Step into the kitchen

Cooking with Chef John McLaughlin

With the holidays fast approaching and trying to juggle midterms, internships and jobs at the same time, cooking a Thanksgiving meal is the last thing on students’ minds. John McLaughlin, a former Cal State Long Beach student and owner of restaurant, At Last Café, proves that Thanksgiving can be done quick and easy—even for college students. In less than two hours, you can prepare three dishes for a proper and delicious holiday dinner. Although most people serve turkey for Thanksgiving, ham is a great alternative for the occasion. McLaughlin recommends apple cranberry stuffing and potato casserole as the perfect side dishes to accentuate the flavorful meat.

ORANGE GLAZED SPIRAL HAM

Ingredients: 1 fully cooked spiral-cut ham 1 cup dark-brown sugar 1/4 cup orange juice 1 cup orange marmalade 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place ham cut-side down on a rack in a large roasting pan. Add 2 cups water to the pan and then cover ham with aluminum foil and heat for about one hour and 30 minutes. In a bowl, combine brown sugar, orange juice, marmalade and mustard. Once ham is thoroughly heated, brush it with ••• cup glaze and heat another 25 minutes until nicely colored. Remove ham from oven and let cool for five minutes.

APPLE CRANBERRY STUFFING

Ingredients: 1 pound bread 6 tablespoons butter 2 cups chopped onions 2 cups chopped celery 3 cups diced apples 1 cup parsley 1 teaspoon sage 1 teaspoon thyme 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1 cup dry cranberries 1/3 to 1 cup chicken stalk 2 beaten eggs

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cube bread. In a saucepan, combine butter, onions, celery and apples and cook until tender. Combine rest of ingredients in a shallow baking dish. Taste to check seasoning and bake in the oven for 25 to 40 minutes.

MASHED POTATO CASSEROLE Ingredients 4 1/2 to 5 pounds of potatoes 8 ounces package of cream cheese 1 cup sour cream 2 teaspoons garlic salt 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel potatoes, then place in a pan and cover with cold water until potatoes are just submerged. Turn on heat and bring water to a boil, but keep the pan uncovered. After five minutes, check potatoes for doneness by poking them with a fork. They will be done when there is no resistance all the way through the center. When potatoes are finished, let sit for about five minutes to cool then mash by hand and set aside. With beater, beat sour cream and cream cheese until smooth. Add potatoes, garlic salt and white pepper to cream mixture. Beat until smooth again. Take a deep casserole dish with lid and butter the bottom before covering. Bake dish at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.