Culinary arts students offer traditional fare with a twist
BY PAT FARNELLI
Planning your Thanksgiving menu? Looking for unique approaches to traditional dishes, or a way to spark up the basic elements of turkey, apple, squash, corn, cranberries and pumpkin?
Three culinary arts students at the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center were given the task of planning a Thanksgiving luncheon and devised a traditional Thanksgiving menu with a few twists.
Briana Deacon, Breanna Dilmore, and Hailey Bomboy worked together to come up with the feast served Thursday, Nov. 14 at SCCTC’s ‘Touch of Class’ restaurant.
A “creamy pumpkin soup” had a curried, Indian flavor and bisque appearance, but included some tiny diced cooked vegetables.
The entrees included bacon-wrapped, apple walnut stuffed pork roast; tangy honey-glazed ham; and a maple-glazed roast turkey.
The rolled pork tenderloin had a stuffing of apples and walnuts, and was wrapped with smoked bacon and served with a calvados sauce.
The ham was glazed with brown sugar, pineapple, honey and dijon mustard.
Breast of turkey was basted during cooking with cider, then glazed with maple syrup and stuffed with corn bread seasoned with sage and more smoked bacon.
The sides included pickled fresh beets, sweet corn pudding, macaroni and cheese, and a mixed green salad.
The most surprising item was the homemade “Firecracker Apple Sauce,” which was planned to include Granny Smith apples but substituted all purpose apples when the grannies were unavailable, Deacon said.
The chunky apple sauce included serrano chiles, jalapenos, cranberries, some sparking cider, and cinnamon candies – all of which added to a surprising but not overpowering zing and fizz.
The pickled beets and corn pudding started off as fresh beets and sweet corn straight from the farm – a taste instructor Dave Dunster said can’t be replaced by canned varieties.
“The flavor is exceptional,” he said.
Deacon said that she was influenced by her family’s Polish traditions and extreme love for holidays.
For dessert, the students served a cart of pumpkin and pecan pies, apple crisp, and one student’s grandmother’s pistachio pudding, which contained fresh pineapple, pistachio pudding mix, whipped cream and pecans.
Bob Boyce, a retired Tunkhannock teacher, said that he and his guests enjoyed every dish. “We tried everything here, we ran it through the garden,” he said.