15 recipes to make your holidays a success

15 recipes to make your holidays a success

How can the holidays possibly almost be here? On our internal clock, it’s somewhere around the Fourth of July.

Yet the holidays are knocking at the door, if not sliding down the chimney. And so it is suddenly time to start thinking about what to serve.

Don’t worry. Don’t stress. To make your holiday dinners successful, we offer 15 of our favorite ideas for festive, seasonal dishes everyone will appreciate and admire.

Grilled Standing Rib Roast

Grilled Standing Rib Roast
Christmas dinner – Grilled Standing Rib Roast. Photo by Huy Mach, hmach@post-dispatch.comHuy Mach •

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 (4-rib) rib roast, about 6 to 8 pounds

6 tablespoons kosher salt

6 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper

1. Light a fire on one side of a large kettle grill, using about enough charcoal to fill a large shoebox. If you have a gas grill, turn the gas on medium-high on one side. Or preheat an oven to 400 degrees.

2. Dry the roast with paper towels, then rub it all over with salt and pepper, pressing gently to be sure that it adheres. When the fire has died down and the coals are covered with white ash, place the roast bone-side down on the side of the grill away from the heat, being very careful that none of the meat is directly over the coals or gas (if using an oven, place the meat on a rack in a baking pan). Put the lid on the grill and open the vents about ¼ of the way.

3. Cook, adding a handful of fresh charcoal every 30 minutes (if using charcoal) until it is done the way you like it: 1 hour and 40 minutes to 2 hours for rare (1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours and 10 minutes in the oven). To check for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the dead center of the roast: 120 degrees is rare, 126 degrees is medium-rare, 134 degrees is medium, 150 degrees is medium-well and 160 degrees is well done.

4. Remove meat from the grill, cover it loosely with foil and allow it to rest 20 minutes or so before carving.

Per serving (based on 8): 590 calories; 35g fat; 14g saturated fat; 200mg cholesterol; 66g protein; 3g carbohydrate; no sugar; 1g fiber; 4,485mg sodium; 49mg calcium.

Recipe from “How to Cook Meat,” by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby

Figgy Pudding With Sauce

Figgy Pudding With Sauce
Figgy Pudding was photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in St. Louis. Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.comChris Lee

Yield: 12 servings

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened, plus extra for the bowls and waxed paper

1¾ pounds of dried figs

5 ounces brandy

1½ pounds mixture of raisins and currants

3 apples, peeled, cored, and grated

¾ pound dark brown sugar

2 cups bread crumbs

1¾ cup self-rising flour

1 tablespoon allspice

½ cup brandy, optional

For the sauce

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups heavy cream

14 tablespoons ( 1¾ cup) butter

1. Butter a 2-cup, a 4-cup, and an 8-cup heatproof bowl, then line the base of each with a circle of parchment paper (you can use other-sized bowls, but you will have to adjust the cooking times accordingly). Butter 3 large sheets of waxed paper and lay each on a sheet of aluminum foil, butter side up. Fold a pleat in the middle of each waxed paper/foil combination.

2. Roughly chop ½ pound of the figs and set them aside. Put the remaining figs, butter, and brandy into a food processor and process until smooth-ish, then transfer to your largest mixing bowl. Add the chopped figs, raisins, and currants, grated apple, brown sugar, bread crumbs, flour, and allspice. Stir everything together, divide among the bowls (don’t fill them to the top), and smooth the surfaces.

3. Cover the bowls with the buttered waxed paper foils and tie them with string. Place in separate saucepans with upturned saucers or scrunched-up bits of aluminum foil in the bottom (so the bowls don’t touch the bottom), then fill each pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl.

4. Cover with a lid and simmer the 2-cup bowl for 1 to 1½ hours, the 4-cup bowl for 2 to 2½ hours, and the 8-cup bowl for 3 hours, adding more boiling water as needed to keep the level about halfway up the bowls. Cool to room temperature, or a little warm, before serving.

5. To make the sauce, combine the brown sugar and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat, bring it to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated.

