ENTERTAINING TIPS FOR COMFORT WITH SOUTHERN CHEF REBECCA LANG
“Around the Southern Table” Author Shares Her Super Secrets for Celebrating the New Year with a ‘Comforting Meal”
The holiday season involves many traditions. Of course, celebrating the religious holiday is at the top of the list, but for many people New Years is a holiday that also involves making resolutions and preparing a traditional meal. Rebecca Lang is the author of “Around the Southern Table, Coming Home to Comforting Meals and Treasured Memories”–is available to share some timely recipes for making memorable meals for Easter. This talented mother of two will also share some money-saving beverage suggestions that will have everyone talking!
SOME TASTY TOPICS ON REBECCA’S HOLIDAY MENU INCLUDE:
- FAMILY TIME–Time-saving tips to spend more quality time with family
- MAKING MEMORIES – Recipes that will make a lasting impression on guests
- BEVERAGE FUN – How to turn cool beverages into a cool conversation piece
- SWEET HOLIDAY – Creating decadent deserts that will top off any meal
ABOUT: Rebecca Lang is a food writer, cooking instructor, and a ninth-generation Southerner. She is author of Southern Living’s Around the Southern Table, Quick-Fix Southern, Mary Mac’s Tea Room, and Southern Entertaining for a New Generation. She has appeared on Fox & Friends Weekend, WGN America’s Midday News, and numerous regional and local networks. Rebecca and her cooking have been featured in more than 50 nationally televised food segments and in publications such as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, Wine Enthusiast, FoxNews.com, Glamour and Fitness magazines. She serves as a contributing editor for Southern Living and MyRecipes.com, teaches cooking classes across America, and writes a blog at www.rebeccalangcooks.com that has been featured on the James Beard Foundation Blog, Delights and Prejudices, and noted in Food News Journal’s Best of the Blogs.
SOME WAYS TO MAKE HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING EASY
It’s definitely all about making entertaining easy, I call it comfortable entertaining. I have learned that holiday entertaining isn’t complete until you pair festive beverages with delicious holiday fare. That’s why I love working with Coca-Cola, because you can add more flavors and options to your holidays this year with some of my favorites like Sprite Cranberry and Coca-Cola. If you’re looking to cut down on calories, you can enjoy both of these delicious drinks by opting for Sprite Cranberry Zero and the Coca-Cola mini can. These mini cans are the perfect portion-controlled option that delivers the refreshing Coca-Cola flavor at 90 calories. Or opt for zero calories with Diet Coke or Coke Zero – also available in mini cans!
This holiday season, cheer up your table and your guests with a variety of colorful and flavorful beverages like those offered by vitaminwater zero. Each variety of vitaminwater zero has a unique combination of nutrients and, at minimum, contains an excellent source of vitamin c and essential b vitamins. My favorites are vitaminwater zero revive and vitaminwater zero power-c, they are great holiday entertaining beverages for those who want to celebrate with zero calories!
For More Information Visit: www.vitaminwater.com
HOW ABOUT THE TRADITION OF DRESSING UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Part of entertaining, and enjoying a good party is dressing up to show off the great clothes. But it’s also about giving the hosts, family and friends the gifts that they want this year. I’ve got just the place for you to find the perfect outfit for yourself and to shop for any last minute gifts on your list. 6pm dot com has all your holiday must-haves at up to 70% off! Their saying is “Give Love, Get Love this holiday season with 6pm.com.” You can dress to impress with styles and gifts from brands like Frye and Kenneth Cole. One great suggestion for incorporating two key trends: the classic little black dress and bow ties. 6pm.com has styles like this black dress I’m wear from rsvp, for that chic Holly Golightly look. One cool trend for men this year is the bowtie – giving the polished look of the season. It makes for a great host gift. And, if the man in your life wants to look dapper this holiday season, he can pair a bowtie with the right shirt, like this one from J.A.C.H.S paired with a Moods of Norway Bowtie. Love comes in every shape, size, shoe and handbag this holiday season. Find gifts for every fashion lover on your list when you shop 6pm.com. He will look fly with chukkas from Kenneth Cole. And, don’t forget a little something for yourself, like dark red motorcycle boots from Frye. Did I mention that you can get up to 70-percent off by shopping 6 pm ONLINE. The time you save you can add another dessert to your holiday table.
For More Information Vist: www.6pm.com
Clementine and Cranberry Chutney
This sunny condiment pairs nicely with roasted chicken, duck, or pork. The key
is using small, seedless, easy-to-peel clementines. The pith and membrane of some
larger mandarin orange varieties can turn bitter when cooked.
