Warm Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Hazelnuts

slaw1 lb. Brussels sprouts
2 T unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
1 T fresh lemon juice
½ C toasted hazelnuts, chopped
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Halve the Brussels sprouts lengthwise and them thinly slice crosswise, discarding ends that may be slightly brown. In a medium-sized sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and Brussels sprouts and sauté until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and hazelnuts. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.


Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole

sweet potato casserole

 

 

 

Sautéed apples, a crunchy pecan crust, and spicy mashed sweet potatoes make for a sophisticated update.

3 to 3¼ lb. sweet potatoes (about 3 large)
4 T unsalted butter; more for the pan
1 C toasted and very finely chopped pecans
1 1/3 C breadcrumbs
2 T finely chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt
1 C heavy cream
Eight ¼-inch-thick slices fresh ginger, unpeeled and crushed
2 whole star anise
One 2- to 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 T plus 2 t bourbon
1½  t pure vanilla extract
3 large tart-sweet apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced

Bake the sweet potatoes

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400̊F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and bake them on the sheet until completely tender when pierced with a fork, 55 to 60 minutes. Let rest until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, if not working ahead, reduce the oven temperature to 375̊F.

Discard the skins and put the flesh in a medium mixing bowl. With a potato masher, work the sweet potatoes until they’re well mashed (they don’t have to be perfectly smooth).

Make the crumb topping

Melt 2 T of the butter and combine with the pecans, breadcrumbs, parsley, and two big pinches of salt in a small bowl.

Infuse the cream

Combine the heavy cream, ginger, star anise, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring to a full boil (watch carefully so that it doesn’t boil over) and remove from the heat immediately. Let steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a liquid measuring cup, pressing down on the solids with a spatula to extract all of the liquid. Stir in 2 T of the bourbon, the vanilla extract, and ¼ t salt.

Cook the apples

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt the remaining 2 T butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, season with ¼ t salt, and toss well. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, 8 to 9 minutes. Lower the heat if the apples are getting too dark, but not so much that they soften without browning.

Turn off the heat, carefully add the remaining 2 tsp. bourbon and stir until it evaporates, a few seconds. Pour in 1/3 cup of the infused cream and stir until the apples have absorbed most of it, a few more seconds. Set the pan aside and let the apples cool for about 15 minutes, turning them occasionally to release steam.
Assemble the casserole

Butter a shallow 3-quart baking dish (9×13-inch works well). Add the remaining cream to the mashed sweet potatoes and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt. Arrange the apples across the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the sweet potato mixture over the apples in an even layer. Top with the pecan-crumb mixture.

Bake the casserole at 375̊F until the crumb topping is dark brown (it will be browner around the edges) and the casserole is heated through, about 25 minutes.

Make Ahead Tips

You can bake and mash the sweet potatoes and make the crumb topping a day ahead (cover both and refrigerate). Bring the potatoes and crumb topping to room temperature before assembling the dish. You can also assemble and refrigerate for up to 8 hours before baking. Return to room temperature before baking.


 Wild Rice with Butternut Squash, Cranberries and Pecans

rice

 

You can use all wild rice or a combination of wild with basmati, brown or red Bhutanese. Lundberg mixed rice combinations are an excellent way to go.

1 medium butternut squash (about 1 ½ lbs), peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
2 T olive oil
2 C wild rice or a wild rice blend (such as Lundberg), rinsed and cooked according to package directions
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C dried cranberries
¼ C warm water
2 T red wine vinegar
¾ C toasted pecans, chopped
3 T parsley, chopped

Dressing:
3 T extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
½ t ground cumin
¼ t ground cardamom
1/8  t cinnamon
¼ C freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ C freshly squeezed orange juice
1 T minced fresh ginger

Heat oven to 400F. Toss the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the squash on a baking sheet. Roast until tender and starting to brown, about 20 minutes (check earlier if your pieces are very small). While the squash is roasting, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Sauté the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes.

