Winter

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Take flat-leaf kale and cut the leaf only parts into chip-sized pieces. Toss lightly with olive oil, and spread out on a ceramic plate.

Sprinkle lightly with salt and spices (garlic powder works well), microwave for 3-5 minutes until crisp.

http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/super-quick-video-tips/20...

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XMas Dinner 2013

Duck Leg Confit

We experiment a bit with our xmas dinners - while the Thanksgiving menu is well locked-in with the annual turkey and dressing with sides, we don't feel as bound to repeating that for xmas. Last year, we tried goose, but ... well, let's say we didn't instantly adopt it as a tradition. This year, we're going with duck confit:

Duck leg confit with spicy pickled raisins

Brussels Sprouts with chestnuts (not a repeat dish)

Beets with citrus and nuts

Hot rolls

And for dessert, a classically over-complicated Cook's Illustrated French Apple Cake

Apple Cake

French Apple Cake Slice

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith or Gold Rush apples, peeled and cored
1 cup + 3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 T Calvados or brandy
1 t lemon juice
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg + 2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, for topping

Preheat oven to 325F. You will be placing the cake on the bottom rack, so make sure the oven is set up for this.

Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan (NOTE: a 10" pan is too wide, and the layers will be too thin)

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Duck Confit with Spicy Pickled Raisins

Duck Leg Confit

Bon Appetit comes through with another winner. We made this for Christmas 2013, and it was great. While total cooking time (roughly 5 hours) is a bit steep, most of that is hands off, and all but the last 30 minutes can be done ahead of time and frozen. Serves 8. Great for a dinner party.

  • 8 skin-on, bone-in duck legs
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more freshly cracked
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 10 sprigs thyme, divided
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Fesenjoon (Walnut Pomegranate Stew)

Walnut stew

I've had versions of this dish in various restaurants, but never attempted it at home before. I found a lot of recipes online and cobbled together a best of breed. This recipe isn't difficult, but it does take about 4 hours from start to finish.

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Dinner Rolls

Dinner Rolls

These rolls from the The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook are deceptively easy to make and great par-baked and frozen. We make these for Thanksgiving - they're one thing we can check off our list a few weeks in advance.

Dough Recipe

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  • 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp milk
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
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    Cranberry Sauces

    Cranberry Sauce

    Each recipe makes 2-3 half-pints, depending on how long you let the cranberries break down for. If you want to preserve these, process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

    Basic Cranberry Sauce

    1 (12-oz) bag fresh cranberries
    1/2 cup sugar
    3/4 cup water

    Bring water and sugar to boil. Add cranberries and cook over medium heat until berries have broken down to your desired level (15-20 mins). Stir occasionally and, if desired, mash with a potato masher to break berries down further.

    Horseradish Cranberry Sauce

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    Old Pal

    Old Pal

    3 parts rye
    2 parts aperol
    2 parts dry vermouth
    orange bitters
    1 orange twist

    Shake with ice, serve up in a coupe with the twist.

    Via http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/old-pal, modified to use rye and add bitters to counteract the sweetness of switching this to aperol (which I stock) from campari.

    Recipe for aging

    This, called instead a Lincoln County, is via http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/lincoln-county ; original recipe by The Bachelor Farmer Marvel Bar in Minneapolis MN
    4 1/4 cups 100-proof bourbon
    2 1/2 cups Campari
    1 2/3 cups Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth

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    Hot Toddy

    1 part dark spirit (whiskey or brandy)
    3 parts boiling water
    Honey and lemon to taste
    Optionally, add cinnamon or cloves

    Also consider: infusing the liquor with apples: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/honey-bourbon-toddy#recipe-ingr... (or subbing in Calvados). Take it a step further with mint and absinthe: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/castle-dip

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    Lions Tail

    Lions Tail

    2 oz. bourbon
    ½ oz. pimento (allspice) dram
    ¾ oz. fresh lime juice (~1 lime)
    ¼ oz simple syrup
    1 dash Angostura or orange bitters

    (Tweak pimento dram and lime juice to taste)

    (Can drop the simple syrup and replace bourbon with rum)

    (a dash of Benedictine DOM also rounds it out well)

    Some history: http://badassdigest.com/2012/09/14/your-guide-to-drinking-this-w...

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