Chalet Weekend Getaway Recipes, or Cooking for a Group of 14

Sometimes you just need to get away from New York City. Lately we’ve been subsumed with the busyness of life and it already seems like so long ago that we stuffed a rental car to the gills with friends and food and headed upstate to a rented chalet. It was a magical weekend of relaxing by the wood fire, gazing at the wintry birch trees, soaking in an outdoor hot tub, watching specially curated B (or maybe C or D) movies, and cooking and eating tons of food.

Happy Cat Lane II

Getting away from city bustle in Woodstock

It takes a lot of logistics to plan how 14 people are going to eat for a weekend. Added to the mix that we had a lot of different dietary needs: dairy allergies, vegetarians, nut allergies, and gluten free diets, to name just a few. However, we always want our cooking to be as accessible as possible to all different types of eaters, so this posed a fun challenge. First, I asked everyone who was coming what specific dietary needs they had and if they would be willing to create a meal for the weekend and prepare it with many friendly helpers. Needless to say, we ate well that weekend, with help from the natural foods market in Woodstock and the absolutely amazing Woodstock Meats, which also has local cheeses and homemade soups.

Beef and Lamb Selection

Lamb Selection at the Woodstock Meats

After the weekend was over (with plans to do it again next year) I asked those who helped with the meal planning to share their recipes. Here I present to you a menu for a weekend away, whether it’s in the middle of the woods or the middle of the city.

Bacon breakfast bonanza

Night 1: Winter Wine-o Stew (Meat and Vegan version); Green Salad

Breakfast 1: Gluten-free pancakes; Pork, Turkey and Tempeh bacon; Scrambled eggs

Hors d’ouevres: Cheese and crackers; homemade hummus; crudite; guacamole and chips

Dinner 2: Assemble it yourself kebabs with lamb or tofu; Spicy kofta kebabs; Green Salad; Vegan Chocolate Cake & Frosting

Breakfast 2: Traditional or gluten free granola with yogurt, milk or soy milk; Cheesy grits

The key to cooking for so many people in a strange kitchen is flexibility, simplicity and leaving the final assembly or flavoring up to the individual eater, if possible. How do you plan for several meals with large groups? What is your strategy?

Winter Wine-o Stew (Meat and Vegan Version)

This is the only dish we made ahead. SMH and I processed industrial quantities of vegetables in our kitchen and let the stews simmer throughout the night before we left for Woodstock. We’ve reigned in the proportions somewhat, but this will still make enough stew to feed a small horde.

Meaty Winter Wine-o Stew

Stew, Bloody Mary, Banana Grams!

Meaty Wine-o Stew and Banana Grams

2 pounds chuck steak cut into chunks
3 parsnips
4 carrots
1/2 bunch celery
2 russet potatoes
2 medium onions
whole head of garlic
1 large turnip
3 tomatoes
1 1/2 bottles red wine

Beef or veggie stock or water

Salt
Pepper
2 Bay leaves

In large soup pot brown beef over medium high heat until its rare and remove from the pan with slotted spoon.
Without removing the grease of the meat from the pan, add the onions to saute, followed by the garlic and rest of vegetables. Saute until slightly brown on the edges, then add browned beef, add bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.
Add wine and stock (or water) to cover the vegetables and meat.
Simmer steadily over medium-low heat until the vegetables have softened. Refrigerates or freezes well.

Veggie Winter Wine-o Stew

Veggie Stew

Veggie Wine-o Stew

3 parsnips
4 carrots
1/2 bunch celery
2 russet potatoes
2 medium onions
whole head of garlic
1 large turnip
3 tomatoes
1 1/2 bottles dry white wine

Veggie stock or water

Salt
Pepper
2 Bay leaves

Chop the onions, garlic and all the vegetables.

Places over medium high heat place olive oil in your stock pot, add onion, and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and rest of vegetables. Saute until slightly brown on the edges, then add the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Add wine and stock (or water) to cover the vegetables and meat.
Simmer steadily over medium-low heat until the vegetables have softened. Refrigerates or freezes well.

Marinated Lamb or Tofu Kebabs

For the kebabs:

2 pounds of leg of lamb or tofu, cut into chunks

White onions, cut into large wedges

Green peppers cut into wedges

Whole cloves of garlic

For the marinade:

3-4 stalks of fresh Rosemary

Juice of 3 lemons

2 bulbs of garlic, chopped

1/4 teaspoon of cloves

Salt and Pepper

2 Bay Leaves

1/2 cup Olive Oil

Gallon zip lock bag

Skewers (soak wooden skewers in water to avoid burning them up)

Lamb in a bag

We had to improvise with slightly smaller bags for marinade at the chalet

Place the tofu or lamb in a gallon size zip lock bag and add the rest of the ingredients for the marinade. Shake gently to combine and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, though overnight is preferable.

Assemble kebabs on skewers as you like (or have your friends assemble their own) and grill them or broil them on high if you don’t have grill access.

Gluten Free Pancakes (from Erin Harney)

Gluten Free Pancake Feast

Gluten Free Pancakes

The thing I hate about traditional pancakes is how heavy they make me feel after I have eaten them. Thankfully, these pancakes are light and cake like in addition to being gluten free. I think this will become my go-to pancake recipe.

Ingredients:
1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk/soy milk/buttermilk (if using buttermilk you will need a bit more)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1) In a large bowl, combine the rice flour, potato starch, sugar, baking powder and salt.
2) In another bowl (or the same if you are lazy), whisk the eggs, milk, butter and vanilla.
3) Add liquid into dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
4) Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot pan coated with cooking spray/olive oil; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is golden brown. Yield: 12 pancakes.

Happy pancaking! Top with fresh berries, shaved nuts, powdered sugar, butter or margarine, and grade B (or A) maple syrup. Or all of the above!

Granola (Made by Ashley Mask)

Granola Breakfast

Granola with all the fixins'

This granola comes from the Homesick Texan blog and is absolutely delicious. Ashely also made a version without milk and oats for gluten free and dairy free eaters. She made it ahead of time and transported it to Woodstock. Incredible!

Uncle Austin’s Granola

Ingredients:
10 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried milk
6 cups nuts
5 cups dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
3 tsp. salt
1 to 1.5 cups vegetable oil
1 cup honey
3 tsp. vanilla
2-3 cups currants (add after baking)
Heat oven to 300 degrees

Method:
1. Combine dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
2. Add wet ingredients. Hint: add the oil first then pour the honey in that cup. Mix thoroughly.
3. Put it in pans 1-3 inches thick and bake.
4. Use a spatula to turn it every five minutes or so. Like cookies, it’s best to take it out before it seems done. When it feels hot to the touch and is a light golden brown, it’s ready.
5. Add currants
Serve with regular, soy, rice or almond milk, yogurt, and fresh fruit.

La Tranquera

We also had plenty of mate to fuel the weekend

 

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About 2cooksinthekitchen

Two cooks, one from Bushwick and a passionate meat-eater, one from Sunset Park and a former vegan, and both NYC transplants, set out to share original recipes that can be made dairy free and vegan deserts; showcase culinary resources in the outer boroughs (and sometimes Manhattan) where one can find unique, specific and fairly priced ingredients; and participate wholeheartedly in the many cultures of cooking and eating that make up New York City.
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