Cranberries are a staple for this time of year, but I always like to try something different from the traditional cranberry sauce. My suggestion? Skip serving them in a bowl and use them in a stellar mostarda-topped crostini appetizer. Mostarda is a traditional Italian condiment that combines sweet cooked fruit with a savory mustard sauce; it's often served with meat, which would make it perfect for topping pork or turkey. I was ready to try something new, so I baked up some crostini and topped them with a triple-creme goat brie, finishing with a spoonful of flavorful mostarda. Trust me: you won't miss cranberry sauce once you start popping these tasty apps. Keep reading for the recipe.
Posts for November 22nd 2010
This unusual cocktail caught my attention because, unlike other cocktails, it's a sparkler that doesn't call for Champagne. Instead, it makes use of cognac sparkling apple cider — and what could be more seasonal than that? The result is soft, aromatic, and complex, a surprising outcome for a cocktail with only three ingredients.
This drink's not heavy on the alcohol. If you feel so inclined, fortify it by replacing sparkling apple cider with hard cider instead. To pour your guests a glass this holiday, read more.
Cranberry sauce: it deserves the title of most overlooked Thanksgiving side. After all, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and gravy are some seriously stiff competition. To make this year your most memorable turkey day ever, be sure to single out your side of cranberry.
Eschew your canned crimson collection, and you've got several directions in which to take the tart condiment: Add extra dimension with lively citrus and fresh ginger, or transform cranberry sauce into a savory condiment with the help of garlic, marjoram, bay leaves, and tomatoes. Up the jewel tone with sweet sugar beets, or mold your very own cranberry jelly. For some inspiration, check out an exhaustive collection of cranberry recipes at KitchenDaily.
On last night's finale of The Next Iron Chef, finalists Marco Canora and Marc Forgione faced off in Kitchen Stadium — and Forgione was ultimately crowned the winner. One of the complaints that judges Donatella Arpaia and Simon Majumdar had about Canora's food was the fact that his roasted fennel soup, shown here, was an unappetizing muddy hue.
I was surprised to hear this remark, since brown is the natural color in so much of what we eat, from mushrooms to lentils and beef. Do you take issue with eating brown food?
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Cognac
1 cup chilled sparkling apple cider
A few dashes bitters
- Pour 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) Cognac into each of 2 Champagne flutes. Top each with 1/2 cup chilled sparkling apple cider, and finish with a few dashes bitters.
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Crostini With Orange, Pear, and Cranberry Mostarda
1 medium blood orange or 1 medium orange
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 fresh (or 1/2 dried) bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
2 Tbs. mild honey, such as clover
1 Tbs. brown mustard seeds
1 Tbs. yellow mustard seeds
2 medium firm-ripe pears (preferably Bosc), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup fresh cranberries
To serve as an appetizer:
1 baguette, cut into thin slices and toasted
8 ounces of a creamy cheese, such as goat cheese or brie
- Peel a 1x3-inch strip of zest from the orange. Trim off any white pith from the strip with a paring knife and put the zest in a 3-quart saucepan. Trim away the remaining orange peel and cut the segments free from the membranes, letting them fall into the saucepan. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the saucepan.
- Tie the rosemary and bay leaf into a cheesecloth bundle and add to the saucepan along with the wine, honey, mustard seeds, and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the honey dissolves and the flavors meld a bit, about 2 minutes.
- Add the pears and cranberries and return to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is tender and the liquid is syrupy, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the herb bundle and zest, and let cool. Serve at room temperature. It will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- To make the crostini, toast the baguette slices until golden, spread with cheese and top with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the mostarda.
Makes about 2 cups mostarda (roughly 30 crostini).
After a hectic start to the week, a late night taqueria run might sound terribly tempting, but avoid the caloric pitfalls of eating out by making your own version of a taqueria special at home: beef and potato burritos.
Build a healthier burrito, starting with last night's 90-percent lean ground beef and aromatics such as onion and jalapeño for heat. Save yourself time and effort by browning the beef, reducing the tomatoes, and heating the tortillas all in the same pan. You'll be surprised by how little effort this Mexican meal takes. Continue reading for the recipe.
Every year on Thanksgiving, there are certain beloved dishes that simply have to be on the table. They're tradition, and it wouldn't be the same without Bronwyn's sweet potatoes or Elena's orange cranberry sauce. But while I'm all for keeping some items, I love experimenting with new menu additions. It ensures that your family members and guests won't be bored. If you're looking for inspiring recipes to jazz up your usual Thanksgiving dinner, I've rounded up our best suggestions. From appetizers to vegetarian mains, there's something for everyone.
Turkey day's all about the sides, so if you're hosting or attending a dinner and you've been assigned to a dish as seminal as mashed potatoes, you'll definitely want to get them right. Think fluffy, creamy, and indulgent — never pasty, sticky, or worst of all, gluey.It all begins by selecting your potato: Either one high in starch, like a tough-skinned russet, or waxy (like a thin-skinned, yellow potato). My personal favorite are Yukon Golds, which have a buttery flavor and creamy consistency. Peel them prior to cooking, since otherwise they'll be too hot to handle. Boil them until soft, but not yet dissolving in the pot. Once cooked, steam off any remaining moisture completely, as they need to be as dry as possible before mashing.
To avoid a gummy, overstarched mess, mash the potatoes while they're still hot and dry. Never use a food processor or a blender; these appliances tend to overmash the potatoes, creating an undesirably starchy consistency. Don't have time to fix your gluey mess? Transform it into a gratin: Spread a thin layer across a baking dish, top with butter, cheese, and breadcrumbs, and bake to form a crispy top. How do you make perfect mashed potatoes?
Source: Flickr User plasticrevolver
Hot, salty, brothy soup, the best way I know to soothe a sore throat. Or throats — our whole household succumbed to a particularly nasty sore throat virus last week (not strep), ouch!
This lovely clam chowder so hit the spot on Sunday night, we almost wept into our bowls for the relief.
And oh, medicinal attributes aside, it tastes a-mazing. Rich with bacon and onions, thankfully creamy (but not overly thick!), briny and sweet with clams — I crave it all winter long.
You can skip the flour without consequence and enjoy the chowder gluten-free. I also halve the potato amount for less starch. Experiment and see how you like it best.