Glazed Onions

Christmas Eve dinner with our Aunt Patty has been an event we look forward to each year. She is an incredible chef and hostess. This year I was able to help her in the kitchen to learn her recipes that she has been making for many years. I was surprised on how simple each dish was to make! The biggest key to a successful dinner party is timing, patience and organization.

There are many dishes in her holiday meal and I will post each separately but categorize them under the menu “Holiday Meal” so that you can find them with ease.

Glazed Onions

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boiling onions
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • minced parsley

Directions:

  • Place a cross in the root end of each onion
  • Drop into boiling water for 2 minutes and remove
  • Remove skin of onions and set aside
  • In a heavy saucepan, heat olive oil
  • Add peeled onions, sugar, salt and pepper
  • Cover and cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add sherry vinegar and cook for an additional 35 minutes over low heat, covered, but turn onions so that they are glazed on all sides
  • Sprinkle with minced parsley
  • Serve hot

Gratin Dauphinois

Christmas Eve dinner with our Aunt Patty has been an event we look forward to each year. She is an incredible chef and hostess. This year I was able to help her in the kitchen to learn her recipes that she has been making for many years. I was surprised on how simple each dish was to make! The biggest key to a successful dinner party is timing, patience and organization.

IMG_3397There are many dishes in her holiday meal and I will post each separately but categorize them under the menu “Holiday Meal” so that you can find them with ease.

Original recipe by Margery Katz

This dish is a speciality of Grenoble, a town bordering the Alps. Here leftover Gratin Dauphinois is eaten without reheating, accompanied by a green salad, seasoned with oil, vinegar and a generous amount of chopped garlic.

Gratin Dauphinois

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. boiling potatoes (peeled)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese (2 ounces)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Peel potatoes, wash and dry thoroughly (do not soak them)
  • Use a mandolin and slice them into 1/8 inch thick discs
  • In a large sauce pan, add potatoes, milk, cream, garlic, salt and pepper and bring to a moderate heat with a wooden spoon
  • Remove pan from heat and pour the mixture into a well buttered gratin or shallow baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the grated cheese over the mixture
  • Bake for about one hour
  • Remove from oven and check that potatoes are done when a knife can pierce into a potato easily
  • The top should be nicely browned
  • Serve hot!

 

Prime Rib

Christmas Eve dinner with our Aunt Patty has been an event we look forward to each year. She is an incredible chef and hostess. This year I was able to help her in the kitchen to learn her recipes that she has been making for many years. I was surprised on how simple each dish was to make! The biggest key to a successful dinner party is timing, patience and organization.

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Aunt Patty and her amazing Prime Rib

There are many dishes in her holiday meal and I will post each separately but categorize them under the menu “Holiday Meal” so that you can find them with ease.

Prime Rib

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients:

  • Prime rib (any size you want this one was a 9 pound)
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  • Remove prime rib from refrigerator 2 hours before cooking
  • Salt and pepper generously the entire prime rib
  • In a large skillet brown the sides of prime rib over high heat (this will render down the fat)
  • Cook until the meat thermometer says 130 degrees (for medium rare) or more if you want. (approximately 2-3 hours)
  • Remove from oven, let rest for 10 minutes
  • Slice into pieces

Broccoli and Baby Dutch Potatoes with Garlic

Here is an easy side dish you can serve alone or with a protein of your choice.

Broccoli and Baby Dutch Potatoes with Garlic

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 stalks of organic broccoli (cut)
  • 10-12 medium organic Dutch baby potatoes (sliced into discs)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  • Wash and clean broccoli, for the stalk, peal and slice into discs
  • Wash and slice potatoes into discs
  • In a large pan boil water
  • Add broccoli and blanch for 1 minute, set aside
  • In a large pan, heat olive oil
  • Add garlic and potatoes and cook until golden brown
  • Add broccoli
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Cook until soft
  • Add lemon juice at the end for flavor
  • Serve hot

Brown Sugar and Pepper Bacon

This is my favorite way to cook bacon! Using a center cut bacon brings down the fat content and baking it in the oven is key. Adding the brown sugar and fresh black pepper gives it that sweet and salty perfect bite.

Try it, you will be a star!

Brown Sugar and Black Pepper Bacon

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • Organic Center Cut Bacon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Place wire rack on cookie tray
  • Spray with cooking spray
  • Place bacon on wire
  • Sprinkle each piece with brown sugar
  • Sprinkle each piece with black pepper
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes or until brown
  • Let cool for 5 minutes

Vegetarian / Vegan Thai Yellow Curry

Today my friend Tess is coming to hang out with the family so I thought I would cook her a tasty vegetarian yellow curry. She doesn’t eat any animal products so curry is a great flavorful option to serve. This is not a traditional recipe, its one that I have adapted myself. I used salt instead of fish sauce and vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Serve with cucumber salad to give the curry some texture and brightness.

