The Holidays are upon us, and one of our FAVORITE parts of the season is all of the delicious food. We each have those special holiday dishes that make us warm and fuzzy and full of the holiday spirit. Food brings together family and friends, and that's what this time of year is all about. So, we decided to ask a few of our Funspired friends:
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY DISH?
* Allen Durrett - My wife Leisa's dad has (for 20+ years) made us a Thanksgiving "Pig-pickin'" He slow cooks a whole pig (20-100lbs, depending on the crowd) overnight on the grill, then on Thanksgiving Day, he flips it - while I stand around drinking beer - and pours a sugar/vinegar/spice mixture over it after taking out the ribs (the "pickin" part). I mostly drink beer and "pull" pork out of the grill and into my mouth. Great food and great memories.
* Megan Harrington - Holidays in the South are nothing short of a memorable experience that revolve around family, food, and fellowship. When I married my husband, I married into his HUGE family where the hospitality is just as free flowing as the sweet tea. Nothing about the meal is too fancy, but it is all downright delicious. From the turkey, fried chicken, and spiraled ham to the fresh-picked vegetables (from the family farm) and the warm buttermilk biscuits, we know how to get our fill! And while all of that would be worth sharing, nothing quite compares to the dessert table. It is a beautiful feast for the eyes! Pecan (pee-can) pie, 10 layer cake, lemon pound cake, pumpkin pie, and banana puddin'! My personal favorite, though, is Grandma Pat's Buttermilk Pie. Since we haven't gone back to North Carolina for Thanksgiving, it's been my treat to introduce it to our 'friendsgiving' table here in Amarillo. Here's the dish: 2 cups sugar, 1 stick softened butter, 4 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 3 1/2 cups buttermilk, 4 tbsp. flour. Combine sugar and flour, then add the other ingredients and mix well. Pour into unbaked pie shells. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Makes 2 pies. You can make it special by topping it with berries and whipped cream and a little bit of nutmeg, but it holds it's own just fine. I hope you can enjoy this Southern tradition at your table this Thanksgiving.
* Ronna & Kyle McAdams - We do a special breakfast casserole for Thanksgiving and Christmas that is AWESOME! A favorite family tradition. Here's the recipe: 12 slices white bread, 6 eggs, 2 cups milk, 4 jars Old English cheese (half a pound), 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. dry mustard, 2 cans ham, and butter. Butter both sides of the bread. Cut into fours. Put 6 slices in pan (butter the pan first). Ham on top. Cheese over ham. Cover with the other bread. Beat eggs. Mix milk, eggs, and seasoning and pour over bread. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. You can prepare it the night before. We use a 9.5 by 13.5 glass casserole dish.
* Allyson Flaming - It's really hard to narrow my favorite holiday recipe down to one. We are approaching my favorite time of the year for many reasons and one of them is the time that I will spend in the kitchen with my mom. As I think about my favorite recipe, I am reminded of all the memories as a child into my adult life in the kitchen with my Sittie (arabic for grandmother), my mom and my aunts. I have gone from taste-tester to dish-dryer to dish-washer to the sous chef. As long as my mom and aunts are here we will always be sous chefs! My favorite holiday recipe is Kibba Neyah. This is a famous and National meat dish of Lebanon. It was a tradition at all family gatherings to watch Sittie knead the kibba meat all morning. Just before serving this dish, she would bless it and make the sign of the cross in the center of the meat. Now, my mom and aunts carry on this tradition. I am grateful my Sittie taught me to make this and we enjoy this dish often. The recipe I am going to share with you is a top five favorite and easy to make. It is a basic Lebanese side dish that can be served with tenderloin or chicken. It is called Burghal (which is wheat): 1 stick of butter, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 cup Burghal (Coarse cracked wheat), salt to taste, 3 cups chicken broth. Rinse and drain the wheat. Melt butter in saucepan and add the wheat. Toast in the butter until a light brown. Add 3 cups of chicken broth and spices. Stir until it comes to a boil. Cover and lower heat until liquid is absorbed. Happy Holidays to you and yours. Enjoy, y'all!
* Chase Teeple (14) - I'm not saying that my mom isn't a great cook. BUT... Thanksgiving is good, but it is not my favorite. To be honest, my FAVORITE thing she serves during the holidays is on Christmas Eve. We always have Perini Beef Tenderloin that she orders through the mail. Good job, Momma!
* Susie O'Brien - When the boys were at UT we always met in San Antonio at my parents on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. That afternoon the boys went to a crab boil that one of their fraternity brothers had every year, and then we would head straight to La Fonda for Juan's margaritas and Mexican food. We thought it was important to start our eating marathon early. As I would walk into the restaurant, Juan would shout across the entire restaurant, HELLO AMARILLO - a little embarrassing, but nonetheless a tradition! Juan is so precious and shared his recipe with us. It is stout, but never fails: 1 part fresh lime juice, 1 part Triple Sec and 2 parts WHITE tequila. Shake and serve over ice. May be made ahead and frozen. We serve this with the man dip queso (that surely you know about) and Mexican food from El Bracero on Wednesday night now that we celebrate in Amarillo since my parents moved here.
* Farrar Mansfield -
One of my favorite things about holiday cooking and eating is getting to try some fun, new recipes. For Thanksgiving this year, I'm making a vegetable tian
and a warm brussel sprout salad
. But... if I had to choose one dish that reminds me of the holidays, it's my mom's amazing cheese soufflé. She makes this all year round, but the way it "poofs" up is so special that it makes any day feel like a holiday. It's light and decadent all at the same time. Perfect served with a salad for dinner the day after a big holiday feast. Click here
for the recipe.
* Susan Teeple - This is a tough one because I love everything about holidays and food! I know my husband, Sloan, would say his favorite dish is my mother's sweet potatoes (secret is the bourbon-soaked raisins- click for LuLu's recipe) at Thanksgiving. For me, my favorite meal is on Christmas Day after we open all the presents. We have a long brunch with mimosas and Eggs Benedict made with beef tenderloin from our Christmas Eve feast the night before. Nothing fancy, I doctor my hollandaise sauce a bit with extra lemon, but other than that I believe simple is better! Lingering around the table - enjoying the moment - my kind of meal!
Your fun friends,
Susan and Farrar