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Aliza J. Sokolow

4 Foolproof Holiday Recipes — Even If You’re Not Cooking for a Crowd This Year

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There might be fewer seats at many of our holiday tables this year, but the right food can make anywhere feel like home. Cozy nights and weekends spent cooking and eating give us a chance to connect with loved ones and experience all the tastes of the season on a more intimate scale.

Because no holiday spread is complete without a flaky, buttery pie crust or the savory aroma of cheddar and fresh herbs, we teamed up with Kerrygold to create four recipes to carry you through the festive months ahead. The brand’s signature butter wrapped in golden foil and aged cheeses are made with milk from Irish grass-fed cows, elevating even the simplest of dishes. As we plan for smaller gatherings close to home this season, it’s clearer than ever that it’s the ingredients that count — whether it’s the butter we use in our biscuits or the friends and family who join in our celebrations, near and far.


Aliza J. Sokolow

Bitter Greens with Butter-Toasted Pecans, Persimmons, and Cashel Blue Cheese

Serves 4

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Combine pecans and butter on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
  2. To make the dressing, in a large bowl, combine vinegar, the zest of 1 lemon, the juice of ½ a lemon, buttermilk, and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  3. Combine the lettuces, dressing, and pecans. Toss to combine.
  4. Arrange persimmon slices and sprinkle with blue cheese.

Travel tip: Wash and prep all greens and store in a plastic bag. Make vinaigrette and store in a jar or other airtight container. Toast pecans and keep them in a separate bag or container. Assemble with persimmon and blue cheese just before serving.


Aliza J. Sokolow

Rosemary, Cheddar, and Black Pepper Biscuits

Makes 8 biscuits

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Add rosemary, black pepper, and cheddar, and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture is the texture of coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining (about 12 pulses). Add buttermilk and pulse again, just until combined (2 to 3 times).
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead just until it comes together. Pat dough into a 1”-thick square and fold in half. Roll dough into a 1”-thick rectangle and trim a thin border around sides of dough to create clean edges. Cut into a 4x2 grid to make 8 biscuits (don’t reroll scraps).
  3. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 2” apart; freeze 10 minutes (or a day or two in advance — cooking time will vary if baking from frozen).
  4. Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with flaky salt.
  5. Place biscuits on a baking sheet, 1 1/2 inches apart, and bake until puffed and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Travel tip: These biscuits travel well! Once cooled store in an airtight container, and warm briefly in a 350 degree oven before serving if desired.


Aliza J. Sokolow

Savory Butternut Squash and Cheddar Galette

Serves 8

  1. Make pie dough: in a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and sugar together a few times to combine. Add the butter, and pulse about 12 times, until the butter chunks look like small peas. Add the water, and pulse again, just until the mixture begins to come together.
  2. Pour out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a disc.
  3. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days in advance.
  4. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onions, season with salt, and let cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to turn very deep brown in color, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Add the vinegar to dislodge any dark bits from the bottom of the pan, and 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves, then continue to cook until the onions are very soft, caramelized, and deep brown in color, at least 20 to 25 minutes more. (Don’t rush this process! It’s important to really develop the flavor.) If some pieces are getting too dark or getting stuck to the pan, add a little water to the pan to loosen them. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
  6. Preheat oven to 425°F. Unwrap dough and roll out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to a 12” round about ⅛” thick. Transfer dough and parchment onto a baking sheet.
  7. Sprinkle cheese over dough, leaving a 1½” border. Using a mandoline or a Y-peeler, thinly slice both squashes crosswise. Arrange in concentric circles, starting from the outside edge, and working your way inward. Tuck thinly sliced shallots throughout.
  8. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bring edges of dough up and over filling, overlapping as needed; brush dough with egg and sprinkle edges with flaky sea salt.
  9. Bake, rotating once, until crust is deep golden brown and squash is brown and tender, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Travel tip: Keep right on the sheet pan and cover with foil or plastic wrap. Heat in a 350 degree oven before serving if desired. For even safer transporting, a reusable pie box is a super helpful thing to have during the holiday season (or anytime really).


Aliza J. Sokolow

Salty Maple Chocolate Pecan Pie

Serves 8 to 10

  1. Make pie dough: in a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and sugar together a few times to combine. Add the butter, and pulse about 12 times, until the butter chunks look like small peas. Add the water, and pulse again, just until the mixture begins to come together.
  2. Pour out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a disc.
  3. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days in advance.
  4. Heat the oven to 375°F. Line the chilled crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Remove paper or foil and the beans and bake until pale golden, about 8 minutes longer.
  6. Lower the oven to 350° and toast the nuts until golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let cool while you make the filling.
  7. In a small saucepan over low heat, or in a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter.
  8. Whisk in flour and chocolate, stirring until smooth; let cool. In a large bowl, combine cooled chocolate-butter mixture, maple, eggs, and sugar.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and arrange the pecans over filling.
  10. Transfer to a parchment- or foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the filling is just set when jiggled, 30 to 35 minutes.
  11. Remove pie from the oven and cool completely before serving, sprinkled with a bit of flaky salt.

Travel tip: See the galette recipe above.

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