Recipes from Food & Wine and Bon Appétit
When it came time to taste our 12-Month Aged Eggnog, we invited a group of friends over for the event. It ended up being a small gathering of about a dozen folks, including our friend Ralph's parents who were in town.
But we couldn't just serve something as boozy as the eggnog without also having some food on hand, so we used it as an excuse to make three recipes that we had tagged in recent issues.
The first was Ginger-Miso Sweet Pea Spread (pictured above) from the December Food & Wine.
If you make it and use soy sauce in place of the miso, let us know how it turns out. Also, if you have other suggestions for using yellow miso, we're all ears, because we have half a tub in our fridge.
Which brings us to our second dish: Parsnip Bacon.
There's no actual bacon here (in fact, it's a vegetarian dish). Rather, the "bacon" is made by slicing parsnips very thin using a vegetable peeler, brushing them with oil, sprinkling it smoked salt, and then baking. We didn't have smoked salt, but we did have smoked olive oil, so we used that oil and regular kosher salt.
But there was a problem:
We made this dish according to the directions, and the temperature in our oven was correct, but most of the parsnip bacon ended up burned. In the end, we decided not to any of it since there wasn't enough for everyone to have. We did, however, stand in our kitchen and devour the non-burned pieces, and we really enjoyed the taste.
We were disappointed by how little "bacon" the recipe produced. Even if it hadn't burned, there would not have been much to go around for our dozen guests. But we do think that this is good dish to serve as a snack if you're having a smaller gathering. Just don't forget to shorten the cook time!
We chose for this Imperial Punch Royale, from the December Bon Appetit.
As far as punches go, this isn't a simple execution, mostly because the recipe calls for marinating pieces of pineapple in brandy for at least 10 hours prior to making the rest of the punch.
On the other hand, once you have the pineapple brandy completed, the whole thing can be made a day in advance. The remainder of the punch is made mostly of port, prosecco and maraschino liqueur.
The liqueur is the only ingredient that is out of the ordinary and may only be available at well-stocked liquor stores. In fact, we tried to go to small store in our neighborhood, but they looked at us like we had four heads when we asked if they carried it. The larger liquor store in our neighborhood had ample selection of liqueurs on hand (Apple Pie Liqueur? No thank you...). We bought Luxardo brand, which seems to be the most commonly available maraschino liqueur, though for the purposes of a punch, any brand will do.
We thought this was a great holiday punch. It's festive and not too boozy -- just the sort of drink you want to have on hand for guests.
The recipe also suggested making an ice ring, which is a trick we learned long ago from Zach's mom. In this instance, you use a bundt pan, laying in alternate layers of sliced limes and oranges, dropping a few ice cubes on top of it, and then covering it with water. Once it freezes, just plop it into your punch bowl. It provides nice decoration, plus it keeps your booze cold!
Here's a photo of ours in process:
Ice rings can be made with just about any fruit that you have on hand. Cranberries are especially beautiful in them. Just don't throw anything into your ice ring that would negatively affect the taste of your punch (i.e., don't grab a piece of festive greenery from the mantle and freeze it in a block of ice).
What will you be serving for your holiday gatherings? Let us know in the comments.
Other Party Food Ideas:
- Asiago Potatoes
- Chicken Liver Toasts with Shallot Jam
- Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs
- Bacon with Citrus Glaze
Ginger-Miso Sweet Pea Spread
Food & Wine (December 2010)
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(This photo: Food & Wine)
* TOTAL TIME: 20 MIN
* SERVINGS: Makes 2 1/2 cups
* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 2 scallions, thinly sliced
* 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
* 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
* 1 pound frozen baby peas (3 cups), thawed
* 3 tablespoons yellow miso
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the scallions, ginger and jalapeño and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes.
2. Transfer the pea mixture to a food processor and let cool slightly. Add the miso and 1/4 cup of water and puree until smooth. Spoon the spread into a bowl.
The spread can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Serve with Rice crackers or flatbreads.
Food & Wine (November 2010)
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(This photo: Food & Wine)
* ACTIVE: 15 MIN
* TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
* SERVINGS: Makes about 15 slices
* 1 large parsnip (1/2 pound)
* Vegetable oil, for brushing
* Smoked salt, for sprinkling
1. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, slice a large peeled parsnip lengthwise into thin strips. Brush both sides with vegetable oil and arrange on a parchment paper–lined cookie sheet. Season with smoked salt. Cover with a sheet of parchment and top with another cookie sheet. Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until crisp. Let cool before serving.
(This photo: Bon Appétit)
PREP: 30 minutes
TOTAL: 24 hours
* 1 3 1/2- to 33/4-pound pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 2 cups brandy
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2 oranges
* 1/2 cup boiling water
* 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
* 1/2 cup tawny Port (such as Quinta do Infantado)
* 1/4 cup maraschino liqueur (such as Luxardo)
* Large block of ice with orange slices and lime slices
* 2 cups chilled Prosecco or other sparkling wine
* 1 cup (or more) chilled sparkling water (optional)
To Make Ice Ring
Layer orange and lime slices in the bottom of a Bundt pan. To keep the fruit slices from floating to the top, weigh them down with a few handfuls of ice cubes. Fill the pan with water and freeze overnight.
Place pineapple pieces in large bowl. Pour brandy over; cover and let pineapple soak at room temperature at least 10 hours or overnight.
Place sugar in medium metal bowl. Using vegetable peeler, remove peel from oranges in strips (orange part only). Add orange peel to sugar and mash with muddler or handle of wooden spoon until sugar is soft and moist and turns light orange color, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir until sugar dissolves. Strain mixture, reserving orange syrup. Discard orange peel.
Strain pineapple mixture into large bowl, reserving brandy. Discard pineapple. Add 1/4 cup reserved orange syrup, lime juice, Port, and maraschino liqueur to brandy. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Just before serving, transfer punch mixture to punch bowl; add block of ice to bowl. Stir in Prosecco. Add 1 cup (or more) sparkling water, if desired, and serve.