Mary’s Top Five Recipes for the Holidays
MS/Bradley Holiday Stuffing
Serves 10 – 15 or more
2 huge loaves of bread, cubed and stale (or baked low for a while to dry)
(I use one wide pan sandwich loaf and one giant artisanal wheat loaf)
5 large coarsely chopped onions
5 chopped celery stalks
2 sticks of unsalted butter
3 or as needed vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups craisins (or dried cherries if you’re a millionaire)
2 cups chopped pecans
Big bunch parsley
8 chopped fresh sage leaves
Melt butter and cook onions in large skillet until translucent. Add celery and sage and cook on med 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of stock to cool and add this mixture to half of the bread (in the largest mixing bowl you have). Mix this all up with your hand, then add everything else (pecans, parsley, crasins, rest of bread) and as much stock as you need to make it mushy but not soaking. Put into a sprayed casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350degrees for one hour. Uncover and bake at 400 for ten more minutes. Best to then let it rest a while for serving. Gets better over the next few days too!
Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecake
Box of ginger snaps (use about half)
1 stick room temp Butter
½ cup chopped pecans
Four 8 oz. cream cheese blocks
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 can pumpkin (1 lb.)
½ - 1 teaspoon of each – allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg
2 Tablespoons of finely chopped crystallized ginger (yum) or regular ginger if you can’t find it
Grind gingersnaps in food processor (or pound to crumbs in a plastic bag) and mix with the butter and pecans until just together enough to press into bottom and a bit up the sides of a spring form pan. Bake crust at 350degrees until edges just brown.
Beat cheese on high, add sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs (one at a time). Put one cup of this mixture in a small bowl, add ginger and put it aside.
To remaining mix add rest of ingredients – pumpkin and spices. Pour half of this into pan and top with dollops of the white ginger stuff (use ½ cup). Do this again with rest of pumpkin filling topped with rest of white stuff in dollops. Swirl trough the white spots with a knife (surprising how easy it is to make this beautiful).
Bake one hour at 350degrees. Turn off heat and leave in the oven for one hour.
Refrigerate overnight, then – WOW – it is really awesomely delicious.
Large bag of brussels sprouts
Best balsamic (flavored or not) you’ve got
Salt and pepper
Clean the sprouts by taking off outer leaves, chop of stem and cut in half. Put in large bowl and drizzle with enough olive oil to just barely coat them when you toss them around with your hands. Add a little salt and a lot of pepper. Put in large roasting pan with lots of room for them to spread out. Bake at 300 for 30 minutes to one hour (you’ve got to keep checking them and stirring them around – I like them totally browned, but not yet burned). When they’re as dark as you’d like, take them out of the over and toss with a few Tablespoons of vinegar. Eat them right away or cold later – they’re always great and if you’re looking for a super-low calorie treat, you can make them with barely any oil. They’re so good for you.
Cranberry Pecan Bread
½ stick cold butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup orange juice (lots of pulp is my fave)
1 ½ tablespoons grated orange zest (I like the really fine grate of a microplane)
1 large egg
1 cup cranberries (chopped if you want to bother, but I don’t)
2/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350degrees and grease a 9x5 loaf pan.
Stir together dry ingredients. Cut the butter into bits, then cut it into the dry ingredients with two knives until the pieces are all no bigger than small peas.
Beat together the juice, zest and egg and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix them just enough to moisten – don’t over mix until smooth. Fold in the cranberries and nuts and pour into pan. Bake an hour or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean (in my over it is usually and hour and ten minutes). Cool on the rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan.
Cranberry Pecan Conserve
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 Cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon or more orange zest
1/2 tsp grated ginger
4 Cups cranberries
1/2 Cup toasted pecans chopped
Simmer first 5 ingredients until sugar dissolves
Add berries and cook until they pop open (approx 5min.) then stir in nuts. Cool and refrigerate up to 5 days
Auntie Louise’s Cranberry Jalapeno Relish
Adapted from recipe courtesy of Gen Furukawa
24 oz fresh cranberries (two bags)
½ cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes, plus zest)
½ cup water
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 ½ cups sugar
Pulse the cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Be careful not to over process because you don’t want the berries pureed.
Add all the ingredients, except the cilantro, to a medium pot with a heavy bottom. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until thickened. Mix in the cilantro. Cool before serving.