Thursday, November 17, 2011

T-Day Recipes from the Wine Pairing post...

  1. Cranberry Relish
  2. Corn Pudding
  3. Roasted Pumpkin Soup
  4. Whole Wheat Rolls
  5. Stuffing

Cranberry Relish 
Cranberry Relish
This recipe is one I learned from a wonderful cook years ago, and no one ever actually used a recipe, it’s a feel as you go sort of method! Actually, not sure if relish is the correct description, nor is sauce, chutney or salsa… how about salad?


  • 1 bag fresh cranberries – washed and sorted
  • 2-3 celery sticks chopped (or as much or little as you prefer)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (or as much or little as you prefer)
  • 1 packet orange or cherry flavored gelatin (use powder only, do not mix with water)
  • ½ cup concentrated orange juice (do NOT mix with water)
  • Sugar to adjust sweetness as needed


In a food processor, chop cranberries, celery and walnuts together until they are well incorporated but still crunchy/chunky. Scrape mixture into a bowl; add gelatin, OJ, and mix… adjust with sugar to desired sweetness (cranberries are VERY TART). Mix together and refrigerate until set.

NOTE: Use your discretion on Jello, OJ, and Sugar… the Jello acts as a binding agent, but is not intended to turn the Cranberries into a Jello consistency dish – when done correctly no one will ever know you used it.  The OJ brings flavor and needed moisture, and the sugar sweetens as needed.

Corn Pudding
Corn Pudding


  • 3 tablespoons  unsalted butter plus more for coating casserole dish or ramekins
  • 2 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, finely diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for added kick)
  • 3 cups fresh or defrosted frozen corn kernels (baby sweet preferably)
  • ½ cup diced red peppers
  • 1 ¼ cup shredded Gruyere (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 400F and arrange a rack on the bottom rim. Coat a 2-quart baking dish or 8 (I think) ramekins with butter and set aside.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When heated, add garlic, onions, salt, and black pepper. Cook until softened. Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, separate egg yolks and whites; in a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, half-and-half, nutmeg and cayenne together. Stir in the corn, red peppers, 1cup cheese, and cooled onion mixture. Finally mix in the flour and combine well.

Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Stir in about 1/3 of the whites into the batter; then gently fold in the rest of the whites. Turn the batter into the prepared casserole dish or ramekins, sprinkle with remaining cheese and place inside a roasting pan or baking dish.  Fill the roasting pan or baking dish with enough hot water to create a water bath around the pudding. Bake until the pudding is golden brown and set in center, about 30 to 45 minutes for casserole or 20 to 30 for ramekins. Serve warm.

Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Soup with Blue Cheese
Roasted Pumpkin Soup


  • 1 Sugar Pumpkin or Butternut or Winter Squash (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 tart green apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8  teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth (not condensed
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup crumbled blue-veined cheese


Cut pumpkin/squash in half; scoop out and discard seeds. Place halves, cut sides down, in a greased, shallow baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in a 400-degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until tender. Scoop out squash, discarding skin. Set squash aside.

Melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add apple and shallots; cook, stirring often, until shallots are limp. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne, turmeric and flour; cook, stirring, until bubbly. Remove from heat and gradually blend in broth. Add squash. Return to heat and bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Transfer mixture (in two portions, if necessary) to blender or food processor; whirl or process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to cooking pan, add half-and-half and reheat to serving temperature; do not boil. Stir in lemon juice Taste and add salt, if needed. Serve sprinkled with cheese to taste. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
Dinner Rolls


  • 1 1/2 c. warm water
  • 1 pkg. yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1 1/4 c. milk, heated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 heaping tsp. Salt


Mix water, sugar and yeast; let stand until foamy. Cool milk to lukewarm, then add rest of ingredients. Stir in 3 cups whole wheat flour to make a thick paste. Beat with spoon; let stand 1-3 hours until light and high. Then add white flour as needed to make stiff dough. Knead for 10-15 minutes until smooth and elastic. Let rise until double. 

When dough is finished rising, preheat oven to 350F. Punch down and knead again. Roll on buttered board into golf ball sized rolls and place 8-9 rolls to a pie pan. Let rise and bake until golden brown - approximately 12-15 minutes.

Corn Bread and Whole Wheat Stuffing
Ok, so I included this picture not because I have a great recipe... I TOTALLY do this by feel. However, here's my thoughts on how I'd do this stuffing.

Note: I always do my stuffing in a baking dish rather than in the turkey. In my humble opinion a turkey stuffed with stuffing will draw needed moisture from the turkey. If I stuff a turkey it's usually with vegetables that will add flavor... celery, onion, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, etc.

Suggested Ingredients:
  • Corn Bread - dried and broken into pieces 
  • Whole wheat bread dried and broken into pieces
  • Diced Celery, Onions, Red Peppers, Mushrooms, Etc
  • Minced Garlic (a few cloves to taste)
  • Fresh Sage - minced
  • Fresh Rosemary - minced
  • Fresh Thyme - minced
  • Chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Eggs - as needed for binding


To be honest, I saute the diced vegetables and garlic until they are starting to soften, then I remove them from the heat and cool. I then make sure the kitchen sink is clean and sealed and I throw all the ingredients in together and mix until it feels like its holding together (takes me back to my creative play dough days!), then I pack it into a buttered baking dish and bake at 350F until it is firm and starting to brown on top - probably 30-45 minutes. 

Variations: Add dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, chopped pecans, etc. If you want it to be super robust, add cooked sausage, bacon, or oysters, etc... basically make it yours - its literally a kitchen sink recipe that offers all kinds of creative expression!

Vegetarian: If you're a vegetarian, use vegetable broth, omit any meat and eggs. Omitting eggs may reduce how well it holds together when baked, but that's not a bad thing, the moisture and the fact that it's bread will give it some binding power! I you're vegan, use olive oil instead of butter.

The important thing is to let your creativity work in your favor, and have fun!!! Stuffing is NOT rocket science... ergo every single cook in America having their own version, let alone every region of the country having their own style!

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