With Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching, many of us are busy planning menus and doing last-minute cleaning in preparation for the invasion of family and friends. Right now, you’re probably planning on getting up with the sun to stuff the turkey and start preparing side dishes. Often, family arrives and spends the day watching football and catching up on each other’s lives until the time we all wait for: dinnertime! You could make the traditional bread stuffing seasoned with onions, celery and sage or you could be adventurous and jazz up your stuffing with a variety of flavor combinations that leave your family wondering when you had time to attend culinary school!
To create your own stylish stuffing, try using cornbread instead of white bread or add a savory meat to the mix. Some good meats to try are cooked sausage, country ham or bacon. To add another flavor, pair one of these meats with fruits, such as chopped apples, raisins or dry cranberries. Toasted pecans or walnuts could be added to give the stuffing a nice texture. You can also get creative with the herbs and spices that you use to season the stuffing. Consider adding nutmeg, fresh chopped parsley or even marjoram to switch up the flavors.
Another thing that is often overlooked when you are preparing for big holidays is what to feed the family members that arrive hungry four hours before dinner is served. You’ll want to keep these relatives out of the kitchen and out of your hair without having to worry about whipping up snacks on the spot. Here we have an easy recipe for an antipasto salad that can be made ahead of time for everyone to munch on during the Thanksgiving parade and the big game.
Recipe provided by Kitchen Manager Chris Farmer
One 28 ounce can of artichoke hearts, quartered
8 washed and sliced Roma tomatoes
One 16 ounce jar of mixed olives
¾ pound of thinly sliced Genoa Salami
¾ pound of thinly sliced Capicola ham
2 pounds of fresh Mozzarella cheese
1 cup of fresh basil chiffonade
Olive oil, oregano, and diced garlic to taste
In a bowl, combine olive oil, oregano and garlic.
Drain the artichokes and marinate them overnight in the olive oil mixture.
To assemble the salad, arrange the ingredients on a serving tray. Start by folding the Genoa salami slices in half and go around the edge of platter, then repeat the process with the artichokes, tomatoes, Capicola ham, mixed olives and Mozzarella cheese.
Top with basil chiffonade and a drizzle of olive oil.
Refrigerate until serving.
Do you have any special Thanksgiving recipes or traditions? Share them in our comments section!