Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook

  • Charcuterie Platter
  • Chicken Biscuit Pot Pie   
  • Snazzy S’Mores

 If you have gotten through the big meal holiday, you may just need a break from food prep. Get inspired from Homestead Gardens Lodge theme and have a menu that is easy on the chef and lots of fun as well. You can even find lively platters, serving pieces and serving boards at both of the Homestead Garden stores.

 The biscuit pot pie can make use of all of that turkey an veggies left over from a huge Thanksgiving meal.

 Snazzy ‘Smores are irresistible and you can’t eat just one!

 Charcuterie Platter 

Serves 6-8

 The charcuterie platter is by definition a collection of cured meats such as hard sausages, lunchmeats, pates and terrines. Cheeses are a welcome complement and condiments with some acid liven the combo. That is how the cornichon came to be a standard...adding a bit of bite to the meats.

 Large wooden cutting boards are ideal for serving but a combination of smaller boards in a grouping and at different levels is also attractive.

 Tip: Take the meats and cheese out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before placing them on the platter. Let come to room temperature for optimal flavor.

  •  1/3 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced soppressatta (dried Italian salami)
  • 6 ounces cheese (such as Manchego, provolone, Asiago, or Parmesan)
  • 8 ounces soft cheese (such as marinated mozzarella or chevre)
  • 1 cup gherkins or cornichons with cocktail onions
  • Grape or tiny tomatoes 
  • 8 ounces mixed olives, pitted
  • 1 large baguette, sliced into rounds

 Arrange your choice of ingredients on a wooden or ceramic platter. Serve with the baguette slices. 


Turkey or Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping

Serves 6

Put that leftover turkey to excellent use in a melange of veggies, meat with cornmeal topped biscuits.

  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder, to taste
  • 3 cups cooked shredded turkey or chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli flowerettes, steamed lightly
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground  black pepper, to taste
  • Chicken stock to thin, if needed

 Biscuit Topping

Makes 15 biscuits

  •  1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add olive oil then onions, celery, carrots and potatoes. Saute for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables while continuing to saute. Very slowly pour in the milk while stirring until smooth. Keep stirring until sauce begins to thicken. Lower heat; stir in poultry seasoning and onion powder.

 Add turkey, broccoli and peas-season with salt and pepper. If mixture is too thick, add a bit of stock while stirring until desired consistency.

 Preheat the oven to 400F.

 Pour the mixture into a greased oven-proof skillet or 9x13" baking dish. Top with biscuit rounds.

 Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown and mixture is bubbly. Remove from oven and brush tops of biscuits with butter or margarine.


 In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk; mix well. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/2" thickness. Cut with 2-3/4" biscuit cutter. 


Snazzy Mint ‘Smores

You can easily use the standard of graham crackers, but it's great fun to try a new cookie-especially these paper thin crunchy rounds. For another choice of chocolate, you could use the Andes chocolate and Creme de Menthe (no I'm not sponsored by the company!).

  •  1 package ginger spice cookie thins
  • 1 bag large marshmallows
  • At least 24 chocolate covered cream mints

 Per Snazzy ‘Smore

 If you have a fire going, you, no doubt, know how to toast a marshmallow on a stick. However, without a live fire, you can make use of the broiler in your oven or even toaster oven to plump up the marshmallows.

 Heat the broiler and plan your strategy for the number of ‘smores you are making at one time. Plan for 2 cookies-for top and bottom. Unwrap the mints if they are in paper. Have the ingredients laid out on a clean workspace.

 Place the desired amount of marshmallows on a baking sheet lined with foil. Place under the broiler, about 2 inches from the heat source. Let the first side get brown and flip to brown 2nd side. Now they are hot enough to melt.

 With a spatula, carefully remove from baking sheet and place each marshmallow on a cookie bottom. Add a mint, then the top cookie and press gently. Serve on a plate.

 Two per person will never be enough!

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