SWEET POTATO SALAD WITH ROSEMARY-HONEY VINAIGRETTE (SERVES ABOUT 6)
What you need:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 4-1/2 cups peeled,cubed yams or sweet potatoes
- generous tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a rim with foil. Mist it with cooking spray.
Peel and chop yams into 2 inch cubes. Toss the potatoes with one tablespoon olive oil. Spread on prepared pan. Bake until tender, about 35 minutes.
Whisk remaining oil, honey, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over hot potatoes. Serve warm or at room temp.
SPICY JALAPENO CRANBERRY SAUCE
Make this a day ahead! Cover and refrigerate overnight. Allow to come to room temp before serving.
This is great with roast turkey or ham. I usually double or triple the recipe if your guests are adventuresome eaters!
What you need:
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (this is spicy – don’t touch your face or eyes!)
- 1 green onion (white and green portion) minced
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in cranberries.
Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes or until cranberries are softened, many will split and juice is thickened. Remove from heat.
Stir in the jalapeno pepper and onion. Cool to room temperature and serve.
Brussel Sprouts (serves 8)
A great recipe to convert anyone who thinks brussel sprouts are not tasty.
What you’ll need:
- 1/2 lb. thick-cut bacon, cut in 1/4-inch lardons
- 36 Brussels sprouts, trimmed, with outer 2 leaves removed, and halved
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 12 chestnuts (roasted and peeled, broken into chunks)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup New York grade-B maple syrup
- 1/2 lemon
In a large sauté pan or cast-iron skillet, render the lardons over medium heat until they are a rich brown. With a slotted spoon, remove the lardons to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Toss the sprouts in the pan, season with sea salt, and cook in the bacon fat over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the chestnuts, and continue cooking for 4 minutes. Sprinkle in the garlic and thyme, and cook for another 3 minutes. Pour in the cream, and reduce by half. Season to taste. Add the bacon, pour in the maple syrup, and give a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook, stirring, for another couple of minutes, and serve.
Mighty Duck (serves 2-4)
If you are tired of turkey this is a wonderful alternative. My only word of caution is that it only feeds 2-4 depending on the duck size so you may have to do more than one. This recipe is definitely not your standard way of cooking a duck but it turns out super juicy! From Alton Brown.
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 pint pineapple orange juice
15 whole black peppercorns
1 bunch fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 (5 1/2 to 6 pound) frozen Long Island Duck, thawed
2 handfuls shredded chard
2 shallots, minced
Dash sherry or balsamic vinegar
Combine all brine ingredients in a plastic container with a lid. Place the lid on the container and shake to dissolve the salt.
Remove the pop-up thermometer, liver, gizzards, and heart. Cut off the wings.
Using kitchen shears, locate the spine at the base of the neck. Cut up the line of the backbone towards the neck cavity. Turn the duck and cut straight towards the rear cavity. Remove the backbone.
Turn the duck over and cut straight down the middle of the breast bone, leaving 2 equal duck halves. To separate the legs from the breast, flip your halves over so the flesh side is facing up at you. Using a knife, make a crescent shape cut between the leg and the breast. Lay your knife flat against the skin and make 3 marks in one direction and then in the other, making an X. Make sure that you are cutting through the skin and not the meat.
Line the inside of a plastic lexan or a pot with a zip-top bag. Place the duck quarters inside the bag, and pour the brine over the duck. Seal the bag, ensuring that all air is removed from the bag. Brine the duck for 2 to 2 1/2 hours in the refrigerator.
Bring 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Place a colander into the pot and line the sides of the colander with the duck. Do not stack the duck quarters on each other. Cover and turn the heat to medium low. Steam the duck for 45 minutes. Set oven to 475 degrees F. Place a large cast iron skillet into the oven.
Remove duck pieces from steamer and place legs, skin side down, into the hot skillet. Place the skillet into the hot oven immediately and cook the leg quarters for 10 minutes. Add the breasts, skin side down, and cook for 7 more minutes or until the duck takes on a deep mahogany color and the skin is very crisp.
Remove the duck from the skillet and rest under foil. Add the chard and the shallots to the skillet. Toss the chard in the fat until it barely wilts. Season with the sherry or balsamic vinegar.
Serve the duck with the chard.
Bourbon Pecan Pie
A great twist on a pecan pie from Paula Deen. Bourbon gives the pie more flavor depth.
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 to 2 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons good-quality bourbon
1 (9-inch) deep-dish pie shell, unbaked
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar and melted butter. Add the corn syrup, eggs, pecans, and bourbon, and stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture into an unbaked pie shell, and place on a heavy-duty cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and continue to bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until pie is set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.