January 11, 2010

My Favorite Holiday Recipe: Wassail

Grandma Jergensen's Wassail (slightly modified)

Simmer for 30 to 90 minutes (the longer, the stronger the flavor):
8 cups water
2-3 cups sugar
8 cinnamon sticks
8 allspice berries
24 whole cloves
4 teaspoons fresh ginger root, chopped

Remove the spices, and add:
4 cups lemon juice
6 cups orange juice
1 gallon apple juice or cider

Heat until warm.

I like to let this simmer on my stove all day every day throughout the holiday season because it smells so good. Then anyone who stops by can have some. Also, I've added some cranberry juice with good results . Apologies to Grandma Jergensen who used 4 cups of sugar.

January 08, 2010

salmon with brie and raspberry sauce

i had this at a fancy restaurant when i was on a choir tour in high school. once i got married, i searched and searched online until i found a comparable recipe. this has become a new year's day tradition for us. plus, it's super fast and easy to make!

*place 4 oz salmon in 1 C lemon water. cook 10 minutes @ 450 degrees.
*place 2 oz brie on top and melt

...in the meanwhile...

puree 1 pint (or less depending on how many people you're feeding) raspberries and strain seeds. add sugar to taste. warm over medium heat and thicken with cornstarch/water mixture. once it's thickened to desired consistency, drizzle over the top of the brie and serve. yum!

parsnip fries

i discovered parsnips about two years ago and absolutely love their unique flavor! this recipe comes from everyday food magazine...but i added the honey part.

2 1/2 pounds medium parsnips
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
honey to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel 2 1/2 pounds medium parsnips; cut as directed above.
On two large rimmed baking sheets, toss parsnips with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Spread in a single layer.

Roast until tender and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating baking sheets and tossing parsnips halfway through baking time.

toss with some honey and serve.

authentic french onion soup

this is a recipe from "the food of france" cookbook my father got me while he was in paris on business. the book is sparse on details, so it's taken me a couple years to tweak this until it was finally just right this year. i personally don't love onions, but i LOVE this soup!

3 T butter
1 1/2 lbs onions, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 C flour
8 C beef stock
1 C white wine (or a water/white wine vinegar substitute)
1-2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs (or dried equivalent)
stale baguette, sliced (or broiled to dry out)
4 oz gruyere, finely grated

cook a roast in the crock pot. i added some garlic powder and a tad bit of water and salt and pepper. (i had the roast sliced at the deli to make french dip sandwiches with the meat.) when the recipe calls for adding the stock. i did half crock pot drippings with half canned beef stock.

melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the onions. cook over low heat, stirring occaisionally, for 25 minutes, or until the onions are a deep golden brown and begin to carmelize.

add the garlic and flour and stir continuously for 2 minutes. gradually blend in the stock and the wine, stirring all the time, and bring to a boil. add the bay leaf and thyme and season. cover and simmer for 25 minutes. remove the bay leaf and thyme and check seasoning. preheat the boiler.

toast the baguette slices, then divide among six warmed soup bowls and ladle soup over the top. sprinkle with the grated cheese and broil until the cheese melts and turns a light golden brown. serve immediately.