Thursday, November 25, 2010

Recipes from Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland

Roasted Brussel Sprouts w/Pecans

2 lbs brussel sprouts trimmed and halved
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper

-Heat oven to 400. On large rimmed baking sheet, toss brussel sprouts, pecans, oil, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Turn the brussel sprouts cut-side down.
-Roast until golden and tender, 20-25 min. (Depending on your oven. I like to lean towards 25 min or until some have a little dark char in places.)

Roasted Cauliflower w/Tahini Sauce

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp ground cumin
2 heads cauliflower, cored and broken into 1 1/2" florets
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup tahini
3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced into a paste
Juice of 1 lemon

-Heat oven to 500. Toss together oil, cumin, cauliflower, and salt and pepper into a large bowl. Transfer to 2 rimmed baking sheets; spread out evenly. Bake, rotating pans from top to bottom and front to back, until cauliflower is browned and tender. 25-30 min. (Again, I like a little char here and there.)
-Meanwhile, combine tahini, garlic, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl and season w/ salt. Serve cauliflower hot or at room temperature w/tahini sauce.

Sweet Potato Pie

1 cup (4 oz) pecan halves
11 whole graham crackers, broken
4 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Filling and topping
Four 8oz sweet potatoes
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp bourbon
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
3 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Make the crust:
1. Heat oven to 325. In a pie plate, toast the pecans for about 10 min, until fragrant and browned. Let cool completely.
2. In a food processor, combine pecans, graham crackers, ginger, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon; pulse until crumbs form. Add butter and process til incorporated. Press the crumbs evenly into a 9 or 10 inch pie plate. Bake crust for about 25 min, until lightly browned and fragrant. Using a rubber spatula, press down the crust and let cool completely. Wipe out the processor.

Meanwhile, make the filling and topping.
1. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and cook in a microwave on high power for 10 minutes, until just softened. Transfer sweet potatoes to the oven and roast for about 10 min longer, until soft. Let cool. Then, scrape out the flesh; you should have about 2 1/4 cups.
2. Transfer sweet potato to the food processor and puree until smooth. Add the brown sugar, eggs and bourbon and process until blended. Add the heavy cream and process until incorporated. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for about 50 min, until set and the top looks dry; cover the crust edges with foil if they darken. Let the pie cool completely. Preheat the broiler.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat without stirring until a candy thermometer inserted in the syrup registers 240 (about 5 min). Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. With the machine on, carefully drizzle in the hot syrup and beat at high speed until the whites are stiff, glossy and warm to the touch (about 5 min). Beat in the vanilla.
4. Mound the meringue over the sweet potato filling, swirling it decoratively. Broil the pie 4-6 inches from the heat for about 30 seconds, until the meringue is light browned. Cut the pie into wedges and serve.
Make ahead. The pie can be refrigerated overnight!

Caprese Salad
This can be made easily with as much or little as you like.

Fresh tomatoes (heirlooms are lovely if you can get them)
Fresh Mozzarella (I'm talking balls here, not shredded!)
Fresh basil (or dried can be sprinkled at the end, but fresh is way better!)
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Cut tomatoes and mozzarella into slices (about 1/4 or 1/2 inch thick)
Stack tomato and mozzarella, in alternating slices. 2 each.
While stacking, remember to salt and pepper the tomatoes before placing the mozzarella.
Garnish with fresh basil (can also sprinkle some dried oregano if you like)
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.


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