Carrot Soufflé with Breadcrumb Pecan Topping

1½ lbs. carrots, peeled and cut into chunks (can substitute sweet potato)

¼ cup light brown sugar, packed

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter

3 eggs

¼ cup half and half or milk

1/3 cup orange juice

Zest of 1 orange

¼ cup flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

Topping

½ cup breadcrumbs (Panko)

½ cup pecans, chopped

2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the carrots in a large saucepan, cover with water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric beater (or a food processor), mash the carrots well, adding one at a time, the sugar, butter, eggs, half and half and lastly the orange juice and zest. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and add them to the carrots. Mix well.

Butter a deep-dish casserole dish (8×8 square or an 8” round soufflé) and transfer the sweet potato mixture to the dish. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, pecans and sugar; mix well. Add the butter, mixing with your hands until it is well incorporated. Scatter the mixture over the top of the souffle. Bake until the topping is lightly browned, 45-50 minutes. Serves 4-6.


Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust, Salted Caramel Drizzle

For the Gingersnap Crust

1 C ground gingersnaps (about 2 C whole cookies)

1/3 C flour

¼ C unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

12oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

½ C light brown sugar

2 eggs

8oz. pumpkin purée

¼ C sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)

1 t ground ginger

1 t pumpkin pie spice (or substitute ¼ t EACH nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon)

1 t vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8” baking pan with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps until finely crushed. Add the flour, pulse again and then add the melted butter. Process until mixture resembles wet sand. Press gingersnap mixture evenly into the baking pan and set aside.

With a hand-held beater or with a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese with the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, spices and vanilla. Beat again until everything is combined and smooth. Pour the mixture into prepared pan. Bake until set and golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Leave the cheesecake to begin to cool in the oven another 20 minutes with the door ajar, then remove and cool completely. Once cheesecake is at room temperature place in the fridge to set, several hours or overnight. (You can also freeze the cheesecake for up to one month.) Before serving, cut into squares and drizzle with Salted Caramel. Makes 16 squares.

Homemade Salted Caramel

Double the recipe so you’ll have extra on hand for ice cream! Caramel is made from so few ingredients that using high quality butter and cream will shine through.

½ C granulated sugar

3 T high quality unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ C heavy cream, room temperature

½ t sea salt

In a very clean heavy bottom saucepan, heat the sugar on medium low heat until completely melted, swirling the pan gently every 20 seconds or so. Watch the sugar carefully, as it will turn dark and caramelize quickly, but you don’t want it to burn. Once melted and nicely dark, remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the butter. The mixture will violently bubble – don’t worry, you’re doing it right. Continue whisking quickly until all the butter is absorbed. Next, pour in the heavy cream and whisk until combined, then add the salt. Allow the caramel to cool completely before using. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for one or two days, or in the refrigerator for up to one month. Microwave if necessary to make it pourable. Yield ¾ cup.


Marinated Goat Cheese with Citrus, Olive Oil and Herbs

Adapted from Chef Todd Knoll of Jordan Winery. Knoll likes to pair this with a good Chardonnay. This easy and flavorful appetizer can be adapted year-round by changing the citrus with the seasons.

CitrusMarinatedCheese

1/4 pound aged goat cheese (Cypress Grove Midnight Moon or a Manchego may be substituted)
4 broadly peeled rind pieces of one blood orange, pith removed (any seasonal citrus)
4 broadly peeled rind pieces of one Meyer lemon, pith removed
10 whole black peppercorns
5 whole white peppercorns
1 C candied kumquats, halved (2 Tbsp of English marmalade may be substituted)
1 blood orange, peeled and divided into segments (any seasonal citrus with minimal seeds may be substituted)
6 sprigs thyme
2-4 bay leaves, whole
¼ C olive oil
Coarse or flaky sea salt, to taste

Slice cheese into 1⁄8-inch thick triangles. Use a vegetable peeler to broadly peel citrus rinds (approximate length: 2-3 inches). In a nonreactive bowl, combine sliced cheese with orange and lemon rinds, black and white peppercorns, marmalade or kumquats, 8 blood orange segments, 4 thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Add olive oil and gently toss.

Cover and set aside to marinate at room temperature for eight hours or in a refrigerator a minimum of 24 hours (or up to three days).

To serve, bring the cheese marinade up to room and toss gently again in same bowl to refresh ingredients. Arrange the cheese slices and marinade naturally on a platter. Top with a few more citrus rinds that have not been marinated. Drizzle with additional olive oil. Garnish with a few fresh thyme sprigs and salt to taste. Serves 6 -8.

 


Baker’s Dozen Holiday Recipes from the Archives

Below are some of the dishes we’ve worked on over the years that have made their way to our holiday tables. We have many favorites, and more can be found by searching the website under a particular ingredient (Adrienne’s Persimmon Pudding, anyone?).  Wishing that the holidays find you in a place of love and good food.  Just bring your appetite!

FigCranberryRelish

 

A wonderful new twist on cranberry relish, try this with your turkey this year.

Cranberry-Fig Chutney

 

deviledeggs-asparagusWe re-introduced these perennial favorites at a demo at US Botanic Garden earlier in the fall and decided they would be on our holiday buffet table.

Asparagus Deviled Eggs

 

 

ombre

 

 

This dish has such special beauty, it will make your holiday table look spectacular and it tastes pretty great too.

Ombre Carrots and Chard

 

 

carrotAnother one that would work great for the buffet table or serve the souffles as hors d’oeuvres, without the extra veggies, but topped with a small dollop of mascarpone, softened to room temperature.

Mini Carrot Souffles with Baby Vegetables

 

creamy greensKids (kids!) can’t get enough of this. A must for our Thanksgiving table.

Creamy Winter Greens au Gratin

slaw

 

A sprightly twist on Brussels sprouts that will enliven any holiday buffet.

Brussels sprouts with lemon and hazelnuts

 

Lemon Pepper Green Beans {Blogsgiving 2015} // The Speckled PalateThanksgiving brings out the competitive spirit in our family and the sweet potato dish is at the forefront when it comes to making the best side. This one’s likely to win hands-down — and no one will miss the marshmallows.

 

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole

 

citrus-salad-spiced-honey-sl-l

 

 

Gorgeous on the dessert table, but equally at home as an accompaniment to ham, pork, a lovely roast tenderloin. Use your imagination but count this one in.

 

                       Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey

butternut

 

With a bright, addictive flavor that is all holiday and deeply warming, this soup is a winter staple in our household. Freeze it for drop-in guests or roll it out on a blustery day that sends you scrambling for comfort food, even just for lunch.

Butternut-Tangerine Soup

 

shrub

 

We love this as a refreshing non-alcoholic drink, but it’s also a great flavoring for alcoholic drinks — try it with a shot of vodka or drizzled in a chablis or sauvignon blanc.

                                                            Cranberry-Lime Shrub

red cabbage

 

There are plenty of ways to fix red cabbage, the perennial favorite for the holiday buffet or dinner table. This one adds the crunch and flavor of chestnuts. What a great marriage.

Red Cabbage with Chestnuts

beans

 

Tired of green bean casserole? Try these and be prepared for a new Thanksgiving tradition at your table.

Green Beans with Meyer Lemon

salad

 

If you like to combine the cheese and salad course, try this salad, which, like the cheese platter, includes fruit and nuts.

Radicchio, Pear and Pecan Salad