Saturday, November 19, 2011

Minted Peas, Apple Stuffing and Red-Currant Cranberry Sauce

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Our holiday menu is falling into place. The soup, salad and main courses have been decided and it's time to finalize what the other dishes will be. I chose this pea and onion combination for its unique, minty flavor and the color punch it will add to a meal whose colors are, so far, at the beige and orange end of the spectrum. I'm going to use frozen vegetables to make this dish, and because we will be feeding a large number of people, it made more sense to buy large bags of vegetables and combine them, rather than use premixed heat and eat boxes. The recipe I use can be made stovetop or in a microwave. I'll be using the microwave because all the burners have already been claimed by other dishes. I really like this combination and I hope you'll give it a try. I do have one caution to share with you. If your mint leaves are large, tear or cut them into much smaller pieces and add them to the vegetables just before serving. Here's the recipe.

Minted Peas and Pearl Onions...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
2 cups (10-oz.) frozen pearl onions
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups frozen petite green peas
1/2 cup small fresh mint leaves


1) Stovetop: Heat butter and water in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in peas and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Do not overcook. Stir in mint. Serve immediately. Yield: 12 servings.
2) Microwave: Combine onions and peas in a large microwave container with a lid. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook on High power for 3 minutes. Stir. Cover again, and cook for an additional 3 minute, or until vegetables are tender. Drain off water. Add butter and salt and let sit until butter melts. Stir in mint. Serve immediately. Yield: 12 servings.

I had not intended to serve stuffing with our meal, but the Silver Fox convinced me that its absence would be conspicuous. Rather than use the dressing I normally serve with poultry, I decided to give this savory apple version a try. I'm so glad I did that. This marries beautifully with the brined pork loin and it requires no gravy because it is so moist. If you are still looking for a stuffing recipe, you might want to give this one a try. It is really very nice. Here's how its made.

Apple, Sage and Sausage Stuffing...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Whole Foods

1 loaf sourdough hearth bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 11 cups)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 pound fresh mild pork or chicken sausage, bulk or removed from casings
4 Braeburn, Gala or other apples, cored and diced
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread bread cubes out on two baking sheets and bake until dried but not browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
2) Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up chunks with a spoon, until browned, about 6 minutes. Add apples, celery, onion and butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until apple and vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes more. Add to bread. Stir in broth, sage, salt and pepper.
3) If using to stuff a turkey, cool completely before stuffing. If baking separately, heat oven to 350 degrees F; bake in a buttered casserole dish until lightly browned and crisp on top, 50 to 60 minutes. Yield: 12 to 14 servings.

This condiment is another attempt to bring vibrant color to the table. The sauce is sweet but not cloying. If you like heat, you might want to add hot pepper flakes to the ingredient list. Here's the base recipe.

Red-Currant Cranberry Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Martha Stewart

1 bag (12 ounces) frozen cranberries
1 jar (12 ounces) red-currant jelly

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries and jelly. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst and liquid has reduced to a syrup, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, and let cool.


Ginny said...

This pea dish should a nice bit of color and a refreshing tang to go along with the other traditional foods! I think that frozen peas are better than canned, and maybe even better than fresh at times.

Amalia said...

All of these dishes look fabulous! The minted peas look so vibrant and light, a perfect touch to a heavy meal. The apple stuffing especially caught my eye. I love stuffing, and I think the addition of the apples is just wonderful! The cranberry sauce is stunning, and I think a little heat is a really great idea! Thank you for sharing these lovely recipes :)

Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmet said...

That looks great, Mary! Perfect combination of flavors. And I'm loving that cranberry sauce :) Bravo!


Alessandra said...

This is real 'foreign' food to me, (well, maybe the minted peas are also popular in NZ...) great to learn about other cuisines :-).


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Having never celebrated thanksgiving I think Perhaps I should come and visit this food looks really yummy. Diane

Barbara said...

Oh yes, Mary, you've got to have stuffing. As long as there's cranberry sauce and stuffing on the table, I'm a happy camper.
Looks fabulous!

That Girl said...

I don't think we've ever done peas for Thanksgiving, but other times of the year mint is always a welcome addition!

Janine said...

Mmmmmmm Minted peas is something I love <3 I didn't make them since sooo long! Thanks for the reminder and the recipe.

Becki's Whole Life said...

I love minted peas and your sourdough stuffing with the apples and sausage should be a big hit! I agree, you have to have stuffing.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

LOVE the mint in the peas!! It is still one of my socks up and down favorites, Mary!! Have a wonderful week. blessings ~ tanna

Claudia said...

We have similar recipe boxes. That stuffing is almost identical to the one I make (so of course I think it's simply splendid!). The peas and mint usually come to my table on Easter! And your cranberry sauce - you just made one dish so happily easy.

Sue/the view from great island said...

I love minted peas, and I'm so glad to get the idea of adding jelly to the cranberries, the variations would be endless! Your meal/feast is coming together wonderfully!

Priscilla said...

I'd hate to think what life would be like if I ever even thought about not having gravy. Around here is it is thought of as a beverage!

Kim said...

I bet all of this will be perfect! I'm sure this holiday meal will be really great!

shooting star said...

looks like an elaborate menu!!!!

and looks great!!

Barbara F. said...

Your stuffing recipe is similar to the one I make only with less apple and I add sausage and chestnuts. The dressing is one of my very favorite parts of the holiday meal. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Mary. xo

Angie's Recipes said...

I love that red currant cranberry sauce!! So beautiful.


The cranberry sauce sounds so good. I need to get working on my menu. I bought the turkey and now have your cranberry sauce. That is a start, right?


LV said...

Those peas look good! Everything looks so tasty and now my mouth is watering. The cranberry sauce looks delicious!

Pegasuslegend said...

Delicious additions love that apple stuffing!

Shug said...

There is something just beautiful about cranberries...I love cranberries with the holiday meals..
Thanks for sharing...

Joanne said...

Mmm I LOVE peas and mint together! The mint adds such a refreshing flavor to the sweet peas!

ButterYum said...

Such lovely side dishes - I especially want to try your cranberry sauce. The photo of your peas is so striking!


Anonymous said...

These are great recipes, perfect for the occasion. Thanks for sharing them!

JasmyneTea said...

We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, but your recipes are all great, and I'd especially like to try the cranberry one for Christmas :)

Jeannie said...

I love every dish on this post...I know I would love the cranberry sauce!

~~louise~~ said...

GREAT combinations Mary! Love the peas and onions. I'm hoping my family doesn't mind if I simply whip up peas and onions minus the mushrooms this year. I want to make stuffed mushrooms and thought having them with the peas would be too much. I may just give your version a try.

Thanks for sharing...

Rita said...

What a great array of goodies; I have finally found some frozen pearl onions; gotta try those peas.

Deb in Hawaii said...

All of these sides dishes look wonderful. Stuffing is my favorite part of a holiday meal--so two helpings of that please ;-)

Cathy L. Calamas said...

Minted Peas!! Can't wait to try this recipe. And the apple stuffing looks divine.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving that sweet comment, to.

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