Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Bowl Wonder: Quinoa with Veggies

After an indulgent food-filled weekend, I made Quinoa with sauteed veggies and roasted turnip for dinner last night. This ancient grain is easy to cook and has a slightly crunchy, nutty flavor. It makes a great base for any veggie topping.

Add two cups of water, one cup of Quinoa, and a pinch of salt to the pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. I placed another pan over the top to weight it down. I saw my Dad do this and it seemed to work well, so I do it, too.
Add sliced onions and sliced baby carrots to a saute pan. Saute over medium heat until they start to brown.
Add frozen organic peas and corn. Saute for another 5-8 minutes. Add soy sauce, to taste.
Peel and slice 3 white turnips. My neighbor gave me the last few from their garden, which were delicious. Toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until just golden brown. 
Place the Quinoa in a bowl, top with veggies, and roasted turnip. Sprinkle with a little more soy sauce, if needed. Enjoy!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cape Cod Gem: Holidays at Highfield

Highfield Hall is, once again, beautifully decorated for the holiday season. When driving up the hill to Beebe Woods, I'm still in awe as this restored mansion comes into sight. I'll always be grateful to those first Friends of Highfield who saw the potential, and worked tirelessly to make it a reality.

This Falmouth gem continues to be a wonderful addition to to our community by offering a full program of cultural events, a unique setting for special events, and a great opportunity to get involved in the community. I've done several cooking demonstrations over the past few years and working with the talented staff at Highfield has always been a pleasure. This year I volunteered to decorate a tree for the Holidays at Highfield celebration. Spending last Sunday decorating the tree with Janet Totten, Deputy Director, was great fun. Roaming the halls of this lovely old house made for a very special day. It's a beautiful building that sits on a picturesque site. I encourage you to visit as it's the perfect setting to get yourself into the holiday spirit. 

Friday, Saturday & Sunday November 26, 27 & 28
Friday, Saturday & Sunday December 3, 4 & 5

10:00 am - 4:00 pm AND until 7:30 pm on Friday, December 3
Adults $5 (requested donation), children are free

Today they featured a lovely harpist playing holiday music in the ballroom:





Here's a complete listing of the holiday festivities. Take a ride up the hill and enjoy!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sausage Stuffing for Leith and Laura

Many years ago, in an old farm house in the village of Cotuit, I prepared roast chicken with sausage stuffing for two lovely young ladies. They recently requested the recipe to prepare it for their Thanksgiving meal. It warms my heart that this recipe, which I adapted from my great grandmother's stuffing recipe, will now pass to another generation of great cooks.

Sausage Stuffing
(This should make enough for an 18-20 lb turkey)
2 loaves of French country or Italian bread (you can substitute a gluten-free white bread)
1/2 large sweet white onion (diced)
Fresh parsley
2 lbs of high quality pork sausage
Chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 eggs (beaten)

Break the break into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Saute the onion in butter, or vegetable oil, until translucent. Chop parsley (2 tbls). Remove the sausage from the casing, break it apart, and saute with the onions until just browned (3-5 minutes).  Add the onions, parsley, sausage, and walnuts to the bread. I think the nuts are a key ingredient, but understand that some people can't tolerate them. The stuffing will still be very tasty without them. Add the eggs and enough chicken stock to moisten the stuffing. It should be wet, but not dripping. Wash your turkey and stuff the cavity right before roasting. If you have any extra stuffing you can bake it in a small casserole dish, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 10 minutes to brown the top.

Note: It is perfectly fine to cook stuffing inside the turkey. It actually tastes much better that way. Just remember to stuff the turkey right before roasting. You can also prepare your stuffing the day before. Store it in a container until you're ready to stuff and roast the bird.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cape Cod Gem: Pain D'Avignon's Thanksgiving Menu

Pain D'Avignon Bakery in Hyannis is featuring a very nice takeout menu for Thanksgiving. Great option if you don't want to cook, or if you would like to supplement your own holiday meal. To learn a bit more about this wonderful establishment you can read my previous post here. Also I guess I should state that this recommendation, as with all recommendations on my blog, is mine alone. I'm not being compensated by any of the places that I recommend. Just want to pass on these little gems for others to enjoy, too.

Here is a look at their menu:
Complete Thanksgiving Dinner: Serves 8-12 people $299.00
Pain D’Avignon’s Designer Tote Bage
Locally Raised Free Range Turkey (Avg. 14 lbs.), Fully Cooked
12 Cranberry-Pecan Rolls
House-made Giblet Gravy
Choice of Soup:
Pumpkin Bisque
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Choice of 3 Sides:
Butternut Squash Puree
Cranberry-Vanilla Compote
Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry-Pecan Stuffing
Herbed Brioche Stuffing
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
Sweet Potato Puree
Choice of House-made Pie:

A la Carte Thanksgiving Prices:

Locally Raised Free Range Turkey (Avg. 14 lbs.), Fully Cooked $199.00 each
Pumpkin Bisque $11.99 quart
Cream of Mushroom Soup $11.99 quart
House-made Giblet Gravy $8.99 quart
Butternut Squash Puree $8.99 quart
Cranberry-Vanilla Compote $8.99 quart
Mashed Potatoes $8.99 quart
Cranberry-Pecan Stuffing $8.99 quart
Herbed Brioche Stuffing $8.99 quart
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts $8.99 quart
Sweet Potato Puree $8.99 quart
House-made Pie (Apple, Pumpkin, Cranberry-Apple, Pecan) $16.00 ea.

Pain D'Avignon
15 Hinckley Road
Hyannis, MA 02601
Telephone: 508-778-8588
Fax:   508-771-3650
E-mail: cafe@paindavignon.com

Friday, November 5, 2010

A dinner in Paris

A week ago Wednesday I dined with friends at a little restaurant in the 7th arrondissement called Firmin Le Barbier. We walked into their lovely small dining room, which has an open kitchen in the corner, and I had the immediate feeling that it's a place well cared for by a dedicated proprietor. It's neat, clean, beautifully lit, and most inviting.
The evening's menu:

For a starter we chose the pate en croute, which was delicious:

And our friend had the saumon fume served with basil sorbet, which was one of the most interesting and delicious things I've ever tasted:

For dinner I ordered the joue de boeuf, which is so typically French so how could I not? Creamy potatoes, leeks, carrots and boeuf, just perfect!

Our wine selection by French Laurie was the perfect complement to the meal:

And we finished with a seasonal apple crisp and sorbet. Yes, there was more of that wonderful basil sorbet:

It was the perfect French meal to celebrate my last night in Paris with French Laurie:

Merci, mon amie! It was a lovely choice.

Firmin Le Barbier
20 Rue Monttessuy
75007 Paris, France
01 45 51 21 55