Christmas Countdown: Debra's Home-made Delights

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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The oh-so-charming Debra Gore played hostess recently when she rolled out the welcome mat for Thursday Life and eight guests — friends of her daughter Sabrina — for an intimate pre-Christmas dinner under the stars.

Gore assumed catering duties with much aplomb, whipping up a menu that included Arosa Italian sausage rolls, roasted Butterball turkey, and home-made Blue Mountain coffee ice cream. We share highlights of the evening as well as recipes.
(Photos: Karl McLarty)



Baked Brie with Honey and Apples

Arosa Italian Sausage Rolls with Asian Dip


Garlic and Thyme Infused Rice

Cinnamon-Spiced Baked Plantain

Sweet Potato and Giblet Stuffing

Roasted Butterball Turkey with Gravy

Home-made Dinner Rolls


Home-made Blue Mountain Coffee Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Cookies

White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies

Tiramisu Baked Brie


2 pckts Brie cheese

4 tbsps Jamaican honey


Preheat oven 400ºF

Place Brie on foil-lined baking dish and drizzle with honey.

Bake until golden and the honey begins to caramelise.

Remove from baking dish and plate with assortment of crackers, and garnish with fresh fruits.

Italian Sausage Rolls

You Will Need...

6 Arosa Italian sausages (from St Ann)

Pastry of your choice

Assorted dipping sauce for serving


Preheat oven 375ºF

Parboil whole sausages and cut into 8 pieces lengthways.

Roll individual sausage pieces in pastry and place on baking sheet.

Brush pastry with egg wash mixture (beat one egg with 1/4 cup water).

Bake till golden and crispy.

Place on serving platter with sauces of your choice.

Baked cinnamon-spiced ripe plantain


4 large ripe plantains

4 tbsps salted butter (cubed)

4 tsps cinnamon powder

4 tbsps orange juice

4 tbsps brown sugar


Preheat oven 350ºF

Peel and slice plantains.

Place in baking dish that can be used as a serving dish and cover plantain with sugar, cinnamon and orange juice. Place cubed butter evenly in dish.

Bake till plantain is fork tender (turn once during baking).

Bake for approximately 40 minutes.

Garlic and Thyme-infused Rice "aka" Juicy Rice


4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large sprig of fresh thyme

2 cups rice (parboiled)

Pinch of salt

4 cups boiling water


Place olive oil and garlic in saucepan.

Over medium heat, cook garlic till tender and just starts to turn golden, stirring constantly.

Add salt and rice to garlic and olive oil and continue to cook, stirring constantly until rice is completely coated in olive oil and consistently heated through, slowly adding boiling water 1/4 cup at a time until all ingredients are boiling.

Add thyme.

Lower the heat and cover. Cook for 20 minutes.

Sweet Potato Stuffing with Giblets


5 lbs sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 lb butter

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, finely diced

Salt and black pepper

Giblets from turkey, finely chopped in food processor

Breadcrumbs seasoned with herbs


Boil sweet potatoes until fork tender.

Coarsely mash with 1/2 lb butter in saucepan. Melt 1/2 lb butter and sauté the onions and garlic.

When almost golden, add the chopped giblets and continue to sauté until completely cooked. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fold in the sweet potatoes into the giblet mixture and combine over low heat.

Place mixture in baking/serving dish and top with breadcrumbs.

Bake in 350ºF preheated oven until golden and crispy on the top.

Roasted Turkey


1 Butterball turkey, approximately 13 lbs

1 large onion, sliced

5 cloves garlic, smashed

2 tsps salt and black pepper (each)

Slosh of soya sauce (for colour)

2 stalks of escallion

1 sprig of thyme


Preheat oven 375ºF

Remove all giblets and use in stuffing.

Wash turkey with 1/4 cup of vinegar and pat dry.

Season and rub well all over with soya sauce, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, escallion and thyme, and put into cavity of turkey.

Place turkey in roasting pan (with rack if possible) with onions and garlic around the turkey.

Cover with foil or roasting pan lid.

Roast for 30 minutes and check if pan needs liquid -- add 1/2 cup of water, or stock (if you have).

Cover and keep checking every 20 minutes to add more liquid. After 2 hours, remove covering.

Continue to roast and add more liquid if needed -- don't drown the gravy.

Roast for approximately 3 hours.


Remove turkey from roasting pan and let rest before carving.

Place liquids and seasoning in saucepan over high heat and allow to boil for 5 minutes.

Lower heat and continue to cook, stirring constantly while slowly adding sparingly flour to thicken gravy.

When desired thickness is reached cook for 5 minutes to fully cook flour. Remove from heat and strain to remove seasoning.

Debs Special Dinner Rolls


6 oz granulated sugar

6 oz Crisco shortening

2 oz powdered milk

1/2 oz salt

2 oz eggs (1 large egg)

1 oz yeast

21 oz water, room temperature

2 1/2 lbs baking flour*

*Extra flour will be needed

Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1/4 cup water)


Place all ingredients inside mixer with the dough hook attachment. Combine well and remove dough when it is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl (extra flour might be added to help this).

Place on floured surface and cover with clean dry towel.

Leave to rise until double in size. Divide into 2 equal parts, cut each part into 24 even pieces and shape each piece into "rolls".

Place evenly on baking sheet leaving space between. Egg-wash rolls and allow to rest uncovered until double in size.

Place on middle rack of preheated 350ºF oven and bake until golden.

Jamaican Coffee Ice Cream

NB: You will need an ice cream maker.


2 cups heavy cream

1 cup full real cow's milk -- not boxed

1 tbsp vanilla

5 tbsps instant Jamaican coffee

11/2 cups granulated sugar


Combine sugar, coffee and milk in saucepan over medium heat, warm and whisk until sugar and coffee dissolve and mixture is well combined.

Remove from heat and add cream slowly while whisking carefully. Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Follow ice cream maker instructions.

Chocolate Chip Cookies and White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies


1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

4 1/4 cups baking flour

1 1/2 cups margarine

2 tsps vanilla

3 eggs

4 tsps baking powder

2 tsps baking soda

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts


Preheat oven 375ºF

Combine both sugars with margarine until light and fluffy and the sugar is mostly dissolved.

Add eggs one at time scarping bowl between and then add vanilla.

Sift flour, baking soda and baking powder and slowly add to creamed mixture until all ingredients are well mixed, but not over mixed.

Divide mixture in half and fold in chocolate chips into one half and macadamia nuts and white chips into the other.

Using a tablespoon as portion size, place cookie dough evenly on cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.






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