Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Raspberry Kicker: 2 shots raspberry vodka, 4 shots cran-raspberry juice, a splash of Chambord, and fresh raspberries

Delicata Squash with Caramelized Shallots and Sherry
1 large Delicata squash
2 tablespoons EVOO
¼ cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel the squash, leaving some skin on the crevices. Trim the ends, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and slice the halves crosswise in 1/4 inch thick slices. In a skillet, heat a tablespoon EVOO and cook squash until brown then transfer to a baking dish. In the same skillet, heat another tablespoon on EVOO and caramelize shallots. Remove from heat transfer shallots to baking dish and add sherry and sage. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Before serving, salt and pepper to taste.

Cranberry Honey Turkey Glaze: 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, ½ cup honey, ¼ cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

*My Thanksgiving recipes are from the magazine The Best of Fine Cooking Cook Fresh, Fall 2014 (Yes, I have been waiting a whole year for this!)

Brussel Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnut Butter

For the butter:

1/3 cup hazelnuts

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest

1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

½ teaspoons honey


For the brussel sprouts:

¼ cup EVOO

6 cups brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved

½ cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Make the butter

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Roast hazelnuts on a baking sheet for 5 to 6 minutes. When cooled, rub nuts with a clean kitchen towel to remove skins then finely chop. In a small pan, add butter, lemon zest, thyme, and honey and heat. When liquefied add hazelnuts. Set aside.


Cook the brussel sprouts

In a 12 inch skillet, heat ¼ cup EVOO. Add brussel sprouts to skillet face down so you can get a good browning on them. After about 15 to 20 minutes add broth and immediately cover the pan to steam the brussel spots for 3 to 5 minutes. Add butter mixture to skillet, toss well, and season with salt. For a little extra light and citrusy flavor, add a tablespoon of lemon juice.

Red Potato, Cabbage, Bacon and Gruyere Gratin favorite Irish staples all in one dish! Perfect pairing with roasted chicken, sausages, turkey, or pork! Even better reheated. Serves 8.

For the topping:

4 strips, thick cut bacon, diced and fried to crisp

1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs made from ciabatta bread

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


For the gratin:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 cups savory cabbage, chopped

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

¾ cup chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

4 medium red potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 cup gruyere cheese, grated


Prepare the gratin

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Over medium low heat melt butter in pan which bacon was cooked. Add cabbage, season with salt and pepper, and cook until cabbage is wilted and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and stir and cook until fragrant. Add chicken broth and heavy cream and stir. When the heavy cream is evenly distributed remove from heat.

Assemble the gratin

In a large bowl mix the potatoes, cabbage mixture, and gruyere cheese. Add to a non-stick baking dish. Cover with breadcrumb topping and bake until top is well browned and potatoes are just tender enough to poke through with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cumin and Coriander Pork Ramen

Say goodbye to your college day’s stigma of ramen noodles. I like to refer to this version as “fancy” ramen. Since moving to Kansas City, I have discovered that ramen can be highly addictive and it can add some nutritional value rather than just insane amounts of salt intake. Imagine that?

After countless nights out spending $15+ for a bowl of ramen, I decided to give it a shot myself. When it comes to a good bowl of noodles, the most important component is the broth and meat flavoring. My goal for my first take at my own ramen dish was to attempt making this dish myself without immediately turning to an online recipe.

I spent some time trying to think of what kind of meat I wanted to make and remembered how easy and cheap it was to slow cook pork shoulder. I added equal parts cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper to season. I knew these four spices would add just enough brine to my broth. After a quick brown, I transferred the pork to my Le Creuset which contained a chopped yellow onion, chicken broth, orange and lime juice, sherry vinegar, and bay leaves. The meat was very fragrant and falling off the bone after about 3 hours on 350 degrees F.

Shitake mushrooms, purple cabbage, shredded carrots, and egg were my healthy additives for the dish. All I did to prepare the veggies was to steam them for a few minutes. To make a perfectly poached egg for ramen, the key is to only fill up the pan with about an inch and a half of water and boil with white wine vinegar. Rather than cracking the egg into the pan try slowing pouring the egg into the pan from a small bowl to keep the egg yolk from dispersing. You only need to cook the egg for 4 minutes before its ready to be mixed into your noodles. And don’t forget to garnish your bowl with cilantro.

I am telling you, do not attempt to make ramen unless you want to get addicted. I can’t stop thinking about it! It is so good!