Category Archives: holiday

Sliced Baked Potatoes

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Have you had Hasselback potatoes before? For the past few years I’ve seen them all over my pinterest throughout the holiday season, and I was curious. I mean, there isn’t much better than a baked potato, and the prospect of getting the butter inside the potato as you bake it was irresistible.

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If I were to choose my two favorite ingredients in the kitchen they would be salted butter and red pepper flakes. So simple, but both add a depth and complexity of flavor.  I use them in everything from roasted turkey to grits, and they’ve become a staple in my pantry. On potatoes, there’s nothing better (unless the potatoes are mashed, and then, mayonnaise).

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Sliced Baked Potatoes

5 yukon gold potatoes

1 stick of salted butter

2 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

Heat oven to 425F.

Wash the potatoes and slice, short ways, from the top down, stopping just short of the skin. The potatoes should stay attached in one piece held together by the bottom skin.

Top with cubed butter, spices, and minced garlic. Roast for 30 minutes, and then brush with olive oil. Roast an additional 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Three Cheese Macaroni

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One of my favorite traditions is our yearly friends Thanksgiving- Fauxgiving. We invite a ton of friends over and I cook everything that I’m planning on posting for the whole of the holiday season. It’s a day that allows me to test and make and photograph a ton of recipes and feed people that I love.

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This year the mac n’ cheese was the first thing out of the oven, the first thing on the table. It was a big hit, mac n’ cheese is always a crowd pleaser, but it also set the scene for the rest of the dishes. It filled the house with the smell of baking and caramelizing cheese, and it drew people in so before I knew it they were filling their plates, eating, laughing, talking, and coming back for seconds.

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A solid mac n’ cheese deserves a place on every Thanksgiving table. This mac n’ cheese boasts three cheeses- Swiss, parmesan, and fresh mozzarella. Not to mention a rich cream sauce and a dusting of chipotle and cayenne, to keep things interesting.

mac and cheese

Three Cheese Macaroni

1 lb shells

1 large ball fresh mozzarella, approximately 1 1/2 cups

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

2 cups shredded parmesan cheese

3 cups whole milk

2 tbsp flour

1 cup heavy cream

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 stick butter

1 tbsp chipotle

1 tsp cayenne

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

Boil macaroni, drain, and transfer into baking dish. Cube fresh mozzarella and mix into pasta.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Heat milk, cream, and garlic in a pot, taking care not to boil. When the mixture has scalded (come close to a boil), remove from heat. Set aside. Melt butter over medium heat. When it has melted, whisk in flour and continue whisking to prevent clumps. Stir the milk mixture back in and add the cheese, stirring constantly until the cheese has melted. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and salt. Pour over the macaroni.

Top macaroni with chipotle, cayenne, and a pinch of sea salt. Finish with a generous layer of grated parmesan.

Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.

Grilled Ham

ham 1 This morning my parents texted me to ask what our Easter plans were and my first and only thought was Easter? That’s next month. I have no idea. And then I realized that no, Easter is not next month. It is next week. And I had a panic attack. Where has the spring gone? Where have I been? What am I doing? It was an existential crisis type morning.

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I’ve been on the road, constantly, every weekend, bouncing from town to town and event to event. All for the best and all for people I love, but never the less I am road weary. And with no signs of stopping. This weekend we’re headed to San Francisco for a week, and then it will be May, a month full of weddings and trips and, before we know it, June. And Easter will come and go and since we’re taking a red eye home from California on Easter Eve I’ll probably sleep through most of it and I definitely won’t be eating ham or deviled eggs (I have a strong suspicion that this will be a takeout Indian type of Easter). But YOU will be home and YOU will be well rested and ready to celebrate, so therefore YOU should make a ham. This ham. Smoke it. It’ll be like no ham you’ve ever tasted, I promise. And I’ll just lay in bed and snuggle my dogs and pretend I’m at your house for Easter dinner. Unless, of course, you’re delivering.

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Grilled Ham

ed note: This recipe calls for a fresh, uncured ham. Adding wood chips to the grill gives the pork a smokey flavor, but because it is uncured the flavor is more in the style of a pork chop than traditional honey baked ham. 

10-15lb ham, uncured

brine:

1 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup red pepper flakes

1/4 cup chipotle powder

5 cloves garlic

glaze:

2 tbsp red pepper flakes

2 tbsp chipotle powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 stick butter

Hickory chips for the grill

The day before you’d like to cook and serve your ham, prepare your brine by combining all the ingredients in a large pot of water and submerging the ham completely. Cover and let sit, in a cool place, for 24 (or up to 48) hours.

The next day pat your ham down and place on a lined baking sheet. Mix together seasonings and rub evenly over ham. Cube butter and lay across ham. Heat your grill and place the ham over indirect, medium-low heat. Soak hickory chips in water and wrap in tin foil. Place on the grill next to ham. Cover and let cook, checking to baste occasionally.

Cook for 15-20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature meets 150F. Once finished remove from heat and let rest 45-60 minutes before slicing and serving.