6. To serve, unmold the bowls. If desired, heat the optional brandy in a small pan over medium-high heat until fragrant. Pour over the puddings and quickly set them afire. Or cut an X into the top of the puddings and pour the sauce over the tops and down the sides.

Per serving: 1150 calories; 45g fat; 28g saturated fat; 122mg cholesterol; 10g protein; 182g carbohydrate; 137g sugar; 11g fiber; 420mg sodium; 313mg calcium.

Adapted from recipes by bbcgoodfoodshow.com and the Food Network


Latkes, also commonly called potato pancakes, are prepared by frying grated potato and onions, photographed on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Photo by Roberto Rodriguez, rrodriguez@post-dispatch.com Roberto Rodriguez

Yield: 5 servings

2 russet potatoes, unpeeled

2 tablespoons onion, minced

1 large wedge of lemon

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Vegetable oil (not olive)

1. Grate the potatoes, using the small holes of a grater. Place the gratings in several layers of paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as you can (it is easiest to do this in 2 batches, and it makes cleaning easier if you do it over a sink). Unwrap the potato gratings and place them in a medium bowl. Add the onion, squeeze the lemon over the top and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs, flour, and nutmeg, and stir to mix again.

2. Pour oil into a skillet to a depth of 1/8 to ¼ inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is very hot; the oil is ready when a little bit of the potato mixture instantly sizzles when you drop it in. Pour in enough of the potato mixture to make 1 or 2 (4-inch) pancakes; do not make more than 2 at a time. Flatten the potatoes in the pan with a spatula and fry for a few minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Flip pancakes and cook until the other sides are golden brown. Remove, drain on paper towels sprinkle with plenty of salt.

3. If desired, serve with apple sauce or sour cream.

Per serving: 200 calories; 7g fat; 1g saturated fat; 74mg cholesterol; 6g protein; 30g carbohydrate; 1g sugar; 2g fiber; 36mg sodium; 33mg calcium.

Recipe by Daniel Neman

Dresden Stollen

Dresden Stollen
Dresden Stollen was photographed on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com Laurie Skrivan

Yield: 24 servings

2½ cups raisins, preferably a mix of regular and golden

½ cup rum

8 cups all-purpose flour

1 to 2 cups of milk

2 packages (1½ tablespoons) of dry yeast

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound unsalted butter, softened

3½ ounces almonds, ground or finely chopped

4 ounces candied lemon peel, finely chopped

4 ounces candied orange peel, finely chopped

½ teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, for coating

Confectioners’ sugar, for coating

Note: This recipe makes 2 stollens. The recipe may be halved if you want just 1 stollen.

1. Soak raisins in rum overnight. Drain before using.

2. Combine flour, milk, yeast, sugar, salt, and butter to form a smooth yeast dough. A stand mixer may be too small to contain all the ingredients if you are using the full recipe; they can be mixed by hand in a very large bowl (use a pastry blender if the butter is not soft enough), kneading the dough to make it smooth.

3. Add almonds, followed in turn by candied fruit peels, mace, zest, and drained raisins; knead dough to mix ingredients thoroughly after each addition. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for 1 hour. While it is resting, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

4. Knead the dough once more and divide it into 2 halves. Shape each half into a rectangle about 12 to 15 inches long. Fold one end of the short side over itself to the middle, as if you are making the first fold in a letter. Press down on the seam to seal. Place loaves on a parchment paper-lined (or greased) baking sheet — they will spread, so keep them far apart. Bake for 1 hour.

5. Cool on a wire rack. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and brush over loaves. Dust generously with confectioners’ sugar. Stollen will keep, wrapped, for several weeks.

Per serving: 421 calories; 19g fat; 11g saturated fat; 44mg cholesterol; 6g protein; 55g carbohydrate; 19g sugar; 2g fiber; 10mg sodium; 43mg calcium

Adapted from GermanFoods.org

RECIPE: Beef Wellington

RECIPE: Beef Wellington
Beef Wellington for Christmas Dinner, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

3 pints (1½ pounds) of white button mushrooms

2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves

8 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only, divided

Salt and pepper

1 (3-pound) center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed

Olive oil

12 thin slices prosciutto

2 tablespoons Dijon or English mustard

Flour, for rolling out puff pastry

1 pound puff pastry, homemade (see recipe) or store-bought, thawed if frozen.

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

Note: The duxelles and the homemade puff pastry (if used) can be made a day or two ahead of time.

1. For the duxelles: Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and the leaves of 2 of the sprigs of thyme to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the shallot-and-mushroom mixture, and sauté until most of the liquid it releases has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool. Maybe refrigerated for up to 3 days.

2. For the beef: Tie the tenderloin in 4 places so it holds its cylindrical shape while cooking. Drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and sear all over, including the ends, in a hot, heavy-bottomed skillet lightly coated with olive oil.

3. Meanwhile, set out your prosciutto on a sheet of plastic wrap at least a foot and a half in length. Shingle the prosciutto so it forms a rectangle that is big enough to encompass the entire filet of beef. Using a rubber spatula, cover prosciutto evenly with a thin layer of duxelles, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with leaves from the remaining 6 sprigs of thyme.

4. When the beef is seared, remove from heat, cut off the twine, and smear lightly all over with mustard. Allow to cool slightly, then roll up in the duxelles-covered prosciutto, using the plastic wrap to tie it up tightly. Tuck in the ends of the prosciutto as you roll to completely encompass the beef. Twist the ends of the plastic to seal it completely and hold it in a log shape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to ensure it maintains its shape.

5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to form a rectangle large enough to completely encompass the beef (this is vital — if necessary, overlap 2 sheets and press them together). Remove plastic from the beef and set the meat in the middle of the pastry. Fold the longer sides over the meat, brushing the edges with a beaten egg to seal. Brush ends with beaten egg to seal and fold over to completely seal the beef. Trim ends if necessary. Top with coarse sea salt. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet.

7. Brush the top of the pastry with egg, then make a few slits in the top of the pastry, using the tip of a paring knife, to allow steam to escape while cooking. Bake 35 to 45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and beef registers 125 to 130 degrees on a meat thermometer for medium-rare, 135 to 140 degrees for medium, 140 to 145 degrees for medium-well, or 150 to 155 for well done.

8. Allow resting before cutting into thick slices.

Per serving (based on 8): 762 calories; 41g fat; 11g saturated fat; 194mg cholesterol; 64g protein; 33g carbohydrate; 3g sugar; 2g fiber; 1,779mg sodium; 68mg calcium

Adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence, via Food Network


Yield: 12 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour, preferably chilled

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

20 tablespoons (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and diced

½ cup ice-cold water

Note: This is best prepared in a cool kitchen, on a cool work surface, using light and assertive gestures to prevent overheating the dough. Don’t attempt it when the oven is on.

1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour, stopping when the mixture looks crumbly but fairly even, with the average piece of butter about the size of a large pea.

2. Turn out onto a clean and cool work surface and form a well in the center. Pour in the water and work it into the flour and butter mixture with a bench scraper or a wooden spoon. Knead lightly, just enough so that the dough comes together in a ball, and shapes into a rough square. There should be little pieces of butter visible in the dough. If you have time, refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

3. Flour your work surface lightly. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough in one direction into a rectangle about 20 inches long. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Brush to remove excess flour and fold the dough in three, like a letter, so the top and bottom overlap, dusting again after the first fold.

4. Give the dough a quarter of a turn, and repeat the rolling and folding steps. Repeat until you’ve rolled and folded a total of four times. You should get a neat rectangle or square pad of dough. If you find the dough becomes sticky at any point, refrigerate for 30 minutes to cool again.

5. Put the dough on a plate, cover it, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight before using. If the dough seems too stiff when you take it out of the fridge, let it come to room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before using.

