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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nourishing & Festive

I'm hoping to get in under the wire for this one. Kimi is hosting a Nourishing Holiday Food Carnival. I was thinking of the things we normally have at Thanksgiving and Christmas time, but I didn't want to type up the recipes to everything we cook. So, here are a few examples. One note, in any recipe I share, here or in other posts, the butter is unsalted unless I specifically state otherwise.

Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Rolls

I got this recipe from a newsgroup, then modified it to run on the dough cycle of our bread machine and fiddled with the ingredients a bit. I've made it with both pumpkin and sweet potatoes. I will be making it with sweet potatoes this year (the orange kind that gets called yams at the grocery store, even though they are just sweet potatoes of a different color).

1/4 cup warm water
2/3 cup milk
1 cup cooked and mashed pumpkin or sweet potato
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon dry yeast
melted butter to brush rolls

Put all ingredients in bread machine, and run on dough cycle.

When dough cycle is complete. Turn out dough and punch down, shape into approximately 25-30 rolls. I roll each piece into a log, then tie it into a knot.

Cover on baking sheets, let rise again, 30-45 minutes. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, brush with melted butter after removing from oven.

I make a triple batch of this, usually, sometimes quadruple. They are quite tasty and go really fast.

*I just found out from experimenting that you can make these all the way through shaping and freeze them on a pan, then store them in a bag and pull out on a pan to thaw and rise and bake fresh. This means you can make the dough and shape them well ahead of time and thaw them while preparing the rest of your meal and bake them when the meat is taken out to rest or make gravy.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

This is so good, I usually double it. My priest's wife gave me this recipe some time ago, I've tweaked it a bit, and it has been a staple on our Thanksgiving table since then.

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups halved and thinly sliced brussels sprouts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

Melt butter in large skillet over med-high heat. Add onion and garlic, saute 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir in brussels sprouts, cooking 2 minutes. Add broth and sugar. Cook 5 minutes, or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently. Stir in salt, season with pepper, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Sprinkle with pecans.

This is even good the next day, heated up, though the pecans aren't as crisp.

One year, Rich made up a casserole with the leftovers from this, the turkey, the wild rice dressing and the remains of the gravy to bind it together and baked the whole thing up. It was delicious.

Wild Rice Dressing

Rich doesn't care for bread stuffing, so after a few years of doing both, I just dropped the bread stuffing in favor of this, since he liked it much better. This year, for the first time in a while, I'll be making a bread based dressing, though not stuffed in the birds. Anyway, this is easy to make, can be made ahead of time and kept warm, it is great stuffed in the turkey as well.

4 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 3 teaspoons dried
1 1/2 cups wild rice
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 cups pine nuts

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until they start to turn transparent, add garlic and saute some more. Add both rices, and stir until they start to smell a bit toasty, not browned. Stir in thyme, salt and pepper.

Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes. Check at this point to see if the wild rice is sufficiently cooked.

In another dry pan, toast pine nuts over medium-high heat, stirring until they just begin to brown. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir into rice mixture just before serving.

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I love brussel sprouts. The recipe looks delicious!
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