By Kathy Strahs
Recipe: Smoked Turkey Panini with Manchego, Arugula, and Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise
Summary: Something wonderful happens to tomatoes when they’ve had the chance to bask in the sun for days. As they shrink down and dry out, their sweetness concentrates to the point where they are nearly candy-like. Sun-dried tomatoes rank with caramelized onions as one of my favorite sandwich ingredients for the punch of sweet flavor they bring. Here, they are a simple yet robust condiment for smoked turkey.
Recipe: Rice Salad for All Seasons
Summary: This salad is beautiful to behold, with cranberries and pomegranates shimmering like little jewels. To accent the visual elements, use all jasmine rice instead of a blend of jasmine and wild rices. If you happen to have a couple cups of cherry tomatoes, slice them into quarters and add them to the salad along with the onion, pomegranate arils, and cranberries. You can follow this basic formula—3 1/2 cups cooked rice, 1 cup of dressing, and about 11/2 cups of other similar-size ingredients—to make rice salads throughout the year.
Recipe: Flax-Berry Pancakes
Summary: Many people include flaxseeds as part of their daily diets because they are an important source of omega-3 fatty acids. Ground flaxseeds blended with water are used to replace eggs in this pancake recipe—a nutritious way to start your day. Blueberries are the classic fruit choice, but feel free to substitute another fruit, if you like. Serve with pure maple syrup.
Recipe: Three-Flavor Pancit
Summary: Although the recipe calls for a small amount of tofu, seitan, and tempeh, the dish is equally delicious if made with just 8 to 12 ounces of any of them either alone or in combination, so if you have small amounts of any of them on hand, this is a great way to use them up.
Recipe: Savory Pumpkin Bites with Green Chile Aioli
Summary: Pumpkin, walnuts, and sage combine to give these tasty bites a rich depth of flavor. But it’s the accompanying green chile aioli that sends them over the top.
Recipe: Crispy Kale Strips
Summary: This is a foundational recipe with lots of room for variation. I prefer strips, but you can cut or tear your kale into squarish shapes if you prefer. You can also season however you like— toss with nutritional yeast, your favorite herbs, or a spice blend such as curry or Jamaican jerk seasoning.
By Debbie Moose
Recipe: Red-Hot Cider
Summary: I think that almost everything can be improved by the judicious addition of hot peppers, and that is true of this cider. This is a real pre- or postgame warm-up, and the recipe can easily be doubled for a large crowd (or if it’s really cold out). The cranberry juice moderates the sweetness of the apple cider.
Recipe: Café Brûlot
Summary: There is no doubt that New Orleans is one of the fi nest places to get an out-of-this-world meal accompanied by classic drinks. Is it any surprise, then, that the after-dinner coffee in that city is something exceptional, out-of-the ordinary, and triumphant? Of course not—and if you doubt it, first, you’re silly. Second, check out the Café Brûlot and see how wrong you were. This incendiary mixture was supposedly created at Antoine’s restaurant by Jules Alciatore, the son of the restaurant’s founder, sometime in the 1890s. Today, many restaurants in the city boast a good Café Brûlot, and if you’re exceptionally lucky, you’ll have a meal in a fi ne home where your host or hostess will construct a celebratory Café Brûlot. Take heart from these folks, and try making your own next time you’re holding a dinner party.
Summary: At first glance, it may seem that something called Ambrosia (sounds a little sexy, right?) should be in the Dim the Lights, Chill the Cocktails chapter with the other flirty ones. And, indeed, ambrosia was the food of the flirtatious gods, brought to them by doves, and sounds so delish rolling off the tongue. But (he says, ponderously), the word itself means “not mortal,” and love is such a mortal obsession. And this Ambrosia is a hot, caffeinated drink, something that brings life back into a cold body that has been shoveling snow a little too long, and makes one feel alive again, like a champion against the elements. A godlike feeling, I think, and one that puts Ambrosia alongside the other warmers in this chapter.
Recipe: Hot Buttered Rum
Summary: This’ll cure what ails you. When cold weather starts chilling the bones, don’t reach for an extra sweater; instead, reach for the phone, invite over some friends, and have them pick up some rum and cider en route (and butter, if you’re butter-deficient). While they’re rounding up the supplies, you can start warming the mugs.
Recipe: Simple Syrup
Summary: Simple syrup will keep, tightly covered, up to a week unrefrigerated and up to a month refrigerated.
- -2 cups water
- -3 cups granulated sugar
- 1. In a medium-size saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and continue to let boil, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.