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Apple Cake

Apple Cake with Pumpkin Whipped Cream

November 25, 2014

I know I was going with the orange theme, but this is a great dessert to serve for the holidays. The great thing is, it is super simple to make. I kicked it up a notch by serving it with pumpkin whipped cream- yum!!

  • 1/3 cup plus ½ cup cane sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 large Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square pan (any shape will be fine)

Stir together 1/3 cup sugar with apple cider, lemon juice and cornstarch in a small saucepan, then stir in the apples. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and remaining ½ cup sugar in a medium bowl.
Whisk together egg, cider, oil and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture- whisk till combined.
Spoon the batter into baking pan spreading evenly. Then pour apple mixture evenly over batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or till cake is done.

Pumpkin Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree

Whip the cream in a standing mixer till soft peaks form. Add the sugar and pumpkin puree. Whip for another minute and chill for an hour before serving with cake.

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Baby Kale Orange Salad with Cranberry Dressing

Baby Kale Orange Salad with Cranberry Dressing

November 24, 2014

This is a perfect salad to make for the holidays. I have been using baby kale more and more. I added delicious oranges, which are so reminiscent of winter. I also made a delicious dressing with dried cranberries. This recipe makes quite a bit of the dressing- which can be kept in the fridge and reused for other salads…

Cranberry Dressing

  • ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Add the cranberries, red wine vinegar and orange juice into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes or till the cranberries are soft and reconstituted. Add to a blender and blend till smooth. Add the mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend again till the dressing is emulsified. Check for seasonings and refrigerate.

  • 4 cups baby kale
  • 4 to 5 navel oranges, segmented
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Add the baby kale, orange segments and almonds into a salad bowl. Add about 1/3 cup of the dressing and toss. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

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Tamarind Orange Glazed Turkey Breast

Tamarind Glazed Turkey

November 23, 2014

If you are looking for a super flavorful turkey this Thanksgiving- this is the recipe for you. It has a bit of Latin flair to it and it is delicious!!

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Add the broth, orange juice, tamarind concentrate, orange zest, brown sugar, salt and smoked paprika to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes till it is reduced to 1 cup and thick and syrupy.

Compound Butter

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of 2 navel oranges
  • Pepper

Mix the butter, salt, garlic, zest and pepper in a small bowl until everything is incorporated well.

  • 2 to 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 5 to 6 pounds turkey breasts
  • 12 carrots
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the carrots at the bottom of a roasting pan. Add the chicken stock and place the rack into the pan. Place the turkey on to the rack. Salt and pepper the cavity and stuff with leftover oranges. Spread the compound butter under the skin, spreading it well all over. Salt and pepper the outside generously and spread the glaze all over the bird. Roast till the temperature inside the bird reaches 165 degrees F. Take out and place onto the cutting board and cover with foil. Take the carrots out and pour the juices into a measuring cup. Skim the fat off the top and pour the liquid to the prepared gravy. Taste for seasonings. Slice the turkey and serve with hot gravy.

Make Ahead Gravy

  • 4 cups homemade or store bought turkey stock
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper

In a large frying pan, heat the butter and add the shallot and garlic. Saute for a minute over medium heat. Add the flour and turn the heat to medium high heat, stirring constantly. Cook the flour for at least 10 minutes or till it turns chocolate brown. Slowly add the stock, whisking vigorously at the same time. Bring to a boil and check for seasonings. Add salt and pepper accordingly. Once the turkey is done, add the drippings to the gravy and reheat.

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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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