Monday, November 26, 2007

Quick Recipes, Quickly...

Ah, the holidays. Happy, happy Christmas everyone! I vaguely recall the promise of recipes, so turn on the printer or grab a pen because here they come....

Remember these peaches? My Thanksgiving table sure did!

I love it when summer bounty becomes a holiday table rock star! My version of Nigella Lawson's Peaches goes beautifully over or alongside Christmas ham, and takes 10 minutes from start to supper:

Christmas Spiced Peaches

2 (14 oz) cans peach halves in syrup (not water)*
1 T. balsamic vinegar
3 sticks cinnamon
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. peppercorns (I used pink)
3 whole cloves

Drain one can of peaches and add to heavy-bottomed pot. Add second can of peaches, syrup and all. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring mixture to gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Cook for three minutes or until syrup thickens a bit and peaches are heated through. Reduce heat and keep warm until ready to serve. *If you're using fresh or frozen peaches, as I did, replace canned peaches with 12 fresh peaches, adding 1/3 cup water and 1 T. brown sugar to the pot to get it all going. Yum. Lucky you.

(These peaches are also great as leftovers with cold ham. Or, ladle remaining beauties - with the syrup - into pretty jars and tie with ribbon. They make great foodie hand-out gifts and will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.)

Hmm. Okay. Not a peach fan? Chew on this: an updated sweet potato recipe. I got my hands on a Weight Watchers stab at Sweet Potato Fries and made it faster and more holiday appropriate. Try my:

Thyme-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Blue Cheese

6 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1” cubes
4 T. olive oil
1 T. dried thyme
½ t. salt
½ t. black pepper
½ c. blue cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place sweet potatoes on lined baking sheet or rimmed stoneware. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spices. Toss lightly to coat. Roast in oven for 40-50 minutes, stirring halfway through, until soft, tender, and beginning to brown. Transfer to bowl and crumble blue cheese atop the potato pile. Serve warm.

These are a winner, but if you don't do blue cheese, try them anytime alongside Chipotle Ketchup. Simply add 1 t. ground chipotle to 3/4 c. good quality ketchup. Stir and refrigerate for 30 minutes to combine flavors. (This is my favorite low-fat snack. My favorite ever.)

Darn. I have my Apple and Sage Stuffing recipe sitting here, too, but must be off. We'll get to that later this week. In the meantime, check out Nigella's recipe for ham (glazed with Coca-Cola). There's a reason I read her cookbooks in bed, I'm telling you...

Happy cooking! (Or drooling. Or wrinkling your nose in disgust. Whatever it is you're doing!) -B


asdf said...

I have been such a "lurker" for almost a year. You are so amazing and an inspiration! I am thankful for stumbling upon your blog....thank you. I have started (blog) one because of you. God Bless!

a woman who is said...

That does it, I am trying the peaches. I did do Nigella's sweet potatoes, but I skipped the blue cheese, and tossed them at the end with a couple T.of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 of a lemon juiced, and 2 T.of brown sugar. I did use the thyme and the chili flakes. Yuumm!

Vee said...

I'm wondering about these "exotic" ingredients is what I am doing...coca cheese...balsamic vinegar. ;>

The blue cheese sweet potatoes sounds really intriguing, but I don't like blue cheese. Every now and then, I have found that I can add a new ingredient like that to something and learn to like it. Soooo maybe I'll give that a whirl for my mom and grandmother who love blue cheese.

Now I'm off to peek at kare-kare's blog...

Have a happy day, Brin!

Brambleberry said...

Those both sound delightful. Thanks for the recipes!

Unknown said...

I've got to try both of those recipes out soon, sounds yummy! I hope your not back on the road to Kansas, if so, drive safe and looking forward to hearing all about your Thanksgiving dinner at Freeman House!

Anonymous said...'ve got me drooling and wrinkling my nose simultaneously. Spiced Peaches...yum-may!
Roasted sweet potatoes..yes but no blue cheese!( nose wrinkles here)
Coca-Cola glaze on ham..I've done that and that was good.
Now waiting for the sage dressing recipe.
About that road trip, wouldn't leave without us??

Elenka said...

Brin, I just looked up Nigellas ham recipe. Could you tell me exactly what kind of ham to buy at the market? Should it be a certain type/kind?? What does it say on it?? Thanks so much in advance.