Tag-Archive for ◊ cranberry ◊

24 Jul 2014 Curried Chicken Meatballs with Apricot Rice Pilaf

curriedmeatballs01

I have a love-hate relationship with America’s Test Kitchen (and their related publications, Cooks Illustrated and Cooks Country).  I buy a LOT of their special interest publications. I like to read, and I enjoy reading recipes, and I like trying out new recipes. I like the pictures of each recipe and I like the all the notes that go along with each ATK recipe.  I have made some good things from ATK recipes, but I’ve made some not so good, too.  On the other hand, I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate that I cannot access any of the ATK recipes online without paying for them.  The only way around this is to get the name of the recipe you are interested in and Google it, or look on foodgawker or TasteSpotting for a hit, then go to a food blog, similar to this one, to get the actual recipe.  Compare this to Bon Appetit and Epicurious.  I subscribe to Bon Appetit, but even if I didn’t I could access all of their recipes for free on the Epicurious website, most of which have some wonderfully helpful comments.  I love being able to search Epicurious‘ recipe archives for any recipe they have published over the past years. I often find terrific recipes that way, searching on words such as “soup”,  “blueberries” and “brownies” and then scrolling through all the recipes with that key word. I don’t know why America’s Test Kitchen cannot do the same 😛

Anyways…, enough of my rant and onto my latest America’s Test Kitchen find!

The original recipe (by the same name) was from one of America’s Test Kitchen 30-minute Meals cookbooks.  The meatballs, although very simple with a very plain list of ingredients, are quite tasty and virtually perfect! I wanted to up the curry powder just a bit, but my offspring vetoed that idea,  saying they were good just as they are, so I left the meatball recipe alone (but I did “heap” the 1 T. of curry powder!).  I always make these meatballs with ground chicken, but I see no reason why ground turkey, ground beef, or ground lamb couldn’t be used. The 1 lb. of ground meat makes about 30-36 small meatballs.

I did change the pilaf recipe a quite bit, as ATK’s was much too bland. (Pilaf, by definition, contains rice cooked in broth, ATK version was cooked in water, and only got worse after that.) I substituted butter for vegetable oil, broth for the water and added a bit  more variety, and taste,  with additional veggies, herbs, and garnishes.  I also added a bit of salt and spice…, and the magical touch, a bay leaf and a long piece of lemon peel (both of which are fished out before serving).

I didn’t think it was true, but it was! I was able to make this, from start to finish, in 30-minutes…, AND it was a mighty tasty, spur-of-the-moment dinner!   Serve with a side of veggies, if you want, steamed broccoli would be good… 🙂

Curried Chicken Meatballs with Apricot Rice Pilaf

For Pilaf

  • 1 T butter (approx)
  • ½ -1 cup finely chopped onion (your favorite variety)
  • ½ -1 cup finely chopped mixed vegetables (celery, carrots, bell peppers…)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 ¾ cups hot chicken broth (or water). OK to sub abut ¼ cup of liquid for ¼ cup white wine (another option: add one long strip of lemon, lime or orange peel-with no white pith attached, to the rice mixture when adding the liquid)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ -1 teaspoon salt (if your broth is salted, you might not need to add too much additional salt)
  • ½ – 1 cup chopped dried apricots or mixture of apricots and other dried fruits (raisins, cherries, cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds or other nuts (pistachios, pine nuts, chopped pecans)
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro, parsley, basil, green onion, frozen peas, sautéed mushrooms or mint for last minute stir-in and garnish (choose one, maybe two…or three)

 For Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
  • ½ cup very finely minced raw onion (grated onion works well, too)
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (maybe a bit more…)
  • 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste

From start to finish: about 30 minutes

  1. In large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  2. Add chopped onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add rice and cook until mostly opaque, about 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in choice of mixed veggies
  5. Add broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. When cooked, remove from heat and let rice stand and steam until needed.
  6. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine chicken, onions, panko, cilantro, curry powder, salt and pepper. Mix with fork until well blended.  Don’t overwork the meat mixture.
  7. Using wet hands (or a small scoop), shape mixture into 1-inch meatballs. (Depending on size, of course, makes about 30-36 meatballs)
  8. Heat a bit of oil in a large frying pan until hot.
  9. Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes, shaking pan as needed.
  10. Cover the pan and steam meatballs over medium heat for an additional 5 minutes.
  11. Now turn your attention back to the rice. Take lid off the pan and gently fluff rice with a fork. Pick out the bay leaves and the optional lemon or orange peel.
  12. Add apricots/dried fruit mixture, toasted almonds/nuts and choice of stir ins to rice (reserve about 1 tablespoon, each, of nuts and green stir-ins). Stir to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients.
  13. Transfer pilaf to a serving platter, top pilaf with hot, browned meatballs, and then sprinkle the reserved 1 T. of  nuts and cilantro, parsley, mint or green onion over the top. Add a serving spoon and . . . .
  14. Dinner is ready! YUM!

