiday. We’ve pulled some of our favorites for this post, but you can see all 74 side dish recipes at CountryLiving.com.
Potato and Celery-Root Gratin
Celery root lends unique flavor and freshness to this variation on a classic potato gratin.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring heavy cream, milk, onion halves, and garlic to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, peel, halve, and thinly slice celery root; cut slices in half. Peel and thinly slice potatoes. In a buttered 8-inch casserole dish, arrange a layer of celery-root slices followed by a layer of potato slices. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat.
Remove onion and garlic from cream mixture and discard. Pour mixture over casserole. Cover dish with a piece of buttered aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove foil and sprinkle casserole with Gouda. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer casserole to a wire rack and allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.
Pumpkin Cheese Bread
There’s nothing like a piece of soft, home-baked bread, and this recipe—which combines the sweet flavor of pumpkin with sharp, savory Cheddar cheese—is perfect for fall.
3 3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and bowl
1 tablespoon(s) light-brown sugar
1 package(s) rapid-rise yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/8 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper
3/4 cup(s) pumpkin puree
4 ounce(s) shredded sharp Cheddar
1 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, softened, for buttering pan
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
In a large bowl, stir together 3 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt, and cayenne. Add 1 cup water, pumpkin, and cheese; stir to combine. (Dough will be slightly sticky.)
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a smooth ball. (Add up to 1/4 cup more flour if needed.) Sprinkle a large bowl with flour and add ball of dough, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Butter a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and use hands to flatten to a rectangle, about 9 by 10 inches. Roll dough into a log and place seam-side down in loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, slash loaf down center. Brush loaf with egg wash. Bake until loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 40 to 50 minutes. Turn out of pan onto a wire rack to cool.
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
To keep mashed potatoes warm until the meal is served, place them in a heat-proof bowl and cover with foil. Set that bowl in a pot of barely simmering water that reaches halfway up the side of the bowl
2 pound(s) Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoon(s) kosher salt
1 cup(s) milk
4 tablespoon(s) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper
Cook the potatoes: Heat oven to 250 degrees F. Place the potatoes in a pot and fill with enough water to cover. Add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender — 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes, transfer to a baking pan, and place in the oven until thoroughly dried out — 7 to 8 minutes. (Shake the pan occasionally to ensure all excess water evaporates.)
Puree the potatoes: Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it simmers. Mash the potatoes until smooth, taking care not to overwork them. Alternately add the butter and milk in thirds — gently folding with a rubber spatula. Stir in the pepper.
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November 8th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
We know what you’re thinking: how can you celebrate Thanksgiving without turkey?! While his staple item is essential for most diners on this traditional holiday, there are others who would opt for a vegetarian option.
According to this article from the NY Times, many vegetarian diners are happy to fill their plates with delicious sides and salads, but if you want to make these diners feel special, consider one of these main course vegetarian dishes from Martha Rose Shulman. All of them are inspired by Greek cooking, which has a rich tradition of vegetarian meals.
“I know that Greek food is not exactly what comes to mind when you hear the word “Thanksgiving,” yet why not consider this cuisine if you’re searching for a meatless main dish that will please a crowd? It’s certainly a better idea, in my mind, than Tofurky and all of the other overprocessed attempts at making a vegan turkey. If you want to serve something that will be somewhat reminiscent of a turkey, make the stuffed acorn squashes in this week’s selection, and once they’re out of the oven, stick some feathers in the “rump,” as I did for the first vegetarian Thanksgiving I ever cooked: I stuffed and baked a huge crookneck squash, then decorated it with turkey feathers. The filling wasn’t nearly as good as the one you’ll get this week, but the creation was fun,” said Martha Rose Shulman.
Here are five new vegetarian recipes for your Thanksgiving table — or any time.
According to theKitchn.com, a holiday table isn’t complete without a big basket of fluffy dinner rolls. How else are you going to sop up the last bits of gravy? These soft and airy sweet potato rolls are perfect for the job. They’re also very nearly fool-proof, making them one less thing to worry about when planning the meal.
These rolls get a very mild sweetness from the mashed sweet potatoes. We think they go perfectly with all the sweet and savory foods on a holiday buffet table, plus they’re pretty great slathered with jam for breakfast the next morning! You can also substitute regular potatoes, yams, or pumpkin for the sweet potatoes.
When it comes to large dinner parties and holiday buffets, we appreciate no-knead recipes more than ever. The dough can be made the day ahead, refrigerated, and made into rolls the next morning. You can also make them ahead of time and freeze the baked rolls. Warmed in the oven, no one will be able to tell they weren’t baked fresh!
3/4 cup (6 ounces) warm water
1 scant tablespoon (1 package) active-dry yeast
1 cup (9 ounces) mashed sweet potatoes (see note below)
1 cup (8.5 ounces) milk – whole or 2% preferably
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter – melted
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 cups (20 ounces) all-purpose flour
Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl and let stand until the yeast is dissolved. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, the milk, the melted butter, the brown sugar, and the salt. Stir until all ingredients are evenly combined. Add the flour, stirring until a shaggy dough is formed and no more dry flour is visible. This dough will be very sticky.
Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let stand until doubled in bulk, at least 2 hours or as long as 5 hours. The dough can be used immediately, but it’s easier to work with if you can refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. The dough can also be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
When ready to shape the rolls, sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and turn the dough out on top. Sprinkle a little more flour on top and press the dough into a thick disk. Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into 24 pieces. Shape into balls and place about 5 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise until the rolls are roughly doubled in size, about 45 minutes in a warm kitchen.
About 20 minutes before the rolls are finished rising, preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
Remove the cover and bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes, until they are puffed and toasted brown. Serve warm or room temperature. Rolls are best the first day, but will stay fresh for several days after if stored in an airtight container.
• To make the mashed sweet potatoes, roast a medium-sized (roughly 9 ounce) sweet potato in a 400° oven until completely soft. Strip off the skin and mash.
• For extra richness, brush the tops with melted butter or egg yolk before baking. So good!
• These rolls can also be frozen if you’re making them ahead of time. Allow the baked rolls to cool completely, wrap them in aluminum foil, and freeze them. To re-heat, let them thaw on the counter and then warm them in a 300° oven for 15 minutes.
November 6th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed