Saturday, October 12, 2019

Inspiring Life Long Learners with Holiday Fare

These folks learn simply for the joy of it and always seem inspired to gain new ideas in my health and wellness classes. In this Festive Holiday Fare class, we made shrimp-vegetable kabobs, basil mozzarella tomato salad and wassail-then learned how to spatchcock a bird. Here are recipes we prepared:

Mexicana Shrimp & Vegetable Kabobs

(Serves 2)

Peel shrimp, leaving tail intact.  Clean and cut vegetables.P
12 jumbo, tail on, raw shrimp
6-8 baby portobello mushrooms, halved or quartered, depending on size
1 zucchini squash, sliced in 3/4 inch pieces
6-8 mini red and orange sweet peppers, seeded and cut in half

Mix marinade ingredients.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves

Place shrimp and vegetables in a large zipper storage bag.  Pour over marinade.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Assemble kabobs, alternating colors on skewers.  Bake at 325 F. for 15 minutes.

Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Salad

No recipe required here-the name says it all! Since this was designed for a buffet, I chose the tiny mozzarella "pearls"and grape tomatoes (cut in half). The fresh basil is snipped into the salad and guests added their own olive oil.

Warm Cranberry Wassail

(Serves 12)

Combine all ingredients, except garnishes, in a large saucepan.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Garnish with orange slices and cloves.  Serve warm.
1 64 ounce bottle Cranberry Juice Cocktail
2 1/2 cups apple juice
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Orange slices, garnish
Whole cloves, garnish

Spatchcock Chicken

I was unable to find a fresh turkey to feed my expected 20 person class, so I purchased 3 chickens instead. I prepared 2 of the chickens the day before, cooled, pulled the meat from the bones and gave each attendee a 2 ounce portion of meat to take home. then I demonstrated how to remove the backbone, butterfly, flattened and roast the chicken. 
This method can cut the baking time in half.  This beautiful roast l chicken cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F. in only 45 minutes.  

  While a turkey takes longer to prepare and roast, here is the basic technique::
  • Cut along each side of the backbone and remove.
  • Open the chicken or turkey like a book.
  • Flip over.
  • Press down to flatten.
  • Tuck wings under.
Make sure you have a large roasting to pan to hold a turkey!
For class, I seasoned the chicken with a favorite recipe prior to roasting.

Tagine Chicken Seasoning

Mix spices in a zipper bag.  Place chicken in bag and shake to coat with spices.  
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Since I am a whole grains advocate, I prepared whole grain cornbread muffins in advance for all. It was the recipe I make in advance to use for my holiday stuffing-Cornbread with apples, onions and thyme. 
I love the history of wassail which I shared in class: "In the 1600s, wassail (a hot spiced ale) was brought in on the 12th nite of Christmas and offered to company in a wassail bowl. Christmas cards describe the tradition of women carrying the wassail bowl from door to door while singing and soliciting donations. The word wassail comes from the English 1000 years ago when you toast someones' health by saying 
Waes Hael! (be healthy)





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