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Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Favorite Holiday Recipes


This is simply the best recipe for cranberry relish I have ever tasted.  As a bonus, it is also the simplest.  The recipe comes fom Georges Perrier Le Bec fin Recipes.  
2 Cups Fresh Cranberries
Grated zest and juice from 2 oranges
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Grand Marnier
Put all ingredients in a food processor. Finely chop. Chill overnight.



I have been making this delicious recipe for Potato Gratin with Mustard and Cheddar Cheese ever since I saw it in the November 1995 issue of "Bon Appetit".  My copy of that magazine is so worn and tattered, I am grateful it is now listed on epicurious.  This is a bit more involved than the cranberry relish recipe but certainly not more difficult than most casserole recipes.  I make this every year at Christmas too. ( recipe below the jump)


  • Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs


  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and stir until crumbs are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool crumbs (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Butter 15x10x2-inch (4-quart) glass baking dish. Mix thyme, salt and pepper in small bowl. Combine grated cheddar cheese and flour in large bowl; toss to coat cheese. Arrange 1/3 of potatoes over bottom of prepared dish. Sprinkle 1/3 of thyme mixture, then 1/3 of cheese mixture over. Repeat layering of potatoes, thyme mixture and cheese mixture 2 more times. Whisk chicken broth, whipping cream and mustard in medium bowl to blend. Pour broth mixture over potatoes.
Bake potatoes 30 minutes. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over. Bake until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown, about 1 hour longer. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Mousse de Carrottes also from Georges Perrier Le Bec fin Recipes.  This is a recipe you might want to give a trial run if you are going to serve it at a special occasion.  The first time I made it I was not happy with the finished product primarily because I had the pleasure of tasting the mousse at Le Bec fin.  The trick is really in drying the carrots, don't skip that step.  Also be sure they are cooked until quite tender before placing them in the oven before drying.  


Lovely carrots are transformed in to a most elegant mousse here. At Le Bec-Fin we pipe this mousse through a pastry bag into decorative swirls on the plate. My customers love this dish, but most can't figure out the "secret" ingredient: it's the honey.

The Carrot Mousse
3 lbs large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 1/2 Cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
Salt and white pepper

Cooking the Carrots

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, then place on a baking pan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes to dry. Heat the heavy cream to scalding. Remove the carrots from the oven, then puree in a food processor until very smooth. With the machine running, add the scalded heavy cream, butter, and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chef's Truc
Piping Carrot Mousse: To pipe the mousse, you will first need to force the finished mousse through a food mill. This will ensure that no larger bits clog the pastry tip. Pipe through a medium -sized star tip. Be sure to wrap the bag in a towel while piping so you don't burn your hands.


Instapundit links the Ten Recipes the Pundits Love and the last Thanksgiving issue of Gourmet Magazine.  I have been a subscriber to Gourmet for at least 25 years.  Much to my husband's dismay, I have kept every one.  It's hard to imagine the magazine will no longer be making its monthly appearance in my mailbox.  

2 comments:

  1. Hmmm. I want to try the cranberry dish and mousse. That looks really good.

    ReplyDelete
  2. They are both amazing. The cranberry thing is so easy but tastes like heaven, you're a cook you should try these.

    ReplyDelete

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