Roasted Pears with Sweet Maple Cream

November 10th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

4 ripe pears, cut in half lengthwise, seeded
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup fresh thyme sprigs
Salt

For yogurt cream:

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup plain Greek yogurt, 2%
Salt

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet, add the butter, maple syrup, vanilla, brown sugar, thyme sprigs and a generous sprinkle of salt. Let everything come to a gentle boil and stir continuously, about 2 minutes.

Add the halved pears to the pan, cut side down. Give it a shake and let them simmer on the stove about 2 minutes. Turn the pears over so they are now cut side up and transfer the pan to the oven, middle rack. Bake for 12 minutes until the pears are soft and the sauce has caramelized.

While the pears are baking, beat the cold heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add the maple syrup, pinch of salt, cinnamon and beat another minute to combine. Gently fold in the greek yogurt, this will make it a bit thinner.

Put one pear on a plate, drizzle with a spoonful of sauce with a sprig of thyme for garnish, and a generous dollop of yogurt cream.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

November 10th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 lb brussel sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Remove any undesirable outer leaves on the brussel sprouts and discard. Parboil the brussel sprouts (or steam them) for 3 minutes or until just tender. They should be almost cooked all the way through. Strain the hot water and place the sprouts in a bowl of ice water, this will keep their color bright green. Remove and drain on paper towels to get rid of excess moisture.

Toss brussel sprouts with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until golden, 15-20 minutes.

Roast Chicken with Lemon & Compound Herb Butter and Roasted Vegetables

November 10th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 3 to 4-pound chicken
2 small lemons, quartered

For Compound Butter

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 onions, quartered
5 carrots, peeled and chopped in 1-inch pieces

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Wash the chicken thoroughly in cold water, both inside and out. Remove all the bits of fat hanging loose. Let the bird sit for about 10 minutes on a slightly titled plate to let all the water drain out of it. Pat it thoroughly dry all over with cloth or paper towels.

Soften each lemon by placing it on a counter and rolling it back and forth as you put firm downward pressure on it with the palm of your hand. Prick the lemons in at least 20 places each, using a fork. Place both lemons in the birds cavity. Close up the opening with toothpicks or by trussing. To make the compound butter, mix the butter, herbs, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Smooth compound butter under the skin of the chicken breast, being mindful not to tear the membrane connecting the skin to the breast.

Drizzle the chicken with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast chicken for 30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and add onions and carrots. Place chicken and vegetables back in the oven and until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of inner thigh registers 180°F, about 1 hour.

Once out of oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve warm.

Roast Pumpkin Soup with Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

November 9th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 (2-pound) pumpkin, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 6 cups) and roasted
6 cups vegetable broth
3 whole star anise
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup maple syrup
Autumn Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, for garnic, recipe follows

PREPARATION

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion, sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add pumpkin, vegetable broth, star anise, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Cover and simmer until pumpkin is very tender, about 25 minutes. Discard Star anise. Purée soup in batches in blender and return back to Dutch oven. Stir in cream and maple and bring soup back to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
(Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Bring to simmer before serving, thin with more stock, if desired.)

Autumn Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

INGREDIENTS

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cayenne

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Toss pumpkin seeds with butter, maple syrup and spices and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and toasted. Let cool.

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