Per serving: 246 calories; 19g fat; 12g saturated fat; 51mg cholesterol; 2g protein; 16g carbohydrate; no sugar; 1g fiber; 100mg sodium; 9mg calcium

Adapted from “Tasting Paris,” by Clotilde Dusoulier

Stovetop Tzimmes

Stovetop Tzimmes
Tzimmes prepared with carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, prunes, cranberries, and cinnamon were photographed on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Photo by Roberto Rodriguez, rrodriguez@post-dispatch.com PHOTOS BY Roberto Rodriguez •

Yield: 8 servings

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces

2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds

5 ounces dried cranberries

2 cups orange juice

½ cup honey

½ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1½ cups chicken broth or salted water

10 ounces pitted prunes (2½ cups)

1. Mix together sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots in the bottom of a large, heavy pot. Sprinkle dried cranberries on top.

2. In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together orange juice, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Pour mixture over fruit and vegetables into the pot.

3. Add chicken broth or salted water. Heat pot over medium-high until it begins to simmer, stirring once. Reduce heat to a gentle but constant simmer, and cover the pot.

4. After 45 minutes, gently stir again. Place pitted prunes on top of the other ingredients and replace the cover.

5. Cook on the lowest heat for 15 minutes until sweet potato pieces are tender and prunes have warmed and softened. Avoid overcooking, which will cause the prunes to dissolve.

Per serving: 367 calories; 1g fat; no saturated fat; no cholesterol; 3g protein; 92g carbohydrate; 64g sugar; 7g fiber; 523mg sodium; 65mg calcium.

Adapted from a recipe by Tori Avey.

Sugar Plums

Sugar Plums
Sugarplums were photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in St. Louis. Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com Chris Lee

Yield: About 33 candies

2 cups almonds

¼ cup honey

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1½ cups whole dried apricots

1 cup pitted dates

Pinch of salt

Zest of 1 orange

Powdered sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until almonds are roasted and slightly brown.

2. Add almonds to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until chopped into fine pieces, about the size of a match head. Add honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, apricots, dates, salt, and orange zest to the almonds. Pulse until mixture is well chopped and beginning to clump.

3. To form sugar plums, pinch off a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball. When all sugar plums are formed, dust the top with powdered sugar.

Per serving: 84 calories; 4g fat; 0g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 2g protein; 12g carbohydrate; 9g sugar; 2g fiber; 5mg sodium; 27mg calcium.

Recipe by backtoherroots.com

Lamb With Mustard and Honey

Lamb With Mustard and Honey
Easter dinner includes Lamb with Mustard and Honey, photographed Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com Hillary Levin

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

5 pounds of boneless leg of lamb

3 tablespoons strong Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon fine salt

Crunchy salt such as fleur de sel, optional

Black pepper, optional

Note: This dish marinates overnight.

1. Carefully remove large deposits of visible fat from the lamb, if there are any.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, honey, thyme, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Use this mixture to coat both sides of the lamb. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

3. If grilling: Grill, covered, over indirect heat for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 140 degrees for medium-rare (it will continue to cook once it is off the grill until it reaches the desired medium-rare temperature of 145 degrees. The final temperature for the medium is 160 degrees and well done is 170 degrees). If using a 3- to 4-pound lamb shoulder, cook for 35 to 45 minutes.

4. If roasting in the oven: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Roast a boneless leg of lamb (uncovered) for 20 minutes per pound for medium-rare, 25 minutes per pound for medium, or 30 minutes for well done. For a boneless shoulder, roast uncovered for 35 minutes per pound for medium-rare, 40 minutes for medium, or 45 minutes for well done.

5. Allow resting for at least 5 minutes before carving. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper, if desired.

Per serving (based on 10): 497 calories; 33g fat; 14g saturated fat; 155mg cholesterol; 43g protein; 4g carbohydrate; 4g sugar; 0g fiber; 160mg sodium; 24mg calcium

Adapted from “Tasting Paris,” by Clotilde Dusoulier

Sautéed Fresh Green Beans

Sautéed Fresh Green Beans
Christmas dinner – Sauteed Fresh Green Beans. Photo by Huy Mach, hmach@post-dispatch.com Photos by Huy Mach •

Yield: 6 servings

1½ pounds of very thin French green beans (haricots verts)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 rounded teaspoon chopped shallot

¼ teaspoon minced garlic

Pinch of granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or marjoram

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

2. Trim the ends from the beans and wash thoroughly. Bring a 6-quart pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Drop in the beans and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the beans and immediately plunge them into the bowl of ice water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and thoroughly dry.

