This year as you prepare for Thanksgiving, take a page from Lisa Gilmore’s recipe file and consider making your favorite holiday dishes fresh from the farmers market. Gilmore, who is the Orange Home Grown Farmers Market Culinary Enthusiast, enjoys browsing the wholesome and flavorful offerings at the market and then using them to cook her favorite recipes.
“Picking fresh produce from the market is a lot like harvesting fruits and veggies from the garden,” says Gilmore, who holds cooking demonstrations at the farmers market every second Saturday of the month. “The produce at the market is much tastier than you’ll find in most grocery stores.”
The key to an enjoyable and delicious Thanksgiving is to prepare ahead, says Gilmore, who is also known in Old Towne as the “Big Cheese,” since she won Provision Market’s grilled cheese contest last April.
Gilmore offers these tips for ensuring that Thanksgiving meal prep runs smoothly:
• Purchase ingredients ahead. “Visit the farmers market the Saturday before Thanksgiving,” advises Gilmore.
• Do all of your chopping, dicing and shredding a day before, and store the produce in the refrigerator in Ziploc bags.
• Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste, as you cook.
• Set the table the night before. Also take out serving platters and label each one with a sticky note designating what dish goes in each platter.
Gilmore enjoys consulting recipes that she tweaks to her own tastes. This method results in her making easy, yummy dishes, like the following homemade stuffing she’ll be cooking this Thanksgiving.
Herb and Apple Stuffing
16 cups of bread from OC Baking Co. (white, whole wheat or French)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 apples (Granny Smith) unpeeled, cored and chopped into large chunks
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Place bread on cookie sheet and toast in oven to a light golden brown. Once toasted, cut the bread into large cubes.
3) In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and add the onions and celery. Sauté the mixture for 10 minutes or until items are soft. Add apples. Sprinkle in parsley, thyme, salt and pepper, to desired taste.
4) Combine above ingredients with bread cubes. Add chicken stock and cream. (If the mixture is somewhat dry, add more chicken stock, until the mix is completely moist.)
5) Add eggs and almonds to the mixture and stir to combine.
6) Place mix in a 13 x 9-inch buttered pan.
7) Bake for 45 minutes or until a fork comes out clean when inserted.
For more recipes and cooking tips, visit www.orangehomegrown.org/farmers-market/culinary-enthusiast-lisa-gilmore. See Gilmore do a cooking demonstration making the recipe above and other Thanksgiving dishes on Saturday, November 12th from 10 am to 10:30 am. If you have questions or comments for Gilmore, email her at Fam2table@gmail.com.
Published in the Nov/Dec 2016 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review
Written by Julie Bawden-Davis, Photograph by William Wallace
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