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Festive Flair for Local Fare

21 December 2012 Published in Local First Utah Blog

Many of our most beloved holiday traditions are centered around food. Featuring locally made foods in your holiday meal is a special way to honor previous traditions, and to create new ones.

Recently, Norbest Turkey, Local First Utah, and Viking Cooking School hosted a holiday dinner cooking class, featuring a variety of locally produced ingredients. The meal showcased products made by Norbest Turkey, Slide Ridge Honey, Laziz Middle Eastern Foods, Amour Spreads, Oolite Cheese, Beehive Cheese, Great Harvest Bread Company, and the Chocolate Conspiracy.

Here’s a few of the highlights from our delicious meal:

Norbest Roasted Turkey with Orange and Rosemary

Norbest Turkey is a co-op of 43 local turkey growers based in and around Sanpete County, who produce and sell under the Norbest Brand. Ricky Christensen, Norbest’s marketing director explained that this year, Norbest was able to reduce their costs by purchasing locally grown corn and grain rather than feed imported from the Midwest.

Diane Shey, resident chef of Viking Cooking School, offered some great advice on how to bring the best tasting turkey to the table.  She recommended letting a turkey sit for at least five to ten minutes after removing it from the oven, in order to let the juices soak into the meat. As well, she demonstrated how an orange and rosemary compound butter, and a Slide Ridge Honey Wine Au Jus both help complement the flavor of turkey.

Orange & Rosemary Compound Butter

 1 lb of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

 Zest of one orange

Chopped garlic

2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped

 Juice of ½ an orange

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

Dash of pepper

Combine ingredients, and massage under the skin of your turkey. Roast turkey accordingly.

Turkey Au Jus

½ cup Slide Ridge Caycir to deglaze roasting pan.

1 cup chicken stock

Salt to taste

Place your roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Use the honey wine to deglaze the pan, then add chicken stock and salt, and allow to reduce.

Slide Ridge Honey is a family owned business based out of Mendon, Utah. Not only do they produce wonderful wildflower honey, but they use that honey to produce honey, mead, wine and vinegar using time-honored practices. Beekeeper and co-owner Martin James demonstrated his mom’s recipe for a sweet and tangy salad dressing.

Slide Ridge Honey Vinaigrette Dressing

½ cup blueberry pie filling

Olive oil to taste

½ cup Slide Ridge Honey Vinegar

A dash of garlic powder

2 tablespoons of Slide Ridge Honey

½ cup water

Blend in a food processor and use to dress a leafy green salad.

The goal of Laziz Middle Eastern Spreads is to introduce traditional Middle Eastern foods into the home. Laziz co-founder, Moudi Sbeity used two of his products – Toum and Muhammara – to complement traditional holiday dinner side dishes. Toum is an intense, but delicious, garlic spread made from only garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. According to Moudi, there are five cloves of garlic in every tablespoon of toum. Muhammara is a delightfully unique spread made from pomegranate seeds, molasses and walnuts. It’s traditionally eaten with leafy greens, but is a great accompaniment to nearly any vegetable dish.

Mashed Potatoes with Toum – Recipe created by Becky Rosenthal of Vintage Mixer

Beehive Cheese produces award-winning cheeses like Barely Buzzed, Teahive and Seahive. Oolite Cheese is a new cheese producer, using ancient methods of cheese making to produce their sheep’s milk cheese. (To learn more about the processes that Oolite uses to make their cheese, check out our next blog Reason #7 to Shop Locally: You Support Innovation and Product Diversity.)  

The beauty of a quality cheese plate is that it can be served before the meal as an appetizer after the meal as a dessert. A good cheese plate should feature at least one hard cheese, one semi-soft cheese and one soft cheese. Try pairing these cheeses with a selection of Amour Spreads’ flavors like Pear Lavender, Cranberry Orange Marmalade, Black Currant Blackberry Jam, and Savory Heirloom Tomato Jam.

For a sweet finish, we savored Chocolate Conspiracy’s Pumpkin Spice Truffles. AJ Wentworth the “chocolate alchemist’ behind the recipes that the Chocolate Conspiracy produces is also a certified Live-Foods Instructor, and trained holistic health counselor. These educational experiences are what ignited in him a love of raw cacao, and he now pours this love and knowledge into every single chocolate bar the Chocolate Conspiracy makes. More than just a good tasting treat, the products the Chocolate Conspiracy makes are good for your body as well. Let’s just call it a “win-win” situation.

For those who like to drink their dessert, try some of Slide Ridge Honey’s dessert wine, Cacysir. Named in homage to Cache County, this sweet wine is made from local apples and honey.