Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Making cranberry sauce from scratch is almost as easy as opening a can. The result tastes so much better than anything you find in a can. If you are having turkey for Thanksgiving, you have to have cranberry sauce as well. The two just go together. I like to make the cranberry sauce a day or two before serving. That gives the flavors time to develop.

My family are not crazy about cranberry sauce, so we always have leftovers. I never know what to do with them. What are your favorite ways to use leftover cranberry sauce?

Cranberry Sauce

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

1 12-ounce bag of fresh (or frozen) cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 – 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt

Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool completely before refrigerating. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce


Collards and Goat Cheese Hand Pies

Collards and Goat Cheese Hand Pies

Don’t you just love hand pies? They are fun. And tasty. And portable. Stuffed with a savory filling, they are great for the lunch box or for breakfast on the go.

Get creative with the filling. Different greens (like kale) and cheeses lend way to a wide range of possibilities. I considered adding drained black-eyed peas to the filling. It is something I will definitely try in the future.

Collards and Goat Cheese Hand Pies

Collards and Goat Cheese Hand Pies

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup fat (use butter or shortening or a combination of both)
ice water

1 large bunch collard greens, washed, ribs removed, and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt
pepper
crushed red pepper
goat cheese

1 egg, beaten

Make the crust first. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and black pepper. Cut the butter and/or shortening into the dry mixture with a fork or pastry blender. Add the ice cold water one tablespoon at a time until dough comes together (5 tablespoons seems to be just about right most of the time). Divide the dough into two halves and flatten slightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer while you prepare the collards.

Preheat the oven to 375º F.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring, until they start to brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the chopped collards and 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cook until the collards are wilted and somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Let the mixture cool slightly.

Remove the dough from the freezer. Divide it into 10 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, shape it into a ball and then roll out into an approximately 6-inch circle on a floured surface. They don’t have to be perfect, you can trim them later. Place 1/10 of the collards mixture on the bottom half of the circle. Crumble a tablespoon or so of goat cheese on top of the collards filling.

Filling hand pies

Fold down the top portion of the dough over the filling and crimp with a fork. Trim the edges with a knife. Place the hand pie on the baking sheet. Cut a couple of small slits on the top of the hand pie (or pierce a couple of times with a fork). Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

unbaked

Brush  each hand pie with the beaten egg. Bake at 375º for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Baked

 

 


Creamed Collards

Creamed Collards

This simple, yet rich side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving.

By using half and half instead of heavy cream, you can save over 500 calories from going into this recipe. The end result is still creamy and indulgent. You will not miss all those extra calories and fat.

Creamed Collards

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 large bunch collards, washed, ribs removed, and chopped
1 cup half and half
salt and pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until they start to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the chopped collards and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the half and half and reduce the heat to medium-low. Season with salt and pepper and then simmer, stirring often, until the collards are tender and the liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes.


Bamia (Okra with Tomatoes and Chickpeas)

Bamia

This is a quick and flavorful vegetarian/vegan meal. It is a favorite of ours. It tastes even better the next day. Serve it with Basmati rice.

Bamia (Okra with Tomatoes and Chickpeas)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15.5 ounce cans chickpeas, drained
1 pound frozen whole okra (or fresh), ends trimmed
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup vegetable broth
salt and black pepper, to taste
fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, okra, tomatoes, cumin, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce the temperature to medium-low. Cook until the okra is soft, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with warm rice (I like Basmati) and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.