Our Town Holiday Entertaining Recipes

4:05pm 1st Wednesday every monthChef Kyle Lewis spent some time with Our Town host Bob Sneddon during the December 7th edition.  Bob wanted some low-fuss, but high pizazz entertaining and recipe ideas for the holidays.

Kyle is the Culinary Arts Instructor at Siuslaw High School, in his fifth year teaching students the ins and outs of the kitchen.

Kyle brought some ideas in to share.  Six recipes in all, from meat to sweet.  Sadly, he didn’t bring samples so anyone that tries these recipes can always bring some by for us to taste at the radio station.


Cheese & Tomato Tart


  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter, chilled, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoon ice water
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 5 ounces Swiss cheese, ½” cubes
  • 5 ounces Sharp cheddar cheese, ½” cubes
  • 1 ½ pounds tomatoes, ¼ “ slices
  • 1 ½ TBSP virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper


Combine flour, butter, parmesan cheese, and salt in processor.  Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add egg and 2 teaspoons water in small bowl to blend; add to dry ingredients.  Pulse until dough comes together.  Add more water if needed.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 13” round.  Transfer dough to 9-inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom.  Trim excess dough to 1/3 inch above rim.  Spread mustard evenly over bottom of crust.  Toss cheeses over the mustard.  Arrange tomatoes, slightly overlapping, in 2 concentric circles atop cheese.  Drizzle tomatoes with oil; sprinkle with thyme and lightly with salt and pepper.

Bake tart until crust is deep brown, cheeses are melted, and tomatoes are slightly charred and soft, about 45 minutes.  Transfer tart to rack.  Let tart stand until cheese sets up slightly, about 30 minutes.  Push up pan bottom, releasing tart.  Cut into wedges and serve.


Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage


  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 8 large Spanish green olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs, dried out
  • 24 large white mushrooms, stems removed


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the stuffing, put the raisins, olives, pine nuts, parsley, and garlic on a cutting board and chop, and put into a mixing bowl. Add the sausage and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Drizzle the stuffing with about 1/4 cup of olive oil to moisten and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes; mix well with your hands to combine. Put the bread crumbs in another bowl, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and add 1/4 cup of the Pecorino; season with salt and pepper.

Oil the bottom and sides of a casserole dish which is large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a single layer. Arrange the mushrooms snugly in the pan, cap side down; season the insides with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Stuff each mushroom with a generous spoonful of the sausage stuffing and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top; drizzle with even more oil. Bake for 20 minutes until the stuffing is browned and the mushrooms soft, rotating the dish periodically for even cooking.


Exotic Mushroom Tarts


  • 2TBLS butter
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ pound mushrooms, about 3 cups.  Any kind but white button!!
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • ½ cup feta or blue cheese
  • ½ cup plus 1 TBSP Parmesan
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBSP chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium-size skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions, season with 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until they turn clear.  Add the mushrooms and season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the mushroom mixture into a medium-size mixing bowl. Add the cheese and ½ cup parmesan and stir to blend.

Slice each sheet of puff dough into 12 to 15 squares. Place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet, prick each square randomly with the tines of a fork, and brush with the beaten egg.  Spread a tablespoon of the mushroom mixture on each square, leaving a 1/8-inch border. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle the rounds with the remaining 1 tablespoon parmesan and the parsley, and let cool for several minutes before serving.


Ham with Cider Glaze


Rub and Glaze:


One day before roasting: In a plastic container large enough to hold the ham, stir the water with the salt and brown sugar until dissolved. Add the spices. Score ham in a diamond pattern through the skin and fat, taking care not to cut into the meat. Add ham to brine, weight it with a plate to keep it submerged, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but no more than 8 hours. Drain, rinse, pat the ham dry, and refrigerate.

One hour before roasting, remove ham from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

For the rub: Pulse the olive oil, mustard, parsley, sage, garlic, red pepper, salt, and black pepper in a food processor to make a paste. Rub it all over ham. In a large roasting pan, toss the onion wedges with 1 cup of the apple cider and set the ham on top. Roast the ham for 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees F, about 4 hours. After the first hour, loosely wrap aluminum foil around the bone to keep it from burning.

Meanwhile, for the glaze: Boil, then simmer, the remaining apple cider in a saucepan, skimming as needed, until syrupy and reduced to about 2 cups, about 1 1/2 hours.

During the last 1 1/2 hours of roasting the ham, brush it with the glaze every 30 minutes. Transfer the cooked ham to an ovenproof platter and let it rest in the turned-off oven for 30 minutes. Loosely cover the onions in an ovenproof bowl and put them in the oven as well. Strain the pan juices into a saucepan, skim off any excess fat, and bring to a boil. Make a paste with the flour and butter and whisk a bit at a time into the juices. Boil until thick. Carve the ham and serve with the onions and sauce.


Orange Almond Cake with Hot Marmalade Sauce


  • 1 ¼ c All purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup butter, room temp
  • ¾ cup + 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TBSP whiskey
  • 1 ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • ¾ cup dark raisins
  • ¾ cup currants
  • 1/3 cup chopped candied orange peel
  • 2 TBSP orange marmalade
  • ½ cup sliced almonds


  • 2/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 3 TBSP whiskey
  • 4 oranges, peeled and segments cut in half


Cake: Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper.  Sift flour, baking powder, salt and spice in medium bowl.  Beat butter, sugar, whiskey, and orange peel in a bowl until fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Sift in dry ingredients, then all dried fruits and candied peel.  Pour in pans.  Bake for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and brush with orange marmalade.  Arrange almonds on cake and bake another 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Remove from pan and place on a platter.

Sauce: Combine marmalade, whiskey, orange segments and 2 TBSP juice from oranges.  Simmer until it thickens, about 5 minutes.  Serve cake with warm sauce, orange segments and whipped cream.


Not-Oreo Cookies

Cookie Dough


  • 1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C plus 2 T butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar.
  2. Beat in the butter and the egg. Continue mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take level tablespoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart.  Spray the bottom of a drinking glass with cooking oil, slightly flatten the dough.  If you want, take a tooth pick and lightly carve in first letter of family’s last name.  Looks impressive!!
  4. Bake for 9 minutes at 375 F. Set on a rack to cool.





  • 1/4 cup room-temperature, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla.
  2. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2-3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
  3. To make a cookie, pipe teaspoon-sized blobs of cream into the center of a cookie using a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch round tip. (If you don’t have a pastry bag, you could easily just spread the filling with a knife or use a Ziploc with the corner cut off as a pastry bag.)
  4. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.