Cook the rice according to package directions (I like to substitute vegetable broth for water). When the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large serving bowl. Add the sautéed onion and garlic.

Place the dried cranberries in a bowl with the warm water and vinegar. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, then drain and add to the rice bowl. Add the parsley and pecans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon zest, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, orange juice, lemon juice and fresh ginger. Add it to the rice and mix well. Gently mix in the roasted squash. Adjust for salt and pepper. Serve warm if possible, or at room temperature. Serves 8.


Rustic Beet Tart and Wilted Greens

BF_BeetTart2

 

 
A beautiful tart to add to the buffet table or serve as an appetizer. Try making a couple with different colored beets and you’ll be sure to wow the guests!

3 small (2 to 3 inch diameter) beets, any color, with the greens
½ package of frozen puff pastry, or equivalent of homemade
1 egg
¼ – ½ C half and half, whole milk or cream
3 – 5 ounces soft chevre style goat cheese, room temperature
Pinch of nutmeg- to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the greens from the beets, wash, remove thicker stems and set aside.

Scrub the beets. Place each beet on a small square of aluminum foil, wrap in the foil and bake at 400F anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your beets. They’re done when they are knife tender and can be pierced with the tip of a paring knife with ease. Once the beets are knife tender, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.

While the beets cool, roll the puff pastry out until you have a rough 10-inch square. Transfer the square to a parchment-lined baking sheet or lined with non-stick foil. Roll in the edges of the pastry about an inch on all 4 sides so that you create pastry wall. Use a little water to seal the edges. You want to make sure that the custard doesn’t leak out when poured into the “shell”.

In a small bowl, mash the soften goat cheese with a fork or wire whisk. Add the egg and mix well. Slowly add the half and half, ¼ cup at first stir until you have a thick but pourable consistency. It should be no thinner than pancake batter, so don’t over pour.

Peel the skin from the beets and slice into rounds. You should get 5 or 6 rounds from each beet. Pour the custard into the pastry shell, then lay the beets on top, being careful not to overflow the pastry shell.
Bake at 400F until the pastry is golden, the custard is set, and the top is just a little brown, about 15 minutes.

About 5 minutes before you pull the tart out of the oven, heat a small amount of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Roughly chop the beet greens and sauté them until wilted, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add them to the top of the tart, scattering loosely to distribute evenly. Finish baking a few more minutes. Remove from oven and let set for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serves 4.

 


Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey

citrus-salad-spiced-honey-sl-l

 

 

 

 

1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 t peppercorns (black, pink or Sechuan)
1/4 t dried crushed red pepper
4 whole cloves
5 cardamom pods
3 medium-size oranges
3 mandarin oranges
2 Ruby Red grapefruit
2 limes
3 Meyer lemons
6 kumquats (optional)
Fresh pomegranate seeds
Toppings: extra virgin olive oil, fresh mint leaves, sea salt

Bring first 6 ingredients and ½ C water to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil gently – honey boils over faster than milk! – stirring often, 1 minute. Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes. Meanwhile, peel oranges, next 3 ingredients, and, if desired, kumquats. Cut away bitter white pith. Cut each fruit into thin rounds. Arrange on a serving platter, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Pour honey mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer, discarding solids. Drizzle fruit with desired amount of spiced honey; reserve remaining for another use (such as flavoring iced tea). Top with a drizzle of olive oil, a handful of mint leaves, and sea salt.

Note: Salad may be made up to a day ahead. Prepare as directed; cover and chill up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature to serve.


Joyce’s Marinated Kale

kale

 

 

Gathering for Thanksgiving at Danielle’s DC home, several guests recalled this salad, which was not part of this year’s T’G dinner but had appeared at another buffet evening at Danielle’s, last year. It made a big impression and it’s an ideal chaser for the overindulgence of Thanksgiving. Raw kale is slicked with a delicious dressing and allowed to sit at room temperature a couple of hours before serving. Dress it up with nuts and feta as well as the pomegranates, or add fruit — sliced apples or persimmons. The recipe is from our archives — demoed at Brookside and USBG by Adrienne in the fall of 2013. It’s light, delicious and wonderful use of a green that some consider among “the world’s healthiest food.

