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Sunday, November 4, 2012

IT'S Gastrodilirium Day!

Remember the other day when I told you that I'd be sharing some recipes that seriously rocked (causing some serious gastronomical dilirium among my guests!) my holiday tables over the years?
You remember....don't you? 
Okay....if ya go.....CLICK HERE....

Well, brace yourselves lovely cooks and's your lucky day.....I am making good on that promise and I am opening my recipe box and pulling out  some of those rockin' winners....just for you!!!

Yes, I had my extra hour of sleep and I'm ready to rock your recipe box!

Gingersnap Gravy
Yes, GINGERSNAP GRAVY.  I am telling you friends, this gravy is amazing!
I know. I know. I thought the same thing....GINGERSNAPS in my GRAVY? 
Believe me when I tell will lick the drippings that are left on the tablecloth this is so damn good!
And, it's so crazy simple, you will wonder where this gravy has been all your life!!!

1 quart turkey or chicken stock
Pan drippings/juices from your turkey (and any vegtables/fruits you use to roast your turkey--I use onion, carrot, celery, lemon, apple)
1/2 cup apple cider
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups crumbled gingersnaps
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Transfer the juices and veggies (and fruits if you use them) to a saucepan. Add the stock and apple cider and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Strain the mixture, discarding the solids. Return the liquid to the saucepan and stir in the lemon juice and gingersnaps. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until the gingersnaps dissolve, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk vigorously to break up any lumps and season with salt and pepper.

Ina Garten's Baked Virginia Ham
I am 200% positive I told you about this 100 times before.  But, it's so good...I have to tell you again....just in case you didn't listen to me the first 100 times!  I mean...seriously folks....this baked ham will convert even the non-ham lovers at your table. Ham lovers will pass out upon the first bite from pure delight.  Have the smelling salts handy.  Trust me....this ham is simply scrumptious.  I mean....I don't even like ham allthatmuch and I'm saying this!  My forever friend Debbie turned me on to this and I can't thank that girl enough for introducing me to this ham recipe!  I use an uncured spiral ham from Trader Joe's (where else?) and I buy Trader Joe's (or course!) chutney as well.  But, feel free to use whatever brands make you happy or you can slaughter your own pig and make your own chutney if you are so inclined.  But, whatever you do....don't let this ham recipe slip out of your fingers....
Oh...and did I mention it's easy peasy?

1 (14 to 16-pound) fully cooked, spiral-cut ham, on the bone
6 garlic cloves
8 1/2 ounces mango chutney
1/2 cup Dijon mustard (I use a grainy Dijon....yummo!)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 orange, zested
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (you can use orange juice from the carton like I's no sin)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the ham in a heavy roasting pan.
Mince the garlic in a food processor.. Add the chutney, mustard, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange juice and process until smooth. Pour the glaze over the ham and bake for 1 hour, until the ham is fully heated and the glaze is well browned. Serve hot or at room temperature. Tip:  make extra glaze to pass with the ham or to drink straight from the pot.....

Pistachio Crusted Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce
Confession time: I know this menu item doesn't scream Fall or Winter or Holiday but stay with me here. I promise, you will catch my drift.  Here goes--quite awhile back, I  had a similiar dish at one of my husband's business events that was held at a spectacular venue that is well known for their food--especially seafood. I was so taken with it that I immediately sought out the chef. The chef was as helpful as any chef who doesn't want to give away his recipe--telling me that it was crusted with pistachio and covered in a lemon cream sauce.  Duh.  Not to be deterred---I did hard time looking for the recipe online and trying out a few of them-- never finding just the right one.  Finally, last year, just as the holidays were in full swing, I tweaked a Paula Deen recipe with the same name.....and, wa-la--BINGO!  It was magnificent---so much so that I decided to use it to entertain dinner guests that weekend.   Everyone at the table went gaga over it---noting that it was a special treat since every meal between Thanksgiving and New Years either involved ham or turkey and heavy laden sauces and foods with many similiar flavors.  This dish was a welcome relief from all of that!  So, if you are looking to change things up a bit but still serve something super special....this might be your go-to.  This year, I'm thinking of sliding this into our Feast of Seven Fishes meal......

1/2 cup good quality mayo, diluted with a little olive oil + lemon zest (mix together well)
1 cup finely chopped pistachios, plus more for garnish
1 cup panko

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (4-ounce) fresh salmon fillets
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon minced garlic
Using a pastry brush-bush (almost like you are painting it!) salmon pieces with mayo/lemonzest/olive oil
In a shallow dish, combine the pistachios and panko, salt, and pepper. Dredge the "painted" salmon in the pistachio mixture, pressing gently to coat.
In a small skillet, heat the oil and garlic over medium heat. Add the salmon and cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium; turn the salmon and cook until salmon flakes easily with fork, about 2 or 3 minutes more. Transfer the fillets to serving plates. Serve with Lemon Cream Sauce (recipe follows), and garnish with chopped pistachios, if desired.
Lemon Cream Sauce:
2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of parmesean cheese
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Splash of dry white wine at the end of cooking

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and parm cheese, whisking to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium; stir in the broth and cream and simmer until thickened, whisking frequently, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, whisking to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Pour into a serving dish, splash with wine and serve with the salmon.

Now that I've left you salivating at your computer, I gotta go whip something magical for breakfast.
Chai Protein Shake anyone? 


Chris said...

Wow - I love salmon but am in a rut with it - that recipe is now on my list for the week!

As long as I don't get confused and put the gingersnap gravy all over it :)

Tina @ The Bandit Girl said...

OMGeeee! That all sounds wonderful. I am SO going to try that salmon recipe soon. I will let you know how it turns out!