3. In a 10-inch sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it to cover the surface of the pan. When the butter begins to brown, turn the heat to high, add the beans immediately and sauté for 1½ minutes. Constantly toss or lift the beans with a big spoon to prevent burning.

4. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, continuing to move the ingredients around the pan. Add the sugar and the tarragon or marjoram, and salt and pepper. Stir briefly, about 10 seconds. Remove from heat. Note: the entire cooking time in the sauté pan should not exceed 3 minutes.

Per serving: 69 calories; 4g fat; 2g saturated fat; 10mg cholesterol; 3g protein; 7g carbohydrate; 3g sugar; 3g fiber; 1mg sodium; 55mg calcium.

Adapted from “The Inn at Little Washington Cookbook,” by Patrick O’Connell

Not Too Well Stewed Brisket

Not Too Well Stewed Brisket
“Not too Stewed” Brisket braised in red wine, onions, tomatoes, and spices photographed Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Photo by Roberto Rodriguez, rrodriguez@post-dispatch.com Roberto Rodriguez

2 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 (5-pound) brisket of beef, shoulder roast of beef, chuck roast, or end of the steak

1 clove of garlic, peeled

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 onions, peeled and diced

1 (14-ounce) can of tomatoes

2 cups red wine

2 stalks of celery with the leaves, chopped

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried rosemary

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 pound of carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal

Note: The original English-Yiddish name of this dish is Not Too Gedempte Fleysch.

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle the salt and pepper to taste over the brisket and rub with the garlic. In a large skillet or pan, heat the oil over medium-high and sear the brisket on both sides. Put the onions in a large Dutch oven or casserole and place the brisket on top of them, fat-side up. Cover with tomatoes, red wine, celery, bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary.

2. Cover and bake for about 3 hours, basting often with the pan juices.

3. Add parsley and carrots and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, or until carrots are cooked and the meat is fork-tender (when you put a fork in the meat and pull it out, there should be a light pull on the fork as you remove it).

4. This dish is best when it is prepared a day ahead of time and refrigerated, so the fat can easily be skimmed from the surface. When ready to serve, remove the layer of fat from the top and replace it in the pot with the side that had been covered by the fat facing down. Spoon some gravy over the top and reheat over medium heat or in the oven at 350 degrees until the meat is heated through about 30 minutes.

Per serving: 641 calories; 43g fat; 16g saturated fat; 152mg cholesterol; 43g protein; 9g carbohydrate; 4g sugar; 2g fiber; 615mg sodium; 46mg calcium.

Recipe adapted from a recipe originally by Joan Nathan and reprinted in “The Brisket Book,” by Stephanie Pierson.

Extra-Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Extra-Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Extra-Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes, a kicked-up Thanksgiving side dish. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com Christian Gooden •

Yield: 4 servings

2 large russet potatoes

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups heavy cream or whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter


Chopped chives for garnish

1. Peel potatoes if desired and cut into small cubes. Add potatoes, garlic, and cream to a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.

2. Strain, reserving the cream. Return potatoes to the pot or a large bowl and add 1 cup of the potato-flavored cream (the rest will make an excellent addition to many soups). With a masher or fork, mash the potatoes well. Add butter and stir until melted. Salt liberally, and taste for seasoning. Serve warm, with chopped chives sprinkled on top.

Per serving: 594 calories; 49g fat; 31g saturated fat; 151mg cholesterol; 6g protein; 35g carbohydrate; 6g sugar; 2g fiber; 41mg sodium; 92mg calcium.

