Monday, December 14, 2009

Recipes for the holidays



After baking for yesterday afternoon's little soiree, I am very officially in the mood for holiday cooking and eating!

Something I absolutely love about food at this time of year, is how people flock together socially around it, and that it is food, which tends to be at the centre of every culture's winter holiday celebrations. We all have our special recipes and meals, prepared either lovingly, or under anguish, for friends and family in tradition every year. :O) One way or the other, it's something to look forward to!

So, just in time for our last pick-up, here are some festive recipes featuring CSA veggies to get you in the holiday spirit! Whether you're looking forward to plum pudding or jelly doughnuts at the end of your day, I wish you warm meals shared with people you enjoy, and happy times in the kitchen!
......................................................................................

GLAZED (BABY) BEETS
Although this recipe calls for baby beets, I think you could easily substitute tender small or larger beets, such as the ones you might find in your farm basket some week. :O) I would recommend boiling them for a while first, then peeling them and proceeding with the recipe to finish them off!

20 baby beets, scrubbed
2 cups apricot juice
3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp honey

In a large sauté pan, add the beets and the apricot juice. Cover and cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and honey and cook from another 10 minutes. Pull off the heat and keep covered for an additional 5 minutes. Serve while still warm.
......................................................................................

POTATO SNOWMEN
(from Bob Blumer ("The Surreal Gourmet") on “Twas the Night Before Dinner”, the 2008 Food Network Canada Holiday Special)
3 lb. large potatoes such as Idaho or Yukon Gold
1/4 cup butter
1 cup cream or milk
sea salt to taste

Garnishes:cloves (eyes)
pink peppercorns (mouth)
carrot (nose)
rosemary (arms)
black peppercorns (buttons)
black olives (hat)

Peel potatoes and cut into 2- inch pieces. Cover potatoes with salted water. Simmer , uncovered, until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander, then mash using a ricer or potato masher. Add butter, and milk or cream. Gently fold. Season with salt.

Using 3 different sizes of ice cream scoops (or dexterously using a couple of spoons), place potato scoops on top of each other, starting with the largest at the bottom and the smallest on the top. Be creative and garnish!
......................................................................................
RUTABAGA SOUFFLE (Rob Feenie from “A West Coast Christmas” on Food Network Canada)
Serves 4

1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large pot over medium heat bring rutabaga, carrots, onions, chicken stock, ¼ cup butter and brown sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and cook partially covered until vegetables are very tender (about 30 minutes). Remove vegetables, leaving liquid in the pot, and transfer to a food processor. Place a pan over high heat and boil the remaining liquid, stirring constantly until the liquid is reduced to about 1 tablespoon (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add the reduced liquid to food processor and puree until very smooth. Transfer to mixing bowl and allow to cool.

When mixture reaches room temperature stir in eggs, flour and baking powder. Season with salt and pepper and transfer the mixture to a casserole dish. Melt remaining butter and toss with chopped pecans. Sprinkle pecans evenly around the edge of the casserole to make a border.
Bake uncovered in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until puffed, firm and golden brown.
......................................................................................

PUMPKIN ORANGE CRANBERRY LOAF
(from “Sugar” and Anna Olsen)
2 c unbleached all-purpose flour (or try substituting whole wheat or spelt flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp each ground cinnamon, cloves and ginger
½ c unsalted butter (at room temp)
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c cooked, pureed pumpkin
Zest of one orange
1 tsp vanilla
1 c orange juice (not from concentrate)
1 ½ c fresh or frozen cranberries

Sift dry ingredients together. In separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, then stir in pumpkin, orange zest and vanilla. Stir in juice (it will look curdly and a little gross – don’t worry!). Add dry ingredients in three additions and blend until just incorporated. Fold in the cranberries gently. Bake in a loaf pan at 325 F for 60 to 75 minutes until tester inserted in centre comes out clean.

No comments: