Monday, November 9, 2009

Taste of the Seasons

Carrot and Cranberry Salad

1.5 lb shredded carrots
1/2 cup dried cranberries or currants
1 cup chopped sweet red and/or yellow bell peppers
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of green onions or chives

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar

1. Toast walnuts and/or almonds in a sauce pan for a few minutes until golden.

2. Toss together carrots, cranberries, peppers and dried cranberries. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil and agave nectar and add to salad. Top with cilantro and green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Sage Butter Sweet Potatoes
YEILD: 4 servings

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (2 large), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
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Cover sweet potatoes with water in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and add
salt. Cook, covered, over moderately high heat until tender, 15 to 20
minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid, then drain sweet potatoes in
a colander. Transfer sweet potatoes and reserved cooking liquid to a
bowl and mash with a potato masher.

Mash together butter, sage, and salt and pepper to taste, then stir
half of sage butter into sweet potatoes. Serve potatoes topped with
remaining sage butter.

Turkey Meatloaf with Mushrooms and Herbs

4 servings plus leftovers
Calories: 329 Fat: 13g Fiber 1g

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
2 cups 1/3 inch cubes crustless day-old pain rustique
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
8 oz sliced button mushrooms
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb ground turkey (15%fat)
1 lb ground turkey breast

Preheat oven to 350. Brush 8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/3 inch loaf pan with olive oil.

Toss bread with broth in large bowl. Let stand until bread absorbs broth and softens, about 10 minutes. Mix in mushrooms, eggs, shallots, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and 2 Tbsp oil.

Add turkey; mix just until blended. Transfer to pan, mounding in center. Bake until thermometer inserted into center registers 170, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Vin Brule

2 bottle of dry red wine
4 cinnamon sticks
2-3 table spoons mulled wine spices (cardamom, wholes cloves, whole allspice)
1-2 tablespoons whole black pepper
1 cup tablespoons of sugar

Put all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Cover and cook on high. When it starts to boil, remove lid and light with a match. Be careful: A beautiful large blue flame will burst out.

When the flames dies down, ladle into mugs. Serves 6-8.

Pumpkin Pie

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2-3 tbsp heavy cream
1 egg yolk

Preheat oven to 400° F. Whisk flour and salt together in a bowl or process in a food processor for 10 seconds. Add butter in approx. 8 pieces. Mash mixture with the back of a fork or process until it resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle heavy cream over the top. Stir or process until crumbs look damp and hold together when pinched. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch pie pan. Pat evenly over the bottom and sides with your fingertips. If desired, form a crust edge with a crimp or flute. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes, pricking the bottom once or twice if it bubbles. Whisk the egg yolk with a pinch of salt and brush the inside of the pie crust. Return the crust to the oven until the egg glaze sets, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside to use for pie.

Pie filling
2 eggs (can use 3 for a softer, custardy filling)
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups light cream (or 3/4 cups milk and 3/4 cups heavy cream)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375° F. Whisk eggs thoroughly in a large bowl. Whisk in remaining ingredients (pumpkin puree, cream, sugars, and spices). Warm the pie crust in the oven until it is hot to the touch, letting the filling stand at room temperature in the meantime. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the hot crust and bake until the center of the filing seems set but quivery, like gelatin, when the pan is nudged, 35-45 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack, then refrigerate for up to 1 day. Serve cold, at room temperature, or slightly warmed with whipped cream.

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