By Allison Persad
Delicious autumn! The best part? The smells emanating
from the kitchen. Baked cinnamon apples, roasted
chestnuts, spiced eggnog, honey glazed ham, the
glories of youth.
Creating a meal rich in tradition and deepened
with the flavor of the season’s boldest
ingredients is no longer just a picture print
by Currier and Ives.
Preparing a holiday feast does not have to mean
12 hours in the kitchen. With careful planning
and sharing the tasks, it can be a happy feeling
nothing in the world can buy.
Roasting is one of the simplest cooking methods
leading to delectable results. It typically
involves dry heat—an oven, open flame
or other heat source. The outcome is a delicious
brown exterior due to caramelization, which
lends great color and keeps moisture inside.
Most cooks are use to the basic roasting ingredients—chicken
or beef. However, most things can be roasted,
A general rule of thumb when roasting: The smaller
the roast, the higher the temperature.
Seasoning is essential to roasting. Start with
the basics—salt and pepper. This accentuates
the natural flavor and sweetness that comes
from roasting. When roasting vegetables, cut
pieces into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking.
Some seasonings to use that brings forth natural
flavors in roasting include: fresh herbs, such
as thyme, sage, tarragon and rosemary; garlic;
Always let the meat or poultry rest for 10 to
15 minutes before carving so the internal juices
have an opportunity to distribute evenly. Use
a conventional rack in a roasting pan to prevent
sticking and burning; you may also use a layer
of bones or aromatic vegetables, like carrots
and celery, placed in the bottom of the pan.
So, whether it’s over a firestone hearth
or in your Pullman kitchen, roasting this holiday
season will add warmth and flavor to your meal.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 (1 1/2 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded
and chopped into about 1 inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar
1/4 cup Italian sausage, removed from the casing(turkey
sausage, for a lighter version)
1 cup small dice onion
1/2 cup small dice carrot
1/2 cup small dice celery
1 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
pinch of grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (substitute:
dry white wine)
11/2 quarts chicken stock, (low sodium for a
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh chopped sage leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, drizzle the squash
with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with
1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon black
pepper and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum
foil and place the squash on top of the sheet
pan. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, or until
the squash is lightly caramelized and tender.
Remove the squash from the oven and set aside.
Place a large saucepan over medium high heat
and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive
oil to the pan and render the sausage. Cook,
stirring often until the meat is caramelized
and has released most of its fat, about 3 minutes.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, and cinnamon
and nutmeg to the pan and sweat, stirring often
for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan
and sweat for 1 minute stirring continuously.
Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and add the
chicken stock to the pan. Place the squash in
the pan with the maple syrup and sage.
Bring the pan to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Continue to cook the soup for 30 minutes, or
until the vegetables are all tender. Use an
immersion blender to puree the soup to a smooth
consistency and velvety texture. Alternately,
you can puree the soup in batches using a blender.
Taste the soup and re-season if necessary with
1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
If desired, add 1/2 cup heavy cream for a creamier
soup. Keep warm until serving. Optional: Garnish
with sage leaves or toasted pumpkin seeds.
Serves about 6. (Small portions are ideal to
start when serving a large holiday meal)
Herb-Roasted Turkey with Pan Gravy
1 (11-12-lb) turkey at room temperature (Brine
turkey overnight using your favorite brine mix
and brine bag, preferred Williams Sonoma) reserve
giblets for stock or stuffing
1 medium onion, halved
1 bunch of thyme sprigs
4 large rosemary sprigs
4 large sage sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf
4 garlic cloves crushed
1 lemon, quartered
2 large carrots, peeled and halved
2 celery stalks
Kosher salt and pepper
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup chicken or turkey broth
Preheat oven to 400° with rack in lower
third. After brining, pat turkey dry and place
in a large roasting pan on V-shaped rack. Place
carrots and celery on bottom of pan with half
cup stock. Season turkey inside and out liberally
with salt and pepper.
Stuff the cavity with lemon wedges, onion, crushed
garlic, half of all herbs(thyme, rosemary, sage,
bay leaf). Add remaining herbs, chopped, to
softened butter and brush turkey, including
Cover pan, if using roasting pan, cover turkey
with parchment paper then aluminum foil, and
roast for one hour.
Baste with pan juices, and add remaining stock
to pan, continue to roast covered until an instant
read thermometer inserted to the fleshy part
of the thigh registers 170° F, 30 minutes
to an hour.
Uncover, baste with pan juices and roast for
15 minutes more or until skin is golden brown.
Carefully tilt the turkey so juices inside cavity
run into pan.
Transfer turkey to a platter, loosely cover
with foil and let rest 40 minutes.
For Pan Gravy
2 cups turkey stock
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs, parsley,
Salt and pepper to taste
Strain the pan juices and skim off the fat (using
a fat separator), pour pan juices into a bowl
and add stock.
Whisk together flour and melted butter in a
heavy saucepan until mixture thickens, about
two minutes. Add pan juices and stock in a steady
stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
Bring to a boil, whisking until slightly thickened.
Let simmer and stir in herbs, season with salt
and pepper. Pour gravy into a pitcher or boat,
serve with turkey.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
3 heads garlic, remove the top 1/3 of the heads
to open the cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 stick butter, cubed
1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Drizzle garlic
with olive oil, season with salt and pepper,
then wrap in aluminum foil pouch. Place in the
oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until
tender and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool. Squeeze or remove
the garlic cloves from the head and place in
a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the garlic
Place the potatoes in a pot of salted water
and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer
and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about
12 to 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and drain. Place
the potatoes back in the pot and return to the
heat. Stir the potatoes, constantly, for 2 to
Remove the potatoes from the heat. Add the garlic
and butter. Using a hand-held masher, mash the
butter and garlic into the potatoes. Add enough
cream until desired texture is achieved. Season
the potatoes with salt and pepper.
Serves 6 to 8.
2 pounds fresh asparagus
3 tablespoons olive oil, good quality
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated or shaved Parmesan optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Trim woody
ends at least 1 1/2 inches and, if they’re
thick, peel them.
Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle
with olive oil and vinegar, then toss to coat
the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus
in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with
salt and pepper.
Roast the asparagus for 15 minutes, until tender
but still crisp.
Serve warm with Parmesan shavings on top.
Serves 6 to 8.
Roasted Pears with Vanilla Ice-Cream
1/2 cup apple juice
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup of Riesling
3 firm Bosc pears, peeled, halved, cored (about
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the
pears cut side up in an 8-inch square glass
Whisk the apple juice and sugar in a small heavy
saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar
dissolves. Whisk in the butter, add wine. Pour
the sauce over the pears.
Bake until the pears are crisp-tender and beginning
to brown, basting occasionally with the juices,
about 40 minutes. Spoon the pears onto plates.
Top with ice cream. Drizzle with any juices