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New Buffalo Bill’s hosts preholiday feast demonstration


Chef Bill Reynolds shows guests the turkey


efore they could get too swept up in the tidal wave of holiday preparations, visitors to New Buffalo Bill’s Wood Fired BBQ received a pre-holiday meal tutorial at the New Buffalo Library Chef Series’ latest installment, “Holiday Favorites,” Monday, Nov. 25. The evening, which took place at the restaurant, was presented by Bill Reynolds, owner of New Buffalo Bill’s, and Mary Abbott Hess. Guests were treated to a cooking demonstration for several items that were featured on the following menu (guests all received a folder with recipes inside of it): Whole Salmon in Salt Crust, Lentil Vegetable Peanut Stew, Boneless Stuffed Turkey Roll, Smoked Salmon Cheese Almond Pine Cones, African Spiced Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad, Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad with Butternut Squash Bells, Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes and Pineapple Candle, Holiday Brussel Sprouts, Creamed Carrots with Dill, and Chocolate Roulade. The salmon featured a salt crust with two different kinds of salt – rock salt and kosher salt. Cooks should make a thin layer of the salt mixture (salts and egg whites) and on a sheet pan before laying the salmon on the salt and covering it with the remaining salt. “The skin of the salmon is pretty tough stuff, so the salt doesn’t penetrate the skin,” Reynolds said. Reynolds also advised guests to be on the lookout for fish that hardly smells because “fresh fish doesn’t smell” and for fish with a “real clear eye,” since fish with cloudy eyes have “been around for a while.” Reynolds was cooking a fresh turkey that evening; however, there was no reason to turn up one’s nose at a frozen one. “Frozen works out well for us because we can decide when we need it buy it – when it’s fresh, you have to use it in next couple of days,” he said. A nationally recognized expert in food and nutrition communications and a former president of The American Dietetic Association (ADA), Hess tossed out some of her own crumbs of food knowledge to the hungry crowd. According to Hess, wild salmon is considered a “superfood,” as it’s rich in omega-three fatty acids. The acids improve brain functioning, are anti-inflammatory, and lower blood pressure. Other fatty fish are herring, sardines, cod, mackerel, and tuna. Another superfood is lentils (present in the Lentil Vegetable Peanut Stew) and broccoli (which was laying in the African Spiced Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad). As for cauliflower, Hess said that nutritionists give three exceptions to the rule of not chowing down on processed white foods: mushrooms, whitefish and cauliflower. “I was the judge for some international cookbook competition and three different books had all cauliflower recipes – it’s a chef’s favorite these days,” she said, adding that cauliflower was named the 2018 Vegetable of the Year. When the time had come to begin the turkey, Hess revealed a fact that dispels a previous nutrition notion: The fat that’s present in poultry skin is good fat. “People say take the skin off poultry because it has fat – the fat is mostly monosaturated, a good kind of fat,” she said. “If you have to take off the skin and add all kinds of things to season it to make it moist, it’s better to cook poultry with skin on so it maintains the moisture and little of fat, which is good fat,” Hess added. Guests were invited to submit their favorite side dish recipes. Loretta Friend, owner of Elsie Earl Studios in New Buffalo, shared Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes (her parents used to live in Hawaii) with the crowd. To accompany Friend’s recipe (which includes sweet potatoes formed into balls and rolled in crushed Corn Flakes), Reynolds made a pineapple candle – complete with a strawberry flame – centerpiece. The Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad, which featured orange squash nestled in a bed of green leaves, was garnished with Reynolds’ “ever-famous” Butternut Squash Bells. “You won’t find the bells anywhere on the Internet – I looked, they’re not there,” he said. Before opening New Buffalo Bill’s in 2015, Reynolds had a career that spanned 35 years at the Culinary Institute of America and Washburne Culinary Institute as well as had a ranch in Texas. The restaurant is located at 603 W. Buffalo Street in New Buffalo.

Chef Bill Reynolds handles the salmon before it’s cooked

Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad with Butternut Squash Bells

Guests watch as Bill Reynolds displays the cooked salmon

A pineapple candle served as a centerpiece for the Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes

Chef Bill Reynolds demonstrates his cooking tips of the trade

Profile for New Buffalo Times

November 28, 2019  

The weekly edition of the NEW BUFFALO TIMES.

November 28, 2019  

The weekly edition of the NEW BUFFALO TIMES.