Pasta & Co, Seattle
news from kurt

ENTERTAINING WITH EASE -- HOLIDAY 2005


 



WHAT'S COOKING WITH KURT


Holiday entertaining makes this the best time of the year. The season may be hectic. There's always too much to do. But gathering family and friends around a table to share a holiday meal is part of the celebration. To help make your holiday entertaining easy, check out the Pasta & Co winter menu, adding vegetable and potato side dishes to what you're cooking. Or get a head start by choosing a ready-to-heat-and-serve main course item, like our new chicken potpie or East Indian-inspired pork stew, and plan the meal around that. Whatever your entertaining style and whatever the occasion, Pasta & Co's restaurant quality dishes will make holiday entertaining almost effortless. To further inspire you, as well as provide easy gift giving solutions, our savvy Pasta & Co Culinary Council detectives have researched an outstanding selection of culinary tools and pantry ingredients. Come in and choose from the best. It's even rumored that Santa is shopping with us this year.

Wishing You A Delicious and Joyful Holiday Season,




HOLIDAY DELI FARE TO CREATE YOUR OWN CELEBRATIONS

From humble winter vegetables to oranges and apples, and enticing entrées, Pasta & Co's winter dishes range from classic traditionals to new twists on old favorites. And they're not just delicious. They're also designed to add variety and give you easy solutions for holiday entertaining, whether you're serving a crowd or your immediate family.

It's a must for holiday meals to star turkey and chicken. Take home TURKEY PICCATA, a variation on the classic Italian recipe made with veal and capers, for an easy dinner one night. Our adaptation features Pasta & Co's own brined turkey cutlets dressed in a salty-citrus sauce. For a simple dinner with kid to grandparent appeal, serve our newest chicken dish, AUTUMN POTPIE WITH HERB CROUTON TOPPING. It's comfort food at its best, and the savory crouton topping adds a new twist. Don't expect any leftovers! CHICKEN WITH FIGS AND ORZO is another dish we're pleased to offer. It combines seared chicken breast pieces, peppers and onions sautéed and simmered with white wine and figs, then tossed with orzo pasta. It doesn't get much better than this, pasta fans!

When you are jammed for time and expecting guests, pick up our STROGANOFF SAUCE for a fast main dish. Prepare hot, buttered noodles with sautéed beef strips, then top them with this rich, brown sauce to create a classic Beef Stroganoff. Your guests will think you were in the kitchen for hours. If you want authentic ethnic flavor, serve PORK VINDALOO with steaming Basmati rice. It's a hearty stew seasoned with East Indian spices and a hint of heat. You loved it last winter, so we brought it back.

Pair any of our entrées or your own with a seasonal salad. HARVEST SALAD combines three apple varieties with zucchini slices dressed with a rice wine vinaigrette, while our MOROCCAN ORANGE SALAD celebrates the best of winter citrus with an exotic spicy dressing.

We're offering multiple potato side dishes for the holidays, each versatile and delicious. Our staff favorite of the season happens to be our newest, SMASHED SWEET POTATOES WITH APPLES. It blends creamy baked sweet potatoes with a topping of sautéed apple slices. We recommend it with roast turkey or chicken.

We're also excited about our seasonal vegetable side dishes. You may think winter cuts back our vegetable selection, but think again. Try CABBAGE GRATIN, made with cauliflower, cabbage and onions tossed with Gruyère 's a perfect partner for roast beef or pork, as is versatile, creamy SPINACH GRATIN. Leafy greens star in our new BRAISED KALE WITH BROWNED ONIONS & OLIVE TAPENADE. Dark kale, plus caramelized onions and garlic-accented Olive Tapenade make this dish our choice to serve with roast salmon or chicken. We've also updated two holiday classics: BRUSSELS SPROUTS balanced with sweet, caramelized onions, and GLAZED CARROTS prepared with Asian flavors. Even the kids will want seconds of these carrots.


