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Cook's Corner

Compiled by Jean Crozier

Apple Pancakes w/ Cider Syrup
Makes 6 pancakes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup minced peeled apple
1/4 cup raisins
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg, separated
2 tsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2/3 cup apple cider or juice
1 cinnamon stick (1-1/2 inches)
Dash ground nutmeg
Additional butter, optional

In a small bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients; stir in apple and raisins. Combine the buttermilk, egg yolk, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients. In a small bowl, beat egg white until soft peaks form; fold into batter.

Pour batter by heaping 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and cider until smooth; add cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Discard cinnamon stick. Stir nutmeg into syrup. Serve pancakes with warm syrup and additional butter if desired.

From: www.tasteofhome.com

Pumpkin Pancakes
Makes 8-10 pancakes

1 1/4 cups flour
2 T sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup milk
6 T canned pumpkin
2 T butter, melted
1 large egg
Maple syrup, warmed with butter
Toasted pecans, chopped (optional)

Whisk together dry ingredients (flour through cloves) in large mixing bowl; set aside.

Stir together wet ingredients (milk through egg) in medium bowl.

Use a rubber spatula to fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined; do not beat.

Ladle 1/4 cup of batter onto medium-hot griddle (if electric, set at 350° F). Flip when edges are firm and top is covered with bubbles (about 3 minutes per side).

Serve with warmed buttery maple syrup and toasted pecans for garnish.

From: www.jannorris.com

Baked Acorn Squash w/ Red Quinoa and Pumpkin Seed Stuffing
Serves 8

2 cups quinoa
4 T unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups diced onion
Sea salt or Kosher salt
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 T minced fresh ginger
1 T chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped the size of raisins
1/4 cup dried currants
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper
4 medium Delicata or Acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

Adjust a rack to the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 350° F.

Simmer the quinoa in 4 cups of water until fluffy, 15 to 20 minutes.

While the quinoa cooks, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until softened, stirring frequently, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the carrots, celery, ginger, and sage. Cover the pan and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes (add a tablespoon of water, if necessary, to prevent scorching.)

In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa and vegetables. Stir in the dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg, and cinnamon, season with salt and pepper.

Brush the skin of the squash lightly with oil. Place the squash, cut side down, in a baking pan large enough to hold them in a snug single layer. Pour 1/2-inch of boiling water into the pan and bake for 20 minutes (you want the squash to have softened slightly, but not completely).

Transfer the squash to a plate and let rest until cool enough to handle. Stuff the squash halves with the quinoa mixture, return them, stuffing-up, to the pan, and bake until the flesh can be easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 20 to 30 minutes more.

From: www.thedailygreen.com

Roasted Sweet Potato & Grapefruit Salad
Serves 6

3 sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs), peeled and chopped
3 T pure maple syrup
1 T chopped fresh thyme
2 ruby red grapefruits (about 1 1/2 lbs)
8 cups baby spinach
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T canola oil
Pinch freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, toss together sweet potatoes, maple syrup and thyme to coat evenly. Spread onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast in oven at 425° F for about 30 minutes or until tender and golden. Return to bowl.

Meanwhile, using a serrated knife cut both ends off grapefruits. Using sawing motion, cut skin and white pith off and discard. Cut grapefruit between membranes into segments and add to sweet potato bowl. Stir to combine.

In another bowl, toss spinach with vinegar, oil and pepper. Divide among plates and top with roasted sweet potato and grapefruit mixture.

From: www.floridacitrus.ca/english.recipes

Sweet Potato & Apple Salad
Serves 14

5 cups sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs), peeled and cubed
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup orange juice, fresh
2 T canola oil
1 T lemon juice, fresh
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups Granny Smith apples (about 1 1/4 lbs), cubed

Preheat oven to 350° F. Wash, peel and cube the sweet potatoes (1 1/2” cubes).

Combine potatoes and onion in a 13x9” baking dish.

Combine sugar, orange juice, oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Then pour this over the potato mixture—tossing well to coat.

Cover baking dish and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes (stirring occasionally).