Sufganiyot, by Gil Marks

Sufganiyot, by Gil Marks
Sufganiyot, jelly doughnuts served by some Jewish families at Hanukkah. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com David Carson

Yield: 24 small doughnuts

1 (¼-ounce) package of active dry yeast

½ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ cup milk or non-dairy creamer

1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) butter or margarine, softened

3 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon table salt

About 3¾ cups of all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil (not olive) or shortening for frying

1½ cups jam or jelly, store-bought or from the adjacent recipe

Powdered sugar or granulated sugar for dusting

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add 1 teaspoon of the sugar and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the milk, remaining ¼ cup minus 1 teaspoon of sugar, butter, egg yolks, salt, and 2 cups of flour. On low or medium-low speed, beat in enough of the remaining flour to make a smooth, soft dough. Do not overmix. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until double in bulk, about 1½ hours.

3. Punch down the dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth, about 12 times.

4. Roll out the dough until ¼ inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or glass, cut out 2½- to 3½-inch rounds. Place the dough rounds in a single layer on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover, and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

5. In a heavy pot or deep-fat fryer, heat at least 1 inch of the oil or shortening over medium heat to 375 degrees (if you don’t have a candy thermometer, the oil is ready when a cube of soft white bread turns brown in 35 seconds).

6. Using an oiled spatula, carefully drop the doughnuts into the oil top side down (they will be easier to turn that way). Fry 3 or 4 at a time, without crowding the pan, until golden brown on all sides (the temperature of the oil should not drop below 350 degrees). Remove with a slotted spoon or spider and drain on paper towels and let cool to room temperature.

7. Pierce the edge of each doughnut with a thin knife and pivot it back and forth to form a pocket inside. Place the jelly in a pastry bag or zip-top bag with a 1¼-inch hole or nozzle tip and pipe it through the slit. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or roll in granulated sugar.

Per doughnut: 221 calories; 4g protein; 25g carbohydrates; 12g fat; 3g saturated fat; 17mg cholesterol; 190mg sodium; 1g fiber; 14g sugar. Nutrition analysis is an estimate.

Recipe from “The World of Jewish Entertaining,” by Gil Marks

RECIPE: Mincemeat Pie

RECIPE: Mincemeat Pie
Mincemeat pie pictured on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Photo by Colter Peterson, cpeterson@post-dispatch.com Photos by Colter Peterson, Post-Dispatch

Yield: 8 to 10 servings (filling recipe makes 2 pies)

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

1 cup apple cider

1 cup candied red cherries

2/3 cup dark brown sugar

½ cup dried apricots, chopped

½ cup dried cherries

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried currants

½ cup dried figs, chopped

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

1 cup fresh orange juice

½ cup golden raisins

½ cup raisins

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup dark rum

1 double pie crust, recipe follows, or store-bought

1 egg, optional

Note: For best results, make filling 1 to 2 days before baking the pie.

1. Simmer apples, apple cider, candied cherries, brown sugar, apricots, dried cherries, cranberries, currants, figs, orange zest, orange juice, golden raisins, raisins, butter, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and rum in a medium pot over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the liquid is evaporated, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and chill for 24 to 48 hours to let flavors develop. Filling may be frozen for up to 3 months.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

3. Roll out crusts to ¹⁄8-inch thick, if needed. Place 1 crust — the larger one if using homemade — on the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Spread half of the filling over it (refrigerate and use the other half for another pie or use as jam and serve with goat cheese on crackers or small pieces of toast). Place the other crust on top and crimp edges or press fork around edge to seal crusts. Cut several vent slits in the top crust and a small hole in the center. If desired, beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush over the top crust (you will not need the entire mixture).

4. Bake on the middle rack in the oven until golden brown and the filling can be seen bubbling inside, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.

