One of the most wonderful things about the holiday season is the meals. From the first turkey bite to the last piece of pie, sitting at the dining table with your family and friends, as well as good food, makes this time of the year memorable. We might not be able to get together this year as much as we have in the past, but we’re bringing you festive desserts and even recipes from Concord’s most loved chef to help make the holiday unforgettable. If you decide to host just a few people, dine-in or take-out Concord’s restaurants and shops provide everything you need to prepare the perfect holiday feast.
11 Wheeler Road verrillfarm.com
Joan Verrill tells us that she has been married for 61 years, and this is the only food recipe she makes. It must be a good one!
Bread Stuffing (for 12 pounds. turkey)
12 cups of breadcrumbs freshly shredded (Stuffing bread was once widely available but is now difficult to find today. Avoid bread that is not surprisingly sweet. White bread is ideal for making this dish.)
1 cup of butter (or 1/2 cup shortening and 1 cup of butter)
3/4 cup of minced onions
1 1/2 cups of chopped, minced celery
1TB salt – may be adjusted at a later date
1 tsp of pepper
Two tablespoons crushed, chopped dried herbs (I typically use thyme, sauerkraut, and savory) with the packet of poultry seasoning. Make sure to use plenty of herbs since they aid in flavoring the gravy’s juices.)
In a big stockpot, then cook the onion until it is soft. Add the other ingredients and stir to mix. Taste for salt. I prepare this stuffing at least a couple of days before serving and then store it in the refrigerator. Take it out of the fridge about an hour prior to stuffing the bird so it doesn’t get too cold and difficult to work with. Stuff the turkey from both sides and secure the bird with skewers pressing pins. It’s perfectly secure to fill the bird in this manner. Don’t stuff the turkey and leave it with the stuffing for several days. It’s a moist stuffing but not a crisp and baked one. For more information about roasting the bird, visit verrillfarm.com.
84 Commonwealth Avenue saltboxkitchen.com
The chef, Ben Elliott, recommends their honey-mustard herb-crusted pork loin topped with rosemary, thyme, and lemon. It is served with roast beet as well as a Roquefort salad with red onion, orange, pistachios, and baby arugula. You can enjoy this unforgettable meal at the restaurant or take it to take home for a special evening at your home. There are also extraordinary dining packages for 2 to 4 guests that include dishes such as roasting duck fat with smashed potato, confit of duck, and the traditional Boeuf Bourguignon. There is no need to cook; Chef Ben is prepared.
24 Walden Street fiorellascucina.com
Pasta is a great recipe for an icy winter night, and Fiorella’s lasagna is exactly what we’re looking for. Four layers of freshly cooked pasta Bolognese sauce and the combination of ricotta and mozzarella and pecorino romano cheese are perfect in baking and finished with Fiorella’s famous marinara sauce. Yes, please!
777 Lowell Road theconcordmarket.com
In Concord Market, treat your loved ones and family to incredible Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie pie. The homemade peppermint butter-fluff filling is sandwiched between chocolate cake cakes. Make sure to buy extras, as these will surely become a favorite for the holidays!
CONCORD’S COLONIAL INN
48 Monument Square concordscolonialinn.com
The head chef of Concord’s Colonial Inn tells us that their Butternut Squash and mascarpone Cheese Stuffed Ravioli is among their most sought-after winter dishes, and it’s easy to see the reason. Butternut squash ravioli that is pillowy and creamy with mascarpone cheese, maple cream, sage-dried cranberries, and goat cheese crumbled. This sounds delicious! Stop by to take a bite of this delightful dish.
DEBRA’S NATURAL GOURMET
98 Commonwealth Avenue debrasnaturalgourmet.com
Debra Stark states, “I like pies but do not have the time or patience to make crusts. In the holiday season I love this type of dessert made with fruit. Also, I adore maple syrup with fruits! I only use organic fruits. I can remember my mom telling me how much cranberries, apple and pear are sprayed. I would like us to live healthier lives and be more happily.”
Crisp Cranberry-Pear Apple with Spices. Serves 12
Six medium sized pears that have been peeled and sliced
Six medium apples, peeled and cut into slices
2 cups of cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup Maple syrup
1/4 cup of chopped dry Apricots
One teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger, or 1 Tbsp fresh, minced ginger
Half tsp of ground cardamom
In a large mixing bowl, mix the fruit with the above ingredients. Place in the greased 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
1/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour or einkorn flour
3/4 cup of rolled oatmeal or sesame seeds
1/2 cup coconut oil, butter (or extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
To make a topping, mix the ingredients listed above and gently mix by hand until that the mixture looks like coarse crumbles. Sprinkle on the fruit mixture. Be prepared if the topping exposes some fruits. If you’re a fan of a lot of toppings, feel free to multiply the topping ingredients.
Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes or until the topping has a golden-brown color and the fruit is soft. Serve warm, hot, or cold. This dish is delicious and can be served with the addition of whipped cream or ice cream as well!