Wash and cube the Granny Smith apples (1” cubes). Stir the apple cubes into the casserole and then bake covered an additional 15 minutes or until apples are tender.

Uncover dish and bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve hot, warm or cool.

From: www.recipezaar.com

Peanut and Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Serves 4-6

2 onions, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 T butter
2 T peanut oil
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups smooth peanut butter
2 cups fresh or canned pumpkin
Chopped peanuts or toasted pumpkin seeds

In a stockpot, sauté the onion and celery in butter and peanut oil until very soft without browning. Add the chicken stock and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.

Blend the ingredients until smooth.

Add the peanut butter and pumpkin, blending again until smooth.

If canned pumpkin is used, the soup may need to be thinned with some more chicken stock, or to make it nice and creamy, some milk.

Add salt to taste.

Top each serving with peanuts or pumpkin seeds.

From: fall-recipes.suite101.com

Cranberry Apple Salsa
Makes 5 cups

2 cups fresh cranberries
3 medium apples, cored and cut into wedges
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened apple juice
3 T minced cilantro
2 T chopped jalapeno pepper
1 tsp grated lime peel
Tortilla chips

In a food processor, coarsely puree the cranberries, apples, red pepper and onion. Transfer to a serving bowl; stir in the sugar, apple juice, cilantro, jalapeño and lime peel. Refrigerate until ready to serve with tortilla chips.

From: buyfreshcranberries.com

Cranberry Chicken Stew
Serves 4

4 chicken legs, thighs attached
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup flour
1/2 cup canola oil
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 celery stalks, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 pounds red bliss potatoes, washed and quartered
1 T chopped garlic
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups Lakewood® Cranberry Juice Blend
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cinnamon stick

Preheat oven to 325° F and place an ovenproof skillet over medium heat.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, and thoroughly dredge in flour. Pour the canola oil in the preheated pan and sear the chicken legs on both sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Set the chicken aside and carefully pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil. Return the skillet to the heat and add the onion, carrot, celery, potato, garlic and cranberries. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the cranberry juice blend, red wine, sugar, cinnamon stick and chicken legs to the pan and bring to a simmer. Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

Remove from the stove and make sure the chicken legs are submerged in the liquid. Cover tightly with lid or foil and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove from the oven and let rest covered for at least 15 minutes. Serve the chicken legs in bowls with the vegetables and broth.

Adapted from Chef Tom Berry, www.oceanspray.com

Persimmon Rice Pudding
Serves 10-12

4 cups cooked rice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins
2 cups persimmon pulp
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup chopped nuts

Combine rice and pulp; set aside. Combine sugar, milk, flour, egg and vanilla. Add rice mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins.

Pour into a greased 3-quart baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350° F for 45 minutes or until set. Serve hot or cold.

From: www.seasonalchef.com

Persimmon Fruit Confetti
Serves 8-10

30 dates, pitted and chopped
1 pound red flame grapes, cut in half
2 cups raisins
2 large sweet apples, cored and chopped
3 large ripe persimmons, diced
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts

Combine all the ingredients in a large, attractive serving bowl and toss to distribute evenly. This fruit dish can be made several hours ahead.

Note: Later in the season when cranberries are available, you can add 2 cups (480 ml) of fresh cranberries, pulse chopped in the food processor. Add these shortly before serving to avoid loss of flavor.

From: www.vegparadise.com

Roasted Georgia Pecans w/ Grapes, Olives & Fresh Thyme
Serves 4-6

1 cup pecan halves
1 cup oil cured olives (or favorite assortment)
1 cup red seedless grapes
2 T fresh thyme leaves
2 T extra virgin olive oil

Lay pecans on a baking sheet and roast in oven at 350° F for 5 minutes or until crisp.

Mix grapes, olives and thyme, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 5 to 7 minutes. Toss the pecans and grape mixture together and serve warm. Partner this colorful appetizer with blue cheese, martinis or red wine.

