Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Preppy Kitchen Smart Hacks for Less Stress, More Fun Thanksgiving [Exclusive]

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Chef John Kanell has easy Preppy Kitchen ideas for stressed Thanksgiving cooks. He said while the holidays are supposed to be fun, they often get pretty stressful, especially for the chef at home.

“You know, we’re trying to get into the holidays. We try to make things easy when we might be a little stressed or at our limit,” he told Showbiz’ Cheat Sheet. So, Kanell shared how he’s approaching the holidays and Thanksgiving the Preppy Kitchen way.

“The one thing you always want to do is plan ahead and prepare,” he stressed. “I don’t like doing things in the morning when guests come over because I might want to finish cleaning the house. I want to look good and be relaxed or have the finishing touches like flowers on the table.”

“So I’m going to do whatever it takes to bake things or prep things as far in advance as possible,” he explained. “I mix a few things together, I put a few things in the oven, but I don’t want to work a lot during the day. So the first time you get in the kitchen in a minute and you’re preparing a big meal, write out your menu, choose what you want to make and what you want to bring to your guests, and then say, “When can.” I do that? How long does it keep?’”

Kanell used some examples from the Preppy Kitchen. “Like baking cookies, for example, I can make them a week in advance,” he said. “They’re in a freezer in the freezer, baking from frozen. So I’m not worried about that, but they will come out of the oven fresh as a daisy and so delicious.”

But he also loves using eggs as a finishing touch for cakes. “There are little things you can do, like bake a cake. Go ahead and grab an egg. Stir up a little water or milk or cream and make sure you have an egg wash on it,” he said.

“Even if the recipe says you don’t need one, just add it,” Kanell said. “For example, if you like a chocolate cake, you want the crunchy, buttery crust to melt in your mouth. When you bake the crust, add the egg wash on top. It will be shiny, it will be golden. But this egg wash will also give you a little barrier between the buttery crust and the moister custard top, keeping them separate so the crust stays crispy.

What’s a Preppy Kitchen go-to for the holidays? “I personally love to eat buns,” he said. “There’s a pumpkin bun cake that’s really close to my heart. My mom’s favorite cake in the world is a lemon curd roll cake.

He detailed the Preppy Kitchen approach to a Lemon Curd Roll Cake. “So you’re making a really wafer-thin layer, and there’s generally no fat in a bun cake,” he said. “So the magic comes from frothed egg whites. You take the egg white and froth it up almost to a meringue and you’re going to fold that into your batter which has the flour and the sugar and whatever in it. And that protein expands in the oven as it gets hotter. It pops your cake without using baking soda or baking soda.”

“You fill that with lemon curd,” he added. “Lemon curd is like that wonderful, rich, sunny yolk that gives the lemon juice a thicker texture. It’s one of my favorite foods… like sunshine on a spoon, my mom always says. Spread this on your cooled cake, roll it up, garnish with some whipped cream and berries. And every day of the year. Everyone will love this cake and it’s so easy to make.”

TIED TOGETHER: Ina Garten just made Thanksgiving dinner a whole lot easier with her favorite store-bought ingredients

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