ORDER A COMPLETE HOLIDAY DINNER TO GO

Ready to Heat and Enjoy for Thanksgiving and the December Holidays

We make holiday entertaining easy and delicious. From appetizer to main course, from side dishes to luscious cheesecakes, we've thought of everything to create grand holiday meals in November and December. You only need to add guests, silverware and dishes. How simple is that?!

From November 1 through November 23, Pasta & Co's complete Thanksgiving Dinner is available with a traditional menu to generously serve 6 to 8 persons. You can roast your own turkey ($89 for the complete dinner without the bird), or feast on our succulent brined turkey breast ($129 includes the turkey).

From November 25 through December 31, we'll again offer our elegant Beef Tenderloin Dinner. The tantalizing menu is generously portioned to serve 6 persons for $150. Additional servings can be added to expand the meal for more guests.


READY TO GO GIFT BOXES

Easy to give. A delight to receive. Ready to open and enjoy.

Impress your friends -- and make it easy on yourself. Our three showy gift boxes are ready to go. No wrapping required. PARTY IN A BOX ($49.95) features "instant eats" and tantalizing nibbles. We've included our all-time favorites: Cajun Peanuts and spicy Vermouth-infused olives, plus tortilla chips, zesty salsas and a bean dip. DINNER IN A BOX ($69.95) features our signature sauce collection and an assortment of pasta, as easy as 1-2-3 to open, heat and enjoy. BAR IN A BOX ($99.95) features all the essentials for the at-home mixologist on your gift list: Cosmo and Lemon Drop mixers, tools to outfit an instant bar, and a cookbook of cocktail inspirations. We'll also help you assemble a gift box with your customized selection of Pasta & Co items.


CATERING TO GO FOR THE HOLIDAYS

We've got the solution to make holiday entertaining easy and stress-free. It's Pasta & Co's "Catering to Go" menu. Whether the occasion is grand or modest, your invitation list long or short, our "Catering to Go" support will make entertaining seem effortless and give you more time to enjoy your guests. Order from a superb selection of savory nibbles, cheeses and desserts. Give us 48 hours advance notice and we'll prepare restaurant quality dishes celebrating great taste and flavorful food pairings to suit any gathering. Call your neighborhood Pasta & Co store for the complete "Catering to Go" menu, ordering details, and a consultation. Our experienced staff will help you plan an individualized menu tailored for your specific entertaining needs.


KURT'S KITCHEN WISDOM

What are some hints for successful parties? Invite your favorite people, make lots of lists, and plan on having a great time yourself. Planning ahead helps enormously, and writing things down will keep you on track. Also, make as many dishes in advance as you can. Aim for easy finger food at cocktail parties. Set up the bar and food in separate locations to ease traffic flow. For dinner parties, plan a simple menu that 't require everything in the oven all at once. Short of that, picking up a prepared dish or two can go a long way towards filling out the menu and keeping you relaxed in the kitchen on the day of the party.


Spicy Pepitas

Serve these easy-to-make, sweet-spicy pumpkin seeds as party nibbles. Use our new FANCY SAIGON CINNAMON to intensify South of the Border seasonings such as cumin, nutmeg and a hit of cayenne. You'll find raw pepitas in bulk in the natural food section of most supermarkets (in case you didn't save the seeds from your Halloween pumpkin).

  • 6 cups raw pepitas
  • 2 tablespoons PASTA & CO EVERYDAY ORGANIC OLIVE OIL
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons FANCY SAIGON CINNAMON
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large, jellyroll pans (baking sheets with rims) with parchment paper. (Or use one pan and roast seeds in two batches.)

Sort seeds into large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat evenly. In small bowl, combine brown sugar, spices, and salt. Mix thoroughly; sprinkle over seeds, and toss to coat.

Spread half the seeds over each baking sheet. Bake 17 minutes, stirring twice, until seeds turn golden green. Remove and cool on the pans. Store in an airtight container. Makes 6 cups.