Recipe serves six.

2 lb fresh young kale or collards, washed
½ C olive oil
1/4 C lemon juice
1/4 C minced parsley
1 t Dijon-style mustard
1 t honey
2 t dried basil
1 t salt
½ t pepper
pomegranate seeds (optional)

Prepare greens: Remove tough stems and ribs as needed and reserve for another use; slit leaves lengthwise down the middle and stack halves on top of each other. Cut across leaves to produce ribbons. You can also chop leaves roughly. Place ribbonned or chopped leaves in a clean plastic bag and refrigerate. This can be done up to three days in advance.

Prepare dressing: Combine remaining ingredients and beat well or process in a food processor. Store in the refrigerator up to a month.

Finish recipe: Add dressing to prepared collards or kale; mix well and marinate for an hour at room temperature or three hours in the refrigerator, tossing in the bag every hour or so. The flavors are better when the greens are served at room temperature.  Top with pomegranate seeds if desired.


Triple Squash Soup

squash

 

The back story on this post, which pulls out a recipe from the archives (Danielle demoed this at Brookside and USBG this year ago) is that Adrienne discovered a (new) squash: Butterkin. Daughter Evangeline, coming in from Boston, wanted to try a pumpkin galette as a hardy vegetarian main course for our family gathering yesterday around Danielle’s table in her Washington DC home. The recipe (stay tuned) called for pumpkins but Evangeline wanted to make it with butternut. The shape wasn’t working however, so off we went to find small pumpkins that would work better. And there, in the hard-squash bins, was a Butterkin — butterkina cross between pumpkin and butternut! So lovely to look at — the skin the nut-color of butternut, the inside flesh like a persimmon — and the perfect size.

So how do we get to the soup? Well, there was quite a bit left over after the galette was executed.  But that wasn’t all. At the farmer’s market earlier in the week, Adrienne fell under the spell of some gorgeous striped squash, which she mistook for Delicata — the vendor concurred as to its pedigree, so her mistake was not entirely without reason. After battling mightily with the squash in an unsuccessful attempt to slice it, she realized the squash was actually an acorn, albeit pale gold with lovely multi-hued stripes, not unlike the skin of Delicata. Well, the two are not interchangeable, especially in the Sweet and Sour Delicata recipe Adrienne was making for the T’G table, so the hard-shelled acorn squash ended up in the crisper, along with the leftover Butterkin. Lo, we have the ingredients for Triple Squash Soup (counting Butterkin as two squashes in one).  This soup is a nice extension of the glories of the Thursday feast, but light enough to merit space on the Friday or Saturday table — or any time during the winter, for that matter.

1 (about 3 lbs.) small pie pumpkin
1 (about 1½ – 1¾ lbs.) acorn squash
1 (about 1½ – 2 lbs.) butternut squash
1 medium onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons honey
2½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ t cayenne
1 can lite coconut milk
4-6 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste

Roast the squash: cut each squash in half, put face down on a cookie sheet, add about 1 cup of water to the pan. Roast in 375̊ oven for 40-50 minutes, until soft. Cool, remove seeds, scrape flesh from half of each squash into a bowl and set aside. You want to yield about 2½- 3 lbs. of flesh. (This step can be done up to three days in advance)

Make the soup: heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large stock pot, sauté the onions until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cayenne and apple, stir well and let cook two or three minutes. Add the squash and broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Add coconut milk, honey and continue simmering for another 30-45 minutes, until all ingredients are very soft. Puree the soup, with a hand-help machine, a blender, or pureeing in batches with a food processor. Adjust taste for salt. Garnish with paprika.  Serves 6-8.