Monday, November 29, 2010

Sweet Potato Bundles

This recipe for Sweet Potato Bundles is for all the sweet tooth's out there. Sweet potatoes are mixed with brown sugar, OJ, orange zest and nutmeg, then rolled around a large marshmallow. To finish them off, they are rolled around in a mixture of coconut, sugar and cinnamon. They are delicious, and very sweet.

Sweet Potato Bundles
Makes 6-8 servings

4 large sweet potatoes
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large marshmallow per sweet potato bundle

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Bake the potatoes until tender, then peel and mash them. Stir in the brown sugar, orange juice, zest and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, toss the coconut with the sugar and cinnamon. Press mashed potatoes around each marshmallow, creating a 2 to 3-inch diameter ball. Roll the balls in the coconut mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Watch carefully for the last few minutes of cooking; the expanding marshmallows can cause the potato balls to burst open.

Recipe from Paula Deen 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon, and Cornbread Stuffing

Turkey day is almost here! I figured I better hurry up and post a few recipes those that are still in need of Thanksgiving recipe inspiration.

As a side note, do you make the traditional food for Thanksgiving (turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, etc.) or do you go with more unusual food?  I am often torn between trying something new and relying on the old stand by recipes.
Anyhow, onto the meal. Tyler Florence rocks this turkey/stuffing recipe. The pan drippings make a very unusual gravy that is slightly sweet. My only complaint was that even with a lot of basting going on, it turned out not as juicy as I would've hoped. Anyone have any tips in that area?

Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon, and Cornbread Stuffing
Serves 6-8


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 bunch fresh sage, leaves finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 loaf cornbread, cubed (about 6 cups)
1 tube of Jimmy Dean maple sausage (I believe its 1/2 to 1 lb), cooked and drained
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups chicken stock
1 (12 to 14 pound) fresh turkey
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup hot water
8 strips smoked bacon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 lemon, juiced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and remove the top rack.

2. Combine the butter and sage in a mixing bowl, mash with a fork or spoon until the sage is well incorporated and the butter has flecks of green in it; season with salt and pepper.

3. In a saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons of the sage butter, add the onions, cook and stir for 15 minutes until soft and golden. Remove from heat. Put the cornbread in a large mixing bowl and scrape the sauteed onion mixture on top. Add the cooked maple sausage. Add the egg, heavy cream, and just enough chicken stock to moisten the stuffing without making it soggy (about 1/2 cup.) Toss well to combine, season with salt and pepper.

4. Remove the neck and gizzards from the inside of the turkey and discard. Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, pat dry. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin from the breast and legs, and slip pieces of the sage butter underneath; massaging it in as you go. Fill the bird with the cornbread stuffing without packing too tightly; cook the remaining stuffing separately in a buttered baking dish. Truss the turkey; place it on a rack in a large roasting pan, and put into the oven.

5. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and hot water to thin the glaze out a bit; use this to baste the turkey every 30 minutes. The turkey should take about 3 hours to cook (i.e. 15 to 20 minutes per pound.) If the legs or breast brown too quickly, cover with foil. About 2 hours into cooking, shingle the strips of bacon oven the turkey breast to cover; continue to roast and baste for another hour or so. The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F (the thigh juices will also run clear when pricked with a knife.) Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving, so the juices can settle back into the meat.

6. Skim off the excess fat from the pan drippings with a spoon and place the roasting pan over 2 burners set on medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up brown bits stuck to bottom of pan. Whisk the flour into the drippings, stirring as it thickens to prevent lumps. Add the remaining chicken stock and bring to a simmer; season with salt and pepper and hit it with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavor. Simmer for 5 minutes and then strain to remove any particles. Serve the gravy with the maple-roasted turkey and cornbread stuffing.

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Monday, November 15, 2010

Glazed Cheese Croissants

This recipe for Glazed Cheese Croissants are very delish, although a bit unconventional. I'd recommend trying them out for a lazy weekend breakfast, if you aren't afraid that one main ingredient is cottage cheese. It is actually worked into the dough rather than used as a filling. I added a bit of cinnamon on top.

I had some issues rolling out the dough so I made it cinnamon roll style where you start with a square shape, roll it into a log and cut it into slices. No matter what recipe, no matter how hard I try, I cannot roll out dough properly, so don't blame the recipe.

These have a unique flavor from the cottage cheese that I really enjoyed. They are best served fresh and warm.

Glazed Cheese Croissants
Makes 8 servings

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup small-curd cottage cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling dough
1/4 teaspoon salt

Sugar Glaze (see below)

1. In a medium bowl, combine butter, cottage cheese, flour, and salt. Shape into a disk, and wrap in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 375°. On a well-floured surface, roll dough out to a 14-inch circle. Cut circle evenly into 8 triangles. Roll each triangle up, from wide end to tip, turning ends of roll in to form a crescent shape. Place croissants 3 inches apart on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any drips); bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.Transfer to wire rack. Cool 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make Sugar Glaze: In a glass measuring cup, add 2 teaspoons milk by 1/2 teaspoonfuls to 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, stirring until glaze is of a drizzling consistency. It should be thin enough to pour while still thick enough to coat croissants. Drizzle over croissants. Serve warm, or let cool to room temperature. Store at room temperature in an airtight container, up to 2 days.

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart - Everyday Food

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lemon Chicken with Croutons

WOW. That is some shiny chicken. Had to use the flash for this picture.

The recipe is from Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home. I have come to love Ina Garten. While I'm still not a fan of the kissy-kissy bear hugs she gives her husband on TV, the story of their marriage is actually quite romantic. When the Food Network replays the Chefography episodes I recommend that you watch them. You may even come to love Giada and Rachael after watching them.

Anyhow, back to the cookbook. Full of gorgeous pictures and delicious recipes like Goat Cheese Tarts, Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic, Pear Clafouti, Pain Perdu and Chocolate Orange Mousse. Simple, elegant and delicious.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Mild Spice Bites

Unlike a stronger flavored ginger cookie, this recipe for Mild Spice Bites takes a much lighter molasses flavor. It is perfect for shipping over the holidays. It is very light in weight and it stores well. A thin milk glaze is applied to the top with a sprinkle of sugar to top it off.

Mild Spice Bites
Makes about 60

3/4 c. light-flavor molasses
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. butter (no substitutes)
4 c. AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
Milk
Coarse decorating sugar or granulated sugar

1. Combine molasses, brown sugar, and butter in a large saucepan. Heat and stir until melted. Cool mixture about 20 minutes. Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and pepper in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

2. Beat eggs into cooled molasses mixture with a wooden spoon. Stir in flour mixture. Cover dough with plastic wrap, and chill for 1 to 2 hours or till easy to handle.

3. Divide dough into six equal portions. Roll each portion on a lightly floured surface into a 10-inch rope. Cut ropes diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces. Brush the top of each piece with milk, and dip in coarse sugar or granulated sugar; place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

4. Bake in a 375-f degrees oven for 7 to 8 minutes or till edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks and cool.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens - Christmas Cookies 1999