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Cranberry Salsa

Cranberry & Pineapple Salsa

November 19, 2014

You can’t have a Latin style Thanksgiving dinner without a cranberry salsa- right? Well as I was thinking of all the different flavors I could add to a cranberry sauce- I somehow decided to pair the red berries with pineapple. I of course cooked it all in yummy pineapple juice and added the usual suspects- smoked paprika, cilantro and green onions. You can make this a week before and freeze. I would freeze it after the cranberries and pineapple are cooked. Add the fresh cilantro and green onions the day of the feast once the salsa is thawed.

The sweet and tangy sauce was absolutely delicious with the chipotle turkey, scalloped potatoes, chorizo stuffing and of course chorizo brussels sprouts.

  • 16 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1½ cups pineapple juice
  • ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 1½ cups fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped

Add the cranberries, pineapple juice to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar, fresh pineapple, salt and paprika. Cook on low heat for ten minutes until the sauce is thick. Check for seasonings and let cool. Can be frozen at this point for up to a week. Add the cilantro and green onions right before serving.

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Cornbread and Chorizo Stuffing

Cornbread & Chorizo Stuffing

November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving is not complete without a yummy stuffing. We never make the stuffing from the box- we like the one from scratch. The good thing about homemade stuffing is that you can make it in advance. This could be put together a couple of days before the big dinner and refrigerated or frozen.

You guessed right- this recipe has all the Latin flavors as well. There is the smoked paprika and orange zest – similar flavors to the turkey and the gravy. It also has chorizo- anything with chorizo is delicious! The leeks and the celery provide a nice crunch and the cranberries bring a delicious sweetness to the dish. This stuffing complemented the turkey and the rest of dishes beautifully!

  • 1 loaf cornbread, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the cornbread into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups). Place the cubes onto a lined baking sheet and toss with oil, thyme and paprika. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly toasted. Keep aside.

  • 1 pound fresh chorizo, casings off
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 leeks, sliced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • Zest of two oranges
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken broth

Saute the chorizo in large frying pan on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Take the chorizo out using a slotted spoon. Add the butter, celery, onion and leeks. Saute on medium low heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Add the cranberries, orange zest, paprika and thyme, cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Mix well and add the toasted corn bread and cooked chorizo. Mix well and check for seasonings. Turn the heat off and transfer everything to a large bowl. Add the beaten egg and chicken broth 1 cup to start with. Toss all together and bake in a buttered dish covered with buttered foil for 40 to 50 minutes. Add more chicken stock if reheating or as needed.

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Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo

Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo

November 17, 2014

I have to eat brussels sprouts on Thanksgiving- it is a must. I like them best roasted till they are nutty and yummy. This particular one of course has Latin flavors- chorizo to be specific. I like the Mexican style chorizo, which is the fresh and uncooked variety. I love the yummy garlic and paprika flavor of this sausage. It enhances any dish to a new level. I have been making brussels sprouts with walnuts and a cream sauce. This one is a bit different- it includes pecans and the delicious sausage. It is a very simple dish to put together and all the prep work, including cutting the brussels sprouts, shallots and pecans. You can do it the day before and put the dish together in the morning. It can be reheated right before you sit down to eat. Enjoy!!

  • 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle the olive and sprinkle the salt and pepper. Mix well and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Squeeze the garlic out and keep aside.

  • 4 ounces fresh chorizo, casing removed and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced
  • ½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Add the chorizo and olive oil into a large frying pan. Saute for 2 minutes and add sliced shallots. Saute until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the roasted garlic and sprouts. Add the pecans and vinegar. Add salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

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Banana Pumpkin Chocolate bread

Pumpkin Banana Bread

November 12, 2014

This is a yummy combination of banana and pumpkin bread. Make this for the holidays- really good!

  • 3 small or 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 ½ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9X5 loaf pan.

