Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving full of fabulous food, friends, and family! Don't forget to ask Grandma for her stuffing recipe that you love so much!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Marinade for London Broil

Another recipe from Julie. And in her own words, "This is a marinade I got from Sara Moulton of the Food Network. I'm pretty sure it could make a dishrag taste delicious!" Hey, anything professing that claim has to be good! I bet it would be tasty on a variety of meats!

Grilled Marinated London Broil

For marinade:

4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2/3 cup olive oil
1 (2 to 2 1/2 pound) London broil

  • To make marinade: In a bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients until combined well. Put London broil in a large resealable plastic bag and pour marinade over it. Seal bag, pressing out excess air, and set in a shallow dish.

  • Marinate meat, chilled, turning bag once or twice, for 8 hours.

  • Remove meat from the marinade, discarded the marinade, and pat the meat dry.


Bulgarian Cucumber Soup

This comes from another childhood friend, Julie. I am truly so happy to have reconnected with the kids from Motown (thank you Facebook!). This recipe sounds delicious and makes me yearn for warmer days, although I can't say it wouldn't be refreshing now. Ice cream in December, anyone?

Bulgarian Cucumber Soup

1 1/2 cups cucumbers, peeled and seeded
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
1/4 to 1 cup chopped walnuts
1 to 1 1/2 cups yogurt or sour cream

Mix together oil, salt, pepper, garlic, dill, and walnuts. Marinate cucumber in this mixture for 2-6 hours in the refrigerator.

Puree mixture in blender. When ready to serve, mix in cream. Put 1-2 ice cubes in each bowl and pour in soup.


Blanchard's Caribbean Cornbread

In the spirit of Thanksgiving cuisine, I share with you my favorite cornbread recipe. My husband and I first indulged in this tasty treat on our honeymoon in Anguilla. The concept for the Caribbean style cornbread comes from Bob and Melinda Blanchard, owners of Blanchard's Restaurant. The Blanchards are Vermont transplants to this tiny Caribbean island and live by the mantra, "live what you love." It is such a simple concept and one that not too many of us are ever able to fully embrace.

If you want to take the first step toward living what you love, make this cornbread! It incorporates pineapple and Monterey jack cheese to make a deliciously rich and moist side to your meal. Blanchard's Caribbean cornbread is a staple on their Thanksgiving menu, why not make it a regular on yours?

Blanchard's Caribbean Cornbread
Serves 8

1 cup All-purpose flour
1 cup Cornmeal
2 tablespoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
½ pound (2 sticks) Unsalted butter, at room

¾ cup Sugar
4 Large eggs
1 ½ cups Cream-style corn
½ cup Canned crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup Shredded Monterey jack cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 9-inch square glass cake pan. Whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

  • In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. While the mixer is running, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the corn, pineapple and cheese and mix to blend. On a low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until blended well.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown around the edges and a cake tester stuck in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Pumpkin Risotto

This one comes from an old childhood friend, Megan, who has made a name for herself in the food and wine industry. It has been great to reconnect with her and even better knowing that in our grown up state, we share a love for cooking. I can trust that this dish is delicious and I can't wait to make it myself!

Pumpkin Risotto

4 thick cut slices of pancetta

pancetta and olive oil drippings

1 Vidalia onion (medium dice)

2 cups arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

parmigiano rind

1 can of
whole nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup parmigiano

extra parmigiano for shavings

8 whole sage leaves
  • heat chicken stock and water (6 quarts total) with parmigiano rind until boiling, then drop down to a low boil.
  • dice pancetta and render it until crispy. transfer to a paper towel and warm drippings over med heat with some olive oil (if necessary to coat the bottom of the pan) in a high-sided saute pan or dutch oven.
  • add onion, season, and cook until translucent.
  • add rice and stir to coat each grain with oil. cook until slightly toasted.
  • start adding ladle-fulls of stock, stirring, and cooking down. season as you go along. about halfway through process, add pumpkin and nutmeg.
  • you should use most of the stock and the entire process should take about 22 minutes once you've started cooking. keep tasting and reserve a good cup of the stock to stir in at the very end (risotto should be loose, not sticky and stodgy).
  • fry whole sages leaves in olive oil, remove with tongs to a paper towel and salt them. save the sage-infused oil to pour over the risotto at the end.
  • when rice is creamy and still al dente, but not crunchy, remove from heat and stir in butter and parmigiano and last cup of stock. transfer to serving bowl and top with pancetta, sage leaves, shavings of parmigiano, and sage oil.


I just learned about this site today and couldn't wait to share it with all of you. Tastebook offers you the opportunity to make your own hard cover cookbook - a perfect gift for the holidays, or a gift to yourself. It can be as easy as knowing the URL to your favorite recipe on sites such as Epicurious, Food & Wine, Allrecipes, and more. Or, add your own recipe, include photos, and customize to your heart's content. And for those of you just exploring, you can shop for Tastebooks that others have created.

In this age of digital storage (and I'm certainly no help here...), it is nice to be reminded of the beauty of a tried and true cookbook.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Roasted Beets

It wasn't until I went apple picking this past October and serendipitously wound up at a pick-your-own farm, that I realized how wonderful fresh beets are and how easy it is to roast them. Just cut off most of the greens (these can be saved for sauteing later), wash, wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil, place in a roasting pan and pop them in the oven at 400 degrees for one hour. Let cool and the skins will peel off easily. Be careful of the beet juice - it stains! Beets will stay good in the refrigerator for a week and are great way to dress up a salad.

Or consider some of these other easy preparations:

1. Slice and serve with goat cheese, a classic combination

2. Mix with some oil and balsamic vinegar and use as a topping for bruschetta, top with fresh parmesan cheese for added flavor

3. Make a dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, and cumin - toss with the beets and top with some fresh mint for a Moroccan flair

How do you enjoy beets?

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This one comes from my friend, Betsy - an excellent cook! A light and fluffy custard dessert enveloping all of the tastes of the season. In my opinion, it is great for breakfast, too! Details here.

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