Per serving (based on 10): 455 calories; 24g fat; 13g saturated fat; 52mg cholesterol; 6g protein; 57g carbohydrate; 25g sugar; 4g fiber; 273mg sodium; 31mg calcium

Filling recipe by Rick Martinez in Bon Appetit

Gordon’s Christmas Roast Goose

Gordon’s Christmas Roast Goose
Gordon’s Christmas roast goose was photographed on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in Wildwood. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com Photos by Laurie Skrivan •

Yield: 5 to 8 servings

1 (8- to 12-pound) goose

4 lemons

3 limes

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

Small handful of parsley sprigs

Small handful of sage sprigs

Small handful of thyme sprigs, plus 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves, divided

3 tablespoons honey

1. Calculate the cooking time: The goose should be cooked for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then at 350 degrees for 9 minutes per pound for medium-rare or up to 14 minutes per pound for more well-done meat, plus 30 minutes resting time.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Check the inside of the goose and remove any giblets or pads of fat. Using the tip of a sharp knife, lightly score the skin all over in a criss-cross pattern. This helps to render the fat more quickly during roasting.

3. Grate the zest from the lemons and limes. Mix with 2 teaspoons fine salt, five-spice powder, and pepper to taste. Season the cavity of the goose generously with salt, then rub the citrus mixture well into the skin, sprinkling some inside the cavity.

4. Stuff the herb sprigs inside the bird and set them aside for at least 15 minutes. This can be done up to a day ahead and kept refrigerated.

5. Place the goose, breast-side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. If the goose extends over the sides of the pan, place the pan on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the honey and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Roast for the calculated time, turning the heat down after 10 minutes to 350 degrees. Cover the goose with foil if it is starting to brown too much.

6. Every 30 minutes or so, baste the bird with the pan juices, then pour off the fat through a coffee filter set in a strainer into a large heatproof bowl. You will end up with a quart or more of luscious fat — save this for roast potatoes, sautéing vegetables, cooking eggs, and even spreading on toast.

7. At the end of the cooking time, leave the goose to rest for at least 30 minutes, covered loosely with foil. The bird will not go cold but will be moist and much easier to carve.

Per serving (based on 8) 817 calories; 65g fat; 22g saturated fat; 194mg cholesterol; 44g protein; 12g carbohydrate; 8g sugar; 2g fiber; 137mg sodium; 42mg calcium

Recipe by Gordon Ramsay via bbcgoodfoodshow.com

Salt-Crusted Lamb

Salt-Crusted Lamb
Salt-Crusted Lamb after the salt shell has been broken open on Thursday, March 12, 2015. Photo by Cristina Fletes-Boutte, cfletes-boutte@post-dispatch.com Photos by Cristina Fletes-BouttÉ •

Yield: 6 servings

1 boneless leg of lamb

6 to 8 sprigs of fresh rosemary, divided

2 tablespoons oil

Black pepper

2 tablespoons grainy mustard

5 pounds coarse salt

3 to 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 tablespoons lavender

5 to 10 egg whites, as needed

1. preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking pan or baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

2. Place 3 to 4 sprigs of rosemary in the middle of the lamb where the bone had been and then roll the lamb back around it. For best results, tie the lamb together with 3 or 4 lengths of twine. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, sear the lamb until browned all over. Remove lamb, season with black pepper, and spread the mustard over it.

3. Pour salt into a very large bowl. Coarsely chop the thyme and the remaining 3 or 4 sprigs of rosemary and add to the salt. Add the lavender. Add 5 egg whites and mix with your hands (it’s more fun than a spoon) until thoroughly combined. The salt should be wetter than damp, but dryer than moist. If it is too dry, add more egg whites.

4. Place the lamb on the prepared baking pan or baking sheet and cover all exposed areas with the salt, compacting it by hand to form a shell. Bake about an hour for medium-rare, longer for more well done. Lamb is medium-rare at 145 degrees, but bear in mind that the meat will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven, especially while it is still in the salt shell.

5. When the lamb is done, use a hammer or rolling pin to crack open the salt crust. Remove the crust and the twine, if used, and cut the lamb into slices.

Per serving: 631 calories; 42g fat; 16g saturated fat; 211mg cholesterol; 58g protein; 1g carbohydrate; no sugar; no fiber; 270mg sodium; 27mg calcium.

Adapted from a recipe by Olivier Berté

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