** Update:  We apologize to those users who received the email blast after the contest had already closed. In light of that technical issue, we considered every comment on this post as an entry in the contest. Congratulations to our winners!
Grand prize winner: Bonbonchef
Other winners: Librarygal, BookAttict

 

This time of year always calls for stretchy, elastic pants on account of all the food we consume at holiday parties. But as long as they keep making yoga pants and big sweaters to cover our food bellies we can keep on eating! Try some of these delicious recipes from Clinton Kelly’s Freakin’ Fabulous books!

If you love spending time in the kitchen (or even if you’re not the expert at cooking!), check out the contest at the bottom for your chance to win scrumptious recipes from two great authors!

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For the perfect (and super easy!) appetizer for any holiday party, try Clinton Kelly’s fabulous Salmon Mousse! This recipe can be found in his new eBook, FREAKIN’ FABULOUS HOLIDAYS!

SALMON MOUSSE ON PUMPERNICKEL
Clinton says: “This one’s a little fancy. Not too fancy. But fancy. And delicious. It’s deliciously fancy, I guess. Or fancily delicious. Oh, whatever. Just try it!”

YOU NEED:
2 BONELESS, 8-OUNCE SALMON FILETS
1 ENVELOPE UNFLAVORED GELATIN
2 TABLESPOONS COLD WATER
1/2 CUP BOILING WATER
1/2 CUP MAYONNAISE
1 TABLESPOON FRESH LEMON JUICE
1 TABLESPOON FINELY GRATED ONION
2 DASHES OF HOT SAUCE, LIKE TABASCO
1 TEASPOON SALT
2 TABLESPOONS FINELY CHOPPED DILL
1 CUP HEAVY CREAM
1 CUCUMBER, PEELED, SEEDED, AND FINELY DICED

INSTRUCTIONS:
I poach my own salmon for this, rather than use canned. It’s really easy.
Fill a large heavy skillet with enough water to cover the two salmon fillets.
Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, into the water and simmer, covered, for 8 minutes.
Note: If you are poaching the salmon fillets to be eaten alone or over greens, you can poach them in a broth of 50 percent white wine, 50 percent water, and season the broth with kosher salt, cracked peppercorns, and lemon slices.
When the salmon is done, remove from the liquid and place on a clean towel to drain and cool to room temperature. Then, remove the skin and flake the salmon into small pieces.
In a large mixing bowl, add the gelatin and the cold water. Stir to combine.
Then add the boiling water and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Cool to room temperature.
Now add the flaked salmon, mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, salt, dill and hot sauce. Stir to blend completely and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it is thickened to soft peaks. Fold gently into the salmon mixture.
Transfer the mixture to a nonstick decorative mold or glass bowl or baking dish lined with plastic wrap. Cover and chill for 4 hours.
Serve on pumpernickel toasts, no crusts.
Top with some cucumber and dill sprigs.

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And when it comes to main dishes this holiday season, there’s nothing like Clinton’s mouth-watering SCALLOPED SWEET POTATOES, which also happens to be a very budget-friendly recipe. This recipe can be found in FREAKIN’ FABULOUS ON A BUDGET, out now in hardcover and e!

SCALLOPED SWEET POTATOES
SERVES 6–8
Clinton says: “Sweet potatoes are always on sale during the holidays and seem to last forever in the pantry. I recently found one from 1974. That’s when it was all the rage to top sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Lose that recipe. Try this fresh one inspired by a meal I had in a café in Paris. Any opportunity to combine vegetables and cheese should not be missed.”

YOU NEED:
1¾ cups heavy cream
1¼ cups shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter for the baking dish
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¹⁄8-inch rounds
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped scallions, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:
In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat. Add 1 cup of shredded Gruyère or Swiss, the nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a buttered casserole dish, place a layer of potatoes and then a layer of the cheese sauce.
Repeat until all the potatoes and cheese sauce are used. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup shredded cheese and the grated Parmesan over the top.
Set the casserole dish on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes to allow potatoes to set, garnish with scallions, and serve.

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These recipes offer a little something for everybody! So tell us in the comments below, do you prefer sweet or savory, and why?

Be sure to answer in a comment below by 9 a.m., Saturday, December 7, for your chance to win! Grand prize winner gets a copy of Freakin’ Fabulous on a Budget by Clinton Kelly, a copy of The Tucci Cookbook by Stanley Tucci and a $50 gift card to Williams Sonoma to help stock the kitchen with everything you need. One  grand prize winner and two winners will be chosen at random. **Click here for complete contest rules.