LYNCHBURG, Va. – Without the big family gatherings this Thanksgiving, many people are cooking a holiday meal for the first time. Central Virginia Community College Culinary Arts’ program director, Chef Philomena Hughes, wants to help ease your first-time cook jitters with a few simple recipes.
Hughes’ biggest advice for beginners is to know your skillset. For example, if you’re not a great baker or have never tried baking, buying your desserts and cooking the main course will be your best bet.
Another pointer, have your tasks set up. There are a few dishes you don’t have to wait to make on Thanksgiving Day, you can cook them the day before.
As for leftovers, Chef Hughes suggests not being afraid to be creative. You can make sliders with turkey, an apple slice, cranberry sauce and lettuce. Instead of chicken dumplings, you can take your leftover turkey and make dumplings with that.
If you cooked roasted vegetables, take the leftovers and add it to a salad along with cranberry sauce.
Below are a few quick and easy holiday dishes Chef Hughes recommends for beginners.
SMASHED YUKON GOLD POTATOES Yield: 4-6 servings
2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, washed