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Chef Saez Speaks on How to Cook Holiday Meals

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – There are 1,000 different ways to cook potatoes, Tomas Saez told his listeners Friday afternoon. Since potatoes carry flavor well, they taste good with roasted garlic or with a medley of dried spices.

Several people gathered at the Greenburgh Public Library on Friday to partake in "Holiday Meals: New American Classics," lead by Saez, a retired chef from Spain. Saez delighted attendees with his past culinary experiences and gave cooking tips for the holidays.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, he recommended always us fresh and in-season vegetables and spices when making gravy or stuffing to make the meal special. He also advised putting flavored butter under the turkey skin to ensure that the meat stays moist.

"We definitely have people here that are foodies," said Diana Lennon, the library assistant who coordinated the event. "They are interested in the cooking side and the restaurant side and food photography."

Saez, who lives in Hartsdale, served as a former member of the Greenburgh Library's Board of Trustees.

"He's a great source as far as restaurants, cooking and all of that," said Lennon. "Saez likes to talk. And when you want to have a conversation, you want somebody who is a good talker."

The event was part of a three-pronged program called "On Food and Cooking." The first meeting was in October, where nearly 20 people attended. The next event will be on Dec. 9 at 11 a.m., where the discussion will be "Themed Celebrations for the Everyday Cook."

Below is a recipe that Saez provided, detailing how to cook his Stuffed Beef Tenderloin .

Ingredients : Main: 3 lbs. beef tenderloin, 12 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, 1 cup toasted bread crumbs, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. butter, 2 heads radicchio, sliced, salt and pepper to taste. Blanched root vegetables: Baby carrots (four count, peeled, trimmed, cut into quarters), baby turnips (eight count, peeled, cut into quarters), sweet potato (one count, peeled, cut into thin wedges), celery root (one count, peeled, cut into thin wedges). Garnish: Extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar to taste.

Method : To butterfly beef tenderloin: slice tenderloin lengthwise so it opens up like a book, be careful not to slice through the middle. Using a meat mallet, lay meat between two sheets of plastic and pound beef to an even 1/2" thickness. Cover tenderloin with gorgonzola cheese. Sprinkle cheese with toasted bread crumbs. Roll the tenderloin up and secure with kitchen string. Season loin with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in an ovenproof skillet, add beef tenderloin and brown on all sides. Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145F. Remove meat from pan and let rest, cover loosely with foil. Using the same pan, re-heat blanched root vegetables until hot. Add sliced radicchio at the last moment and cook quickly in order to retain their bright color. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve : Slice beef roll and place over a generous serving of radicchio and root vegetables. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar.

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