Michael Symon offers holiday cooking tips

Michael Symon offers holiday cooking tips

Celebrity chef, restaurateur, and meat lover Michael Symon - of Food Network's Iron Chef America and The Chew - shares his wealth of knowledge and more than 100 killer recipes for steaks, chops, wings, and lesser-known cuts.

Fans across the country adore Michael Symon for his big, charismatic personality and his seriously delicious food. But there's one thing Michael is known for above all else: his unabashed love of meat. A devoted carnivore, Michael calls the cuisine at his six Midwestern restaurants "meat-centric." Now, in Michael Symon's Carnivore, he combines his passion and expertise in one stellar cookbook.

Michael gives home cooks just the right amount of key information on breeds, cuts, and techniques to help them at the meat counter and in the kitchen, and then lets loose with fantastic recipes for beef, pork, poultry, lamb, goat, and game. Favorites include Broiled Porterhouse with Garlic and Lemon, Ribs with Cleveland BBQ Sauce, Braised Chicken Thighs with Kale and Chiles, Lamb Moussaka, and Bacon-Wrapped Rabbit Legs. Recipes for sides that enhance the main event, like Apple and Celeriac Salad and Sicilian Cauliflower, round out the book.

Michael Symon's Holiday Cooking Tips

  • Roasting pans aren't just for turkeys—they are great for making desserts such as berry cobblers and bread pudding, too. Try this tip for a delicious and savory bread pudding: assemble the ingredients in your Unison Nonstick roasting pan the night before so the bread absorbs the custard. Remove from fridge an hour before baking, and you are off and running.
  • Rich and flavorful soups and stews can be heart-healthy, too—all it takes is a little advance planning. Make soups and stews one to two days in advance—I love using my AccuCore Stainless Steel stockpot—and then cover and cool in the refrigerator. This allows flavors time to come together, and you easily skim off excess fat. Then, just heat up before guests arrive.
  • Before slicing a beautiful steak or tenderloin that's hot off the grill, drizzle your cutting board with extra virgin olive oil and season with kosher salt. It will evenly season the meat every time.
  • Don't let cold weather stop you from using your homegrown herbs. At the end of the growing season, dry hearty herbs such as dill, oregano, rosemary and thyme in the oven for use throughout the winter. I like to spread them in a thin layer on a cookie sheet, and then place in a 175-degree oven for two to four hours.
  • Whether you're grilling, roasting or pan searing, make sure you let meat come to room temperature before cooking. This helps minimize sticking and allows meat to cook evenly for best results.
  •  Take cues from nature when decorating for the holidays. Gather items from your backyard to place on tabletops and mantles, including pinecones, branches, round stones and moss.
  • Add greenery in unexpected ways by decorating with rosemary, ivy, mistletoe and holly. Tie small bundles to linen napkins with twine, or scatter across the table.
  • Encourage mingling by setting up a mix-and-match, make-your-own Panini station. Arrange hard and soft cheeses; prosciutto, salami and ham; Dijon mustard and cranberry chutney; and sliced baguettes next to your Panini maker and let guests create their own masterpieces.
  • Make dessert easy with an amped-up ice cream sundae bar. Homemade salted caramel and chocolate sauces are simple and easy to make in a nonstick saucepan, and can be set out with good-quality vanilla and coffee ice creams.
  • Roasted chicken is comfort food at its best, and no-fail to make. Simply rub a whole chicken inside and out with a mixture of olive oil, minced herbs, salt and pepper, place breast down in roasting pan, and cook uncovered at 450 degrees until juices run clear. Let rest for 20 minutes before carving.