favorite holiday dishes! Below, we've shared some of their dinner and
dessert recipes so you can cook like a real maestro!
EASY BAKED CHICKEN
From Toby Saks, University of Washington Music Professor
1 or 2 pounds of boneless chicken thighs
Arrange boned chicken thighs in a baking pan.
Pour jarred Indian Curry sauce evenly over the chicken.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
Spoon some of sauce in pan on top of chicken thighs and broil
5 additional minutes to slightly brown.
Serve with noodles and extra sauce for the noodles and add a green
Voila! Completely effortless main dish!
From Canadian violinist James Ehnes
3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder, or 4-5 pound if the bone is in
3 medium yellow onions
A good amount of cumin (as much as you think you need,
plus a little bit more)
4 cups chicken stock
The best salsa you can find or make - a great salsa verde is perfect
Cut the pork into large chunks - bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a
baseball. Trim away only the large pieces of fat - it is important to leave
a decent amount of fat on the meat. Season lightly with black pepper.
Quarter the onions
Roughly chop about a handful of the cilantro
Put the pork and onions into a large pot and add the bay leaves, cumin,
cilantro, and chicken broth. If the pork is not covered, add enough
water to completely cover the meat.
Bring VERY BRIEFLY to a boil, then simmer for 4 hours (or until you can't
stand it anymore). The meat should be fork tender. When it is, proceed
to the next step.
Remove the pork and about half of the onions from the broth and place
into a roasting pan. Set the oven to broil. Take two forks and shred the
meat and onions, removing any bones and any large pieces of fat. Spread
the shredded meat/onions evenly in the roasting pan and add some
broth from the pot (enough to cover the bottom of the pan). Place in the
Keep a close eye on the meat - when it begins to get crispy on the top,
take it out and mix it around a bit, then put it back in the broiler so more
of it can get crispy. If the broth is gone, add a bit more.
When you have a nice mix of crispy tips and tender chunks, you are done.
Warm the tortillas - preferably in a pan, but you can wrap them in wet
paper towels and steam them in the microwave if you want.
Serve the carnitas in the tortillas with sliced avocado, cilantro leaves and
TRADITIONAL MINCE PIES
From Michael Partington, classical guitarist
1 1/4 lb mincemeat
12 oz plain flour
3 oz lard
3 oz butter
pinch of salt
For the top:
a little milk
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Make up the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a mixing bowl
and rubbing the fats into it until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Then add just enough cold water to mix to a dough that leaves the
Leave the pastry to rest in a polythene bag in the refrigerator for
20-30 minutes, then roll half of it out as thinly as possible and cut it
into two dozen 3 inch (7.5 cm) rounds, gathering up the scraps and
re-rolling. Then do the same with the other half of the pastry, this
time using the 2½ inch (6 cm) cutter.
Now grease the patty tins lightly and line them with the larger rounds.
Fill these with mincemeat to the level of the edges of the pastry.
Dampen the edges of the smaller rounds of pastry with water and
press them lightly into position to form lids, sealing the edges.
Brush each one with milk and make three snips in the tops with a
pair of scissors.
Bake near the top of the oven for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown.
Cool on a wire tray and sprinkle with icing sugar.
When cool, store in an airtight container.
From Michael Partington, classical guitarist
6 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 oz soft dark brown sugar
6 TBSP brandy
You can either blend the butter and sugar together till pale, soft and
creamy in a food processor or else use an electric hand whisk.
When you have a pale smooth mixture you can gradually add the brandy,
a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Taste and add more
brandy if you think it needs it!
Then place the butter in a container and chill thoroughly before serving.
Serve this very cold for a wonderful contrast to the hot mince pies or
pudding it's served with!
It will keep for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator so it's not really worth freezing.
THE NO-COOK OPTION
From Karen P. Thomas, artistic director of Seattle Pro Musica
Karen says: "Honestly, cooking is usually the last thing I think about
during December! I just eat whatever anyone gives me :)...That said,