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Cranberry Thyme Gastrique
Prep Time: 30 minutes
In a medium sized pot over a low flame, heat the sugar with 4 Tbsp. water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cranberries and continue to stir until the cranberries cook down and begin to pop, about 8 minutes. Add the thyme and vinegar and continue to stir. Bring to a simmer and reduce by at least half, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For a little extra zest, whisk in freshly squeezed orange juice. Sauté with a handful of blanched string beans for a quick side dish. Drizzle over a stuffing casserole. Toss with a few bunches of arugula and shaved parm. Or reduce it heavily until it coats the back of a spoon and use as a glaze for roasted pork or turkey.
Shaved Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Onion
Prep Time: 50 minutes
In a large sauté pan over a medium flame, cook the bacon until all the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned and slightly crisp, about 25 minutes. Place the bacon in a small bowl and carefully remove all but 1 Tbsp. of rendered fat. Return pan to a medium flame and add the onions. Cook until slightly browned, about 12 minutes. Stir in the Brussels sprouts and a pinch of salt and continue until the Brussels are cooked through and completely tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the bacon and vinegar. Place onto a serving platter and season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Shaved Fennel with Rosemary and Lemon
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Remove the fronds from the fennel and set aside. Shave the remaining bulb with a vegetable peeler into a mixing bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and toss. In a large sauté pan over medium flame, heat 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil until hot. Add the fennel along with the rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is completely tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Place onto a serving platter and garnish with the fennel fronds, remaining oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Thyme and Spinach Stuffing
Prep Time: 50 minutes
In a large pot over a medium flame, heat 1 Tbsp. oil until hot. Add the spinach and thyme with a pinch of salt and stir for 3 minutes, until wilted. Remove from the heat and let cool. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, cream, broth, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the spinach mixture and stir to combine. Add the bread cubes and stir until coated and soaked evenly.
Use as a traditional stuffing or bake in a separate greased casserole dish. Place in a 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, depending upon the size of your pan, until completely set and browned.
Cream of Mushroom Mashed Potatoes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over a high flame. Add the potatoes and cook until easily pierced with a fork, about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over a medium flame. Add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and stir. Continue to cook while stirring until slightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a simmer over a low flame. Continue to simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. When the potatoes are done, drain and return to the same pot over a low flame. Stir rapidly for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add the mushroom and cream mixture along with the remaining butter and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mash together until desired constancy is achieved. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.