CONVENIENT CURBSIDE PICK-UP FOR BUSY SHOPPERS

Leave lugging bags from store to car to us. We know you're busy during the holidays. Shop and stash your Pasta & Co purchases in our cold room, and head off on other errands. Then, call us from your cell phone and we'll deliver to your car! You won't even have to look for parking. Simply pull up to the curb and we'll load your items into your car. Even Santa would be impressed.

PASTA & CO GIFT CARDS

Give the present that's the ultimate in user-friendliness and versatility: a Pasta & Co gift card, available in any amount from $15 to $200.

HOLIDAY PANTRY GIFT ITEMS

Our stores are brimming with outstanding pantry items, cook's tools, unique serving dishes and tantalizing ingredients for appetizers, desserts and everything between. We've chosen items to ensure your holiday entertaining experiences are fun and rewarding. You'll also find a range of wonderful solutions for gift giving. Because, as far as we know, no one has ever refused an edible present. There are no sizes or returns to worry about either.

Along with elegant and casual dinners for grown-ups, pancake breakfasts are a holiday tradition for many families. It's a meal kids and grownups can have fun cooking together. This year, we're recommending CINNAMON PEAR MAPLE SYRUP to top the pancakes with a delicate spicy sweetness. You can also mix our deeply fragrant FANCY SAIGON CINNAMON with a little sugar and blend the mixture into softened Beecher's Cultured Butter to make a special holiday pancake spread.

Cheese fondue is a perfect dish for entertaining. It's guaranteed fun as guests around the table cook their own meal. Use our classic FONDUE POT WITH CERAMIC INSERT to help maintain a consistent temperature while everyone is happily dipping and dunking. Or prepare a decadent dessert fondue for fruit with our DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT FONDUE. Choose either item and add Fondue by David Morgan, a cookbook packed with tips and fondue recipes, for a sensational gift.

Cheeselovers will all want our new TRI-CUT CHEESE WIRE. The cylindrical tool slices soft to medium cheeses in three different thicknesses.

For your favorite cocktail mavens, put together a gift set. We recommend pairing Swissmar's versatile, heart-topped COCKTAIL WHISK with a small BAR CUTTING BOARD, a perfect example of "small is practical." Add inspiration with Raising the Bar by Nick Mautone, a comprehensive collection of cocktail recipes and lore. You'll probably be the first person served!


Flagship Fondue

  • 3 cups shredded BEECHER'S FLAGSHIP CHEESE
  • 1 cup shredded BEECHER'S JUST JACK CHEESE
  • 1 bottle of beer, not dark, one drink taken
  • 2 Tbl flour
  • 2 ½ tsp PASTA & CO HOUSE HERBS
  • ½ Tbl BEECHER'S CULTURED BUTTER
  • ½ small onion, chopped

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add onion and sauté until soft and starting to brown, about 5-8 minutes. Add herbs and sauté 1 minute, stirring often. Add beer and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, toss both cheeses with flour and set aside. Add cheese by small handful to simmering liquid, stirring after each addition, until incorporated. Pour into fondue pot and enjoy with crusty bread.



Vanilla Lemondrop

  • 3 parts STIRRINGS LEMON DROP MIXER
  • 1 part Vodka
  • 1 part SONOMA SYRUP CO'S VANILLA BEAN SYRUP
  • 1 small plate of white granulated sugar

Take martini glasses and wet the rim; dip into a plate of sugar. Shake the mixer, vodka, and syrup and poor into sugar rimmed glasses.

Serve.

 

 

Copyright 2008 Pasta & Co

 

Bellevue
425.453.8760

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University Village
206.523.8594

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Pasta & Co is part of the Sugar Mountain family of businesses;
sibling company to Beecher's Handmade Cheese,
Bennett’s Pure Food Bistro, Maximus / Minimus,
and Northwest Earth & Ocean.