Holidays in the Nationwide Children’s Kitchen. I’ve written to you before about our amazing team of chefs. They’ve trained at some of America’s most prestigious culinary schools but they’ve chosen to dedicate their skills in the kitchen to meeting the challenging nutritional needs of hospitalized children. That means supporting our on-demand rooms service (so kids can order what they want, when they want) along with prepping tempting but healthy cafeteria and catering offerings every day of the year.
I challenged our chefs to give me some of their favorite holiday recipes and they didn’t disappoint. Here are some of their favorites. I am constantly amazing that they can prepare delicious options that kids love while still attending to specialized nutrition needs. Happy holidays from the Chefs of Nationwide Children’s.
Cider Cured Pork Loin
Serves approx: 8-10
- 3 pound pork loin or tender loin –unseasoned
- 2 1/4 cups Cider vinegar
- 3 Tbs. minced fresh garlic
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sea salt
- ½ cup water
- Mix all together in a pot, bring to a slow boil and make sure all sugar and salt dissolve.
- Chill completely over night.
- Place pork in brine for 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Remove pork from brine.
- Place on roasting rack in oven for 15-20 minutes or until nice and golden brown on outside.
- Once browned, turn oven down to 325 and finish cooking until internal temperature (use meat thermometer) of minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When 145 is reached, remove from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes, this will allow all the juices and flavors to redistribute through the roast and ensure each bite is just as succulent as the last. Serve sliced ¼ inch and serve with a nice lite horseradish sauce or a whole grain mustard type spread and with baked acorn squash and cranberry corn bread to complete the meal.
Red, White and Green
Serves approx.. 8-10
- 3 Lbs. penne pasta dry
- 2 # Italian sausage rope
- 2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or your favorite brand
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Pearl onions
- Julienne red and green peppers
- Fresh garlic
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Fresh parsley
- Bring 3 cup cream to a simmer and let reduce to 2 cups over low heat , add Parmesan cheese and stir until cheese is incorporated, set aside
- Cook pasta and drain, set aside (use whole wheat pasta as a healthy alternative)
- In sauté pan over medium heat sear the sausage links until golden brown on all sides, remove from pan, let cool and slice ¼ thick on a diagonal
- Sauté peppers and pearl onions together in the same pan until they start to brown, add garlic and toss,
- To the pan add 2 cups marinara and the 2 cups of Parmesan and cream sauce and toss
- Pour sauce over pasta on serving dish or in bowl place sliced sausage on top of the dish and garnish with fresh chopped parsley
Potatoes Au gratin (6 servings)
- 5 Potatoes
- 1 C Cream
- 3/4 C Water
- 1t Garlic
- Pinch Salt
- Pinch pepper
- Pinch Nutmeg
- Peel potatoes, and slice thin on Mandolin.
- Layer in oven safe dish seasoning each layer with salt and pepper.
- Heat cream, water, garlic, 1t seasoning and nut meg to a boil.
- Pour Liquid over potatoes and bake at 350 degrees until all potatoes are cooked – about 30-45 minutes.
Spanish Cassoulet (4 servings)
- 5 – 4oz Chorizo Links
- 1 Oz Chopped Garlic
- 4 Oz Minced Onion
- 2 Oz Minced Celery
- 2 Oz Minced Red Pepper
- 1 C Diced Tomato
- 25 Oz Canned Great Northern Beans
- .5 Oz Cilantro
- 2 C Chicken Stock
- 1 t Smoked Paprika
- Lemon Zest
- Pinch Salt
- Parsley for garnish
- In skillet brown Chorizo in ½ inch olive oil. Remove Chorizo and reserve.
- Add all vegetables, cilantro, garlic, salt and smoked paprika to oil and simmer covered 40 minutes until tender.
- Drain and rinse beans, add to pot, add chicken stock, add sausage and simmer until thick and creamy.
- Layer in pan with sausage on top of beans.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon zest
Lemon and Blueberry Glace
- 5 egg yolks
- 3 whole eggs
- ½ cup Meyer lemon juice
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- In a double boiler melt butter add lemon juice and sugar, stir to dissolve.
- Mix eggs yolks with whole eggs and gently and slowly start to temper the eggs into the butter mixture, stir constantly until thickens, cool completely!
- Whip heavy cream to soft peaks and fold into chilled lemon mixture, fold in blueberries at this time.
- Fill molds or serving cups and freeze.
- Can be eaten in the mold or turned out on service ware for an elegant display.