Gingered Carrots with Candied Pecans, Baked Apples Stuffed with Sausage and Cranberries and Broccoli with Rye Croutons

This is exciting… our first installment of “Cookin’ it up with Elizabeth”! Last Tuesday I went over to Elizabeth’s fantastic kitchen and watched while she created this delicious and visually appealing masterpiece. Isn’t this gorgeous? One of the best things about this meal is that parts of it can be done up to a day ahead which is especially great as we head into the holidays. Next week we will be cooking it up again, but we can’t decide what to do…breads, pies, roast pork, fabulous muffins, soup, salads, cookies or sides dishes for Thanksgiving????  If you have a thoughts about what you’d like to see Elizabeth dish up, please let us know!

Baked Apples Stuffed with Sausage and Cranberries

1 lb sweet Italian chicken sausage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2t dried sage
1/2t dried thyme
1 cup cranberries, picked over
½ c fresh bread crumbs
3 ribs of celery, finely chopped
½ cup minced fresh parsley
8 Golden Delicious apples

In a large skillet cook sausage, crumbled, over moderate heat, breaking it up with a fork. Stir in onion, sage, thyme, cranberries and salt and pepper to taste and cook mixture, stirring occasionally, until cranberries just begin to pop.

Stir in breadcrumbs, celery and  parsley and remove the skillet from the heat. (Stuffing may be prepared 1 day in advance, covered and chilled. Preparation Time: approximately 30 minutes)

Cut off the top ½ inch of the apples, core apples with a melon-ball cutter, and scoop out the flesh, reserving it and leaving a 1/2-3/4” shell.

Chop the flesh coarse and stir it into the stuffing. Divide the stuffing among the apples, mounding it and arrange apples in a baking dish.

Pour 1/2  inch hot water into the pan and bake the apples, covered tightly with foil, in a preheated 375˚ oven for 30-40 minutes or until they are crisp-tender. Serves 8.

Gingered Carrots with Candied Pecans

3T unsalted butter
2T light corn syrup
1T plus 2 t sugar
¼ t cinnamon
½ cup pecans
White pepper (or black) to taste
1 lb carrots, cut diagonally into ¼” slices
1 t freshly grated orange rind
1 t freshly grated ginger

(The pecans can be prepared 1 day in advance. They are a bit time-consuming, but the results are worth it! Purchased glazed pecans/walnuts can be substituted. You may also want to double the first five ingredients)

In a small heavy saucepan melt 1 T butter, stir in corn syrup, 1 T sugar, the cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Simmer syrup for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. While syrup is cooking, heat pecans in a small baking pan in a preheated 250˚ oven for 5 minutes. Pour the syrup over pecans and bake the mixture, stirring every 20 minutes, for 1 hour. Scrape the pecan mixture into a buttered baking pan, let it cool for 3 minutes, and separate the pecans with 2 forks. Let the pecans cool completely.

In a large skillet melt the remaining 2 T butter with the remaining 2 t sugar, 3 T water, pepper, and salt to taste. Stir in the carrots, bring the liquid to a boil and cook the carrots, covered, over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Stir in both rinds and cook the carrots, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until they are crisp-tender. Transfer the carrots to serving dish and top with pecans. Serves 4 to 6.

Broccoli with Rye Croutons

Broccoli with Rye Croutons

3 slices of rye bread, crusts removed and the bread torn in ¼” pieces
¼ cup olive oil
1 T unsalted butter
1 ¼  lbs of broccoli, divided into ¾” wide flowerets and stems sliced
crosswise ¼”thick
Rind of 1 lemon, removed with a sharp vegetable peeler and cut into
fine julienne strips
1T caraway seeds
¼ canned chicken broth
Lemon juice to taste

In a skillet cook the bread in 2T of the oil and butter over moderate heat, stirring, until it is crisp, sprinkle the croutons with salt, and transfer them to a small dish.

In a large skillet sauté the broccoli in the remaining 2 T oil over moderately high heat, stirring, until it is bright green.

Add the rind, caraway seeds, broth, and salt to taste, bring the liquid to a boil, and cook the mixture, covered, over moderately low heat for 3 minutes, or until the broccoli is crisp-tender. Sprinkle the broccoli with the lemon juice, transfer to dish and sprinkle with croutons.  Serves 6 to 8.

This meal was not only beautiful but delicious with tons of flavor and lots of vegetables. Thanks Elizabeth! Can’t wait until next week.

I will be doing a little section at the end of each of Elizabeth’s recipe blogs entitled:

“What I learned”

(This section is meant for the cooking newbie. If you are an experienced cook/chef you probably don’t need to read on..)

Here goes….

1. Elizabeth is a really good cook and really enjoys cooking, Hmmm- this is new to me.

2. You really need to concentrate when you are cooking…Once when I tried to engage Elizabeth in a conversation about politics ( was it politics or was it popular nail polish colors? I can’t remember) anyway, the F-bomb did go off when I distracted her so much that the butter burnt. Opps – sorry  Elizabeth.

3.Cooking is slighty dangerous, but go ahead and try this at home, I think it’s okay.

4.Elizabeth’s son Traynor is a really nice young man and was really patient with the whole “photography thing” that we made him do. Congratulations Traynor for not answering the question..”Does this apron make me look fat?”

Bon Appetit,


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Filed under Elizabeth's Recipes, Fall Recipes

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