With Thanksgiving over the holiday season has only begun! Amidst the whirlwind of family, gatherings, shopping, and work, it can all seem so chaotic. Sometimes it just takes some casual comforts to help us get grounded again and help us simply enjoy the season. We are continuing Fashion to Fork with the “Casual Comforts,” casual style inspiration paired with 2 delicious comfort food recipes, one a favorite from our friends at Cafe Bernardo.
Casual style inspiration paired with 2 delicious recipes from June and our friends at Cafe Bernardo
– June has been with Julius for 35 years. “I’m grateful for the wonderful customers and the relationships built over the years that keep them coming back to our Julius family. Every man and woman has their own special style that makes them comfortable, whether classic casual, or creative we keep them coming back for more. I just love how fashion is fun and ever-changing.”
Women’s Casual Styles
Two-piece dressing enables the wearer to be their own designer as they mix their new pieces with existing ones in their wardrobe.
Let a longer length top like this hang below short jackets for a layered look.
The versatile sweater coat can also be worn over your little black dress.
The black Opening Ceremony jacket can be travelled with and worn all day, starting off over a more casual look and then layered over a dress in the evening for a dressier look.
The blue Opening Ceremony piece can be worn year round. Unzip it to wear as an elongated vest over jeans or leggings with a long sleeve sweater or knit for Fall.
Men’s Casual Styles
Casual looks can be dressed up with last week’s velvet jackets or casual sport coat, or made more casual with sweaters. Layering is a key element here.
Start with a casual but stylish pair of Gardeur trousers (195) paired with a stylish Italian Paolo Vitale belt.
Gardeur pants are the perfect pair of casual trousers for everyday wear. Comfort, fabric, style, color and fit are the key factors to consider.
As the tree leaves turn red, plaid comes into our everyday way of dressing. It’s just not Fall without plaid. This double face John Varvatos shirt (168) is a combination of plaid reversing to check. It sets the pace for the perfect cozy look accompanied with a waffle pique hoodie lined with washable shearling (248).
And now for the best comfort food recipes to try this holiday.
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Kurt Spataro, Cafe Bernardo
7 oz chicken breast (with skin-on)
3 oz chicken stock
1 Tbsp roasted pecans
2 cups pre-cooked fall vegetables (recommended: parsnips, squash, Brussels sprouts)
1/3 cup thick-cut bacon (chopped into 1 inch cubes)
1 tsp maple glaze (recipe below)
1 tsp butter
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil for cooking
1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a cast iron pan over high heat, add 1 Tbsp of oil. When oil is hot, place chicken breast skin side down and sear for 1 minute.
3. Place cast iron pan with chicken into the oven for about 15 minutes or until skin is golden brown and chicken is cooked thoroughly.
4. While chicken is cooking in the oven, combine chicken stock, maple glaze, salt and butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until sauce thickens. Add roasted pecans and toss to coat.
5. Remove pan with chicken from oven and discard any remaining oil.
6. In a cast iron pan over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp of oil and bacon cubes. Cook bacon until golden brown.
7. In the same pan, toss your pre-cooked vegetables together with the cooked bacon and remaining oil. Place into the oven for about 5 minutes and roast until golden brown.
8. Place chicken, vegetables and bacon onto a plate and drizzle with desired amount of the maple glaze.
Combine ½ cup maple syrup and ¼ cup sherry vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer over low heat until reduced to 1 cup. Let cool. If mixture reduces too far, add water to thin.
June’s Favorite Potato Gratin
“I chose this potato dish because growing up in a family of five girls potatoes were on the dinner table every week. Mashed, baked, fried, au gratin, even potato pancakes.”
Earthenware dishes with a large surface area, that are shallow, low sided, and glazed on the inside, are perfect for slow-cooking in the oven and the formation of the golden crust of a gratin.
3 tablespoons butter
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 pounds medium-size Yukon Gold or other waxy potatoes
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
Fresh-ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 14-inch oval gratin dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Put the cream, stock, bay leaf, and salt in a medium put, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and let steep while you prepare the potatoes.
Peel the potatoes. Use a mandoline slicer or a knife to cut the potatoes into 1/8 inch-thick slices. Neatly layer the slices in the gratin dish, overlapping slightly, like shingles on a rooftop, making 3 to 4 layers. It’s important to slice the potatoes and immediately assemble the gratin, before the potatoes oxidize and turn brown. Avoid putting potatoes in water. You don’t want to rinse off any of the potato starch – the starch is essential for a rich, creamy gratin.
Remove the bay leaf from the cream mixture and discard. Gently our the mixture over the potatoes. The liquid level should be just below the surface of the potatoes; when you gently press the potatoes down with a spatula, the cream mixture should spill over the top layer of potatoes. Dot the remaining 2 tablespoons on top, and cover tightly with foil.
Bake until the potatoes are almost tender when pierced with a small, sharp knife, about 35 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Press the potatoes down with a spatula to an even thickness, allowing the creamy juices to baste the top. Sprinkle the thyme and black pepper on top. Continue to bake, uncovered, pressing the potatoes down with a spatula to bast periodically, until the gratin is nicely browned, about 30 minutes. (It’s okay if the gratin is a little loose and creamy at this point.) Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving, to allow the gratin to settle and absorb some of the cream.
-> Other sliced vegetables can be combined with the potatoes: turnips, celery root, leeks, winter squash, mushrooms, as well as wilted leafy greens between the layers. Apply the same method to other vegetable gratins without potatoes.