Contributed by: NAPSA
Cook Like A Five-Star Chef This Holiday Season (NAPSA) - From television shows that teach you to make a meal in less than 30 minutes to classes led by professionally trained chefs, Americans are hooked on learning how to cook. However, for all the passion and interest so many have in this craft, it's not often we have enough time to work on refining it. With the holiday season just around the corner, there is no better time to channel your inner chef and try your hand at creating a variety of easy - to - make gourmet dishes.
Ask any cook how he or she handles a big or important meal and most will say that it's all in the prep work. Don't worry, you don't need your own sous - chef to help slice and dice; taking even the smallest steps to prepare food in advance will cut down on last - minute stress. For example, try making appetizers and desserts ahead of time - Pepperidge Farm(r) Puff Pastry is the ideal product for creating delicious treats that can be frozen and quickly reheated for guests. Holiday favorites like Mushroom and Bacon Triangles, Asparagus and Parmesan Rolls, and Cocktail Franks are easy to serve and are guaranteed crowd pleasers.
Step into any gourmet restaurant and you will likely find that each chef has his or her own signature dish. This is an important thing for even the most novice chefs to establish. Thinking about which part of the meal you like the best is the perfect place to start when trying to decide on your specialty dish. Is dessert your favorite course? Or do you always devour the side dishes? No matter what you choose, it will undoubtedly become a holiday favorite with family and friends for years to come.
No time to make everything from scratch? Never fear, even the most seasoned chefs have to rely on some store - bought products! The key is to focus on one homemade dish and fake the rest. If a homemade turkey with all the trimmings is the main attraction, then serve preprepared side dishes or desserts to accompany it. Dress up instant stuffing with extra ingredients for a personal touch. For example, Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing will take on even more flavor with the addition of sausage or Granny Smith apples, or try adding some pears for extra sweetness.
The most successful kitchens are always fully stocked. A professional chef would never stop mid - recipe to run to the store for more sugar and neither should you. Before any holiday meal or baking session begins, take full inventory of your kitchen. Prior to the holiday rush, stock up on must - have items such as canned goods, sugar, flour, seasonings and any other ingredients that you know will be used frequently. Not only does this create less stress for ttrfhe at - home chef, but it allows for impromptu cooking.
If you have been perfecting your skills in the kitchen for years or just recently picked up your first spatula, remember to keep it simple and creative. Most importantly, have fun - that's what the holidays and cooking are all about. For more product information or for additional recipes from The Culinary Institute of America, please visit www.pepperidgefarm.com.
Prep/Cook: 30 minutes - Bake: 45 minutes
Coat a 3 - quart casserole with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set it aside.
Cook and stir the apples in a 12 - inch nonstick skillet over medium - high heat for about 5 minutes or until they're browned. Pour the apples into a large bowl and set them aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in the skillet over medium - high heat. Add the sausage, onion and celery. Cook until the sausage is well browned, stirring frequently to break up meat. Add the broth and remaining butter to the skillet. Heat to a boil.
Add the stuffing, croutons, sage and egg to the apples. Pour the broth mixture over the apple mixture and stir lightly to coat. Season to taste.
Spoon stuffing into prepared dish and cover it with foil.
Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes or until hot.
Serving Size: Makes 10 Cups
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