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An After Thanksgiving Feast with a Cat Cora Recipe

macy's culinary council cookbook“That was one of the best meals you’ve ever made!” Those were the exact words my father said to me after trying out a recipe from The Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving and Christmas Cookbook.

The Culinary Council is a nationally recognized team of leading masters in the kitchen. The team is comprised of chefs like Marcus Samuelsson, Tim Scott, Ming Tsai, Marc Forgione and many more well highly esteemed names. The chefs were brought together in 2003 to inspire Macy’s customers to cook for their own families. The chefs are brought into Macy’s locations to lead cooking demonstrations, share stories and teach new culinary techniques, giving customers a step in the right direction to cook like a master chef in their own kitchens.

To celebrate the 85th Anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade the 13 member council put together The Thanksgiving and Holiday Cookbook as a collection of their favorite recipes. Filled with family traditions, sentimental stories and amazing photography this cookbook contains 80 recipes that will become centerpieces to any table for any holiday.

I planned a huge Sunday dinner and planned on Cat Cora’s Slow Roasted with Pork. The recipe contains ingredients that I wasn’t too sure would come together; mustard, bourbon, sage and brown sugar, but the end result was a crispy outside and juicy, flavorful inside. I went big and cooked a 5lb boneless roast (recipe called for bone-in but my local grocer didn’t have one) and had plenty of leftovers for another dinner and some lunches. I’ve cooked pork roasts in the past and while they’ve all been good this was by far the stunner. My father left that night with the cookbook, I haven’t seen it since. Cat Cora’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes were the perfect match a roasted chicken dinner a few nights later .

my sauce, had to tweak the recipe but it still was so good

Another recipe I want to try (whenever I get my cookbook back) is Emeril Lagasse’s Breakfast Casserole. I love breakfast casseroles and make a couple varieties on my own but never have I tried to incorporate Broccoli.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus more to season
6 cups broccoli florets (from about 2 pounds broccoli heads)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1⁄2 cups finely chopped onions( I’ll use sweet Spanish onions)
1 1/4 cups (about 8 ounces) finely chopped ham (leftover xmas ham of course)
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (we prefer extra sharp)
8 cups cubed crusty bread such as French or Italian (1-inch cubes)
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups half-and-half (too rich for me, I’ll cut it with some fat-free milk)
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or scallions
1 1/4 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh of course)

Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Fill a large pot three-fourths full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. Season the water with salt, add the broccoli florets, and blanch until bright green and barely tender, about 1 minute. Using a skimmer, transfer the broccoli to the ice bath to halt the cooking. When the broccoli is fully chilled, drain well, pat dry with paper towels, and set aside.

In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a couple of pinches of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cooled onions, ham, Cheddar cheese, and bread cubes. Toss gently to combine, and then transfer to the prepared baking dish, spreading the mixture in an even layer.
Using the same bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, chives, 11/4 teaspoons salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper until thoroughly mixed. Pour over the broccoli mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. About30 minutes before baking, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Return the casserole, uncovered, to the oven and continue baking until the top is golden brown and puffed and the casserole is cooked through when tested with a knife, about 15 minutes longer.

Transfer the casserole to a rack and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Cut into squares to serve.

This will be perfect for New Years Day! Our New Year’s Eve is usually low key, spent at home with the kids so there is nothing stopping me from whipping up a grand breakfast to kick off a new year.

The Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving and Christmas Cookbook is available at select Macy’s stores and The cookbook is overflowing with delicious recipes and tremendous inspiration to feed your own family and friends this holiday season. The council is made up of these 13 chefs; Rick Bayless, Michelle Bernstein, Cat Cora, Tom Douglas, Todd English, Marc Forgione, Emeril Lagasse, Marcus Samuelsson, Tim Scott, Nancy Silverton, Ming Tsai, Wolfgang Puck and Takashi Yagihashi.

I was provided with a cookbook and gift card to fund the cost of the preparation, ingredients and tools needed to cook these recipes courtesy of Everywhere Society.

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