Holiday Recipes for the Home Chef!

Happy Holidays! A surreal time of year. The holiday lights that change from hood to hood illuminate our way from dawn to dusk.

Layers are the order of the day. Cold creeps into your bones. We seek warmth. Community. Family. Friends. And nothing is better than sharing a delicious sustaining meal with folks you care about. Cozy up round the table. Feel the Glow. The Great Performances family wishes all a very happy holiday. Stay warm.


Serving Size: 6 people


  • 2 cups basmati rice

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 3 quarts of water

  • ½ cup Dried Cranberries

  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter

  • 1 tsp Rose Water (optional)

  • 1 tsp Saffron threads or powder

  • 2 tbsp warm Water

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1 stick of Butter

  • 3 Egg Yolks

  • Salt to taste



  • Bring the salted water to a boil. Add rice. Bring back to a boil cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the rice.
  • Spread on a cookie tray and let cool down and dry out before using.
  • Melt butter in a small sauté pan add the cranberries. Cook over a low heat for 3 minutes.

  • Add rose water and cook another 3 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside until needed.

  • Preheat oven to 375F

  • Lightly grease a glass or ceramic pie dish

  • Add the saffron to warm water let sit for 10 minutes

  • Mix yogurt, yolks, saffron water, salt, and room temp melted butter

  • Add ½ of the rice spread evenly then scatter ¾ of the cranberries on top.

  • Add the rest of the rice mixture. Again, spread evenly. Press the mix down firmly then cover with tin foil and pop into the oven.

  • Bake Until the crust is golden brown all over. Take out of the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Turn out on to a serving platter. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the cranberries over the top. Cut wedges and serve.



  • 3 cups of Pomegranate Seeds
  • 2 Blood Oranges, cut into supremes and chopped
  • 1/2 cup small dice Red Onion
  • 1 cup of small dice Cucumber
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced small
  • ½ cup chopped Cilantro
  • Juice and zest of 2 Limes


  • Mix all the ingredients together, add a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt.

  • Cover and let rest for at least 1 hour.



  • 6 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses

  • 2 tsp ground Cumin

  • 2 tsp ground Coriander

  • 4 cloves of Garlic, minced

  • Juice of 2 Lemons

  • 3 medium Onions, large dice

  • Salt to taste

  • 5-pound Lamb Shoulder


  • Preheat oven to 325F

  • In a small bowl mix the molasses, cumin, coriander, garlic, lemon juice, & olive oil. Season the lamb with salt as you like. Massage the salt into the lamb shoulder. Now spread the molasses mix all over the shoulder of lamb.

  • Spread the onions on the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the lamb on top. Rinse out the bowl with 2 cups of water and pour around the lamb not on top of the lamb. Cover the dish with tin foil. Place in the oven and roast for the next 3 hours.

  • Uncover the lamb and roast uncovered to gain some caramelization.

  • Pour off the juices then skim off fat. Pour the juices back over the Lamb.

  • Let the lamb rest in a warm place for 20 minutes. Then serve with Jeweled Saffron Rice, Salad, salsa, & sauce.



  • 2 cups finely chopped Pecans

  • 2 cups AP Flour

  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar

  • ¼ Salt

  • 1 cup of melted Butter

  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

  • Powdered Sugar


  • In a big bowl combine the pecans, flour, sugar, salt, add butter, and vanilla.

  • Mix well and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat the oven to 325F.

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and pull off walnut sized nuggets and roll into a ball. Roll up all the dough.

  • Place the balls on an ungreased cookie tray about 1 inch apart.

  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned.


  • Cool slightly on a wire rack then while still a touch warm toss the pecan butter balls in powdered sugar. Return to wire rack. Repeat the process when the cookies are completely cool. Store in air tight container.



  • 5 Large Eggs at room temp

  • 2/3 cup Sugar

  • ½ pound unsalted butter melted

  • ½ cup AP Flour plus 2T of flour for dusting cake pan

  • 1/2t baking powder

  • ½ pound ground pistachios

  • 1t lemon zest

  • 2 drops almond extract


  • Preheat oven to 325F

  • Spray the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray- use 2 Tablespoons of flour to dust the pan making sure to cover the bottom & sides completely. Tap out the rest of the flour.

