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Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekly Recipe Roundup

Asian Chicken Slaw - I made this several years ago and really liked it. The problem is that it resides in my old-fashioned recipe notebook that I hardly ever consult anymore. That's a shame because there are some really good ones in there that are being forgotten. The only adjustments I make to this is to use green onion instead of the white onion, I add some sesame oil to the dressing to give it a boost and I make about 1 1/2 times the dressing for added flavor.

I hesitated posting this because a) I made it up and b) so many people despise these precious little heads of cabbage. But then I realized that all recipes have to start somewhere and why not share my original concoctions? And, if my little 2-year old ate them, you as a grown adult, should at least give them a try!

Brown Butter Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
by Danielle

2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 bag fresh Brussels sprouts, washed and halved or quartered, depending on size
1/2 tsp salt
fresh shaved Parmesan cheese, optional

In a large skillet, heat oil and add butter to melt. Continue cooking butter, while stirring, until the butter begins to brown. You want a nice golden, not too pale and not too dark, color. Do NOT overcook the butter - it will turn bitter. Carefully place the sprouts in the skillet cut-side down. I found it was easier to remove the skillet from the heat to avoid the popping butter! Once you have them all snug in the skillet, give it a little shake and then stir to distribute the butter and oil.

Combine water and vinegar in a small bowl. Pour over browned sprouts and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Allow sprouts to simmer and caramelize for at least 20 minutes, longer if time permits (I think I let mine caramelize for about 30). Parmesan pairs perfectly with sprouts but I didn't have any on hand. If you do, shave a little on top!

Potato Parsnip Puree - I can't remember if I've posted this recipe before but it's good enough to merit a duplication. I love the extra flavor the parsnip lends. It's not an overwhelming taste, just enough to make it different than your typical mashed potatoes. I tried to cut the calories a bit by using 1/2 and 1/2 instead of the whipping cream. I generally half this recipe and that's easily enough for 6. The full recipe would be a great Thanksgiving dish - thinking ahead!

Cushaw Cake - What do you do when your dad gives you a 10-lb cushaw? You make cake! Turns out cushaw is in the squash family and is therefore just about as versatile as zucchini, pumpkin, and sweet potato in terms of baking. This cake is extremely moist but the cushaw flavor is not quite as hidden as pumpkin typically is. Don't get me wrong, it's not like biting into a chunk of squash, there's just a little something extra in there. I added my Vanilla Glaze from the cake I made last week and it was perfect. Surprisingly not too sweet, just super moist and dense. Since I modified the original, I'm posting my recipe below.

Cushaw Cake:

2 cups grated cushaw
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder (I have no idea if either of these was necessary but it seemed right!)
4 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk dry ingredients together in small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat eggs with mixer. Add in applesauce, oil, and cushaw and blend until incorporated. Add dry ingredients, just until blended. Pour in a greased bundt pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Top with Vanilla Glaze.

4 comments:

  1. Love all your pictures! Everything sounds yummy.

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  2. Your post made me hungry and I learned new things -never heard of cushaw before. The cake picture made me ready for fall!

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  3. The pictures look SO great! And I definitely think you should include recipes that you've made up!!! That just makes you a professional!

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