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Friday, November 23, 2012

Holiday Recipes

Vegan and Gluten Free

Brown Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Chestnuts, and Cranberries
Serves 4
30 minutes or fewer
Brown rice and butternut squash make this salad filling but not overly heavy.
·         1 12-oz. pkg. cut butternut squash
·         ½ or (1/2 cup) red onion, chopped (½ cup)
·         3 Tbs. olive oil
·         1 6.5-oz. jar cooked chestnuts, coarsely chopped
·         1 cooked brown rice (2 cups)
·         1 tsp. grated lemon zest
·         1½ Tbs. balsamic vinegar
·         ½ cup fresh or frozen Cranberries (dried Cherries maybe substituted)
·         1 5-oz. bag arugula, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together butternut squash, onion, and 2 Tbs. Olive oil in large bowl. (If desired Season with salt and pepper) Roast squash 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add chestnuts during last 5 minutes of baking.
2. Meanwhile, warm rice according to package directions, and toss with lemon zest in large bowl. Whisk remaining 1 Tbs. oil with vinegar in small bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over rice, and add pomegranate seeds. Stir in warm squash mixture. (Seasoning with any combination of salt, pepper, cayenne or thyme) Fold in chopped arugula, and serve.

Chocolate Basil Cake with basil buttercream frosting

Nonstick baking spray with flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves (plus addition leaves for garnish)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick baking spray with flour.

Place the sugar and basil in a food processor. Process until basil is chopped fine and uniformly green in color (it will look slightly wet).

In a large bowl whisk the melted butter, cocoa powder and basil sugar until well-blended. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, until blended and smooth. Stir in the baking soda, vanilla, and salt.

Gradually add flour to bowl, stirring just until blended (do not over stir). Add hot water to mixture, stirring just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 22-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares. Cool completely, Prepare sour cream frosting. Spread over cake and garnish with basil leaves, if desired. Makes 9 servings (serving size: 1 wedge).
Basil Buttercream (vanilla bean blog)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (three sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine milk, heavy cream, and basil in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Heat gently,  until just simmering, and remove from the heat. Let cool, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Remove basil leaves from cream, squeezing any 'basil juice' from the leaves into the cream.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk-cream-basil mixture and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool, 7-9 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about another 1-2 minutes.
Add the vanilla and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.
Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin
·         6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, semi-soft, divided
·         2 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, rinsed
·         1 1/2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled
·         2 1/2 cups 2% milk
·         1 garlic clove, pressed
·         1 tablespoon kosher salt
·         2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
·         1 teaspoon ground black pepper
·         1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
·         1/2cup whipping cream
·         Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with 2 tablespoons butter. Thinly slice all potatoes; place in prepared dish. Bring milk and next 5 ingredients to boil in medium saucepan; pour over potatoes. Dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Cover with foil. Bake until potatoes are tender and milk is almost absorbed, about 50 minutes.
·         Bring cream to boil in saucepan. Uncover potatoes, pour cream over, and dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Bake uncovered until top is golden brown in spots, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.