The Best Christmas Recipes and Activties

Christmas Stuffing with Bacon

Total Time:1 hr 40 minPrep:30 minInactive:10 min
Cook:1 hrYield:8 to 10 servingsLevel:Easy

Ingredients
8 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
Rice:
4 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/4 cups short-grain brown rice
1 1/4 cups wild rice
Vegetables:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One 14-ounce bag frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces (3 large) portobello mushrooms, shredded or thinly sliced
8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped, optional
Directions

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, drain the bacon on paper towels.
For the rice: In a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, bring the broth and thyme to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the brown and wild rice. Cover the saucepan and simmer until the rice is tender but still chewy, 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
For the vegetables: In the same skillet used to cook the bacon, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until light golden, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
Transfer the vegetable mixture to the saucepan of cooked rice. Add the hazelnuts and cooked bacon. Toss until all the ingredients are mixed. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.
Cook’s Notes: The rice can also be cooked in 4 cups of broth and 1/2 cup of water.

To toast the hazelnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before using.

Sunday Rib Roast

Total Time:2 hr 25 min
Prep:20 min
Inactive:20 min
Cook:1 hr 45 min
Yield:6 to 8 servings
Level:Easy

Ingredients
1 (3-rib) standing rib roast (7 to 8 pounds)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Mustard Horseradish Sauce, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions

Two hours before roasting, remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (see note).
Place the oven rack on the second lowest position.
Place the roast in a pan large enough to hold it comfortably, bone-side down, and spread the top thickly with the salt and pepper. Roast the meat for 45 minutes. Without removing the meat from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and roast for another 30 minutes. Finally, increase the temperature to 450 degrees F and roast for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the meat is 125 degrees F. (Be sure the thermometer is exactly in the center of the roast.) The total cooking time will be between 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 hours. Meanwhile, make the sauce.
Remove the roast from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Cover it tightly with aluminum foil and allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with the sauce.
Note: Be sure your oven is very clean before setting it at 500 degrees F.
Mustard Horseradish Sauce:
Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustards, horseradish, sour cream, and salt in a small bowl.
Barefoot Contessa Family Style

Maple-Syrup-Glazed Roast Turkey with Riesling Gravy

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 14-pound fresh turkey, neck and giblets removed and reserved for stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cornbread Sourdough Stuffing
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Riesling wine
  • 2 cups Homemade Turkey Stock, or low-sodium canned chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 2/3 cup seedless red and green grapes, each cut in half

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees with rack in lowest third of oven. Wash turkey inside and out with cold running water, and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck wing tips under body. Generously season neck, body cavities, and underside with salt and pepper.

  2. Loosely fill the neck cavity with the stuffing. Using wooden skewers or toothpicks, secure the flap. Holding the turkey upright, loosely fill the body cavity with stuffing. Pull the legs together, and tie them with kitchen twine. Heap on additional stuffing so that it is bulging out of the cavity. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper over the bird, and set it on a rack in a roasting pan.

  3. Cut a double layer of cheesecloth to fit over the entire turkey. Melt 4 tablespoons butter. Place cheesecloth in the butter, completely soaking cloth. Drape cheesecloth over the bird.

  4. Place turkey in the oven, and roast 30 minutes. Baste with butter that has accumulated in the pan. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and loosely cover bird with a large piece of aluminum foil; roast 30 minutes more. Baste again. Continue roasting, basting once an hour, until a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees in the leg and 170 degrees in the breast, about 3 hours.

  5. During the last half hour of roasting, place grated ginger in a small, double layer of cheesecloth; squeeze juice into a small saucepan. Add maple syrup and 1 tablespoon butter. Heat the mixture until the butter has melted and is bubbling. Remove the maple-syrup glaze from heat.

  6. Remove foil tent and cheesecloth from bird, and discard. Brush glaze over bird several times during last half hour. Remove turkey from the oven, and transfer to a carving board. Let rest 30 minutes before carving.

