Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Day After (Holiday Shopping) Part III

When I say "holiday shopping" I only mean shopping during the holiday. I know I should really be doing actual holiday shopping--i.e. looking for the multiple presents I have to give out for Christmas--but I couldn't stop myself from taking over my whole shopping spree.

If you were wondering, I did buy quite a lot, but in my defense, more than half was necessary. Really though. I am quickly growing out of my clothes, if not physically, style-wise.

Anyways, yesterday was the perfect second to last day to my Thanksgiving break. First of all, I rented a car for the first time and I drove it. I drove it in California freeways, which is my book is quite a challenge to get over. My cousin and I spent the beautifully warm day shopping at an outdoor mall. It was actually terrific! And that's not a word I use very often.

In the end, we came home early, crashed, did some school work coughnotreallycough and ended with a night out in Downtown San Diego. The highlight of the evening was definitely the 24/7 restaurant at which we ate after leaving the club at 2 a.m. If only Boston had anything of the sort, my life would be so much more joyful.

But enough of me. Here are the two vegetable recipes we made for our Thanksgiving feast. Easy to make and deliciously bursting with seasonal flavors. Enjoy

Brussels Sprouts and Shallot Hash (adapted from Epicurious)
*This is a Blue Ribbon Recipe
Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 lb. shallots, thinly sliced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. In a medium skillet, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add shallots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Stir mixture, still over medium heat, until shallots are slightly browned and glazed, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Cut brussels sprouts in half lengthwise and slice into 1/8 inch pieces. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Saute until slightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add water and remaining butter. Cook until most of the water evaporates, making sure that sprouts are tender but still bright green, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add shallots and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Broccolini with Pine Nuts and Raisins (adapted from Epicurious)
Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 4 lbs. broccolini, ends removed
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add pine nuts and toast until golden and fragrant,. stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Add shallot and saute 1 more minute.
  2. Add broccolini, wine and raisins and cover. Saute, stirring occasionally, until broccolini is tender and bright green, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Day After (Black Friday) Part II

Last year I went shopping on Black Friday... and I vowed never to do it again (unless I'm ever really really desperate for crazy discounts and crazy shoppers). So this year I'm giving the day after Black Friday a try. Let's hope it goes well.

I'm not going to lie, I'm kind of scared that there won't be any good things left--discounted or not. But then I might be very wrong since the new stuff might be out by now?

Anyways here is the second installment of our (my cousin's and mine) delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Stuffing is a must on Thanksgiving. Period. No stuffing, no joy. So here is a very good, and quite simple, stuffing recipe.

Sage Stuffing (adapted from Epicurious)
Serves 4

  • 4 cups coarse bread crumbs (about 1/2 lb. white bread loaf without crust)
  • 2 cups cornbread crumbs (I recommend making a loaf the night before)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  •  stick unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup chicken broth or turkey stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spread bread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until dry, about 15 minutes. Cool crumbs in sheet on rack. Once cooled, transfer to a big bowl and mix in parsley, sage, salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes. 
  3. Add onion and celery to bread crumbs and toss to combine. Add eggs, broth and cream, tossing constantly until well mixed.
  4. Butter a large baking dish. Transfer stuffing to dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake covered for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes, or until slightly browned. Let cool and serve.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Day After (Thanksgiving) Part I

It's been a month and a half since my last post.

Whew! That wasn't too hard to say I guess. Either way, I'm not happy with the way posts happened--or should I say didn't happen--this semester. So let me change that.

So lets begin. First here's a very quick update on my life. I am almost done with my fifth, and most hectic semester yet, at BU and I am very happy about it (when I say hectic I mean I have turned into a constantly-neck-pained-and-sleep-deprived student who jumps her roommates' bones for any given reason. It's bad). But still, I am proud to call myself a working girl again and I have been running constantly for the past month--although now I may have to stop no thanks to a mysterious injury.

For Thanksgiving this year I switched coasts; I came to Coronado with my cousin. Let me just say, the weather, even if it's "cold," is absolutely delicious. There's just something so relaxing about coming to Coronado. If it's not the fact that this small city could have been taken out of a painting, it's the fact that it's an island. (In reality it's part of a peninsula, but for these purposes I will pretend like the Silver Strand connecting it to the mainland is nonexistent).

Anyways, we decided to make a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner by taking traditional dishes and turning them into an exciting meal. Yes, it was a small Thanksgiving party this year--just my cousin and me--but let me tell you, the food was absolutely delicious.

First and foremost, you need turkey, but since we weren't about to cook a large bird just for the two of us, we settled on turkey breasts. This recipe is so simple, you won't even know what to do with the rest of your Thanksgiving chef time.

Turkey Breast Medallions with Shallot-Dijon Gravy

For the gravy (adapted from Epicurious)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or turkey stock if available)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and saute for one minute. Whisk in flour and cook until mixture is light brown, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. 
  2. Whisk in wine, stock, mustard and rosemary. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking to blend. Boil until gravy coats a spoon, or until desired consistency, whisking constantly, about 5 minutes.

For the turkey breasts (adapted from Epicurious)

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. turkey breast (look for ready cut turkey breast or turkey breast medallions)
  1. In a large glass baking dish, combine flour and spices. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Dredge turkey breast cutlets in flour mixture and place on skillet. Cook until turkey is golden brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes on each side.