I was *supposed* to eat salad today in preparation of the ALL-DAY-EATING-FEST that tomorrow will end up being.
I learned how to make my own Bailey’s.
Believe me: it sooooooooo rocks. Seriously seriously rocks. And you should make it and drink it too. NOW!
Then I went and made CHESTNUT PUREE. Why? Because I smoke crack.
Can you imagine me if I took an ENTIRE WEEK OFF instead of a single day? I’d freakin’ explode.
Alright, alright – back on topic. Dinner.
Since it’s NYE and all, and C finished his rotations early in the day, I thought I’d make a celebratory dinner.
Plus, I thought we’d eat in fancy-shmancy stages.
Stage ONE: South African Peppadew Peppers stuffed with Stilton.
Stage THREE: London Broil with Creamy Horseradish, Baked Potato and Sautéed mushrooms with Fresh Spinach.
Sweetened Chestnut Puree adapted from Rebecca Franklin‘s recipe on About.com
GLUTEN FREE; DAIRY FREE
40 unpeeled chestnuts
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1- Whack the chestnuts in half. Boil them for 20 minutes. Peel them by using a sharp knife to pry the flesh of the nuts outta the shells. Puree them in your food processor or with an immersion blender, or you know, whatever you have on hand.
2- Melt the sugar in the 2 tablespoons of water. The sugar syrup is done when the water boils and the sugar has completely dissolved.
3- Add the chestnut puree to the sugar syrup and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
VOILA! You’ve made a jar of sweet sweet joy! Go forth and fill your roulades and crepes, top your vanilla ice cream, or randomly eat by the spoonful!
Homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream by Jessica at How Sweet It Is
5 ounces high-quality Chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups Irish Whiskey **I mistakenly used SCOTCH Whiskey instead of Irish. *sigh*
1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 (12-ounce) can Evaporated Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 cups Heavy Cream
1/4 teaspoon Instant Coffee **My version needed a bit more of a coffee kick, so I added in a scant 1/4 teaspoon more of the insta-caffeine.
**I’m not sure if it was because of my mistakenly using SCOTCH instead of IRISH WHISKEY, or if it’s just my taste buds, but I thought the whisky was overpowering. I needed to add more milk to the recipe – I added in whole milk 1/4 cup at a time until it tasted ‘right’. I ended up needing an additional 1/2 cup of milk.
1- Melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring until totally smooth. Add to a large bowl and whisk in a few tablespoons of whiskey, stirring until combined. It may separate a bit, which is fine. Whisk in the condensed and evaporated milks until smooth and creamy, then whisk in the remaining whiskey, instant coffee and cream. The instant coffee and chocolate may not totally disolve at first, but it will as it sits. **This is where I added in the additional milk and instant coffee.
2- Pour mixture in a large pitcher, bottle or a few separate jars and refrigerate. This is best after it sits for a few days, but if you need to partake immediately – who cares?? Just make sure to shake and stir the mixture every few hours (or even once/twice a day) so everything dissolves and meshes together.
3- TRY NOT TO BRAG TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT YOUR NEW FOUND SKILL. Otherwise they’ll all ask you to ship them some and you’ll be forced to be rude and tell them NO because you drank.it.all. AAAAALLL. *wink*
Stilton Stuffed Peppadews by Me
1 teaspoon of Stilton (or other strong cheese)/pepper
1- Buy ingredients. Drain peppers well. Scoop little piles of stinky cheese into the cavity of the pepper.
2- Try not to swoon as you enjoy the little bites of joy in your mouth.
Roasted Persimmons and Chestnuts in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce served over a Burrata adapted from the Good Food podcast
3 REALLY ripe Persimmons, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 lb. Chestnuts, cut into half, boiled for 10 minutes and then peeled **By peeled, I mean I used a sharp knife to scoop the flesh outta the shells and leave the membranes behind.
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small bunch Sage
1 fresh Burrata
1- Roast the Persimmon chunks at 425º for 20 minutes, until everything is all caramelized and yummy smelling. Set aside.
2- Brown the butter and then add the sage. Add in the chestnuts and let everything get all lovely and crispy and then add in the persimmon bits.
3- Put the burrata on a pretty plate. Slide the pan full of warm persimmons, chestnuts and buttered sage over the cold Burrata and serve that plate full of joy to awaiting husbands (or random guests. They’ll like it too!)
Sauteed Mushrooms with Fresh Spinach by Me
1 package fresh Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
4 Tablespoons Margarine (or butter)
1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1/2 a container of fresh Spinach *I used the plastic clam shell kind, but feel free to use whatever you have. If you’re using frozen, thaw and squeeze out all the extra moisture.
salt and pepper to taste
1- Lay sliced mushrooms out in your largest skillet, don’t crowd the pan. Put the skillet over a medium heat and don’t move them or shake the pan until the mushrooms release all their water.
2- When you see the mushrooms’ water release add in the margarine, thyme and garlic. Stir all the stuff around and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let everything steep for awhile (4-6 minutes).
3- 4 minutes before you serve this, add in the fresh spinach and toss. The heat will cook the spinach über quick. Season with salt and pepper just before serving.
Baked Potato adapted from my Mother-in-Law
1- Oven/toaster oven at 450º.
2- Scrub the potatoes and stab a few times with a sharp knife. Put the potatoes on a plate and put them in the microwave. Hit the BAKED POTATO button on the microwave – mine uses full power for 5 minutes. I pulled the potatoes out at 3 minutes (if your microwave doesn’t have one, bake it on hi for 3 1/2 minutes).
3- Put your potatoes in the oven/toaster over for 30-40 minutes to finish baking (this method shaves 1/2 the baking time or simply roasting in the oven *clapping*).
London Broil with Creamy Horseradish by Ricky Lauren
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Red Wine
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Honey
Salt and freshly Ground Pepper to taste
2 to 2 1/2 pounds Flank Steak or Top Round **I used a cut marked London Broil for this recipe
1/4 cup prepared Horseradish
1/2 cup Sour Cream **I used the Tofutti brand non-dairy sour cream
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Red Wine
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1- Mix together all the ingredients except the meat. Place the meat in a shallow dish and cover with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but no more than 24 hours.
2- Remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before cooking.
3- Preheat a grill to high, oil the grate, and set it 5 to 6 inches above the coals (Alternatively, preheat the broiler to high and set a rack 5 to 6 inches below the heat source). **I used the broiler.
4- Remove the meat from the marinade (discard the marinade) and pat it dry with paper towels.
5- Grill (or broil on a broiler pan) on each side for 6 minutes for rare or 7 to 9 minutes for medium-rare.
6- Transfer to a carving board and let stand for 8 to 10 minutes. Slice the meat at a 45-degree angle across the grain and serve with the horseradish sauce.
CREAMY HORSERADISH SAUCE
1- Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
2- Put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Serve in a ramekin beside the meat.**This recipe made waaaaay more than a single ramekin. I’ve got a big-assed tub in the fridge still. Which is a good thing – because I plan on serving this on EVERYTHING!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!
*kisses and hugs*