Christmas Cooking Capers

I went home to DC this Christmas (like always), I enjoyed spending time with family and Nessie poo, and I very much enjoyed having a nice big kitchen full of gadgets and farm market fresh fruits and vegetables (I miss this a lot), and spare time, to cook.  Some tasty treats that were enjoyed this Christmas.

Eggnog Vernor’s Float:

Talenti Eggnog Gelato (I got a little excited about seasonal flavors and bought this, turns out I don’t like eggnog, go figure as I do not like milk at all, and am not super fond of egg).

Vernor’s ginger ale (the best)

Scoop some gelato into a tall cup, pour some Vernor’s over it.

Sit back, relax, and celebrate Jesus’ birthday right.

Eggnog Talenti on its own YUCK! Eggnog with Vernor’s… who knew this would be so good.  Spicy creamy gingerale with creamy slightly boozy iceream= winner.

Scallop Stuffed Flounder:

I made this for my parent’s traditional Christmas eve feast, that my sister’s and I throw together every year.  First time I ever cooked flounder and it was goo-ood.

1 large Flounder Filet

2 tbsp butter (plus more melted for brushing the fish and the pan)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup onion, chopped small

1 stalk celery diced

Dash of dried thyme, marjoram, sage, and parsley

10 medium sized scallops, cut into small pieces.

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp white wine

1 1/2 pieces of bread (rye and sourdough), broken into pieces

salt and pepper, to taste

Old Bay

Preheat oven to 300F.

Butter a casserole pan.  Place flounder on pan and set aside.

Melt the 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet.

Add onion and garlic and saute for ~3 min.  Add celery and herbs, saute until soft.

Add in scallops and cook just until opaque.  Remove from heat.

Add the rest of ingredients and mix until combined, let sit for ~10 min so the flavors can meld.

Scoop a generous amount of stuffing onto half of the filet,

fold the filet (widthwise not lengthwise) over the stuffing.

Brush with melted butter, sprinkle generously with Old Bay, and rub the Old Bay into the fish a little.

Bake for 25-30 min, just until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Serve with the rest of the stuffing around the sides.

Shredded Brussel Sprouts:

I found this recipe quite some time ago at wholeliving.com, and figured it was about time to try it.  My sister cooked it up to serve alongside the flounder.  YUMMY!

1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

4 cups Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed

1/2 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 tsp ground mustard

2 tsp dijon mustard

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Coarse salt and ground pepper

Shred the Brussels sprouts with a shredding blade of a food processor.  Heat butter and oil over medium-high heat, in a large skillet.  Add Brussels sprouts and cook, tossing occasionally until tender and beginning to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. With about 3 min left add the ground mustard and pecans.  Remove from heat, stir in dijon mustard, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.

I liked it served with additional dijon mustard.

Chocolate Torte:

A feast is not complete without a decadent dessert, and boy was this flourless chocolate cake, decadent.

This recipe was largely adapted from:

http://jenncuisine.com/2010/04/flourless-chocolate-torte/

4 Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bar

5 eggs, room temp, separated

10 tbsp room temp butter

2 drops lemon juice

2 tbs. granulated sugar + some for coating pan

Preheat to 325F.

Place jelly roll pan filled with water on bottom rack.  Grease a 9” springform pan with butter on the bottom and sides.  Dust the sides of the pan with sugar, it will stick to the butter.

Beat egg yolks until they just start to foam.

In a separate large bowl, add egg whites and 2 drops of lemon juice.  Beat until foamy, then gradually add in the 2 tbs. sugar and beat until they form stiff peaks.

In a double boiler over med-low heat, melt chocolate and butter together.  Stir until completely melted, remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.  Then whisk in egg yolks.

Fold 1/4 of egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold all of the chocolate back into the big bowl of egg whites.  Fold until it just blends together, there will be some white streaks still.

Pour into the springform pan, smooth out with a spatula, and tap to get rid of any big air bubbles, then bake in the oven on middle rack for 40 min.

Take out, cool, then refrigerate at least 5 hours.

Spread a thin layer of Nutella on top,

and serve with warm strawberries and homemade whipped cream, YUM!

Gingerbread Cake:

This is Christmas of cakes (we had 3 in the house) and this is Christmas in a cake.  Warm, sweet, gooey, spicy and delicious.

I found the recipe on Heidi Swanson’s blog, and just had to try it.

My sister was the one who made the cake, and it turned out wonderful.  She actually made it in a bundt pan and we both cheered when it actually came out perfectly.

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/black-sticky-gingerbread-recipe.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+101Cookbooks+%28101+Cookbooks%29

I really thought it was good served with coffee, and homemade whipped cream YUM!

Rhubarb Concoction:

My mom surprised me with some frozen rhubarb, she had saved from summer, since I had trouble finding any good rhubarb in CO.

I wanted to do the rhubarb justice, so I did some research to find an awesome recipe.  I found this rhubarb contest recipe runner up and, man, it’s a real winner.  I dream of this rhubarb, it was soooo goo-oood.

I can only describe it as a crazy concoction of complex flavors which coexist and compliment each other wonderfully.  I did use 1/3 cup of mango cane sugar from hawaii (xmas gift from last year) and granulated sugar instead of plain cane sugar.  I also added ~1 tsp fresh ginger and used ground cardamom instead of cardamom pods.  As well as  navel oranges instead of valencia, and really good Earl Grey tea.  I also didn’t bother to peel the apples (extra fiber!).

http://www.food52.com/recipes/4275_rhubarb_with_earl_grey_tea_cardamom_and_orange_zest

3 cups chopped rhubarb

2 apples chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup mango cane sugar

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp ground cardamom

2 bags good earl grey tea steeped in 3/4 cup boiling water for 3 min

1 tbsp fresh ginger

zest of 2 navel oranges

vanilla icecream

or

plain greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350F

Put rhubarb and apples in medium sized casserole dish.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix with your hands.

Place in the oven uncovered for 15 min,

stir,

cook for another 15 min or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Cool for 5-10 min.

Spoon into a bowl and scoop some icecream on top.

I really really enjoyed this for the breakfast the next day on top of some greek yougurt,

ah man it was awesome.

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About PeanutButterProblem

love cooking, eating, and talking about food. I am a Sports Nutrition graduate student at University of Colorado Colorado Springs. I have a Food Science degree from Clemson University, where I specialized in Dietetics. I am fascinated by the effects of food on our bodies. I make almost everything I eat from scratch, its cheaper, tastier, and healthier. I also try to eat sustainably. I am a vegetarian, because I do not want to eat meat that is chock-full of hormones and pesticides. I have come up with some interesting cooking creations and I created this blog to share them with everyone.
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One Response to Christmas Cooking Capers

  1. JennJenn says:

    Ooooh glad you enjoyed the torte!! I haven’t made it in a while maybe I should again for Valentine’s…. :)

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