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Friday, December 18, 2020
Holiday Cooking

It’s time for turkey, ham and tons of desert. The holiday season has finally arrived and that means food, food and more food. Now is the perfect time to come together with all of your family and friends and get in the kitchen. Finding a good holiday recipe last minute can be a headache. Below, are three easy recipes that you can make this holiday. Grab your apron and ladle and let’s get cooking.

Pull – Apart Christmas Tree

1 lb. refrigerated pizza dough

Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water)

7 mozzarella sticks

1/4 c. melted butter

1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan

1 tbsp. Thinly sliced basil

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 tbsp. chopped rosemary

Marinara, warmed (for serving)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut mozzarella sticks into 1” pieces and set aside.

On a floured surface, divide pizza dough into two pieces. Stretch and roll each piece of dough into a long rectangle, then cut dough into 2” squares (you’ll need 33 total).

Wrap a dough square around each piece of mozzarella, forming a tightly sealed ball. Place balls seam-side down on the baking sheet in the shape of a Christmas tree (they should be touching). Brush egg wash on dough balls and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together melted butter, Parmesan and herbs. Brush on baked pizza balls. Serve warm with marinara for dipping.

Bacon Wrapped Turkey  

1 (11-lb.) turkey, neck and giblets removed

1 large red onion, cut into large wedges

1 bunch thyme

1 bunch rosemary

1/2 c. (1 stick) melted butter

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 lb. bacon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°. Stuff cavity with onion, thyme, and rosemary then tie legs together and tuck wings in.

In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter and seasonings. Brush turkey all over with butter mixture.

Place turkey in a roasting pan. Place strips of bacon on turkey and weave together.

Bake for 3 hours, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165°. Check after 2 hours and cover with foil if bacon gets too dark.

Baked Mac and Cheese 

1 lb. dried elbow pasta

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 1/2 cups half and half

4 cups grated medium sharp cheddar cheese - divided (measured after grating)

2 cups grated Gruyere cheese - divided (measured after grating)

1/2 Tbsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. paprika

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 3 qt baking dish (9x13").  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  When boiling, add dried pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente.  Drain and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to keep from sticking.

While water is coming up to a boil, grate cheeses and toss together to mix, then divide into three piles.  Approximately 3 cups for the sauce, 1 1/2 cups for the inner layer, and 1 1/2 cups for the topping.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over MED heat.  Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine.  Mixture will look like very wet sand.  Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often.  Slowly pour in about 2 cups or so of the milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until smooth.  Slowly pour in the remaining milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until combined and smooth.

Continue to heat over MED heat, whisking very often, until thickened to a very thick consistency.  It should almost be the consistency of a semi thinned out condensed soup.

Remove from the heat and stir in spices and 1 1/2 cups of the cheeses, stirring to melt and combine.  Stir in another 1 1/2 cups of cheese, and stir until completely melted and smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine drained pasta with cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully.  Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Top with 1 1/2 cups of grated cheeses, then top that with the remaining pasta mixture.

Sprinkle the top with the last 1 1/2 cups of cheese and bake for 15 minutes, until cheesy is bubbly and lightly golden brown. 

Happy Cooking!
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