  7. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with flour, and mix together until smooth; set aside. Pour pan drippings into a fat separator or glass measuring cup, and let stand 10 minutes. If using a fat separator, carefully return juices to pan; discard fat. If using a measuring cup, use a spoon to skim fat from top, and return juices to pan.

  8. Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over medium-high heat. Pour wine into the pan, and, using a wooden spoon, stir up any brown bits on bottom. Cook liquid until reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Add turkey stock, and cook until reduced again by half, about 7 minutes.

  9. Pass the gravy through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, and pour into a small saucepan. Whisk in the reserved butter-flour mixture until the butter has melted. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let gravy simmer until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Add red and green grapes to the gravy; serve gravy with turkey.

 

Old Fashioned Glazed Ham

Total Time:2 hr 50 minPrep:15 min
Inactive:15 minCook:2 hr 20 min
Yield:10 to 12 servingsLevel:Easy

Ingredients
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 (14-pound) cooked and smoked cured ham, shank end
3/4 cup pineapple juice
20 canned pineapple rings
1/2 cup maraschino cherries

Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put oven rack in the middle of the oven.
In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard, brown sugar, and thyme.
Put the ham in a large roasting pan, fat side up. Rub the ham with mustard glaze. Pour the pineapple juice into the bottom of the pan. Put the ham in the oven and bake for 2 hours, brushing every 20 minutes with the pineapple juice. Remove the ham from the oven.
Turn oven to 400 degrees F.
Using toothpicks, decoratively adhere the pineapple rings around the ham and put a cherry in the center of the pineapple ring. Sprinkle the pineapple rings lightly with brown sugar. Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake until the pineapples turn a light golden brown. Remove from the oven to a serving platter and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Recipe courtesy of The Neelys

Gingerbread Cookies

Total Time:1 hr 5 min
Prep:40 min
Inactive:15 min
Cook:10 min
Yield:about 6 dozen cookiesLevel:Easy
Ingredients
The foundation:
1 1/2 sticks lightly salted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 orange, zested
The dry ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground dry ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
The wet ingredients:
2 eggs
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 lemon, juiced
Easy Orange Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange liqueur
1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup

Directions
This recipe has been in my family for a long time. The smell will send friends and family running for the warmth of the kitchen. A note about good cookie baking: Halfway through, I always rotate the tray in the oven so the cookies bake evenly on all sides. This recipe is no exception.
Easy Orange Frosting, recipe follows
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, add the butter, sugar and orange zest and beat until smooth, 5 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses and lemon juice.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When the butter and sugar are integrated, lower the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Add the egg mixture and when blended, remove the bowl from the machine. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press the first half of the dough in between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat with the second half. This step will make it easier to finish rolling out the dough when it has chilled. It will also mean you only have half of the dough getting warm as you roll it.
Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut the shapes, making as few scraps as possible. Use a metal spatula to gently transfer them, cookie by cookie, (the cookies should be similar size) to a baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough and transfer them to another baking sheet. A note about crowding the tray(s): these particular cookies can spread a little. Leave room between the cookies. Better to use 3 baking sheets with fewer cookies than to crowd them on 2 trays. Bake until brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.
Got scraps? Form the scraps into a ball, press it flat and chill in the refrigerator. These cookies may be a little more “tough” because the dough will have been worked a little more than the others.
Why not have a little frosting on your gingerbread?
In a medium bowl add all of the ingredients and whisk together to combine. If too thick in consistency, add a touch more orange juice or water to thin out.
Use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip to pipe the frosting between 2 of the gingerbread cookies. Press the 2 cookies halves gently together.
The Variation:
I love springerle, the German anise-flavored cookies, for the delicate molds (and carved rolling pins) used to make them. I have made this recipe with springerle molds with stunning results. The kind of cookies that make people marvel at how great they look before they eat a half a plate of them! Simply dust the decorative molds (or rolling pin) with flour, shaking lightly to remove any excess. Roll the dough very thin (between 1/2 and 1/4-inch thick). Press or roll the dough into the molds and trace the shapes with a sharp knife to extract the cookies. Arrange them on a greased baking sheet (with some space between them) and bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Not using molds? Scoop the batter in teaspoons and roll them into balls. Press the balls onto a greased baking sheet or press with the tines of a fork to make ridges. Bake until brown around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes.
These cookies are so beautiful, they can stand alone. Or…make gingerbread sandwiches using the above frosting as the filling…
Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Holiday Monster Cookies

