Many Iowans are hosting holiday parties or family dinners and would welcome some advice from a pro. Speaking in Omaha/Council Bluffs, Food Network chef Mark Silverstein says the holiday meal is still the centerpiece of the celebration. He says there is an easy way to make a flavorful turkey with gravy that is pure ambrosia.
He says, "I’ll pour on some chicken stock and that keeps the turkey nice and moist while it’s cooking, great flavor. When the turkey is finished cooking, scoop out some of the drippings, separate the fat, pour in little all purpose flour and you end up with great tasting gravy. Everybody loves it and I have more time to spend with my guests." Silverstein says it wouldn’t be Christmas dinner without the old stand-by of green bean casserole.
This was first created in 1955, invented by Mrs. Dorcus Reilly. This year, 30-million homes will be enjoying this dish. He says it’s: "super easy to make. You get green beans, either frozen or fresh. Open up a can of cream of mushroom soup, pour it in. Top it with fried onions, bake it for a few minutes, there you have a great dish. Then, you start your own traditions by adding either bacon, red peppers or cheese."
Silverstein says if you are one of the brave who are hosting an open house, don’t knock yourself out in making everything magazine perfect. He says decorations can as simple or complex as you like. "I’m big on the green which means recycling things, so you know that tablecloth you used for the 4th of July? Same colors, put it out for the dining room table for the holidays, red is red and works perfectly," he says. "Then take some of your holiday ornaments from around the house and put them on the table, some candles, candy canes work perfectly. When you go out to get flowers, you don’t have to spend a fortune on flowers. Get one kind, spread them around the house, it looks beautiful."
Silverstein says everyone wants their house to look nice for the celebration but don’t exhaust yourself to the point that you won’t enjoy the party. He says use your closets and put all unnecessary things in there or designate one room to hold the usual clutter and simply close the door.