- 16 small seedless California clementines (such as Cuties; about 2 lb.)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2⁄3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1⁄8 tsp. ground allspice
1. Peel clementines, and remove any visible white pith. Separate into segments;
cut each segment in half crosswise. Combine clementine pieces and remaining
ingredients in a 6-qt. stainless-steel or enameled Dutch oven, or other large,
heavy, nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil, stirring
often, 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
2. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and chill until completely cooled (about 2 hours).
Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Makes: 3 cups
Hands-on Time: 15 min. Total Time: 2 hr., 30 min.
Honeyed Fried Chicken with Hot Honey Sauce and Buttermilk Biscuits
A sweet kiss of honey is a wonderful gift to fried chicken. This recipe is a favorite of my children, and they eat it as fast as I can get it on their plates. The herbes de Provence add color to the crispy outside and a floral touch to the flavor. Serve the chicken with biscuits and a generous drizzle of Hot Honey Sauce for a meal that just might become a family favorite in your home, too.
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
- 2 cups ice
- 1 chicken (about 4 pounds, 8 ounces), cut into 10 pieces (see page 7)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
- Hot Honey Sauce (recipe follows), for serving
- Buttermilk Biscuits (recipe follows), for serving
To make the brine, in a saucepan, combine the water, 2 tablespoons of the salt, and the sugar over medium heat, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat, allow the brine to cool, and add the ice. Place the chicken in a large zip-top bag, pour the brine over it, seal the bag, and refrigerate for 6 hours.
Remove the chicken from the brine and drain, discarding the brine.
In a deep fryer or large, deep stockpot, heat 3 inches vegetable oil over high heat to 340˚F. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the half-and-half and honey. In a third large bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 cups of flour, the cornstarch, and herbes de Provence.
Dredge each chicken piece in the first flour mixture, dip in the half-and-half mixture, and then dredge in the herbed flour mixture. Depending on the size of your fryer, you may need to fry in two batches. Once all of the pieces have been coated, carefully place the larger ones in the hot oil. Fry for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Lower the remaining pieces in the hot oil and fry for 14 more minutes, or until golden brown and juices run clear. Maintain a frying temperature of 325˚F to 335˚F. Drain the chicken on the wire rack.
Serve with honey sauce and buttermilk biscuits.
- Hot Honey Sauce
- Makes about 1/4 cup
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Makes 16 biscuits
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups Southern self-rising flour, homemade (page 17) or store-bought (such as White Lily brand)
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 450˚F.
Place 1 1/2 cups of the flour in a large bowl. Add the shortening and use your fingers to break it up and distribute it into the flour. Add the buttermilk and heavy cream, stirring just until the flour becomes moist.
Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the flour on the counter to cover your work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Flour your hands and knead the dough 4 to 5 times by folding it over and pressing down with the heels of your hands. Add as much of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to make a smooth dough that is not sticky.
Pat the dough to a 3/4-inch-thick disk and cut biscuits out with a 2-inch round cutter, pressing down without twisting the cutter. Combine the dough scraps, pat to 3/4-inch thick, and cut into biscuits. Place biscuits, with sides touching, on an ungreased, light metal rimmed baking sheet.
Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Lemon Icebox Pie Squares
This rich frozen lemon pie is made in a rectangular baking dish, making it easy to cut into squares. It has a thick and wonderful graham cracker crust. Lining the dish with foil makes for super-easy cutting.
- 18 graham cracker sheets
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 7 egg yolks
- 2 (14-oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
- 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Sweetened whipped cream (optional)
- Garnish: fresh mint sprigs
Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse graham cracker sheets in a food processor
3 to 4 times or until crackers resemble coarse sand. Add butter and
sugar. Pulse until crumbs are moist.
Line an 11- x 7-inch baking dish with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3
inches to extend over sides. Lightly grease foil. Press cracker crumb
mixture firmly on bottom of dish.
Whisk egg yolks until blended. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk and
next 3 ingredients. Pour over crust.
Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until slightly set. Cool completely on a
wire rack (about 1 hour).
Cover with plastic wrap; freeze 8 to 24 hours. Lift pie from dish, using
foil sides as handles. Remove foil; place pie on a cutting board. Let stand
at room temperature 15 minutes; cut into squares. Serve with whipped
cream, if desired.
Garnish, if desired.
Makes: 8 to 10 servings
Hands-on Time: 15 min. Total Time: 9 hr., 45 min.