Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wild Rice and Quinoa with Turkey, Cranberries and Winter Squash

Here's another installment on using up those Thanksgiving leftovers. This casserole-type dish may not look like much, but let me tell you, it's some wonderful comfort food! It kind of tastes like a whole Thanksgiving meal wrapped up together. And since it's pretty much every course in one, I didn't have to make anything else to go with it (although you could), which made for a pretty easy weeknight meal. And my kids at it too, which is another bonus!

Wild Rice and Quinoa with Turkey, Cranberries and Winter Squash
1 cup wild rice blend, uncooked
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup diced onion
1 stalk celery, small diced
1 medium carrot, small diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 14-oz can chicken broth
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
fresh ground black pepper
1 cup butternut squash, peeled and shredded
1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked turkey, shredded
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped mixed herbs (such as rosemary, sage, thyme or oregano); alternately you could use poultry seasoning, to taste

In a medium saucepot, bring to a boil 2 cups water, wild rice and bay leaf. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes. In a small saucepot, bring to a boil 1 cup water and quinoa. Cover, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a large, high-rimmed skillet, over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and saute about 6-8 minutes or until soft and onions are translucent. Add shredded squash about the last minute of cooking. Sprinkle with flour and let cook for about a minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and let thicken; about a minute or two. Add turkey, cranberries and walnuts and cook until heated through; add cooked rice and quinoa and stir to combine. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the fresh herbs last, stirring to incorporate. Check again for seasonings and adjust as necessary.

SOURCE: Adapted from Whole Foods Market

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Orange Cranberry Scones with White Chips

Anyone still eating leftover Thanksgiving pie for breakfast? I think one of the best parts of a huge Thanksgiving meal is eating the leftovers for days in a row. I usually eat some of the leftovers straight up, but I like to save a little bit of turkey to make some good old comfort food; Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken Noodle Soup. IF there are any sweet potato leftovers (which their usually isn't), I like to make these Ginger Sweet Potato Muffins, practically my favorite muffin ever!

Leftover cranberry sauce probably gets overlooked most of the time. I know I haven't paid much attention to it in the past. I don't like to let things go to waste though, so I decided to incorporate what I had left into a scone. I think it worked out perfect. I had been dying to make scones anyway and the combination of the cranberries, orange and white chocolate chips couldn't have been better.

These scones are more moist than your typical scone, due to the cranberry sauce, but they still turn out wonderfully light and flaky. You may need to sprinkle your hands with flour when patting them out, and remember not to work them too much.

Orange Cranberry Scones with White Chips
For the dough:
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. orange zest
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice (about half a small orange)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. heavy cream, chilled

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice (about half a small orange)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. With either a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the cold butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in white chips and set aside.

In a separate small mixing bowl, combine egg, cranberry sauce, orange juice and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and form the dough into a disk.

Gently and quickly pat the dough out, on a floured surface, into an 8-10 inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges and place onto baking pan. Brush tops with remaining 2 Tbsp. of heavy cream.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until scones are slightly brown on top.

For the glaze, mix powdered sugar and orange juice and drizzle over top of the warm scones. Serve warm or allow to cool completely.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Cranberry Sour Cream Crumble

Not all the recipes that I share have a story or history behind them, but I love that this one does. My mom has had this recipe in her file box since probably before I was born; let's just say a LONG time. Back then my parents were young, finishing college, with three young children, and didn't have much extra money to splurge on things like REAL butter and sour cream. My mom, she has a good eye. She knows a good thing when she sees one. She tucked this recipe away until later in life when things were a little more established.

Now my mom has been making this for years and I've always enjoyed it but I have never actually made it myself until now. This crumble is perfect for serving at a breakfast or brunch, and especially perfect now that the holiday season is upon us.

Cranberry Sour Cream Crumble
1/4 cup chopped almonds

For the topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cake:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup whole cranberry sauce

Heat oven to 350° F. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of almonds on the bottom of a greased 9-inch spring-form pan or 10-inch tube pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together all the topping ingredients until crumbly and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.

In large mixer bowl, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then vanilla. Add in dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until incorporated.

Spoon half of batter into prepared pan, spreading to cover the bottom. Next, spoon cranberry sauce over the batter, spreading to the edges. Spoon remaining batter over cranberry sauce, spreading to cover. Sprinkle topping over batter.

Bake for 70-85 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Remove sides of spring-form pan and cool completely.

SOURCE:Land O' Lakes

Monday, November 14, 2011

Whole Grain Apple Cinnamon Chip Pancakes

You can tell by the sheer number of pancakes on this blog that we LOVE to eat them around here. I haven't posted a pancake recipe in a while but that sure doesn't mean we don't eat them often. In fact, my girls only eat a bowl of cereal once or twice a week, between pancakes, hot cereal, granola and the occasional eggs and toast.

We were lucky enough to score some fresh apples right from the orchard the other day. I love getting fresh fruit in season! I knew they would taste perfect shredded up in these pancakes. I don't usually throw "chips" in my pancakes, since I try to keep them pretty healthy, but this is about the only time of year you can find the cinnamon chips at the store and I thought I'd throw in a small bit.

My girls loved theses pancakes! My husband also went to work a few minutes late the morning I made these, just so he could have some. Delish!

Feel free to serve them with whatever syrup you would like, or top them with some warm applesauce or even apple butter.

Whole grain Apple Cinnamon Chip Pancakes
1 cup oats, quick or rolled
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3 tbsp. oil
2 cups buttermilk
1 large apple, peeled and shredded
1/3 cup cinnamon chips

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Add in oats, flour, baking powder, soda and salt and whisk until just combined. With a rubber spatula, fold in the shredded apple and cinnamon chips. Let batter sit while griddle heats up.

Heat griddle to 250 degrees F, or about medium heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls and cook until edges start to look dry; about 2 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook on the other side until golden; about another 2 minutes. Serve warm.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bacon and Wild Mushroom Risotto with Baby Spinach

Considering I don't like rice much, although I've grown to like it more over the years, I really enjoy risotto. Maybe it's the creamy, soft texture, or the magic that happens after you put the salty cheese in at the end. Hmm, I don't know, but it sure is good.

Risotto can pretty much be tailored to any season of the year by what ingredients you add to it. Fresh ingredients, in season, are the best. I love that it is so versatile and turns out wonderful each time.

This risotto is perfect for fall. I love the combination of the three mushrooms but if you can only find a couple of them, it is still sure to turn out for you. Finding dried mushrooms might be an option for those that are hard to find. I could only find dried shiitakes in the Asian section at my grocery store and just reconstituted them before adding them to the risotto.

Bacon and Wild Mushroom Risotto with Baby Spinach
4 cups chicken stock
6 bacon slices, cut into about 1-inch pieces
1 cup finely diced shallots
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped (dried is ok too)
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 oz. oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice or other medium/short-grain rice
1/3 cup sherry cooking wine
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup (2 oz.) grated fresh Asiago cheese (can substitute Parmesan)
1/2 tsp.salt
1/4 tsp.freshly ground black pepper

Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a small saucepan, without boiling; keep warm over low heat.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 8 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel lined plate. Add shallots, oil, thyme, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 6 minutes or until shallots are tender, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms to the onions and cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add rice and cook 1 minute until it turns slightly opaque; stir constantly. Stir in cooking wine and cook a minute or two, or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.

Stir in 1 cup stock, cooking until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Taste for doneness of the rice near the end of cooking; it may be done before you've used all the stock. Do not add the rest or the rice will become too mushy.

Stir in spinach; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and bacon. Check for seasoning and then add salt and pepper to taste.

SOURCE: Adapted from Cooking Light
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