Cassoulet is a dish that typlifies French home and bistro cooking and has somewhat of a legendary status among gourmands. As for most French cooking, it is a regional dish originally from the South West that has become popular all over the country and is standard bistro fare, or even bought canned.
Fudge making has a bad rap. Making it is messy, you need a thermometer, the stove heat can’t be too hot to burn the chocolate, and there is a big chance it will turn out grainy. Its easier to head over to See’s candy and buy a box of ultra sweet fudge.
Stollen is traditionally eaten and exchanged during the holidays in Germany. While all the European countries have their characteristic holiday bread with butter and dried fruits, the Stollen is quite unique. If you want to impress a European visitor, this is the Christmas bread to make.
The most famous of tomato sauces are Italian and they are rustic preparations. Marinara sauce is a basic vegetarian tomato sauce. I make a wide variety of pasta sauces in the slow cooker. This is a family sized recipe for a long cooking marinara sauce. It is a pot of fabulous tomato wine sauce, that goes together in minutes using canned tomatoes, that simmers all day.
While turkey, stuffing, and pies are easy for most holiday cooks, the one portion of the meal that can really be challenging year after year is the side dishes. Certainly everyone has perennial family favorites, the ones made over and over. But sometimes you want to try something new…
It used to be a seasonal thing, being crazy for cranberries. Not any more. But there is no Thanksgiving holiday table without cranberry sauce. And I am not alone considering how many cooks love to make a batch of their own cranberry sauce for the holiday table. The array of flavors is close to infinite considering cranberries meld with so many other flavors from curry to ginger.
Every holiday season I make lots of this bright cranberry chutney to serve with turkey and as a spread for sandwiches. I got it from extraordinaire food writer and recipe developer Peggy Fallon, a cranberry lover, who serves it as an accompaniment to a savory cheesecake for winter entertaining. This is one of my all time favorite cooked sauces, one I prepare every year and often give as gifts. Serve it as a condiment, or dabbed on unsalted crackers with soft cheese.
Cranberries and blueberries come from the same botanical family as rhododendrons and heathers. They are native to the bogs of New England, but great fruit comes from Oregon and Washington, all grown organically. Fresh cranberries arrive in stores in late fall and can be frozen in their original wrapping (don’t put frozen cranberries in the bread machine; defrost first) for use in the spring and summer. Use bags of fresh cranberries within two weeks of purchase so that they won’t get mushy or shriveled. My mother got this recipe from her antique dealer, Alan, who is a genius in the kitchen. For so few ingredients, the results are tart and satisfying with all sorts of roasted meats like poultry, pork loin, and ham. This method of preparing cranberry sauce with the ginger juice fast became a yearly ritual at Thanksgiving and Christmas in my family.
Whether you are serving the glamorous or casual, a ham is a delight on the buffet table. Even people who never eat ham will indulge at a party. It is “special” and the hunk looks very impressive sitting on a platter or carving board in all its glistening glory.