Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas--Jesus is born!

Merry Christmas! Thank you Jesus for coming to the earth in such a miraculous way and for allowing us to live and celebrate your birth! We had a wonderful Christmas and it feels like it's lasted many days because we did the Gerlach side on Sunday, our own little Christmas on Monday, and the Bales side on Tuesday. We also celebrated Uncle Davey and Papa Bales' birthday. Later Christmas day we hosted the Runyan and Noorda family and made cornish hens with cranberry thyme sauce, wild rice pilaf with pecans, and haricots verts (green beans) and red pepper.

Here's a little picture of how we celebrated this season.











video

Cornish game hen with double-cranberry and thyme sauce

3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound Cornish game hen, halved, backbone removed, rinsed, patted dry
1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup white grape juice
1/3 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450°F. Blend 2 tablespoons butter, sugar, and 2 teaspoons thyme in small bowl. Sprinkle hen halves with salt and pepper. Spread skin of each with half of butter mixture. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add hen halves, skin side down. Sear until deep brown, about 4 minutes. Turn, skin side up, and sear 1 minute. Remove from heat. Transfer hen halves, skin side up, to small rimmed baking sheet. Reserve skillet (mixture will be dark). Roast hen halves until cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with fork, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon flour in small bowl. Add broth, grape juice, cranberry concentrate, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme to reserved skillet. Boil until sauce is reduced to 3/4 cup, whisking often, about 7 minutes. Whisk in flour mixture and cranberries. Simmer until sauce coats spoon, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer hen halves to plates. Spoon sauce over and serve.

Sauteed haricots verts, red bell peppers, and almonds

1 1/2 pounds haricots verts (or other slender green beans), trimmed

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-size red bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
3 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup almonds, toasted

Preparation

Cook haricots verts in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool quickly and drain again.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers; sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add butter to same skillet; melt. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add haricots verts. Sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes. Mix in nuts; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl.


Wild rice and toasted pecan pilaf


1 cup pecan halves, chopped coarse
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and sliced thin lengthwise
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups wild rice (about 1 pound), rinsed well in several changes of water and drained
4 1/2 cups chicken broth

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small baking pan toss the pecans with the butter, the thyme, and the salt until they are coated well and toast them in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes, or until they are crisp and fragrant.

In a flameproof casserole cook the onion and the bell pepper in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until they are just softened, and with a slotted spoon transfer them to a bowl. Add the rice to the casserole and cook it, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the broth, heated to boiling, and salt and pepper to taste and bring the mixture to a boil. Bake the mixture, covered, in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes. Stir in the onion mixture, bake the pilaf, covered, for 30 minutes more, or until the rice is tender and the broth has been absorbed, and stir in the pecans.

No comments: