From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I did the shopping for our holiday meal this morning and then, as luck would have it, learned this afternoon that there will be more people at the table than I had planned or shopped for. At this point, I'm not about to run out and buy a larger roast or supplement it with a second meat entree, but I will add some additional side dishes to the groaning board. I've had my eye on the three recipes I'm featuring tonight for awhile now and the news was all the motivation I needed to give them a try. The first is a cranberry sauce that is made with a reduction of ruby port, and while it is not for children, those of you who are known to take a nip or two will love it. The sauce is great go-with for pork or turkey, but it would especially shine if served with fattier duck or goose. The second recipe is for Vichy carrots. The recipe gets its name from the sparkling water that the French originally used to prepare the dish. The lightly glazed carrots are simple, delicious and inexpensive to make. If you have no sparkling water, throw a pinch of baking soda into tap water and pretend you have the real thing. The last recipe is for winter squash, and, of the three side dishes, it is the most interesting. Bland squash is seasoned with fresh thyme and hot pepper that takes it up a notch or two or three. The best thing about this recipe is the the dish can be made early in the day and reheated come party time. I do hope you'll give these side dishes a try. The are all a new take on old holiday recipes and I really think you'll enjoy them. Here is how they are made.
Cranberries with Port Wine...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of the L.A. Times
1-1/2 cups ruby Port
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick cinnamon
3 allspice berries
4 black peppercorns
2-inch-by- 1/2 -inch strip of orange peel
1 (12 ounce) package cranberries, washed
1) In a medium saucepan, combine the Port and sugar. Tie the cloves, cinnamon stick, allspice and black peppercorns in a small piece of cheesecloth. Add the spice bundle to the saucepan. Add the orange peel. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the wine is reduced to 1 cup, about 4 minutes.
2) Add the cranberries the wine. Return to a simmer over medium-high heat then lower the heat and simmer until the cranberries pop, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Let cool to warm then remove the spice bundle and orange peel. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Yield: about 2 cups.
Vichy Carrots...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Gourmet magazine
2 pound carrots
1/4cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Diagonally cut carrots into 1/8-inch thick slices. In a heavy saucepan combine butter, carrots, water, and both sugars and cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes. Yield: 8 servings.
Roasted Peppered Squash...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of the L.A. Times
2-1/2 to 3-1/2 pounds winter squash, such as buttercup, kabocha or Hokkaido
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or chipotle pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil (or walnut or hazelnut oil)
1) Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut squash in half, slicing through stem end. Scrape out seeds (a melon baller or grapefruit spoon makes it easier). Cut squash halves crosswise in half. Lay each quarter cut-side down on a cutting board and, using a vegetable peeler or very sharp paring knife, cut away skin. Cut the squash into roughly 3/4-inch chunks and place in a large bowl.
2) Add thyme, pepper flakes and salt and toss to mix. Pour oil over and mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula until all chunks are evenly seasoned and oiled. Place squash in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
3) Roast, stirring once, until all squash chunks are tender and caramelized on bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm. Yield: 8 servings.
One Year Ago Today: Two Years Ago Today:Quick Challah Muffin Spirals Rack of Pork with Mushroom Sauce
Three Years Ago Today: Four Years Ago Today:Moroccan Carrot Salad Thanksgiving Day 2010