  • Whip eggs and sugar until ribbon stage.

  • Gradually add room temp melted butter

  • Lower the speed of the mixer and add the flour, pistachios, baking powder, lemon zest and almond extract

  • Pour the mixture into the floured cake pan and pop into the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  • Let cool completely before turning out onto a serving dish

  • Serve with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea or Cardamom tea

More Recipes


By Chef Saul Bolton

This Year, Save The Headache For The Turkey. We’ve Got You Covered With These Quick And Delicious Side Recipes!




1 1/2 cups Sugar

5 tbsp All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

3 cups thinly sliced Green Tomatoes or green Cherry Tomatoes cut in half (4 to 5 medium)

1 cup dried Cranberries

1 tbsp Unfiltered Cider Vinegar

1 tbsp Butter


1. In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cranberries, cinnamon and salt

2. Add tomatoes and vinegar; toss to coat

3. Line a pie plate with bottom crust. Add filling; dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry; Trim, seal and crimp. Cut an X in the center of the top crust to allow steam to escape while cooking

4. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is tender. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with your favorite ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream or crème fraiche




5 cups Green Tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup Onions, finely sliced

1 medium-size fresh Jalapeno, sliced

1 cup Cilantro, rough chopped

1 cup Walnut pieces

2 tbsp whole Coriander Seeds

3 whole Green Cardamom Pods

2 cups Cider Vinegar

2 cups light Brown Sugar

3 tbsp Grate Fresh Ginger (grated with microplane)

Zest and Juice of 2 lemons (zest grated on microplane and chopped)

1/2 cup Golden Raisins


1. Add tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, walnuts, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, raisins, vinegar, & sugar to a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over a low heat.

2. Cook until thickened to your taste. Remove from the heat.

3. Add the cilantro, lemon zest, & ginger. Stir. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and lemon juice. Cool. Serve cool or at room temp. Great with Roast Turkey!!



8 tennis-ball sized Turnips with tops (remove tops, wash, spin dry and rough chop, peel the turnip itself and cut into 1-inch pieces)

3 tbsp Coconut Oil

3 tbsp Honey

Sea Salt

Fennel Seed

2 cups White Onion, sliced

2 cloves Garlic, sliced

2 cups canned Garbanzo Beans

1 tsp smoked Paprika

2 tbsp Cider Vinegar


1. Toss turnips with 1 tbsp coconut oil & honey. Season with sea salt, Bake at 350F until tender and caramelized

2. Heat sautee pan. Add 2 tbsp coconut oil and garlic. Toast garlic until well browned. Add onions, fennel seed and cook until translucent.

3. To finish, add roasted turnips, turnip tops, & garbanzos to onion mixture. Season with cider vinegar, smoked paprika, and salt to taste. Serve warm as a side.



2 heads of Green Cabbage, cut in 1/8ths

1 1/2 cups Walnuts

3 cloves of Garlic, grated on a microplane or box grater

6 Rosemary Sprigs, leaves removed

1/4 cup Butter

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp Olive Oil

1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Sea Salt, to taste

Black Pepper, to taste


1. Preheat your oven to 450F degrees.

2. Toss the cabbage with 2 tbsp of olive oil and a large pinch of salt

3. Divide the cabbage between two lined baking sheets and roast in the oven until the cabbage is browned and tender, 30-45 minutes.

4. When the cabbage is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool while you are making the vinaigrette.

5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet toast the walnuts over medium heat until they are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, rosemary, and garlic and cook until the butter is lightly browned. Add the olive oil and vinegar and simmer until the vinegar is slightly reduced and the dressing is emulsified.

6. Season the vinaigrette with salt and black pepper and spoon over the roasted cabbage to serve.




2 cups Celery Root, julienne on a mandoline

1 cup Apples, julienne on a mandoline

1/2 cup Mayonnaise

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

3 Tbsp Parsley, chopped

2 tbsp Lemon Juice

Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Mix mayonnaise, mustard, parsley and lemon juice in a bowl.

