Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sweet Potato Casserole

Taken from Eating Well. I loved it! Not too sweet and the orange gave it a yummy twist. I think for every day eats we will stick to plain old sweet potatoes but definitely worth adding to the holiday dinner table or for another special occasion.

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, (3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate (I subbed the juice from the orange I used for zesting)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • pecan halves to add to the top (not part of the original recipe but I thought it really added a nice look and texture)
  1. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and return to the pan. Mash with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups. (Reserve any extra for another use.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (or similar 2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk eggs, oil and honey in a medium bowl. Add mashed sweet potato and mix well. Stir in milk, orange zest, vanilla and salt. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
  4. To prepare topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate, oil and butter in a small bowl. Blend with a fork or your fingertips until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over the casserole.
  5. Bake the casserole until heated through and the top is lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes.

Southern Macaroni Pie

This is the real deal like my grandma makes. Truly Southern baked macaroni custard style pie at it's finest. Loved it. I will get a picture next time I make this but this recipe is too good for me to hold out on posting it.

8 ounces (226g) elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions

1/4 cup (120g) butter

1/2-1 pound sharp or yellow cheddar cheese, grated (300-400g)

4 Eggs

2 1/2 cups (6 dl) evaporated milk (6dl whole milk plus powdered skim milk)

Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400 (204C). Place half of the macaroni in a deep casserole dish. Dot with half of the butter and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat with a second layer of macaroni, butter and cheese.

Beat the eggs and half of the evaporated milk in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and pour the mixture over the macaroni. Pour the remaining milk over the macaroni just until it covers the noodles.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until set.

Makes: 8-12 servings

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Day Menu

Today I am making Thanksgiving dinner to share with my Danish family. I am trying out a bunch of new recipes and if they turn out half as good as I think they will I promise to share. Amazingly I have not had to import anything to make dinner. Not even the pumpkin or pecans! Maybe the store imported them....hey but I just had to go down the street.

Grilled Turkey. This will be the 3rd year we have done it this way. Our oven is way too small for a turkey plus everything else and a bowl grill works perfect as an outdoor oven. Oh and I considered myself lucky to find a "large" 10 pounder this year. I usually brine it in a salt and citrus bath overnight and then put white wine, onions and apples inside when she goes on the grill.
Sweet Potato Casserole. This year I am doing a healthier version with pecans instead of marshmallows.
Creamed Corn. I have never made this successfully without using fresh corn. However finding fresh corn in Denmark in November is like asking to win the lottery.
Bread Dressing. I collect odds and ends of bread and put them in the freezer to make this. I make it often throughout the year so it is a tried and true family fav.
Southern Macaroni Pie. Custard style mac and cheese. I have tried to recreate my grandma's but since she does it without measuring I have been winging it and not with the best results. I found a recipe in the Augusta, GA, newspaper I am going to use this year. Forget trying to find this on any of the major recipe sites. They all do the cheese sauce version.
Broccoli Casserole. Try making this without Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup. I dare you! I found what I think will be a winner of a recipe that doesn't call for anything remotely similar. I can't wait to try it.
Pumpkin Cheesecake. I have never made a REAL cheesecake from scratch before. I made it last night and it looks beautiful. Hopefully it will taste even better. It even has fresh pumpkin since there is no such thing as canned pumpkin here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Brussel Sprouts on a Stick

Growing up I had never seen fresh brussel sprouts (rosenkål in Danish). Then I moved to Denmark and they are everywhere! Sadly Mark can't stand them so I don't get the opportunity to eat them often. However, our food box last week happened to have some nice fresh ones still on the stalk! I don't know what or how or where I thought they grew, but I didn't quite imagine this.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Graham Crackers

In Denmark (and most of the rest of Europe I think) there is no such thing as graham crackers. Which has been a bit problematic for making deserts such as cheesecake. My friend Amber who is in France suggested I try the plain LU cookies. I used them in below recipe for Banana Rum Cream pie last night as a test run. Overall they will work but I think they are a bit too heavy and buttery to be a perfect sub. However if you are desperate they are perfect! Next time I am going to add some Marie crackers (slightly sweet but not too sweet cookies). I also want to try some cinnamon crackers I have found at Fotex.

Anyone else had any success with subbing for Graham crackers?

Banana Rum Cream Pie

From my DZ sis Julie Miller. This was our November baking challenge. Some notes:
-Graham crackers. See above post about subs.
-Crust. This recipe was written for a US 9" pie dish. I needed more for the slightly larger one I had. I ended up using about 2 cups of cookie crumbs.
-Rum. Use real rum if at all possible. Rum flavor will work but it loses some of the ooomph.

- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (9 large graham crackers)
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 4 tsp. dark rum
- 2 or 3 ripe bananas

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350. Stir together crumbs, butter, curry powder, cinnamon, and 2 tbsp. brown sugar with fork until combined well. Reserve 1 tbsp. of this mixture to sprinkle over top of pie. Press remaining mixture evenly onto bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake crust for 10 minutes and cool completely on wire rack for 20 minutes. In large bowl, beat together cream cheese, zest, and remaining 6 tbsp. of dark brown sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. In another bowl, beat cream with rum with cleaned beaters until it holds soft peaks. Gently fold 1/3 of whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream gently but thoroughly. Thinly slice the bananas and arrange evenly over the bottom of the crust. Spread filling over bananas and sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over pie. Chill pie, loosely covered, for at least 20 minutes.