Friday, November 16, 2007

Gourmet Night

Gourmet night was at my place this month. Super fun, as usual! Good food, good friends, good times. Here are the recipes from our English Holiday Dinner {some of you left without your recipes last night}.
btw- my kids were up at 5:30 this morning. Never fails! Hope you got to sleep longer than I did :)

Pot Roast
Serves 8

½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 pot roast, about 3 pounds
2 TB. Olive oil
1 med. Onion, peeled and diced
1 carrot, diced
1 ¼ cup beef broth
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 TB. Water

1. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Mix together the first 5 ingredients and rub over meat.
2. Add olive oil to heavy pot or Dutch oven (one that can go in the oven) and brown roast on all sides over medium-high heat. Remove meat to a platter and add onion and carrot and sauté for 10 minutes.
3. Add the broth and bay leaf and scrape bottom of pot with a wooden spoon. Boil rapidly for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add pot roast, along with juices that may have accumulated on platter, and cook over medium heat until the liquid starts to simmer. Ladle liquid over roast and cover top of roast loosely with foil. Cover top of pot tightly with foil and then cover with lid. Immediately place in 200 degree oven.
4. Cook until interior temp. reaches 145-150 degrees, about 3-4 hours. Remove meat from pot and cover with foil. Remove bay leaf and pour braising liquid into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 7 seconds. Return puree to the pot, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Add cornstarch and whisk until thickened. Serve with sliced pot roast.

Yorkshire Pudding
2 eggs
1 Cup milk
1 Cup flour
½ tsp. salt
fat drippings from roast, or oil (any would do)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Beat eggs, add milk. Stir in flour and salt. Do not over beat.
2. Put about 1 tsp. of fat from roast (or oil) in 12 muffin cups. Fill with pudding mixture (about ¾ full).
3. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then lower temp. to 350 and continue baking (about 10 minutes more) until they are puffed and brown. Serve immediately with gravy.

*you can use oil instead of fat drippings, but they won’t have the same yummy flavor.


Roast Potatoes and Parsnips
Serves 8

3 TB. Oil
3 pounds floury potatoes, such as King Edwards, peeled and cut into quarters
16 oz. parsnips, peeled and cubed
Salt
Pepper
Dried parsley

Place potatoes in a pan of cold water, bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Put oil in a roasting tray and heat in oven until sizzling. Drain the potatoes, return to the pan, season and heat for 1-2 minutes until dry.
Carefully add potatoes and parsnips to hot oil and turn to coat. Add additional seasoning as desired. Roast in oven for 45-60 minutes.

*when making these with a roast, I put them in the oven (at whatever temp. the roast is at) about an hour before the roast is done. Once you take the roast out, increase the temp. to 450 degrees and roast the potatoes about 10-15 minutes longer, or until they get crispy on the outside.


Celery and Stilton Soup
Serves 6

40 g. (1.4 oz.) butter
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
300 g. (10 oz). celery, thinly chopped
250 g. (9 oz.) potatoes, peeled and chopped
450 ml (16 oz.) water
1 bay leaf
250 ml. (8 oz.) milk
75 ml. (3 oz.) cream or half & half
3-5 oz. Blue Stilton Cheese, depending on taste
salt
pepper
*I did my best to convert the measurements, but I always use my food scale so it’s more accurate. The Pyrex measuring cup has ml. on the side as well, so I measure with that.

1. Gently melt the butter in a large heavy-based pan. Add onion and cook gently until soft and translucent (about 10 minutes)
2. Add celery, potatoes, water, bay leaf and a good shake of freshly ground pepper.
Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, remove bay leaf, and add the milk.
4. Liquidize the soup in food processor until very smooth; add back to the pan.
5. Put the cream in the processor and crumble in the Stilton.
6. Add a cup or so of the warm soup and liquidize until smooth.
7. Stir into the rest of the soup, heat through without boiling, and season to taste. Do not boil the soup after adding cream and Stilton.

Garden Peas with Onions and Butter

4 TB. Butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
10 oz. fresh or frozen peas

Heat butter over medium heat, add onion and sauté until soft (a few minutes)
Stir in peas and cook 3-4 minutes. Season as desired with salt and pepper.


Christmas Cinnamon Pudding {or cake to us Americans}

For the cake:
2 C. Flour
1 C. Sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 TB. Butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

For the sauce:
2 C. Brown Sugar
1 ½ C. Water
2 TB. Butter, melted
Dash of salt
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Combine first five cake ingredients and mix well. Add milk, butter and vanilla and mix.
2. Place pecans on the bottom of a greased 9X13 pan, pour cake mixture over and spread evenly to cover pan.
3. Combine sauce ingredients in sauce pan and boil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Pour sauce over cake mixture- DO NOT BE ALARMED!
4. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with fresh whipped cream.


Advent Walk Hot Apple Cider
Serves: 12

2 tsp. Whole cloves
2 tsp. Whole allspice
6 Cinnamon sticks
1 gallon Apple cider
1 cup Brown sugar
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Ground nutmeg
2 Oranges, sliced thin

1. Tie cloves, allspice, and cinnamon in cheesecloth. Pour the cider into a large pan. Add brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, and spice bag.
2. Stir to combine and heat to rolling boil.
3. Immediately reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.4. Remove spice bag and add orange slices before serving.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sweet Potatoes

This is the dreamiest sweet potato recipe. My family has it every Thanksgiving. I also make it throughout the year as a side dish with various dinners, but it's especially fall-ish. If the butter and sugar content freaks you out, you can reduce to 1/3 c. each (in the sweet potato part, not topping) and it's still good. I usually do the full amount, though. Oh and if some people don't like nuts, just put the pecans on half.

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (peel, boil or bake, mix with beaters or Kitchenaid)
½ cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
½ cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat and whip, put in casserole dish
Topping:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
mix and sprinkle over potato mixture
Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Spooky Cake!


This is a Halloween tradition in our house. It is not Halloween without it and it is super easy to make.


1 white cake mix - make according to package directions

any type of white frosting


1 egg - save the shell

2 sugar cubes

1/2 tsp lemon extract


Shape the cake into a ghost, either by cutting the cake or using frosting. Use the 2 egg shells as eyes for the ghost. Place one sugar cube into each egg shell and 1/4 tsp of lemon extract over each sugar cube. Then turn out the lights and light the sugar cubes. We sing our favorite Halloween songs while the eyes glow! It is really fun!

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