Holiday Recipes for the Home Chef!

Happy Holidays! A surreal time of year. The holiday lights that change from hood to hood illuminate our way from dawn to dusk.

Layers are the order of the day. Cold creeps into your bones. We seek warmth. Community. Family. Friends. And nothing is better than sharing a delicious sustaining meal with folks you care about. Cozy up round the table. Feel the Glow. The Great Performances family wishes all a very happy holiday. Stay warm.

PERSIAN SAFFRON RICE

Serving Size: 6 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups basmati rice

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 3 quarts of water

  • ½ cup Dried Cranberries

  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter

  • 1 tsp Rose Water (optional)

  • 1 tsp Saffron threads or powder

  • 2 tbsp warm Water

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1 stick of Butter

  • 3 Egg Yolks

  • Salt to taste

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PROCEDURE

  • Bring the salted water to a boil. Add rice. Bring back to a boil cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the rice.
  • Spread on a cookie tray and let cool down and dry out before using.
  • Melt butter in a small sauté pan add the cranberries. Cook over a low heat for 3 minutes.

  • Add rose water and cook another 3 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside until needed.

  • Preheat oven to 375F

  • Lightly grease a glass or ceramic pie dish

  • Add the saffron to warm water let sit for 10 minutes

  • Mix yogurt, yolks, saffron water, salt, and room temp melted butter

  • Add ½ of the rice spread evenly then scatter ¾ of the cranberries on top.

  • Add the rest of the rice mixture. Again, spread evenly. Press the mix down firmly then cover with tin foil and pop into the oven.

  • Bake Until the crust is golden brown all over. Take out of the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Turn out on to a serving platter. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the cranberries over the top. Cut wedges and serve.

POMEGRANATE SALSA

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups of Pomegranate Seeds
  • 2 Blood Oranges, cut into supremes and chopped
  • 1/2 cup small dice Red Onion
  • 1 cup of small dice Cucumber
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced small
  • ½ cup chopped Cilantro
  • Juice and zest of 2 Limes

PROCEDURE

  • Mix all the ingredients together, add a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt.

  • Cover and let rest for at least 1 hour.

SLOW ROASTED PERSIAN LEG OF LAMB

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses

  • 2 tsp ground Cumin

  • 2 tsp ground Coriander

  • 4 cloves of Garlic, minced

  • Juice of 2 Lemons

  • 3 medium Onions, large dice

  • Salt to taste

  • 5-pound Lamb Shoulder

PROCEDURE

  • Preheat oven to 325F

  • In a small bowl mix the molasses, cumin, coriander, garlic, lemon juice, & olive oil. Season the lamb with salt as you like. Massage the salt into the lamb shoulder. Now spread the molasses mix all over the shoulder of lamb.

  • Spread the onions on the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the lamb on top. Rinse out the bowl with 2 cups of water and pour around the lamb not on top of the lamb. Cover the dish with tin foil. Place in the oven and roast for the next 3 hours.

  • Uncover the lamb and roast uncovered to gain some caramelization.

  • Pour off the juices then skim off fat. Pour the juices back over the Lamb.

  • Let the lamb rest in a warm place for 20 minutes. Then serve with Jeweled Saffron Rice, Salad, salsa, & sauce.

PECAN BUTTER BALLS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups finely chopped Pecans

  • 2 cups AP Flour

  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar

  • ¼ Salt

  • 1 cup of melted Butter

  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

  • Powdered Sugar

PROCEDURE

  • In a big bowl combine the pecans, flour, sugar, salt, add butter, and vanilla.

  • Mix well and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat the oven to 325F.

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and pull off walnut sized nuggets and roll into a ball. Roll up all the dough.

  • Place the balls on an ungreased cookie tray about 1 inch apart.

  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned.

     

  • Cool slightly on a wire rack then while still a touch warm toss the pecan butter balls in powdered sugar. Return to wire rack. Repeat the process when the cookies are completely cool. Store in air tight container.

PISTACHIO CAKE

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 Large Eggs at room temp

  • 2/3 cup Sugar

  • ½ pound unsalted butter melted

  • ½ cup AP Flour plus 2T of flour for dusting cake pan

  • 1/2t baking powder

  • ½ pound ground pistachios

  • 1t lemon zest

  • 2 drops almond extract

PROCEDURE

  • Preheat oven to 325F

  • Spray the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray- use 2 Tablespoons of flour to dust the pan making sure to cover the bottom & sides completely. Tap out the rest of the flour.

  • Whip eggs and sugar until ribbon stage.

  • Gradually add room temp melted butter

  • Lower the speed of the mixer and add the flour, pistachios, baking powder, lemon zest and almond extract

  • Pour the mixture into the floured cake pan and pop into the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  • Let cool completely before turning out onto a serving dish

  • Serve with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea or Cardamom tea

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