Friday, December 12, 2008

CBC Radio calling - SCALLOPED CORN

Food is a wonderful part of the holidays, such as this cherished tree ornament, hand-made in the shape of a slice of olive loaf. (Okay, there's a long story behind it...)

As for special dinners, here are a few recipes I seem to serve over and over:

Scalloped Corn
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 cups creamed corn
1/4 cup onion, grated
1/4 cup red pepper, finely diced
1 cup fine bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter, melted

Heat oven to 350F. Mix everything in a bowl with 2/3rds of the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a casserole dish. Toss remaining bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle evenly over top. Bake 1 hour. To brown and crisp the top, turn on broiler for a few minutes.

Wild Rice and Dried Cherry Salad
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 cups small broccoli florets
2 cups small cauliflower florets
3 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup dried berries (such as cherry, blueberry or cranberry)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup thinly sliced almonds (opt.)

Mix everything together in a serving bowl. Dress with a homemade fruity vinaigrette or use a purchased raspberry vinaigrette.
Beet and Walnut Salad
2 beets, cooked
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp fruit syrup
3 tbsp olive oil (or canola)
salad greens for four
2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
(or more if you like!)

Cut cooked beets into a bite-sized dice. Heat 1 tbsp of water in a non-stick skillet. Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the walnuts, cooking and stirring until the water has evaporated and the sugar has caramelized on the nuts. Remove from heat.

Make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, fruit syrup, oil and salt to taste. Toss half the dressing with the salad greens and the other half with the beets. To serve, divide the salad greens onto four plates. Scoop the beets into the middle of the greens, scatter each with walnuts and cheese
Mushroom Orzotto
1 cup sliced mushrooms, sautéed in butter
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 sprig each rosemary, sage and parsley, chopped
4-5 tomatoes, choppedsalt and pepper
6-7 cups water or vegetable stock, boiling
2 cups pearl barley
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Melt the butter and oil in a stockpot. Sauté the garlic, onion and herbs until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the barley, stirring until the grains are shiny and little liquid remains in the pan. Add the wine and cook until evaporated.
Add a cup of boiling water (or stock), stirring until it is absorbed. Continue to add water, one cup at a time, stirring until each one is absorbed before adding the next. As you get closer to done, the barley will need more stirring to ensure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
When the barley is almost done (that is, when you can bite into it), add the mushrooms. The orzotto is ready when the barley is just tender to the bite. Stir in the parmesan cheese. To serve, sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and perhaps a bit more parmesan cheese.

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