Turmeric and Ginger Tea

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Great for what ails you! Turmeric and ginger both have anti-inflammatory properties, making this an ideal tea if you have a cold. It’s very comforting on a cold winter’s day, served piping hot. But it’s also refreshing as a summer pick-me-up, so keep it in mind when those seasonal allergies strike. It’s also a very good digestive. Fresh turmeric is available at Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Wegman’s and Asian supermarkets. Fresh ginger is widely available at supermarkets. Adrienne demoed this at Brookside and USBG in January 2016.

Two 2½-inch pieces fresh turmeric root, finely grated
2-inch piece fresh ginger root, finely grated
Few grinds of black pepper
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 C honey
Freshly squeezed juice of ½ a lemon

Combine ingredients in a small jar or bowl. Stir until well blended. Cover with a lid, and store in the fridge. To make the tea, heat 8 ounces of water in a cup and add one teaspoon of the ginger-turmeric mixture. Garnish with a grinding of black pepper.


Chickpea Turmeric Stew with Coconut Bacon

chickpea_turmeric_stew_sweet_potato_thai_red_curry_coconut_bacon_vegan_4Imagine a vegan meal of great, chunky protein (the chickpeas or garbanzo beans), soft, creamy sweet potato distilled in a coconut broth flavored with fresh turmeric and ginger root, floury Yukons to absorb those great juices, topped with crunchy flakes of something smokey, meaty-tasting and incredibly satisfying. “Coconut bacon?” you’re wondering. Make that part ahead of time (the whole thing can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator a couple days – reheat gently on top of the stove.) But do extra of the “bacon,” as you’ll find all sorts of use for it, from spinach salads to sprinkling on baked potatoes to serving with eggs and hash browns for breakfast.  Adapted from the food blog yupitsvegan.com and demoed by Adrienne at Brookside in January 2016.

For coconut bacon:
1½ C unsweetened coconut flakes
1 T soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)
2 t prepared Thai red curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand is vegan)
½ T pineapple juice
½ T maple syrup
scant 1/4 t liquid smoke

For the chickpea turmeric stew:
3 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 to 2 serrano peppers, finely chopped (depending on your tolerance)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T minced fresh ginger
2 T minced fresh turmeric root (about 3 inches) (or use 1½ t dried turmeric, added along with the curry powder)
½ T mild curry powder
1 ~14 oz. can coconut milk (1½ C)
½ C pineapple juice
2 t soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)
1 medium to small potato, cubed
1 medium to small sweet potato, cubed
1½ C chickpeas (one can)
2 T lime juice
salt, to taste
chopped cilantro or green onion, for serving
(optional) rice, for serving

For the coconut bacon:
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum. Dump the flaked coconut onto the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients, making sure to evenly incorporate the curry paste. Drizzle the mixture over the coconut, and use your hands to toss it to coat. Spread it out in an even layer and place in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed/cooked off and the coconut is evenly browned. Let cool before using. The coconut bacon will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week.
For the chickpea turmeric stew:
In a saucepan, heat a small drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallot with a sprinkle of salt; cook until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the pepper, garlic, turmeric, and ginger with another sprinkle of salt, and stir. Cook 3 minutes until the shallot is soft. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in the coconut milk, pineapple juice, soy sauce, and cubed potatoes and sweet potatoes, along with another fat pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. If desired, use the back of your spoon to mash up some of the potatoes to thicken the stew slightly. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and lime juice and let simmer partially covered for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and coconut bacon.

 


Oranges with Caramel, Ginger and Mint

 

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Growing up in Europe, the Cook Sisters have childhood memories of Christmas dinner ending with a fiery plum pudding. It was made a year ahead of time, then steamed for a couple of hours before arriving at the table doused with flaming rum and served up warm with rum butter and Christmas crackers. The fact that we never actually liked the pudding itself never stopped this Old World tradition from being our favorite part of the meal. Scroll forward a few decades, and today we have our own traditions. We offer up this dessert for consideration. It makes a great dinner-party dessert because it’s not heavy, and it’s healthy, which leaves diners feeling virtuous. What could be better to end a Christmas dinner? Don’t answer that. Just enjoy this. We demoed this for Brookside back in 2011. 

oranges5 seedless oranges, such as navel
2 T crystalized ginger
1/3 C sugar
8-10 mint leaves (optional)

Zest one orange and reserve. Trim oranges of their skin and white pith; reserve top and bottom for juice. Cut trimmed orange in half lengthwise and remove core. Lay the halves flat and cut into half-moons. Arrange orange slices on a platter. Using a small paring knife, dice crystalized ginger; mix with orange zest and scatter over orange slices. In a small, heavy saucepan, heat 2 T water and the sugar until they begin to boil. Turn the heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes until sugar turns to medium brown; remove from heat. Carefully drizzle caramelized sugar over prepared orange slices; the sugar will bubble and sizzle and harden in place. Squeeze juice from reserved orange ends over the caramel. Scatter mint over all and serve within an hour for maximum crunchiness.


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.


Triple Squash Soup

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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.


Revenge of the Pear Crisp

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The name of this dish comes from where we found it — on the blog Food52. The old saying goes “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” but this luscious dish is actually best served warm or at room temperature — though it’ll be good cold too. With the crystalized ginger and Meyer lemon — sweeter and calmer than conventional lemons — and a topping that includes almonds and cinnamon, this is like getting two desserts in one. It’s sublime with pears, but probably would work pretty nicely with apples too. Demoed at Brookside in September 2014. Read More