No Muss, No Fuss, No Cook Holiday Menu
By Sandy Beck
You spent two days in the kitchen preparing, cooking, serving and then cleaning up from a sumptuous holiday feast. The next day, you wowed visiting family and friends with a boat tour of Wakulla Springs. Now everyone is starving again. Cooking another big meal is not something you want to do. You open the refrigerator and stare at shelves overflowing with neatly covered leftovers. By combining some of these with a few staples in your pantry and cheese drawer, you can create a quick, impressive and nutritious feast, without turning on the oven.
Blueberry Brie Appetizer
There is nothing easier or more tantalizing than this combination of Brie and blueberries.
1 wheel Brie cheese
1/2 jar St. Dalfour Wild Blueberry Spread
A few sprigs of fresh lavender
Back to Nature Multigrain Flax Seeded Flatbread Crackers
Place Brie on a pretty plate and spoon blueberry spread on top. Garnish with lavender and serve with crackers.
Greek Black-eyed Peas Spinach Salad
In the South, eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring good fortune. The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity. The traditional meal also features greens and ham. Use leftover cooked peas or frozen or canned peas (rinsed well) in this tasty, healthy salad. Then buy a lottery ticket!
Black-eyed peas, 4 cups cooked peas or 2 15-ounce cans
1 package of feta cheese (about 7 ounces )
1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (about 8 ounces)
1 cup black olives, preferably Kalamata or oil-cured
1 green onion , finely chopped
1 garlic clove , finely chopped
1 large bunch of spinach, about 1 pound washed and chopped (can add/substitute arugula, watercress, etc)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Place the spinach in a large bowl. Crumble the feta cheese into the bowl and add the remaining other ingredients except the lemon juice. Mix well.
Pick through the black-eyed peas and any that have loose skins or are mashed. Add perfect peas to the salad, mix well and serve. Squirt some lemon juice over each serving.
Turkey Pesto Sandwiches
Use leftover turkey in these simple but elegant sandwiches flavored with basil pesto. Serves six guests.
6 croissants or 12 slices of crusty, artisan bread
2 cups sliced, cooked turkey
1/3 cup pesto—use prepared pesto or make your own (recipe below)
Grapeseed Vegenaise or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh whole basil leaves
Thinly sliced Italian Fontina cheese
Spread six of the bread slices with pesto and the other with Grapeseed Vegenaise or olive oil. Fill with the sliced turkey and remaining ingredients.
To make Panini sandwiches: Use the crusty, artisan bread and olive oil instead of Vegenaise. Brush outside of sandwiches with olive oil. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the sandwiches and cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, pressing occasionally with a large metal spatula or the bottom of a small heavy saucepan, about 4 minutes per side.
Donna Legare's Native Nurseries Pesto
2 cups fresh basil
1 garlic glove
2 Tbsps. pine nuts
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine basil (leaves, flowers and tender stems), garlic, nuts and cheese in food processor or blender. You may substitute pecans or walnuts for pine nuts or omit nuts for those with nut allergies. Puree to form a paste. Slowly add olive oil while blending. (Can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.)
Add excitement to slices of leftover pumpkin pie with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.