by Nancy Sweet, director, LLCC culinary program and operations
The holidays are here! What are you going to cook? To help you figure this out, I’ve gathered up some of Lincoln Land Community College Culinary Arts department employees’ favorite holiday dishes to share.
From Chef Sean Keeley, LLCC Culinary Specialist:
I make Chicken Saltimbocca a couple times during the winter, and it is one of my favorite New Year’s Eve dishes! This dish always makes me think of cooking in the kitchen with my mom. It seems like we always cooked Italian when we wanted to try a new ingredient. The bright red and green colors on the plate are very festive this time of year. Saltimbocca in Italian means “jump in your mouth,” and the earthiness of the sage and the saltiness of the prosciutto are balanced with the creamy asiago cheese and the simple tomato sauce. Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo!
Yield: 4 servings
4 chicken breasts, 4-5oz
2 thin slices prosciutto, cut in half
8 fresh sage leaves
½ cup asiago cheese, shredded
2 TBS olive oil, reserved
kosher salt & pepper, reserved
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups tomato juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon heavy cream (optional)
This dish is great with any kind of pasta, gnocchi or roasted potatoes.
Place the chicken breast on a cutting board over a sturdy surface. Lay sage leaves and a slice of prosciutto over each and then cover with plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a meat tenderizer, or mallet, gently pound each chicken breast with other ingredients until they are about ½ inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. Divide the cheese equally in the center of each breast and fold over like a taco. Secure the ends of the saltimbocca with one or two toothpicks, cover and place in the refrigerator while making the sauce and side dish of your choice.
For the sauce, in a small sauce pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté until it becomes very aromatic but do not let brown, about 1-2 minutes. Carefully pour in the tomato juice and then add salt. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes and add heavy cream if desired, then set aside. At this point everything can be stored overnight in the refrigerator if desired.
Heat the reserved olive oil in a large 10-12” skillet and season the saltimbocca with salt and pepper. Place each carefully in the heated oil and let cook to a golden brown, about 3 minutes and then turn over and let cook for 3 more minutes. Add the sauce to the skillet and cover and let simmer for 2 minutes. Serve over your favorite pasta or roasted potatoes and garnish with minced parsley.
From Chef Terri Branham, Baking and Pastry Instructor:
This recipe is one that has been on my family’s holiday table for years. The addition of tomatoes into a classic dish gives the side dish a completely different taste. There are rarely any left overs.
Macaroni & Cheese with tomatoes
Serves 8 to 10
Salt and pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni (see note)
1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
12 ounces mild cheddar cheese, sliced
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper
Adjust oven to middle position and heat oven to 350°. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and macaroni and cook until just al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain pasta. In a prepared pan, layer 1/3 of the macaroni in the bottom, pour some tomato juice over macaroni and sprinkle with some tomato pieces and sugar. Layer sliced cheese over macaroni. Repeat with remaining in ingredients, ending with cheese.
Bake macaroni and cheese about 40 minutes until cheese is melted, but not browned.
Let the finished dish rest for 10 to 15 minutes before you serve it; otherwise it will be soupy. Barilla is our favorite brand of elbow macaroni.
Also from Chef Terri:
These delicious cookies are rich and delicious. They are perfect to be part of a holiday party tray or as a delicious treat to leave for Santa.
Chocolate Decadence Cookies
1/2cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa + 2 tablespoons oil
2 oz butter
1/3 cup flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease cookie sheets. In a microwave, melt together 1 cup semi-sweet chips, unsweetened chocolate, and butter. Stir until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Beat the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Then beat in the flour mixture. Note: dough will be thin. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts by hand. Drop dough by tablespoonsful onto cookie sheet. Bake to 10 to 12 minutes.
From Charlyn Fargo, Baking Instructor:
My favorite holiday food is pumpkin pie. We had a tradition on Thanksgiving of having a piece while we watched the Macy’s Day parade. The reason? By the end of the big Thanksgiving meal, we were too full to enjoy it, so we had it first. You can find a lot of pumpkin flavors, but in my estimation, none match a good pumpkin pie.
Yield: 8 servings
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 ounce) 100% pumpkin
1 can (12 ounce) evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)
Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Service immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.
From Kim Carter, Kitchen Assistant:
I’ve tried numerous dinner roll recipes over the years. I came across this recipe for Parker House Rolls a few years back and have never returned to the other recipes. A standing mixer is a great asset for this recipe. If you have a standing mixer, you don’t have to take the dough out of the bowl and knead it by hand – the mixer does the kneading for you.
Parker House Rolls
Adapted from Bobby Flay
Yield: about 24 rolls
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
1/2 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
Place milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and sugar and let cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit until foamy. Combine milk mixture, eggs, yeast, salt and 1/2 of the flour in a mixer with the dough attachment and mix until smooth. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until a smooth ball forms.
Remove from the bowl and knead by hand on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 60 to 70 minutes. On a floured surface, punch down the dough and shape into desired shapes. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover again and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven 350 degrees F.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter before serving.
Want to know more? Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking/Pastry, and Value Added Local Food, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Education Culinary Institute.
Cooking or food questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org