Monday, November 29, 2010

Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Herbed Candied Walnuts

Look, there's cranberry sauce, and then there's "holy shit, this is the best f'ing cranberry sauce I've ever had, don't look at me like that, what, everyone uses a shovel to eat cranberry sauce."

I'll be honest, the only reason I wanted to try this cranberry sauce is because 1) I was in charge or cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and 2) my herb garden is still cranking out rosemary, sage and thyme like no ones business and I really wanted to say that I had used ingredients from my own garden all the way into Thanksgiving.
I saw the recipe in the November issue of Bon Apetit magazine and thought I'd give it a whirl. What I can say now, with certainty is this recipe will be a staple at every Thanksgiving that I have my hand in going forward. Sorry I didn't post it before the actual Thanksgivign holiday so you could have tried it too, but that's the breaks, save it for next year.
Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Herbed Candied Walnuts  
Bon Apetit Magazine
November 2010 


  • 1 pound fresh cranberries or frozen, thawed
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Herbed Candied Walnuts

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

    If you can roast other fruit, why not cranberries? High-heat cooking intensifies flavors, no matter what you put in the oven. And in the end, you get soft and caramelized berries.



  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix first 7 ingredients on heavy rimmed baking sheet. Roast until edges begin to bubble, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven; maintain oven temperature. Bring wine mixture to boil in small saucepan. Stir into cranberry mixture. Roast until juices bubble and cranberries shrivel, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Transfer to medium bowl; cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Herbed Candied Walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Stir sugar and wine in small saucepan over medium heat until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Stir in walnuts and herbs. Transfer mixture to sheet, spreading out and separating nuts. Roast until nuts are brown, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool. Break up any clumps of nuts. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature. Add nuts to cranberry mixture. 

 Rating = So Damn Good

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cranberry Apple Butter

Cranberry Apple Butter

Similar to last year, I have canned my face off this summer and fall, and I'm not done yet, I've still got a few recipes that I want to crank out before my craft fair in December. I made this recipe twice this fall, once with Hallie at her house, on an electric stove, and once at my house on my gas stove. I cannot stress enough that this recipe is a bitch to make on an electric stove top. I can't explain the physics behind it all, but if you make it on an electric range you will be cleaning hot apple butter off your ceiling, and most likely be covered in splatter burns all over your arms, ask Hallie if you don't  believe me. I had no issues making this recipe on my gas stove last weekend. I can't explain it. 

This butter is smooth and fresh and tart and rich all at the same time. Very good, especially on a piece of hot toast.

This recipe comes from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which my copy I am glad to say is finally showing its battle scars, with dog eared pages, drips, spears and notes written all over it. I love this book.

This makes lovely little hostess gifts, or teacher gifts, or just gifts to have around the house for when someone comes over and gives you a gift that you weren't expecting and you're like, shit, I didn't get a gift for this person, TaDa, instant gift and awkward moment averted

Cranberry Apple Butter
Makes nine 8-oz jars (I actually got ten jars from my second batch)

6 pounds apples, cored, peeled and chopped
8 cups cranberry juice cocktail
4 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

1. In a large stainless steel saucepan , combine apples and cranberry juice cocktail. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 15 minutes.

2. Working in batches, transfer apple mixture to a food mill or food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquify.

3. In a clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine apple puree, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon. (This took at least two hours at Hallie's on the electric range, and one hour at my house on a gas range. Again, I can't explain).

4. Meanwhile, prepare canner jars and lids.

5. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if necessary by adding hot butter. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.

6. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Rating = Damn Good

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Whole Wheat Pasta with Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts

So, I'm back in the saddle again, so to speak. Home without an extended business trip until next year. YIPEE. I can't even tell you how happy that makes me. In the six weeks between October and today I took eight flights, spent 16 nights in 6 different hotel rooms, racked up countless miles in my car, ate out approximately 56 meals out. Blah. Blah. Blah. Cry me a river, I know.

So, the first thing I wanted to do was grocery shop, the house just didn't have the staple foods that I always have on hand. So, armed with my coupon book and store flyers I planned out my shopping trip to maximize my dollar, with Chris starting his own architectural practice, we've been uber cautious about spending money. I've always felt that we were super savvy spenders, but now I'm going way back to my childhood days to pull out the "welfare Julie tips and tricks for stretching a buck". Now, before you get all high and mighty on me because you know someone on welfare and I've just offended them tangentially through you, shut it, because growing up we actually were on welfare for a time so don't give me any crap; and just like my Nana who grew up in the depression, some things just stick with you and put an indelible impression on you and the way you live, being poor will do that to you. The poor kid in school always knows that he or she is the poor kid, believe me.

The Healthy Harvest past was $1.59, I had a dollar off coupon for the Healthy Harvest whole wheat pasta, and I had a double your dollar coupon, so Shaw's actually had to pay me .41 cents to buy the pasta. I love it when that happens (which isn't very often, believe me) and I had made the pesto over the summer with basil from my garden, so that was virtually free because I made it and froze it so long ago, the goat cheese was left over from a party, and we always just have nuts on hand. Super Simple, Super Economical.

Just boil pasta according to directions, and when the pasta is done, reserve a cup of the pasta water, drain and add ready made pesto to the hot pasta, add the pasta water, and crumble as much goat cheese as you would like into it and top with toasted pine nuts. Wicked Fast Dinner.

Rating = Good

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Pumpkin Hummus

Silly me to think that things would slow down in November. Silly silly me. I'm not sure where I got that cock-a-mame idea, but boy was I dead wrong. Bright side people, its winter squash and root vegetable time. I love this time of year, mostly due to the fact that not only is orange my favorite color, I'll eat just about anything that is orange, including bags of candy corn at a single sitting. I'll eat them until my teeth ache - that's usually the sign to stop. I've got a few more business trips this month, but nothing like last month thank Jebus, where I spent 14 of 31 nights in a hotel room - meaning 16 days on the road eating road food. I came away with only putting on 3 pounds which I am going to take as a minor victory, it could have been worse, much worse. 

So, need an idea for healthy snacking, try this recipe from Cooking Light, its great with carrots, celery and pita crisps as dippers, and it's orange. Whip some up for your Thanksgiving appetizer hour, or as I like to call it, "someone better open up that friggin wine before I lose my shit" hour. Ah, the holidays, aren't they swell.

Pumpkin Hummus | WW 2pt
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon pumpkinseed kernels, toasted (optional)  

Place tahini and next 7 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor, and process until smooth. Add parsley; pulse until blended. Spoon hummus into a serving bowl; sprinkle with pumpkinseed kernels, if desired. Serve with pita wedges.

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: about 3 tablespoons hummus and about 3 pita wedges)

CALORIES 117(20% from fat); FAT 2.6g (sat 0.4g,mono 1g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 3.7g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 43mg; SODIUM 330mg; FIBER 2.1g; IRON 1.6mg;
Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2005