Category Archives: thanksgiving

Roasted Chestnuts Braised in Red Wine

IMG_6683Chestnuts are one of my favorite treats. They’re filling, ever so slightly sweet, and taste just great. I love them in many ways including simply roasted till they crack open, or braised in red wine.

During the holidays, when chestnuts are in season, I buy them once a week. I most often cut a slit in each and roast them in a dry skillet on the stove and eat them as is.

My French grandmother used to braised them in red wine with herbs to serve as a side dish during Christmas, when we traditionally had our turkey dinner. She often would add turkey stock, but you can most certainly use vegetable or mushroom stock instead for vegetarian versions of this delicious creamy yet chunky gravy.

This is perfect as a filler for vegetarian meals. It’s also a delicious complement to all sorts of meat or poultry  dishes, if that is what you love. Serve it during your Thanksgiving dinner, or any holiday. I have no doubt you will enjoy it.

ROASTED CHESTNUTS BRAISED IN RED WINE

You’ll notice that as the chestnuts cook down in the liquid, they will break down to create a thick sauce. A perfect gravy consistency, though deliciously chunky.

(serves 8 to 12)

2 cups red wine
3 cups water, vegetable, mushroom, chicken or turkey stock
1 pound chestnuts, roasted and peeled
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot over medium heat, add the wine and water or stock, chestnuts, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Braised until the chestnuts break down and the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes or longer depending on the desired consistency. (Do not process in a food processor.)

 

Holiday Apple Pear Cranberry Crisp

I-46-Apple Cranberry Pecan CrispI see cranberries and I automatically think, “holiday.” I love their vibrant red color and tart flavor. And aside from my favorite cardamom-ginger infused cranberry sauce (a must during Thanksgiving), I love it when cranberries bleed into the fruit I mix them with.

I love crisp anytime of the year, using all sorts of seasonal fruit. During the fall and winter, I have a soft spot for apples and pears, my favorite for baking being Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples, and Bosc pears.

This concoction of apples, pears and cranberries results in a dessert that is not too sweet, not too tart, but just right and absolutely delicious. This crisp is also loaded with walnuts to round out the flavors and add a nice crunch in every bite.

Have a pleasantly sweet and tart Thanksgiving!

 

ROLLED OATS  AND WALNUT CRISP TOPPING

(serves 12)

3 cups rolled oats (thick if you like extra crunch)
1 heaping tablespoon raw sugar
1 heaping tablespoon flaxseed meal (optional)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup crushed raw or plain roasted walnuts (or any nut you want)
1 stick salted butter, melted

In a bowl, toss together the rolled oats, flaxseed meal, flour, sugar, and walnuts. Add the melted butter and mix well. Set aside

APPLE PEAR CRANBERRY MIX

Have enough fruit to fill a 9″ x 12″ baking dish to the top and then some!

(serves 12)

6 to 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
6 to 8 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons raw sugar
8 fresh sage leaves, julienned (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, toss together the apples, pears, cranberries, sugar and sage (if using). Transfer to a baking dish and top with “rolled oats and walnut crispy topping”. Bake until golden and the fruit are softened, about 45 minutes. (you may need to cover with aluminum foil, if topping gets too dark before the fruit is cooked through and softened.)