Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pear and Ginger Cocktail

Ginger is the flavor of the moment in our kitchen. It started with a new flavor of yogurt the hubby found at the grocery store recently: honey and ginger. Who would have thought that ginger would work so well in yogurt? I think what it comes down to is getting the right balance of sweetness to counter the characteristic spiciness of the ginger. A technique that I tried and, thankfully, worked well for this cocktail.  

Pear and Ginger Cocktail
Serves 3 to 4

4 ripe pears, cored and sliced
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp agave
1 24oz bottle of ginger ale

Add the pear slices and water to a blender and puree. Strain into a pitcher, trying to filter as much of the liquid as possible. Stir in the agave and fill up with ginger ale. Serve as is for a non-alcohlic drink, or add 1 oz of white rum and 1/2 oz ginger liqueur per serving for a sweet and spicy cocktail.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Chicken and Date Meatballs with Balsamic Glaze

Holiday recipes for me have to be simple, quick and, of course, tasty. This recipe encompasses all of that plus it is baked, making it lighter in calories. 

Chicken and Date Meatballs
Makes about 20

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 fresh sage leaves
2 lbs ground chicken breast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
10 dates, chopped

Balsamic glaze:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey

1. Add the vegetable oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, pepper, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and sage leaves, until the onion and pepper have softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, and remove and discard the bay leaf, thyme sprigs and sage leaves. Set the mixture aside to cool.
2. Add the cooled onion and pepper mixture to the ground chicken, in a large  bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly.
3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Scoop up about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and form into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Continue this process until all of the chicken mixture has been used up.
4. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 30 minutes.
5. To make the balsamic glaze: Add the ingredients to a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour this glaze over the meatballs before serving.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Butternut Squash Creme Brulee

Last weekend, I revisited one of my most decadent recipes, one that makes good use of butternut squash. This is my butternut squash creme brulee. Find the original recipe here.