It’s ironic that turkey–one of the most complicated, finicky things to cook–is the de facto dish at the holidays.
“If you only cook something one time per year, maybe this isn’t the time to cook it?”
— Deep Thoughts, by Robb Vices.
The holidays are stressful enough. Stick to dishes that you’re already aces at making … or ones that are traditional and fairly straightforward.
We sought out Raffaele Dall’Erta, the Executive Chef of Hamptons in Sumter, SC, to give us his tips (plus an excellent, easy recipe) for the holidays. And don’t forget, we’ve got you covered on gifting and New York Prime Beef, Melissa’s Produce and Fish Fixe have your menu items covered via delivery too!
Be sure to have a great holiday playlist ready to play while you cook.
Don’t forget to sharpen your knives or have them done professionally to avoid shredded meat vs. neatly sliced.
Check your serving dishes; make sure you have the correct serving pieces for each dish.
Know your guests––their food allergies, vegetarians, and favorites.
Don’t experiment with molecular gastronomy during the holidays. Stick with the traditional.
Butter is your friend. The holidays are not the time to cook light.
Remember to prep as much as you can before guests arrive, so you can enjoy the party too.
Raffaele Dall’Erta’s Wild Rice Salad with Currants & Pancetta
2 cups wild rice
4 cups water
1 cup pancetta
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup currants soaked in 4 tbsp. dark rum for 1 hour; drain
½ dried cranberries
½ cup toasted pecans
3 tbsp. chopped chives
1 honey crisp apple diced
½ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
Salt, Pepper, Sugar (to taste)
Combine rice and water, then bring to boil. Lower temperature and then cook for 30 minutes until rice is cooked. Allow to cool.
In a separate sauté pan, Sauté the pancetta until golden over medium heat. Then drizzle maple syrup over pancetta and cook for 1 minute over medium heat. Stir in garlic and shallots, mix well.
Once rice is cooled, combine the pancetta mixture and rest of ingredients.