From www.georgiapecanfit.org

Pecan Vinaigrette
Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup Georgia pecans
1 small clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup sherry, balsamic, or good red wine vinegar, plus more if desired
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Toast the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking almost constantly, until fragrant. Place them in the container of a blender or small food processor along with the garlic and pulverize.

Place the ground nuts and garlic in a bowl and add the vinegar, salt and pepper; stir. Add the oil a little at a time. The mixture should become creamy and quite thick. Taste to make sure the acid balance pleases you. Add more vinegar if you like; if the taste is good but the mixture is too thick, add warm water a teaspoon at a time. This is best made fresh but will keep, refrigerated, for a day or so; bring back to room temperature before using.

From: www.georgiapecanfit.org

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad
Serves 4-6

1 small red onion, cut into 1/2” wedges
1 small sweet potato (about 8 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 3/4” pieces
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 3/4” pieces
1 small celery root (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 small beet, peeled and cut into 3/4” pieces
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup walnuts
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 T chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 ounce feta, crumbled (1/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 425° F. In a medium roasting pan, toss the onion, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, celery root and beet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots.

Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a work surface and coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the lemon juice, mustard and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fold in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and walnuts to the dressing and toss. Top the salad with the feta and serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead Tip: The roasted winter vegetables and dressing can be refrigerated separately overnight. Re-warm the roasted vegetables before serving.

From: www.foodandwine.com

Tangy Roasted Beet Salad
Serves 6-8

3 pounds medium beets
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Coarse sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the beets in a cake pan and cover with foil. Bake the beets until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Let the beets cool slightly, then peel and cut them into 1/4” thick strips.

In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, paprika and cumin. Add the beets and toss to coat. Season the salad with salt and toss again. Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled.

The salad can be refrigerated for 2 days. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

From: www.foodandwine.com

Skillet Steamed Salmon w/ Spring Mix Grapefruit Salad
Serves 4

2 ruby red grapefruits (about 2 lbs)
2 T unseasoned rice vinegar
1 T minced fresh ginger
2 tsp liquid honey
1 tsp sesame oil
4 salmon portions (5 oz each), skinned
2 green onions, thinly sliced
8 cups mixed greens

Cut both ends off grapefruits using a serrated knife. Using sawing motion, cut skin and white pith off and discard. Cut grapefruit between membranes into segments into a large bowl; set aside. Squeeze remaining grapefruit membrane juices into another small bowl. Whisk in rice vinegar, ginger, honey and sesame oil.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and place salmon portions in and cook for 2 minutes. Pour grapefruit juice mixture over salmon and sprinkle with green onions. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested. Remove salmon to plates, reserving pan juices.

Add spring greens to grapefruit segments and toss gently to combine.

Pour pan juices over top and toss to coat. Divide among 4 plates with salmon and serve.

From www.floridacitrus.ca/english.recipes

Baked Ham w/ Grapefruit Brown Sugar Glaze
Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs fully cooked boneless smoked ham
Whole cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp grapefruit peel, finely grated
2 T freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Place ham, fat or rind side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Score ham fat in diamonds about 1/4-inch deep. Insert a whole clove in the center of each diamond.

Combine brown sugar, mustard, grapefruit peel and juice in small bowl to make glaze. Ladle 2 tablespoons of glaze over ham.

Cook ham, uncovered, in oven for approximately 30 minutes until ham is heated through, brushing with glaze every 10 minutes.

Carve and drizzle any remaining glaze over slices. Serve.

From: www.sunkist.com

Lamb Fesenjan
Serves 6-8

Lamb Fesenjan is a Persian favorite. Tender lamb cubes surrounded by a pomegranate sauce with walnuts make this recipe unique and delicious.

1 large onion, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lbs lamb cut into 1” cubes
1/4 cup pomegranate syrup
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups walnuts, crushed
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 T kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cardamom, ground
2 T lemon juice

In a large frying pan sauté onions in olive oil. Once onions begin to brown add lamb cubes. Simmer on low and cook for about 25 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare pomegranate sauce by combining chicken stock, pomegranate syrup, walnuts, and sugar in saucepan over low heat. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Once lamb is done simmering drain off fat and juices. Add spices and mix well. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Add pomegranate sauce and cook on low for about 10 minutes.

