Thursday, January 04, 2007

Holiday Recipes

Here are two of my most highly requested holiday recipes. While they are mainly for use between Thanksgiving and Christmas, who says you can't use them at other times of the year?

1. Stuffing
I was looking everywhere for this recipe from my friend Ethan, when I finally found the printout stuffed in a Thanksgiving-themed magazine. While the holidays are over, this stuffing is great for chicken as well. It's my absolute most favorite stuffing.

Macadamia Nut Stuffing

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
8 cups bread cubes
3 Tbsp. celery
3 Tbsp. parsley
3 Tbsp. chives
2 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. clove (ground)
1/3 tsp. bay leaves or 1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/3 tsp. mace

Saute onions in butter until transparent. Add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and moisten slightly with stock or chicken broth.

This recipe makes a lot of stuffing. 1/2 to 3/4 of the recipe is more than enough to stuff a 10-12 lb. turkey. Don't make the stuffing ahead of time. As soon as you have moistened it, you should put it in the turkey and put it in the oven.

2. Sweet Potatoes
I made this sweet potato recipe last Thanksgiving and everybody LOVED it. My cousin looked for it and couldn't find it. So here it is. Some caveats: I sliced the potatoes in half instead of keeping them whole as the recipe instructs. I also didn't bother with the pastry bag - while they probably didn't look as pretty as in MSL, the marshmallows covered that up and no one seemed to know the difference. Instead of the pastry bag, I carefully spooned the mixture back into the shells. It was lots easier.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
from Martha Stewart Living (Nov. 2005)
Serves 12

14 sweet potatoes (each about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup sour cream
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus 6 Tbsp. cold unsaled butter, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
40 large marshmallows, halved crosswise

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork. Bake until soft, about 50 minutes. Let cool slightly on a rack.

2. Cut a lengthwise slit in potatoes almost all the way through, leaving about 1 inch at each end intact. Scoop out flesh, leaving a 1/2 inch border on skins. Put flesh in a medium nonreactive bowl, then transfer half to a food processor. Process until smooth; return to bowl. Stir in sour cream, 6 Tbsp. softened butter, 1 cup brown sugar, lemon juice, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Transfer sweet potato mixture in batches to a pastry bag fitted with a very large round tip. Pipe mixture into 12 of the potato shells, dividing evenly; discard remaining 2 shells. Filled shells can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 day. Just before serving, top with remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar, the sliced butter, and pecans; arrange marshmallows on top. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until hot and marshmallows are golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes.

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Yummy Roast Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

I saw results of this recipe on The Food Section, and tonight, I tried it. This recipe is surprising good, and so easy to make. Here it is again. I used a cut chicken instead of just chicken breasts. I used pearl tomatoes and not cherry, and I used a mixture of dried majoram and rosemary (The Wednesday Chef used rosemary and said it was fantastic). I also coarsely minced the garlic cloves since I didn't have a press. SOOOO TASTY!

Here's the recipe:

Spicy Roast Chicken
Serves 4

24 ounces whole cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups), stemmed
1/4 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, pressed
1 1/4 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram, divided (or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, and none for garnish)
4 bone-in chicken breasts (10 to 12 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and 1 tablespoon marjoram in a large bowl to combine.

2. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken, arranging the tomatoes in a single layer on the sheet around the chicken. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the tomatoes are blistered, about 35 minutes.

3. Transfer the chicken to plates. Spoon the tomatoes and juices over the chicken. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon marjoram and serve.

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