Everyone knows that the holidays are hectic—but Rick Rodgers, cooking teacher and bestselling cookbook author, knows that they don't have to be. Christmas 101 offers the busy cook carefree ways to entertain with surefire recipes of old favorites, menus, timetables, make-ahead tips, and more. Rodgers will help you throw fabulous cocktail parties and traditional buffets, cook a perfect roast, and spice up your favorite recipes with a contemporary twist.
You'll also learn how to make classic breads, candies, and desserts that are the tokens of this special time of year. With patience, kindness, and humor, Rodgers will help you to cook up the very best holiday season yet.
About the Author
Rick Rodgers is the author of more than thirty-five cookbooks, including the bestselling 101 series (Thanksgiving 101, Christmas 101, Barbecues 101) and beloved cookbooks on everything from fondue to slow cookers to comfort food. His recipes have appeared in Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, and Food & Wine and on epicurious.com, and he is a frequent contributor to Bon Appétit. He lives in the New York tristate area.
Read an Excerpt
Celebrate the Holiday Season from Christmas to New Year's
Caesar Dip with Crudités
Makes about 12 appetizer servings
Thick, cheesy Caesar salad dressing seemed a natural to turn into a dip. But when I was researching the original dressing recipe, I found out a fascinating fact. Caesar salad was originally served with whole romaine lettuce hearts because it was meant to be eaten with the fingers! And it's just as good with other vegetables. If you wish, serve the dip with Garlic Crostini, too. They'll be reminiscent of the croutons served on Caesar Salad.
Make Ahead: The dip can be made up to 3 days ahead; the vegetables can be prepared up to 1 day ahead.
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon anchovy paste
1 garlic clove, crushed through a press
Assorted fresh vegetables, such as romaine hearts separated into leaves, carrot, celery, and cucumber sticks, mushroom caps, cherry tomatoes, and Garlic Crostini (page 12), for dipping
To make the dip, mix together all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
To serve, transfer the dip to a serving bowl and serve with the vegetables.
Stilton and Walnut Balls
Makes 12 to 16 appetizer servings
Cheese balls aren't supposed to be classy, just delicious, but this recipe has a very sophisticated combination of flavors. It goes well with plain watercrackers, but it is also terrific spread on sliced pears.
Make Ahead: The cheese balls can be made up to 5 days ahead.
8 ounces Stilton or other blue cheese, rind removed, at room temperature
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons tawny port
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Water crackers, for serving
Cored, sliced, ripe Bosc pears, tossed with lemon juice to discourage browning, for serving
In a medium bowl, using a rubber spatula, mash the Stilton and cream cheese together until smooth. Work in the port and pepper. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the work surface, and scrape the cheese mixture into the center of the wrap. Use the plastic wrap to form the cheese mixture into a ball (it will be soft). Refrigerate until the ball is chilled and firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
To serve, unwrap the ball and roll in the chopped nuts. Transfer to a platter and serve with the crackers and pears.Christmas 101
Celebrate the Holiday Season from Christmas to New Year's. Copyright © by Rick Rodgers. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Table of Contents
Appetizers, Snacks, and Beverages: 'Tis the Season to Party 9
Salads, Soups, and Other First Courses: It Came Upon a First Course Clear 30
Roasts, Birds, and Other Main Courses: The Groaning Board 47
Side Dishes and Stuffings: From Cranberries to Black-Eyed Peas 70
Festive Breads: Comfort and Joy 84
Candies: Visions of Sugarplums 98
Cookies: The Christmas Cookie Jar 107
Desserts: Oh, Bring Me a Figgy Pudding... 139
Holiday Menu Planner 159
Gifts from the Kitchen 170
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great to have around the holidays