Serve immediately with white rice. Sprinkle toasted walnuts on top for garnish.

From: www.about.com

Mom’s Roasted Upside Down Turkey
Serves 12

1 turkey, approximately 15 lbs
Juice of a lemon
Salt and pepper
Olive oil or melted butter
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
Tops and bottoms of one bunch of celery
2 carrots
Parsley
Sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme

To start, if the turkey has been refrigerated, bring it to room temperature before cooking. Keep it in its plastic wrapping in a pan until you are ready to cook it. If you purchase a frozen turkey, you will need to defrost it in the refrigerator for several days. Allow approximately 5 hours of defrosting for every pound of turkey.

Remove the neck and giblets (heart, gizzard, liver). Use the heart and gizzard for making stock for the stuffing. The neck can be cooked along side the turkey or saved for turkey soup.

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Wash out the turkey with water. Pull out any remaining feather stubs in the turkey skin. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Lather the inside of the cavity with the juice of half a lemon. Take a small handful of salt and rub all over the inside of the turkey.

For flavor, put half of a yellow onion, peeled and quartered, a bunch of parsley, a couple of carrots, and some tops and bottoms of celery inside the turkey. You may need to cap the body cavity with some aluminum foil so that the vegetables do not easily fall out. Close up the turkey cavity with either string (not nylon string!) or metal skewers. Make sure that the turkey’s legs are tied together, held close to the body, and tie a string around the turkey body to hold the wings in close.

The neck cavity can be stuffed with parsley and tied closed with thin skewers and string.

Rub either melted butter or olive oil all over the outside of the turkey. Sprinkle salt generously all over the outside of the turkey (or soak in salt-water brine before starting this process). Sprinkle pepper over the turkey.

Place turkey BREAST DOWN on the bottom of a rack over a sturdy roasting pan big enough to catch all the drippings. This is the main difference between the way mom makes turkey and everyone else. Cooking the turkey breast down means the skin over the breast will not get so brown. However, all of the juices from the cooking turkey will fall down into the breast while cooking. And the resulting bird will have the most succulent turkey breast imaginable.

Add several sprigs of fresh (if possible) thyme and rosemary to the outside of the turkey.

Put the turkey in the oven. Check the cooking directions on the turkey packaging.

Usually a cooking time of about 15 minutes for every pound. For the 15 lb turkey, start the cooking at 400° F for the first 1/2 hour. Then reduce the heat to 350° F for the next 2 hours. Then reduce the heat further to 225° F for the next hour to 1.5 hours.

If you want the breast to be browned as well, you can turn over the bird for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking, at an oven temp of 300° F. (Oven must be at least 250° F for browning to occur.) Note that if you do this, you will have a higher risk of overcooking the turkey breast. We never worry about browning the breast.

Start taking temperature readings, with a meat thermometer inserted deep into the thickest part of the turkey breast and thigh, a half hour before the turkey should be done. The dark meat in the thigh should be about 175° F. The white meat in the breast should be 160° F to 165° F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, spear the breast with a knife. The turkey juices should be clear, not pink.

Once you remove the turkey from the oven, let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Turn the turkey breast side up to carve it.

From: simplyrecipes.com

Roast Chicken w/ Tangerine
Serves 6

One 6-pound roasting chicken
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 rosemary sprigs
3 tangerines, washed and halved
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Set the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and stuff the cavity with the garlic, rosemary and 4 of the tangerine halves. Tie the legs together. Juice the remaining 2 tangerine halves. Rub the oil over the chicken. Pour the wine and tangerine juice over the chicken, drizzle on the honey and season with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth to the pan, cover the pan with foil and reduce the oven temperature to 375° F. Roast the chicken for 40 minutes. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of broth to the roasting pan. Cover and roast for 50 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh registers 165° F.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. Strain the pan juices into a saucepan and skim the fat. Carve the chicken and serve with the pan juices.

From: www.foodandwine.com

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