The holidays are upon us and that means time spent with loved ones, Christmas trees and sparkly lights, the crisp winter air, giving presents and getting presents, and of course the amazing food! Whether you’re living in Sacramento or are halfway around the world, we want everyone to enjoy some sweet treats and delicious meals this holiday season. Hard Rock at Fire Mountain is doing it up right this year by whipping up some delicious creativity. Whether you’re looking for something festive to sip on, a savory dish to fill you up, or a sweet treat to end your evening, Hard Rock Sacramento has created some amazing festive recipes for you to make at home.
Start the Holidays with a Festive Cocktail
What’s an ingredient that’s sweet but can go with everything? If you said caramel, then you’re right! Salty or sweet, hot or cold, in a drink or on a plate, the possibilities are endless. Discover the sweet spin our chefs at Hard Rock Sacramento put on this holiday cocktail, and understand why caramel is the only thing we can talk about this winter. Enhance your cocktail selection and make your own festive drink at home!
Salted Sipping Caramel with Mezcal
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4oz Mezcal [Optional]
- Place light brown sugar in a large deep sauté pan. Add the water and turn the heat on medium. Bring the sugar to a low boil. Allow the sugar to boil until it darkens to a medium brown and smells like caramel, 5-7 minutes.
- In a separate pot, heat the heavy cream to 120 degrees. This will help the cream when it’s time to incorporate it into the caramel, while still retaining the natural sugars in the dairy.
- Slowly, carefully, whisk in the heavy cream. The sugar will boil up at first, then firm up, but will eventually loosen and blend into the cream.
- Add the salt and vanilla extract. Simmer another 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly to thicken.
- For a more complex, and more “adult” beverage, add 4oz Mezcal.
- Ladle into espresso cups or cordial glasses and serve warm. Top with whipped cream if desired!
Enjoy a Holiday Dinner with a Modern Twist
Gobble, gobble. If you’re still looking for a main course to make for your holiday guests, look no further! The Chefs at Hard Rock Sacramento have crafted up the perfect turkey recipe that everyone at your dining room table will be impressed with. Whether it’s your first time cooking a turkey or you’re an expert in the kitchen, this holiday recipe is one that anyone can master. Get ready for a feast to remember and don’t forget to feed the Gram first to show off your kitchen skills this holiday season.
- Florentine mix
- 1lb fresh baby spinach, blanched & drained
- 12 leaves of fresh, sliced basil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2qt cream
- 2 cups shredded gruyere
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ tablespoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup rice flour
- 2 cups sourdough bread, cut into ¾ inch cubes
- Prep Turkey – After selecting and thawing your bird, spatchcock (removing the backbone of your poultry and pressing it flat) your turkey by deboning from the backbone to the breastplate, then remove the leg, thigh, and wing bones. Be sure to remove all tendons from the leg while keeping the outer skin completely intact. Your bird should look something like a butterfly. Keep in mind that it’s not a butterfly, but in fact, it is actually a turkey!
- Prep Stuffing – Over medium heat melt butter in a large saucepan, add shallots until translucent then add garlic while stirring constantly. Add flour and lower heat. Stir until light blonde, deglaze with white wine. Add cream and bring to simmer. Add seasoning and stir in cheese until consistent. Add fresh basil and spinach, cool completely, fold in sourdough.
- Stuff Your Bird – With your bird skin side down on the board, pat dry the flesh with a non-residue food safe towel. Apply a thin even layer of your Florentine mix to cover the bird. Roll each side from the outside in so that the two halves meet in the center, making two barrels for the stuffing. Coat the area between the skin and the flesh with your choice of fat, like butter. Take the skin from the outside of the turkey and wrap around your roulades tightly, but don’t smush out your glorious filling.
- Season Your Bird – Thoroughly season the outside of your bird with your choice of seasoning, which should be kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Tie tightly with twine while minding your stuffing. Tuck your choice of sage, thyme, & rosemary under each round of twine. If you did all this correctly, take a picture. If you didn’t, photoshop someone else’s into your picture and take the credit.
- Bake – Bake at 275°F for 90 minutes. Only baste your turkey after it has started browning. Don’t open the oven before that or you risk slowing down the even cooking process. There’s no reason to think differently or you wouldn’t need a recipe, would you? Cook until 154°F internally, and then your turkey will carry up to 165°F. This ensures you don’t dry out all that hard work!
- Serve – Let it rest. Turkeys need a nap before you eat them just as much as you do after you eat them. About 15 minutes is perfect. This time allows the juicy goodness to stay in the meat and not on your cutting board. Serve with your choice of sides, as long as one of them is green bean casserole and enjoy!
Wrap Up the Holidays with a Delicious Dessert
The tree has been trimmed and the stockings have been hung, and after you’ve cooked a turkey feast for your guests it’s time for you to enjoy something sweet. The Chefs at Hard Rock Sacramento know what they’re talking about when it comes to sweets, and now the secret is out! Sweeten up the holidays with our specialty red velvet yule log and understand why we always save room for dessert.
Red Velvet Yule Log
Red Velvet Cake Ingredients:
- 9oz all-purpose flour
- 1oz cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4oz unsalted butter
- 10oz granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 medium eggs
- 4.5 teaspoons red food color
- 8oz buttermilk
- 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 teaspoons white vinegar
Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients:
- 7.5oz butter
- 23oz powdered sugar
- 23oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3.5 teaspoons lemon extract
- Start with the cake. Beat butter and sugar with a paddle until it’s smooth.
- Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt together in a separate bowl and set aside.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and beat into your butter and sugar mixture until incorporated.
- Add vanilla and red food color. Beat until incorporated.
- Add the buttermilk and flour mixture alternately, until incorporated.
- Stir baking soda and flour into the batter.
- Pour into a floured and papered flat baking pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.
- For the icing, beat the butter and powdered sugar with a paddle until it’s smooth.
- Add room temperature cream cheese and beat until incorporated. Don’t over beat it here!
- Beat in the flavoring.
- When cake is cooled, spread a thick layer on top, leaving some for the final topper. Using the paper, carefully roll the cake up (or cut layers and layer in a loaf pan). Add the last of the icing to the outside.
- Grab a fork and enter food heaven…
Enjoy the holiday season with the help of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento. Whether you’re looking for a tasty cocktail or a savory turkey dish, we have just the recipe to leave you wanting more! If you choose to spend the holidays with friends and family in Sacramento this year, stop by Hard Rock at Fire Mountain for casino fun and indulge-worthy dining and Christmas menus by some of the same Chefs that developed these amazing recipes! We’ll see you there!