2. Add celery root and apple, toss well to combine and season with salt and pepper.




2 (12 oz.) packages of fresh or frozen Cranberries

2/3 cups dried Cranberries

2 1/2 cups Sugar

1/2 cup fresh Orange Juice

Shredded rind of 1 Orange

1/2 cup fresh Lime Juice

2 to 4 Jalapeno Chiles, seeded and minced


1. Combine the fresh cranberries, dried cranberries, sugar, orange juice, orange rind, lime juice, jalapeno chiles and 1 1/2 cups water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

2. Boil gently until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Boil gently for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring to prevent sticking. It will keep well in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks; or ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace, seal with 2 piece lids, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.




3 tbsp Olive Oil

2 cups Sweet Potato, peeled and diced

1 1/2 cups chopped Onion (1-inch)

1 1/2 cups chopped Carrots (1-inch)

3 cloves Garlic, minced

2 tbsp finely grated fresh Ginger

1 tbsp ground Cumin

1 tbsp ground Coriander

3/4 tsp ground Cinnamon

3 cups Vegetable Stock or Water

3 tbsp Fancy Molasses

1 1/2 cups Cauliflower florets

1 1/2 cups diced Eggplant (1-inch)

1 can (14 oz.) Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3/4 cups Raisins

1/2 cup Apricots, chopped and dried

Salt and pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sweet potato, onion and carrots, and sauté until onions are translucent, for about 5 minutes.

2. Add garlic, ginger, and ground spices and sauté for 2 minutes.

3. Add stock (or water) and molasses and bring up to a simmer.

4. Add cauliflower, eggplant, chickpeas, raisins, and apricots, season lightly and bring up to a simmer.

5. Lower the heat and continue simmering, uncovered, until all the vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (but the tagine is still moist), about 20 minutes.

6. Adjust the seasoning to taste


More Recipes

By Chef Saul Bolton

Happy New Year! Now is the time to Rejoice and give thanks for the sweetness of the past year and greet the new year with fresh eyes and positivity!

It’s a time for getting together and breaking bread with family and friends and there is no better place to do this than at the dinner table! We are very happy to share some delicious recipes that are incorporating traditional ingredients with shout-outs to the Sephardic diaspora. They are intended to be served as a meal together but can be easily be served individually. Enjoy! Happy New Year from the Great Performances Family!

Salad of Crisp local Apples, Arugula, Toasted Walnuts, Lemon, Honey, & Pomegranate Seeds


6 large Honey Crisp Apples cored and cut into nice half-moon slices

1 cup of toasted walnuts

2 tbsp honey

2 cups of clean arugula

2 large lemons zested and juiced (zest chopped fine)

1 cup of Italian flat leaf parsley leaves.

1 log of Chevre (6oz crumbled)

1 cup of Pomegranate seeds

Salt and black pepper to taste


1. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the apples, lemon juice, lemon zest, walnuts, & Honey. Gently mix coating the apples in the lemon and the honey.

2. In a separate mixing bowl drain excess liquid from the apple bowl. Add the arugula and gently mix. Lightly coating the arugula with the lemon/honey liquid

3. Distribute the Arugula on a serving platter then arrange the apple mixture on and around the arugula. Now distribute the goat cheese & Pomegranate seeds over the arrangement then add the parsley leaves.

4. Season with fresh black pepper and a sprinkle of salt. Serve.

Persian Roast Chicken


1 whole 4-pound chicken cut into drum sticks, thighs, wings, & breasts

6 whole limes cut into thin slices

6 whole limes cut into thin slices

10 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed not chopped

1 pinch of saffron

3 tbsp honey

1 bunch of cilantro stems chopped (the rest of cilantro leaves set aside for garnish)

4 large leeks stem trimmed, and excess green trimmed then each leek split length wise, rinsed well and patted dry with a paper towel.

2 large carrots peeled and trimmed then split length wish

4 cups of chicken stock

¼ cup butter

2 tbsp sumac

Salt and black pepper to taste


1. preheat oven to 375 F

2. In a large bowl add the chicken pieces, lime slices, honey, garlic, cilantro stems, Jalapeno slices, saffron, & salt and pepper to taste. Mix well making sure to coat the chicken very well. Leave to marinate for 2 hours or overnight.

3. Line the roasting pan with the leeks, carrots, and butter creating a platform on which to add your chicken pieces on top of.