Total Time:1 hr 50 minPrep:20 minInactive:30 minCook:1 hr
Yield:2 dozen cookiesLevel:Easy

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook’s Note)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2 cups mixed red and green candy-coated chocolates, such as M and M’s
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups roughly chopped pretzel rods
1 1/3 cups chopped peppermint puffs
1 1/3 cups white chocolate chips

Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
Position oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl until evenly combined. Combine the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs and yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until the dough just comes together. Add the chocolate candies, oats, pretzels, peppermint puffs and white chocolate chips and stir with a large spoon until evenly mixed.
Scoop eight 1/3-cup portions of dough, roll into balls and divide between 2 baking sheets, spacing the cookies evenly apart. Press the dough balls into thick disks with the palm of your hand. Bake, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and barely brown in the very middle, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Copyright 2016 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.
Cook’s Note: When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
From Food Network Kitchen

Gingerbread House

Total Time:1 hr 30 minPrep:1 hr 15 minCook:15 minYield:One recipe of dough makes oneLevel:Easy

Gale Gand’s recipe makes firm cookies to use in a gingerbread house.
Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
For assemblage and decoration:
Melted white chocolate or Royal Icing (recipe follows)
Gumdrops, licorice and peppermint, as desired
Royal Icing:
1 pound (3-3/4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
1 to 2 large egg whites, or substitute 4 teaspoons packaged egg whites and 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla or lemon juice

Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
Gingerbread House:
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut out the following paper patterns for the gingerbread house template:
Two rectangles, 3 by 5 inches, to make the front and back of the house. Two rectangles, 3 by 5 1/2 inches for the roof. Two pieces for the ends of the house, 3 inches wide at the base, 3 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 5 1/2 inches from the bottom. Four smaller rectangles, 1 1/2 by 1 inch for the roof and sides of the entryway. And one piece, 2 inches wide at the base, 1 1/2 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 2 1/2 inches from the bottom for the front of the entryway.
Roll gingerbread dough out to edges on a large, rimless cookie sheet. Place paper patterns onto the rolled out dough. With a sharp, straight edged knife, cut around each of the pieces, but leave pieces in place.
Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes until dough feels firm.
Place patterns on top of the gingerbread again and trim shapes, cutting edges with a straight-edged sharp knife. Leave to cool on baking sheet.
Place royal icing into pastry bag with a writing tip and press out to decorate individual parts of house, piping on decorations, windows, door, etc., as desired. Let dry until hardened.
Glue sides, front and back of house together at corners using royal icing. Place an object against the pieces to prop up until icing is dry (it only takes a few minutes).
Glue the two roof pieces to the pitched roofline of the house. Then, similarly, glue the sides and roof of the entryway together with icing. Attach the entryway to the front of the house.
Continue decorating the house, glueing on gumdrops, licorice and peppermint, as desired.
Royal Icing:
Mix all of the ingredients together using an electric hand mixer, until the icing is smooth and thin enough to be pressed through a pastry bag with a writing tip. Add more lemon juice, if necessary.
Adapted by Food Network from a recipe courtesy of Beatrice Ojakangas

Classic Eggnog Recipe

TOTAL TIME: 3:10PREP: 0:10LEVEL: EASYSERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1/3 c. bourbon or rum (optional)
  • Whipped cream, for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat. Slowly bring mixture to a low boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until yolks are pale in color. Slowly add hot milk mixture to egg yolks in batches to temper the eggs and whisk until combined.
  3. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat until slightly thick (and coats the back of a spoon) but does not boil. (If using a candy thermometer, mixture should reach 160º.)
  4. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream and, if using, booze.
  5. Refrigerate until chilled.
  6. When ready to serve, garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon.

