Friday, October 17, 2014

Turkey Day!

Cranberry sauce:

-Bag of cranberries
1 orange
3/4 cup sugar
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Add bag of cranberries to saucepan, reserve 1 cup and set aside. 

Peel an orange and add the peel to the cranberries. Slice the orange and juice it. 

Add 3/4 cup sugar to the cranberries and about 2 tbsp orange juice to the pot. Simmer on medium low stirring for 10 minutes. 
 Increase the heat and cook until cranberries burst, then add the rest of the reserved cranberries and reduce the heat until they are just about to burst. Remove from heat and season with salt and black pepper. 

You can set it in the fridge until ready to serve (the next day for instance) and simply let it come to room temperature before serving. 

Roasted vegetable casserole:

Use all the vegetables you prefer, I had

Brussel sprouts, sliced in half 
small candycane beets, sliced in quarters
Heirloom carrots, cut accordingly
Parsnips, sliced
Sunchokes (or Jerusalem artichokes) chopped

Red onion, chopped in quarters
small pearl onions, peeled and set whole

Drizzle all with a good olive oil and season with salt and black pepper or Herbamare

Bake on 400 F until tender. You can toss with butter, if you choose. 

Sweet potato casserole with mini marshmallows was a new dish on our table this year, it's as simple as candying the yams by baking cubes or slices of yams in a casserole tossed with a bit of oil (400 F oven) Once roasted season with salt and black pepper then drizzle some maple syrup and brown sugar over top. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes and then when ready to serve add baby marshmallows to top and broil until toasty.

Pear and walnut stuffing: 

2 cups celery heart, fine dice
2 cups yellow onion, fine dice
1 cup leek white, fine slice

2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
2 tbsp fresh sage, minced
2 bay leaves

to taste flaked sea salt
to taste fresh ground black pepper

1 cup walnut halves
1 cup D'Anjou pears, core, fine slice

4 tbsp butter
Chicken stock

Favourite bread, I use a loaf of rye, chopped in cubes and left out overnight or you can drizzle with a tiny bit of evoo and toast in a 400 C oven for about 10 minutes. 

Sautee chopped veggies (leek, celery, onion)  Add herbs and season with salt and black pepper. 

Chop pears and mix with walnuts, add to the pan. At this point you can mix all this with the bread and set aside in the fridge until ready to use. 

When you're ready to bake simply set it all in a casserole dish and drizzle the stock over top, dot with butter and bake on 350-375 F for about 20 minutes.
 If you want to add an egg to bind it a bit, you absolutely can. 

Dessert: Easy Italian Plum Clafouti 
1 pound Italian prune plums (freestone, from your farmers market) 

1/2 cup flour

3 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon sugar (reserve the 1 tbsp) 

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

2 heaping tablespoons sour cream

2/3 cup milk

Freshly grated rind of 1 lemon

butter (to butter your baking dish)

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the prunes into quarters and remove the pits. Do not peel them.

In a bowl, combine the flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, salt, eggs, sour cream. Mix until smooth. Add the milk and lemon rind and mix well.

Butter a 9″ pie plate. Pour approximately 1/3 of the batter into the pie plate and bake it until it’s set, about 10 minutes. You do this so that the fruit won’t sink down and stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove the dish from the oven when the batter is set and arrange the fruit, in concentric circles on top of the batter. Sprinkle the fruit with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and then pour the remaining batter over the fruit. Return to the oven and bake until set and lightly golden, approximately 40 minutes.

The rest of the recipes are here in my harvest dinner post

Friday, October 3, 2014

Molokhia Leaves

When you come home and realize they shop keeper has accidentally given you frozen Molokhia leaves instead of ground what do you do? 

Well you cook it anyway! 
As you all know by now I'm part Egyptian which means I enjoy Egypt's rustic national dish the Egyptian way, which means ground leaves simmered in a chicken (or pigeon, or duck, or rabbit) stock... 

I pretty much used the same principle of cooking, starting with the chicken, frying it up nice and simmered it to cook in it's juices. 

Meanwhile set a pot of quinoa on. 

Removing the chicken aside I used the same pot to heat a bit of olive oil, saute a lot of smashed garlic on medium low and add the molokhia leaves frying/sauteing it briefly.  Seasoning with salt and it all comes together on the plate, quinoa, chicken and delicious molokhia leaves which was a nice change from the usual. 

I'm looking forward to trying molokhia in different ways in the future, including the dried leaves!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Roast Duck

There is a first time for everything, and it was my first roasting a duck!  Just like everything I was a little intimidated but just treated it like a chicken with the exception of the excess fats dripping off and it was a breeze!

 I roughly used the guide from Martha Stewart here 

Really it was as simple as this!

- 1 fresh or thawed duck 
A couple of tsp of salt
- 1 large scoop of marmalade
- 1 large sweet potato

Began with draining the duck well from any excess blood or moisture. Now salting it well on the inside and out, even sticking my fingers under the breast skin to salt it well. At this point I put it in the fridge overnight to allow all that salt to flavour it (no brining like the chicken, was afraid it would make the skin flabby)

The next day I remove the duck 30 minutes before baking and allow it to come to room temperature, preheat the oven to convection roast on 425 F and add a scoop of marmalade in the cavity of the duck.

Score the top of the duck with a sharp knife in a criss-cross manner without cutting the flesh.

During baking whenever fat collects at the bottom you must drain it off. I did this several times during the process of baking below.

Baking for 50 minutes then reducing the temperature of about 400 and flipping it over for another 30 minutes. I layered the pan with slices of potato and placed the duck back on it's back and baked for almost another 40 minutes. When it's perfectly browned and the juices run clear it's done.

Serve immediately as the skin is crispy and perfect!
The potatoes are amazing as well.

Apple Pie

2 2/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar

1/2 lb butter (2 sticks) 

Mix with hands, Add:

3 oz vodka (or use water)
3 oz ice cold water

Divide into 2 disks, cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate until ready to use. 


Peel, core and slice apples

Toss with sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. 

Assemble pie and bake on 450 for 10 minutes.
Reduce to 375 and bake for another 30 minutes

Finally mix 1 egg yolk with about 1 tsp sour cream and brush the top, bake for another 20 minutes until  perfectly browned. 

Let cool and enjoy!