4. Remove the marinated chicken from from the bowl – carefully remove the cilantro stems, lime slices, jalapeno slices, and garlic from the chicken making sure the skin side is free from anything that would keep it from browning. Discard the lime slices and the lime juice. Add the crushed garlic to the roasting pan with the leeks and Carrots. If you like spicy add the jalapeno slices to the roasting pan.

5. Now carefully pat dry the skin side of the chicken pieces. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, & Sumac. Place the chicken pieces skin side up on the platform of carrots and leeks.

6. Place the Chicken in the preheated oven and bake until Golden Brown and cooked to your liking. The carrots and leeks should be nice and tender at this point.

7. Arrange the roasted chicken pieces, leeks, and carrots on a serving platter. Garnish with the cilantro leaves, slices of lime, and the cooking juices of the chicken.

Jeweled Bulgur Salad


3 cups coarse bulgur wheat

6 cups light chicken stock or water

1 tbsp honey

1 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic chopped

½ cup butter

1 pinch of saffron

6 green cardamom pods

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

½ cup dried sour cherry

½ cup yellow raisins

½ cup currants or barberry’s

1 pinch of chili flake

½ cup toasted almonds

½ cup toasted coconut flakes

1 cup sliced scallions

½ cup torn mint leaves


1. In a large saucepan add butter over low heat. Melt the butter gently.

2. Add the onions, garlic, saffron, chili flake, coriander, cumin, and cardamom pods.

3. Continue cooking gently until the onions are soft and sweet.

4. Add water to the pot – season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil

5. Add the bulgur to a shallow baking dish ( 6 by 9 inches would be good)

6. Pour the hot liquid over the bulgur – gently even out the mixture then cover with plastic wrap and tin foil.

7. Place the bulgur in the oven and bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and let sit another 10 minutes. Now uncover the bulgur and fluff with a fork and let cool for 10 minutes.

8. Now add the cherries, yellow raisins, currants, almonds, and coconut. Gently fold into the bulgur mixture.

9. To serve remove to a serving bowl and mix in the scallions, and mint leaves.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Charred Sweet Corn, Chickpeas, with Basil and Yogurt


1 large butternut squash peeled, halved seeded, and cut into equal size bite size pieces

4 ears of Sweet Corn shucked and cleaned

2 cups of cooked chickpeas

1 tbsp curry powder

3 tbsp of olive oil or to taste

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

2 cups Greek yogurt

1 lemon zested and juiced

1 clove minced garlic

4 tbsp mint leaves sliced


1. Turn stove flame to high and char the sweet corn ( you want about 30 to 40 % of corn charred)

2. Cut the kernels of corn off the cob set aside

3. To make the dressing mix together the yogurt, mint, garlic, and lemon juice and zest

4. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, curry powder, Salt, Black Pepper, & Chickpeas

5. Turn butternut squash mixture onto a baking pan and bake until the Butternut squash is just tender

6. Remove from the oven and add the charred sweet corn

7. Now turn the mixture onto a serving platter with the yogurt sauce on the side

Rosh Hashanah Pan Dowdy


3 tbsp Butter

6 large granny smith apples (peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch cubes


chopped walnuts

10 Medjool Dates pitted and cut into ¼ inch cubes

4 oz 72% bitter chocolate rough chopped

1 tbsp orange zest chopped fine

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

3 tbsp white sesame seeds

1 8″ x 10″ sheet of pie dough (cut into 1.5-inch squares & chilled)

1 egg (used to brush Pastry)

Sugar in the Raw for sprinkling


1. Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium high heat. Add apples to the pan and cook until al dente. Add honey, cardamom, coriander, & cinnamon. Cook for 2 minutes then add the dates. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temp before gently mixing in bitter chocolate pieces and orange zest into the apple mixture.

2. Turn the apple mixture into a 6 by 9 casserole dish making sure to distribute evenly.

3. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Evenly brush the pastry squares with the egg wash then sprinkle evenly with he sesame seeds and raw brown sugar.

4. Now carefully place the squares in a pattern that you like on top of the apple mixture and place in the preheated oven until the pastry is fully baked and golden brown with the apple mixture bubbling. Let cool to room temp before serving with come vanilla ice cream or crème fraiche.