 

 

Holiday Apple Salad

TOTAL TIME: 0:30PREP: 0:20
LEVEL: EASYSERVES: 6-8

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CANDIED PECANS
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 c. pecans
FOR THE SALAD
  • 6 c. mixed greens
  • 2 apples, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries
FOR THE DRESSING
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Candy pecans: In a skillet over medium heat, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water. Stir, letting sugar dissolve, then add pecans and toss until totally coated. Let simmer 5 minutes until sticky, then remove from heat and let cool. (Pecans you don’t use for the salad can be stored in an airtight container up to 1 week.)
  2. Assemble salad: In a large bowl, combine greens, apples, candied pecans, blue cheese, and dried cranberries. Refrigerate until ready to dress and serve.
  3. Make dressing: In a bowl or glass jar, whisk together apple cider vinegar, shallot, dijon, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle salad with dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Pomegranate Moscow Mule

LEVEL: EASYSERVES: 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbsp. pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 c. ice
  • ginger beer
  • Sprig of Rosemary

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a cocktail glass stir together vodka, pomegranate juice, pomegranate seeds, tbsp. lime juice, honey, and ice.
  2. Top off with ginger beer and garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Food styling by Micah Morton.

Christmas Tree Cookie Stacks

TOTAL TIME: 0:30LEVEL: EASYSERVES: 16-18 COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

COOKIES
  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almondt extract
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
FROSTING
  • 1 c. butter
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp. water or milk
  • Green gel icing color
  • 2-3 tbsp. red and white pearl sprinkles
  • 16-18 yellow star sprinkles

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350º and line two cookie sheets with parchment.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla and almond extracts. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Dough will be thick.
  3. Make three sizes of cookie dough balls: 1 teaspoon, 2 teaspoons, and 3 teaspoons. (You should have an even number of each.) Place medium and large cookies on a cookie sheet and press down slightly on each. Bake until center looks mostly cooked, 7 to 8 minutes. Place smallest balls of dough on another cookie sheet and press down slightly. Bake until center looks mostly cooked, 5 to 6 minutes. When cookies are done, remove from oven and let cool 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a cookie rack to finish cooling.
  4. Make frosting: Beat butter until smooth. Add half the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons water and mix until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add green gel icing color to frosting and mix until your desired shade of green.
  5. Assemble cookies: Get one size of each cookie. Fit a piping bag with a medium sized star piping tip (I used Wilton 32) and fill bag with green frosting.
  6. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the largest cookie, then add the second medium sized cookie on top. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the second cookie, then top with the smallest cookie. Pipe a swirl on top of the final cookie and decorate with a star and round ornament sprinkles. Continue building cookie trees, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Christmas Lasagna
Prep time
0 min
Cook time
0 min
Total time
0 min
Ingredients
  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 2 jars spaghetti sauce
  • 4-5 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 32 oz ricotta
  • 1 package no boil noodles
Instructions
  1. Brown and drain the sausage and hamburger together.
  2. Add sausage and hamburger to large bowl and pour in the two jars of sauce.
  3. In separate bowl mix the ricotta, 2 eggs and 1 cup of cheese.
  4. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 dish.
  5. Place noodles on top of sauce.
  6. Spread ⅓ of the cheese mixture on the noodles.
  7. Sprinkle with a little more shredded mozzarella.
  8. Top with more sauce.
  9. Do another layer of noodles.
  10. Cheese mixture
  11. Shredded cheese
  12. Sauce.
  13. Noodles.
  14. Cheese mixture.
  15. Sauce.
  16. Shredded Cheese.
  17. Arrange peppers into Christmas Tree shape.
  18. Cover with foil and bake 30-40 minutes at 350 till bubbly.
  19. Remove foil last few minutes of baking to let cheese get brown.

Holiday Oyster Stew

Serve this rich oyster stew with plenty of fresh crusty bread for dipping.