In an electric mixer, add the butter, honey and sugar. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes and add the eggs one at a time, beating in between. Add the mashed eggs, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Beat for a minute. On the side, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice and cinnamon to a medium bowl. Whisk well and gradually add to the egg mixture while beating slowly. Beat for a minute or two. Add the dark chocolate and mix with a spatula and transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Let cool and serve.

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Apple Orange Cranberry Sauce

Apple Orange Cranberry Sauce

November 11, 2014

If you listen to any thing I say, please- please don’t buy the already made cranberry sauce. It is so simple to make and the homemade version is extremely delicious.

Every year I buy fresh cranberries and every year while I cook them, I think why people buy the canned or the bottled version. It is one of the simplest things to make in the Thanksgiving dinner.

I have made all sorts in the past few years- including a cranberry relish, salsa. This year I wanted to come up with something on my own and not follow a recipe.

Since I have been on an apple and orange kick- that are the flavors I used. I cooked a bag of fresh cranberries with apple cider and orange juice. I added orange zest, a cinnamon stick and some cloves. I cooked the berries till they popped and became soft- it takes all of 20 minutes and you can make this in advance and freeze it till the dinner. I finished it off with maple syrup. The apple chunks in the sauce are delicious and adds great texture.

It was delicious. We had it on top of some pork chops (I have frozen the rest for Thanksgiving). Please make this instead of buying the canned version and if you do – let me know.

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1½ cups apple cider
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 1 large honey crisp apple, cut into ½ inch pieces

In a medium saucepan, add the cranberries, apple cider, orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon stick and the cloves. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes or till the berries begin to break down. Add the maple syrup and cook on medium high or till the sauce begins to thicken and the berries have disintegrated. Add the cut up apple and cook for another 5 minutes. Let cool. This can be frozen till the day before Thanksgiving. Thaw it in the fridge. Good for 6-8 people.

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Roasted Butternut Squash

Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Syrup

November 10, 2014

Sometimes simple is the way to go- actually that is my way when it comes to entertaining for any event- even when it is a casual dinner party.

When it comes to holiday entertaining I try to make things simple for myself and look for recipes that I can make in advance or at least prep in advance.

For Thanksgiving there is a lot to think about and so I make sure not every dish is complicated and time consuming.

This is one of the side dishes that is delicious yet very simple to make. All I did was to cut up a butternut squash, drizzle it with olive oil and good maple syrup- thats it. 40 minutes in the oven and I had a fabulous side dish. It is delicious with the sweet maple syrup and a bit of savory salt.

You can buy already cut up butternut squash to make things easier for yourself. Prep it in advance- the morning of and even roast it. You can reheat it right before the big feast is served… easy and yummy- that is the way to go.
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Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp- Easy Fall Dessert

November 9, 2014

I am in the holiday/fall mood and all I want to do is cook with all the ingredients that remind me of cold weather. Apples is one of those ingredients that makes me think of  cosy evenings in my house with a cup of hot apple cider or eating a delicious hot apple crisp with some ice cream.

I made this last weekend for a dinner at a friend’s house. I used my favorite apples- honey crisp but any kind of apples can be used-whatever you like.

I used a very typical crisp topping including flour- I used my usual white whole wheat flour and oats. I paired it with walnuts and cinnamon- and butter, of course. You can’t really go wrong with any of these ingredients.

The apples are mixed with orange and lemon zests giving the filling a wonderful citrusy, fresh taste. Everyone enjoyed the dessert. I served it with pumpkin gelato- which I made a few days ago. It came out really well- if I do say so myself.

The whole combination was a very successful one. This is another great idea for Thanksgiving. I will post the gelato recipe soon.

  • 2 pounds variety of apples (about 4 – 5 medium), cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Zest and juice of one orange
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves

Mix all the ingredients in a medium sized baking dish. An 8 X 8 square or an oval shaped will be fine.

Topping

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup toasted oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a mixer, add the flour, sugars, and butter. Using the paddle attachment, incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks mealy or crumbly. Stir in the oats and nuts.
Distribute the topping over the apples. Bake for an hour, or until the topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Cool slightly and serve warm.

Apple Crisp 1

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