Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thanksgiving Feast 2

Tonight's Menu
Roasted chicken breast
Stuffed tomatoes
Roasted spaghetti squash
Grilled asparagus
Orange spiked cranberry sauce
Hot apple cider
Apple cake
Wine pairing: Pinot Noir, Chianti or Zinfandel 

Roast chicken breast with spaghetti squash, stuffed tomatoes, grilled asparagus and cranberry sauce

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night.
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

For flowers that bloom about our feet,
For tender grass, so fresh so sweet,
For song of birds and hum of bees,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanksgiving, an opportunity to give thanks for everything good in our lives, celebrate nature’s bounty, and enjoy a big meal with family and friends. Here's what we had for thanksgiving this year.

Stuffed tomatoes and grilled asparagus

Stuffed Tomatoes
The soft creaminess of ricotta and crispness of Italian breadcrumbs combine to give a unique texture.You get more than just great flavor and juiciness when tomatoes are at their peak of ripeness, you get a huge helping of vitamin A and vitamin C.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
4 medium tomatoes on the vine
salt to taste
4 tbsp of ricotta cheese
cracked black pepper
2 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
olive oil to brush
  1. Cut tomatoes in half. Gently squeeze out the tomato pulp without damaging the shell.
  2. Season the tomato shell with salt and pepper.
  3. In a bowl combine ricotta cheese and some of the tomato pulp along with salt and pepper. Remember the tomatoes are already seasoned. Fill up the tomato shells with this mixture.
  4. In another bowl combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley and pepper, sprinkle evenly over the stuffed tomatoes.
  5. Brush the tomatoes carefully with some olive oil and place them on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  6. Grill on high for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Serve hot.  

Roasted spaghetti squash 
Roasted spaghetti squash
1 medium sized spaghetti squash
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Herb butter (recipe below)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. 
  2. Half and seed squash. Place, cut side down, on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for about 45 min to an hour or until flesh is easily pierced. 
  3. (Alternatively, microwave, flesh side up and covered with plastic wrap, at High for 15 minutes or until easily pierced.) 
  4. Using a fork, gently scrape cooked strands from squash and transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Pour the prepared herb butter over squash, add grated cheese and toss. Serve hot.
Herb Butter 
3 tbsp butter
1-2 large cloves of garlic, minced
Salt to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (sage, basil or thyme)
Freshly grated black pepper
In small saucepan, over medium-low heat melt butter and add garlic and salt. Cook for a few minutes till garlic starts to turn golden. Remove from heat; stir in herbs and pepper.

Roast Chicken breast
4 medium sized chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
3-4 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking dish with foil.
  2. Brush both sides of each chicken breast with olive oil, and sprinkle with the seasonings.
  3. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Turn and lightly brush again and bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork. 
  4. Make a small slit in the thickest part to see if it's done (white and opaque, not pink.). The best way to make sure they are done is to insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part. It should read 165 F.
  5. Adjust your time if the chicken breasts are smaller or larger. 
  6. Transfer the baked chicken breasts to a platter. Loosely cover with foil and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Orange spiked cranberry sauce

Orange spiked cranberry sauce
3 cups fresh cranberries
¾ cup sugar 
½ inch ginger grated 
Zest and juice of 1 orange 
pinch salt 
  1. Put the juice of one orange in a measuring cup and top with water until you have 3/4 cup liquid in total. 
  2. Place sugar and orange - water mixture in a pan. 
  3. Add the cranberries, ginger and salt and bring to boil. 
  4. Cook stirring occasionally on medium heat till thickened and most of the cranberries have popped, about 7-10 minutes. 
  5. Cool completely before serving. 
  6. Keeps well covered, refrigerated for a week. 

Apple cake
This one is a lot of fruit and a little bit of cake batter. Makes for a very light dish. Its a quick recipe and can be made anytime. A perfect dish for when apples are in abundance.
Apples and cranberries
6 granny smith apples peeled cored and sliced
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup oil
5 Tbs apple juice
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbs ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F 
  2. Arrange apples in a greased baking dish. 
  3. Sprinkle over them evenly half the spice mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. 
  4. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl beat till thick and fluffy eggs and sugar. 
  5. Add oil, apple juice and vanilla extract and mix. 
  6. To this batter add in batches mixture of flour, baking powder and salt to make a smooth batter. 
  7. Pour this batter evenly over the apples and sprinkle with remaining spice mixture. 
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes till done, ie. when the cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  9. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Apple cake

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