Hosting a Christmas Dinner? Bookmark this Page of Tips from Gotham Chef Alfred Portale

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but many of you will be looking for ways to cook the bird, bake the pies, and libate the guests in just another month. Here’s a re-cap of some of the awesome advice that chef Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill gave during our Thanksgiving-themed Q & A last Tuesday right on our Facebook page.

Not a fan of the big bird? Try venison, says chef Portale.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but many of you will be looking for ways to cook the bird, bake the pies, and libate the guests in just another month. Here’s a re-cap of some of the awesome advice that chef Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill gave during our Thanksgiving-themed Q & A last Tuesday right on our Facebook page.

Pumpkin cheesecake and cranberry granite make wonderful pie alternatives.

Basting is the best way to achieve crisp turkey skin.

Fresh grated ginger makes a world of a difference in homemade cranberry sauce.

Try a red wine, like a red burgundy or a pinot noir (preferably with a little age) alongside the turkey. Pinot gris is also a nice accompaniment.

Use butter over lard when making pie crust.

Pappardelle with wild mushrooms, toasted pine nuts and olive oil is a delicious dinner option for vegan guests.

Try marinating your turkey overnight in a plastic bag filled with a mixture of crushed juniper berries, diced onions, thinly sliced ginger, black pepper, garlic and olive oil.

Roasted wild mushrooms with thyme and rosemary and roasted cauliflower with a little curry and yellow raisins make great side dishes.

Duck and venison make great turkey alternatives.

For a fresh twist on the old canned cream of mushroom soup and green bean casserole dish, try combining fresh green beans, roasted shiitake mushrooms, sliced garlic and a little salt and pepper.

For more tips from the Q & A, scroll down on the wall of our Facebook page.

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With an affinity for making lists (complete with check boxes), a history of smuggling goat cheese into college cafeterias and a never ending obsession to perfect her pie crust, it was only natural that Michaela Johnson would find her way into the position of planning and executing events for a food magazine.