curriedmeatballs02

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today 🙂  I hope that you make  and enjoy these and I hope they become a family favorite, as they have in my house!

23 Nov 2010 Cranberry-Blueberry Pie

Looking for a last minute new pie for Thanksgiving?  Here it is, Cranberry-Blueberry Pie. I served it to my Dining For Women group last night–with a scoop of Cinnamon Ice Cream.   There were some Mmmms, some moans and some requests for the recipe.  I’d say that the Cranberry-Blueberry Pie passed the taste test with flying colors!

This recipe is based on one from Epicurious.com.  I read all the comments posted about the recipe and realized I was going to have to change their recipe a bit.  In my recipe the blueberries are cooked only once, not twice.  I also added two chopped Golden Delicious apples to the filling so it had less of a jam consistency/taste and more of a really yummy fruit pie consistency and taste. There’s more spice, more sugar, some freshly squeezed orange juice and grated orange peel in my recipe, too.  I think my version would win the  pie throw down!!

Cranberry Blueberry Pie

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries (if frozen, no need to thaw)
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • finely grated peel of 1 orange
  • 2 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled and chopped
  • 16 ounces frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
  • double recipe of pie pastry (or two Pillsbury pie crusts…)
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Combine cranberries, sugar, spices, salt and orange juice in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until cranberries pop and then thicken, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Boil 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove mixture from heat. Stir in orange peel, chopped apple, and blueberries.  Set mixture aside to cool.  (Can be made up to 3 days ahead.  Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.)

Preheat oven to 400º.

Line a 9 inch pie pan with pastry.  Spoon filling into lined pie pan.  Cover filling with another pie crust. Trim and decorate.  Brush crust with about 1 tablespoon whipping cream and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of sugar.

Bake in preheated 400º oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool pie on rack.  Let pie stand at room temperature until ready to serve.

Have a great Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

03 Nov 2010 Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing

This is one of those recipes where the end product is greater than the sum of its parts.  It’s really tasty!  Who would have thought a little onion, carrot, celery, apple and some dried cranberries baked in a butternut squash would taste so good?   I did!!! (Have I mislead you before?)  This would be great for a fall dinner, all you’d need on the side would be a bit of  roast chicken (see John’s recipe for roast chicken) or maybe a few medallions of (maple glazed…, mmmm) pork tenderloin. When the kids aren’t home, I don’t make anything on the side.  I just enjoy this for dinner (makes enough for two days in a row), in front of the TV, with full and absolute control of the TV remote, and know I am in heaven!

I made this squash today when a friend came over and a light lunch was in order because we had some Maple-Bacon-Pecan Sundaes to taste test after lunch!  I skipped the part about brushing the squash with butter and drizzling butter over the top, and I didn’t miss it.  Feel free to save yourself a a few calories, if you are so inclined (or if  you have Maple-Bacon-Pecan ice cream sundaes to taste test after lunch).  BTW, since I have now mentioned the Maple-Bacon-Pecan Sundaes twice, now THREE times, let me just say bacon just does not belong on ice cream.  Nope.  Not at all.  I found the recipe for the Maple-Bacon-Pecan Sundaes in the November issue of Bon Appetite. I was expecting an amazing taste sensation. Didn’t happen.  I only want to know “Why?” Why print this recipe?  There is absolutely no reason to put bacon on ice cream.  Don’t get me wrong.  I understand, and enjoy, that sweet-salty thing going on right now.  But bacon on ice cream? No.  Just say no.  You probably feel your arteries clogging just reading this post…, time to whip up some Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing.  Veggies.  Tasty.  Good for you.

I found this recipe at My Kitchen Addiction about a year ago, and have been enjoying it ever since.   I hope you have a good time with it, too!

Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing

1 acorn squash
1 tablespoon oil
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup carrot, chopped
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 cup tart apple, unpeeled, diced (Granny Smith is my choice)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup dried cranberries
2 cups stale bread cut into cubes (I use sourdough from Le Boulangrie)
1 tablespoon melted butter
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out and discard the seeds.  Place the squash cut side down in a glass baking dish.  Add about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the dish and microwave on high for 10-15 minutes or until soft. While the squash is in the microwave, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the celery, onion, and carrot and saute until soft, about 5 min.  Add the cider/juice, apple, and brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to the veggies, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in the cranberries and bread cubes, toss to combine and to evenly moisten the bread cubes. Remove the squash from the glass dish, pour out the water, wipe any excess moisture from the baking dish and the squash, and then return the squash to the dish, cut side up. Brush squash halves with some of the melted butter and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon half of the stuffing mixture into each squash half.  Pour any remaining butter over the top. Bake at 375º for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling sets up slightly and is golden on top.  Serve immediately.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today,  I always appreciate your visits!

01 Nov 2010 White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

I love cooking seasonally.  There’s always something to thoroughly enjoy, and always something to look forward to. Now Halloween is behind us, it’s time to think Thanksgiving.  Turkey.  Sweet Potatoes. Cranberries.  Now is not the time to bake Chocolate Chip cookies.  Now is the time to bake  White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies.

This recipe is from the 1999 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication “Christmas Cookies”.  I love that yearly magazine.  I have every edition since 1995.  The first, and only, edition I have been disappointed in? This year’s, 2010.  I found it uninspiring.  I didn’t fold down a single corner and I have no plans to try any of the recipes this year.  What’s up with that?  Pass me another White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies.  I’ll just have to console myself with this cookie until the 2011 edition comes out…

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup old fashioned or 5 minute oats (not instant)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2-3 teaspoons finely grated tangerine or orange peel

1/3 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice, orange juice OR orange juice concentrate

2 tsp vanilla (OR 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon orange extract if you’d like a  stronger orange flavor)

1 cup white chocolate chips (Ghiradelli or Guittard, Nestle is pretty bad)

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat butter and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. In another bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, and zest.  Beat flour-oat mixture into the butter sugar mixture. Stir in juice and extracts and beat until combined. Stir in chips, cranberries and nuts.

Drop dough by heaping teaspoonsful onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 12-14 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned.

Cool one minute on trays and then transfer to wire racks to cool.

Makes approx 3 dozen cookies.

Enjoy!  Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.

Polly

18 Sep 2010 Vegan Chocolate Cranberry Orange Marmalade Cookies

This is a tweaked version of a Veganomicon recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Cookies. I didn’t care for the seeds too much, in the original recipe, and I thought the raspberry flavor wasn’t quite strong enough. It was kind of a “there’s something fruity about this cookie, but I can’t quite figure out what” kind of thing. Besides, chocolate and orange are one of the best flavor combos around, IMHO, and a personal fave, so I subbed orange marmalade for the jam, added chocolate chips, orange extract, orange flavored cranberries AND managed to cut 1/4 cup of sugar from the original recipe. They have a nice orange flavor, tangy cranberries and gooey chocolate that will invariably end up on your eyebrow, jeans and elbow for some reason. Technically, you could make the dough without the chocolate chips and cranberries and add those in a nice symmetrical pattern when you smoosh the cookies flat before you bake them. Not that I’m the type of person that would DO that kind of thing…, no siree, not me. I have a sister who would do that, but I don’t have time for that kind of silliness… Much.

Chocolate Cranberry Orange Marmalade Cookies

½ cup canola oil
½ cup orange marmalade
¾ cup organic sugar
1 tsp orange extract
½ tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup orange flavored dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350, lightly grease cookie sheet or use parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Assemble your dry ingredients and sift directly into the marmalade mixture, stirring with a fork after every ½ a cup or so. Dump in the chocolate chips and cranberries and use your hands to fully combine all the ingredients. The dough may be a little crumbly and that’s okay, just try to get it as pliable as you can.

Roll the dough into walnut-size balls (or use a cookie scoop) and place them on cookie sheet. Flatten them with your hands into 2 ½” discs. They’ll only need to be a ½” apart since they don’t spread out when baking. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Thanks for visiting my little vegan corner of the web today!