100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan

Day 56 – Boozy Baked Cranberry Sauce

Day56

Cranberry sauce is always one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal.

I think as a young future vegetarian, who did not like turkey very much, Cranberry sauce was one of the things I looked forward to the most. Typically it was just the jellied wobbly canned stuff that comes out with the ridges imprinted in the sides, but cranberry sauce was one of the special foods that may family only ate at Thanksgiving, which made it seem that much more fantastic. Now I am older, and prefer to make food from scratch and use as little processed and preserved ingredients as possible, so when I found this recipe from Jerry James Stone, the idea of making my own Cranberry sauce caught my attention. Especially if you are adding a little booze.

Although, I have a feeling “Boozy” might be a bit of a misnomer here, as I suspect most the alcohol will bake off, but it will still leave behind that lovely residue of sugar and will have helped macerate the cranberries. Maceration is a process in food preparation that uses liquids (often alcohol ) to soften or break up tough ingredients like raw, dried, preserved, or fresh fruit and vegetables and help them release their own juices adding to the flavor and making the ingredient easier to chew and digest.

I am making this cranberry sauce as a test for this year’s Thanksgiving. I am heading home to The States to be at my family Thanksgiving for the first time time since I moved to New Zealand 7 years ago.   Looking forward to seeing my family and helping to cook up vegetarian treats to add to the Thanksgiving table.

Boozy Baked Cranberry Sauce

adapted from: Jerry James Stone

INGREDIENTS

  • 340 grams or 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup liquid honey
  • 2 Large Oranges
  • 1 Shot Triple Sec, Gran Marnier, Cointreau or other orange flavored liqueur (a vanilla liqueur could possible work quite nicely as well).

Half the oranges. Then in a large mixing bowl add the honey and juice the orange halves. If you are using solid honey, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute to help liquify the honey.

Add the liqueur and whisk together the juice and honey mixture so that the honey is mostly dissolved into the juice.

Add in the cranberries and gently mix so they are lightly coated. Then place the cranberries in a baking dish or on a shallow cookie sheet and bake for 40 min on 180 C or 350 F. They are ready when the cranberries have wilted, cracked, and broken open.

You can chill them and serve them later but they are best hot and gooey. Also if you prefer a saucier texture you can roughly pulse the baked cranberries in a blender with some of the left over juice.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free, Party Food, Recipes, Snacks

Day 55 – Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Dip

Day55

I think onion dip was one of the first thing I ever learned how to make as a kid.

This 1950’s classic onion soup mix and sour cream concoction is essential at American parties, BBQ’s, and picnics and I used to make it for after school snacks when I had friends around.  I was thrilled to find that here in New Zealand they make a similar version, and it is just as common, if not more so, to have onion dip at parties and gatherings. The one main difference is that in New Zealand they use reduced dream instead of sour cream, but the overall flavor is very similar.

When I found this recipe for Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Dip, on the Kitchen Simplicity blog, it seemed like a good alternative that used fresh ingredients instead of the typical packaged and processed ones.  The results are very similar tasting, although this recipe has the added subtle goat cheese flavor and a stronger caramelized onion taste, but there is nothing wrong with that as far as I am concerned.  If you are going to eat onion dip , you might as well eat ONION dip.

Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Dip

from: Kitchen Simplicity

MAKES: approx. 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion (about 2 medium onions)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz. soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

Heat oil in a pan or skillet over a medium-low heat.  Add the chopped onions and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook the onions down, stirring often, until it caramelizes and turns a deep golden brown. Set the caramelized onion aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile stir together sour cream and goat cheese, mashing the goat cheese with a fork
to break it up.  I use the Tararua Lite sour cream as it is one of the only vegetarian sour creams you can find in New Zealand (only thr Lite version is vegetarian). Stir in the caramelized onions and garlic addong the fresh chives and more salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving with corn chips, potato chips, pretzels, fresh bread, or any other party snack. Honesty, you could very easily just lick this off a spoon.

ENJOY!!

 

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free (with Substitutions), Mains, Recipes, Vegan

Day 54 – Black Bean Pasta with Smokey Avocado Sauce

Day54

I am sure some of you may be thinking I have gone a bit crazy with this one . . .

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first of  the recipe, from Treehugger,using these type of Mexican flavors in a pasta dish, but my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to try it. I have to admit I was pleasently surprised. Not only did the grilled avocado make a delicious creamy Alfredo-like sauce (yet without any dairy) the Mexican flavors worked with the pasta better than I expected them to. I am really keen to try playing twith the idea of an avocado pasta sauce again, but next time with more Italian flavors added in.

This dish is completely Vegan, dairy free, and can easily be made gluten free by substituting a gluten-free pasta.

Black Bean Pasta with Smokey Avocado Sauce

adapted from: Treehugger

MAKES: 2 large servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 3/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne, or more to taste
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 serrano chili or medium heat chilli, chopped finely
  • 250g of pasta (Linguine or Fettuccine)

Cut an avocado in half and brush with olive oil. and grill the halves flesh side down until the fruit is nicely charred. Scoop out the warm grilled flesh and put it in a food processor adding 1/2 cup cilantro, the lime juice, salt and cayenne, and one garlic clove. Process to make a purée, and then slowly stream in 1/4 cup olive oil and continue processing until the sauce emulsifies and has a creamy consistency. Taste and add more lime juice, salt or cayenne if necessary, and then set aside.

In a separate bowl mix black beans with finely diced red onion and serrano chile. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lime juice, another 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and salt to taste. Stir gently and let sit to meld the flavors.

Cook linguine or other pasta until pasta is al dente. Drain and add avocado puree and mix until well incorporated. Spoon bean mixture over the pasta, dress with a bit more cilantro and serve immediately while still warm.

ENJOY!!

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