TOTAL TIME: 0:12COOK: 0:12LEVEL: EasySERVES: 8

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • ½ c. minced celery
  • 1 qt. half-and-half
  • 1 qt. milk
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 pt. fresh, raw, shucked oysters
  • 2 tbsp. 1-inch-long pieces chives (optional)

Directions

  1. Make the soup: Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the shallot, onion, and celery until soft — about 5 minutes. Stir in half-and-half, milk, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Heat to just under a boil. Add oysters and their liquor. Simmer just until the oysters begin to curl on the edges — about 5 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with chives, if desired.

Cheddar Biscuits

Serve these biscuits with Sweet-and-Spicy Cola-Glazed Ham and store-bought chutneys and mustards for a savory brunch or hearty dinner.

TOTAL TIME: 1:00
PREP: 0:35
LEVEL: Moderate
YIELD: 24 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 8 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. Freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ stick unsalted butter
  • 2 c. Buttermilk
  • 1 c. Grated Cheddar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and Cheddar, and stir until dough just comes together.
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into halves and pat each into a rectangle. Set aside one rectangle and cover with a clean dish towel.
  3. Working with the other rectangle and using your hands, fold, flatten, and repeat until the dough has been folded over 4 times. Pat out until 1 inch thick. Cut out biscuits using a 2-inch round cutter. Repeat with reserved dough rectangle. Reroll scrap dough and repeat until all dough is used.
  4. Transfer biscuits to two baking sheets and bake until golden on top, 14 to 18 minutes.

Sweet-and-Spicy Cola-Glazed HaM

Paired with Cheddar Biscuits and store-bought chutneys and mustards, this ham makes for a comforting dinner after a cold winter day.

TOTAL TIME: 3:35
PREP: 0:15
LEVEL: Moderate
YIELD: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. cola
  • 1 c. dark-brown sugar
  • ½ c. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 bone-in cooked ham
  • butter

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cola, brown sugar, mustard, and red pepper flakes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until glaze is reduced and slightly thickened, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, score ham, making 1/2-inch-deep marks in a grid pattern. Line a roasting pan with a piece of buttered aluminum foil. Transfer ham to pan and, using a pastry brush, cover with a third of the glaze.
  3. Bake ham for 1 1/2 hours, and brush with a third of the glaze. Bake for another hour, and brush with remaining glaze. Continue baking for up to 30 minutes more, until an instant-read thermometer reaches 145 degrees F when inserted into ham. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes.

Cranberry-Grape Sauce

A sweet spin on the time-honored Thanksgiving condiment.

TOTAL TIME: 0:20PREP: 0:05LEVEL: EasyYIELD: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 c. fresh cranberries
  • 2 c. seedless black grapes, halved
  • 1/2 c. ruby port
  • 1/4 c. fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp. orange zest
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Cook shallot in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cranberries and grapes; cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries just begin to burst, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add port and orange juice; cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst and sauce is thickened, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Stir in orange zest. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Vanilla Yogurt and Berry Trifle

TOTAL TIME: 0:35 PREP: 0:20 LEVEL: Easy  SERVES: 10

Ingredients

  • 2 package frozen strawberries
  • 1 package frozen raspberries
  • 1⅓ c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1½ tsp. cornstarch
  • ¾ c. heavy cream
  • 3 container nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 40 ladyfingers
  • 2 tbsp. orange liqueur (optional)
  • 1 package frozen blueberries

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together raspberry and strawberry juices with 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch. Boil until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks; set aside. In a large bowl, combine yogurt and remaining 2/3 cup sugar. Fold in whipped cream.
  3. Break ladyfingers in half. Place half of them in a 2-quart glass bowl or trifle dish. Drizzle cookies with 1 tablespoon liqueur, if using, and dollop with one-third of yogurt mixture. Spoon half of berries over yogurt mixture, then drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons thickened juices. Layer another one-third of yogurt mixture over berries, followed by a layer of remaining ladyfingers. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon liqueur and dollop with remaining yogurt mixture. Top with remaining berries and 3 to 4 more tablespoons thickened juice. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours, before serving.

Tips & Techniques

 Classic Tiny Tree

Advertisements