Whether you’re raising a glass in gratitude or preparing to toast the new year, I wanted to share some delicious, simple and special recipes that are some of my favorites. Cooking can be a respite for many if you relax and enjoy the process instead of rushing through a recipe to get to the final product. Although after you’ve tried these once, it may be hard not to rush for seconds!
Spiced Pear Sparkler
Use martini glasses for serving
- 2 Bartlett pears
- 2T lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1c water
- 4oz Fever tree ginger beer
- 1c fresh squeezed blood oranges
- 3T honey
- 1/2t cinnamon
- Peel and deseed pears, chop into 1-inch pieces.
- Add lemon to water and bring to slow boil, poach pears until soft 8-10 min. Reserve 1/2c poaching liquid.
- While pears are poaching, combine orange juice and honey and reduce by half.
- Add cinnamon when reduced and set aside.
- Blend pears and reserved liquid until smooth. Remove vanilla beans from stem and stir into pear juice.
- Pour reduced orange mixture into a shallow plate.
- Take martini glass and dip rim in juice.
- Pour vanilla pear juice into 1/2 the glass and top with 2 oz ginger beer.
- Cut in half 1 sugar pumpkin cut and deseed (or substitute 1 can pumpkin)
- Drizzle both halves of pumpkin with olive oil and season with 2t kosher salt and pumpkin pie spice. Roast in oven at 375 for 30-45 min until tender.
- Let pumpkin cool and then remove filling.
- Pan roast 3T pumpkin seeds with 1T olive oil on med heat 2-4 min pour out on paper towels and sprinkle with cinnamon, set aside.
- 1c pumpkin
- 15 oz white canelli beans
- 2T cashew nut butter
- 1t pumpkin pie spice
- Salt to taste
- Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth.
- Serve hummus in bowl and garnish with cinnamon roasted pumpkin seeds, 1T pomegranate perils and a couple grinds of Himalayan black sea salt.
- Serve with pita chips, root vegetable chips or vegetable crudité. Enjoy!
Seared Chilean sea bass and plum gastrique with basil hazelnut quinoa
- 4 oz fresh sea bass
- 3 large red plums, very ripe
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs butter or vegan butter
- ¼ c dry red wine
- 1 small shallot minced
- In a food processor or blender, puree 2 plums and cut up third plum into chunks
- To prepare gastrique: In a 1- to 2-quart pan, mix honey with ¼ cup water; cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat until reduced by half about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; carefully add vinegar and stir until combined. Remove and set aside.
- Rinse pan. In the same pan, melt butter over medium-high heat; add shallot and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, uncovered, until most of the liquid evaporates (watch carefully), about 5 minutes.
- Add plum puree and chopped plums, simmer on low, uncovered, until plums are very soft, about 15 minutes. Whisk to break up plum chunks.
- Press mixture through a food strainer (china cap). Set gastrique aside.
- While quinoa is cooking, pulse 4 oz fresh basil leaves and 1/4c hazelnuts in food processor until combined to rice-like texture.
- Bring 2c water and 1c quinoa to a boil, cover and cook until water is evaporated 10-12 min, fluff with fork.
- Toss with basil hazelnut mixture, keep warm.
- Season sea bass with salt and white pepper.
- Heat pan on med high heat and add 1T olive oil.
- Add fish flesh side down, sear for 5-7 min, flip and reduce heat to medium and cook fish until internal temp is 145.
- Assemble dish by placing basil hazelnut quinoa on a plate and topping with seared sea bass. Drizzle with plumb gastrique. Enjoy!