Vegetarian Thai Yellow Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients for curry

  • 1/2 can of yellow curry paste
  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dry turmeric powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 cup sliced baby dutch potatoes
  • 1 large white sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup firm tofu (cubed)
  • 1 tsp of salt (instead of fish sauce)

Directions

  • In a large pot heat over medium fire
  • Add oil and yellow curry paste
  • Add turmeric powder
  • Add sweet onion and stir until translucent
  • Add coconut milk stir for 2 minutes
  • Add vegetable stock
  • Add potatoes
  • Add palm sugar and salt
  • Reduce heat and let simmer until potatoes are soft
  • Add tofu and simmer for 10-15 more minutes
  • Taste and adjust sugar or salt
  • Serve over white Jasmine rice and cucumber salad

Ingredients for cucumber salad

  • 2 Persian cucumbers (diced)
  • 1 shallot (chopped)
  • 1 tbs cilantro (minced)
  • 1 stock green onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs water

Directions for cucumber salad

  • Mix together and let marinate for 30 minutes

Raspberry Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

It’s the holidays and nothing is better than getting some fresh cookies as a gift. I’ve been making these cookies for 10 years and it is always a hit with everyone. Typically this time of year my lemon tree is producing hundreds of ripe lemons for me to use so its perfect!

This recipe is courtesy of Emeril Lagasse -http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/raspberry-lemon-thumbprint-cookies-recipe.html

Raspberry Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

  • Servings: 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam or jelly
  • 1 tablespoon Chambord or kirsch
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets.

In a small bowl, combine the jam and Chambord. Stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to blend.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather the dough together into a ball.

Pinch off the dough to form 1-inch balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Use your floured index finger or 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to create depressions in the center of each ball. Fill each indentation with nearly 1/2 teaspoon of the jam mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Candied Walnuts

My aunt Patty is a wizard in the kitchen. In years past she would serve these candied walnuts with a glass of champagne before our Christmas dinner. I love to give them out as gifts alongside some great Christmas cookies. I make a batch and put them in an airtight container for my family for the month of December for them to enjoy when they visit me in the kitchen.

Candied Walnuts

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound of walnut pieces
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar + 2 tbsp after cooled
  • 3 cups vegetable oil

Directions

  • In a large stockpot fill with water and bring to a boil
  • Lay out 2-3 pieces of wax paper on the counter
  • Once the water is boiling put the walnuts in the hot water and blanch for exactly 2 minutes
  • Drain in a colander and place them in a large bowl
  • Add sugar and mix well, make sure all the walnuts are coated
  • Lay them out on the wax paper on the counter
  • In about 15 minutes take 2 tablespoons of sugar and coat them lightly
  • Let them dry for 1-2 hours
  • In a large pan (cast iron is best), heat vegetable oil
  • Once the oil is hot, add walnuts in small batches
  • Fry until golden brown and let drain on a wire rack

Potato and Pancetta Soup

I’ve been fighting a cold this last week and hot soup always seems to be the best remedy to feel better. I’m not a fan of eating noodles in my soup, I prefer vegetables. Lately I have been in love with baby dutch potatoes.

Here’s the soup I made for myself yesterday. You can change it up to whatever you like. I wanted my soup to be light and lots of broth so I don’t use a thickener.

Potato and Pancetta Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 8-10 small baby dutch potatoes (sliced on mandolin in circles)
  • 2 fresh carrots (sliced on mandolin in circles)
  • 1 large sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (removed from stem)
  • 4 cups of fresh chicken broth (store bought is ok)
  • 1 package of pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream (you can use half and half for lighter version)

Directions:

  • In a large pot melt butter
  • Add onions and cook until translucent
  • Add garlic and mix for 1 minute
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a boil
  • Add potatoes, carrots, parsley, thyme
  • Cook until all vegetables are soft
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Add heavy cream

Israeli couscous with tomatoes, arugula and pine nuts

I love Israeli Couscous! It has a nice chewy texture and can mix well with lots of fresh vegetables. It pairs nicely with any protein and looks delicious.

This week at the farmers market I picked up some beautiful yellow organic cherry tomatoes and arugula. Adding this to the couscous was so good!

Israeli couscous with tomatoes, arugula and pine nuts

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup Israeli couscous
  • 3 Tbsp butter (divided)
  • 1/2 cup sweet white onion  (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 2/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh arugula
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes cut in fourths
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  • In a large pan melt 1 Tbsp of butter and add pine nuts until brown
  • Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside
  • Add 2 Tbsp of butter and onions, cook until translucent
  • Add couscous and bay leaf and stir until brown
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a boil
  • Cover and let simmer until liquid is absorbed
  • Remove from heat and put in a bowl, let cool for 10 minutes
  • Add back the pine nuts, tomatoes, arugula, lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Drizzle with olive  oil