• deborahreinhardt

A sliced pear and balsamic reduction bring balance to roasted Brussel sprouts to create a delicious autumn vegetable side dish.


roasted Brussels sprouts, sliced pears, balsamic syrup drizzle
Brussels sprouts with pear slices and balsamic drizzle

Few vegetables have psychologically scarred as many people as Brussels sprouts. The bad childhood experiences of being forced to eat these little buggers understandably has turned many of you against this vegetable. However, Newseek last year named Brussels sprouts as one of the Top 12 most popular Thanksgiving side dishes. What gives?


First, I have nothing but respect for the past generation of cooks, of which my mother and granny were a part, but they didn’t prepare Brussels sprouts correctly. We either got steamed or creamed (ugh) sprouts. Second, according to a Mental Floss article, sprouts until the 1990s were terribly bitter due to the method by which they were harvested and the high amounts of glucosinolates called sinigrin and progoitrin. Glucosinolates are a natural but bitter compound found in cabbage, mustard, and horseradish. Farmers searched for heirloom seeds with less amounts of sinigrin and progoitrin thereby finding ways to grow Brussels sprouts that are less bitter.


Brussels sprouts, no longer the hated vegetable, now are embraced by many home cooks and restaurant chefs. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears is inspired by a Taste of Home recipe. However, the original called for roasting the fruit with the sprouts, but that didn’t make sense to me. Roasting a pear for 25 minutes or more will turn it to mush, so I tossed raw sliced pears into the finished sprouts along with balsamic syrup. I left out the walnuts and rosemary but added a little spice to the sprouts and was pleased with the end results. It’s a well-balanced side dish for the holidays or a Sunday dinner. Let’s get cooking.


To make Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears, which yields six servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 1½ Brussels sprouts, halved

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon Arizona Dreaming salt-free seasoning

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 large pear, cut into ½-inch-thick slices

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar

My friend, Leslie (an outstanding home cook), recently gave me a small jar of the Arizona Dreaming seasoning. I recommend this Penzeys mix for any kitchen as it's perfect for vegetables, fish, chicken, even pork. But if you don't have any, you can try blending 1/8 teaspoon each of the following: paprika, onion powder, and pepper.


Directions for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.


Rinse the Brussels sprouts and trim the bottom stem, removing any discolored outside leaves. Slice the sprouts in half lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (makes for easy clean up).


Drizzle sprouts with oil and sprinkle the Arizona Dreaming seasoning and salt. Toss until coated and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Flip and sprouts and roast another 10 minutes.


While sprouts finish roasting, heat (medium-high) balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan for 10 to 15 minutes until vinegar is reduced by a third and lightly coats the back of spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.


Wash pear. Cut in quarters lengthwise around the core. Slice each quarter in ½-inch pieces.


Remove sprouts from oven. Toss pears with sprouts and drizzle mixture with balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.

 


I like the simplicity of this recipe because the flavor of the Brussels sprouts come through. The original recipe’s ingredients of walnuts and rosemary, I think, only mask the vegetable’s taste, and with the improved line of Brussels sprouts we now have, there’s no need for this. The pear adds a lovely sweetness and the balsamic reduction finishes the dish with a tangy and slightly sweet end. I hope you'll try it!


About the blog

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.

0 views0 comments
  • deborahreinhardt

Featuring sweet cornbread mix plus creamed and whole-kernel corn, Spoon Bread Casserole is an economical and simple dish to bring to your Thanksgiving gathering.


spoon bread casserole made with corn muffin mix, whole kernel and creamed corn baked in a round casserole dish
Easy Spoon Bread Casserole

If you received a late invitation to Thanksgiving dinner and are now scrambling to come up with a dish to bring, breathe easy my friend because this super simple and ridiculously delicious Spoon Bread Casserole is a winner. It’s a classic Southern recipe for several reasons: it presents beautifully (like a souffle); hits all the comfort food buttons; is affordable; and is simple to make. You may have all the ingredients in your pantry, thus saving you a hectic last-minute trip to the grocery store and avoiding that madness.


Sometimes called corn pudding, a recipe for Spoon Bread Casserole first appeared in Mary Randolph’s 1824 cookbook, The Virginia Housewife, which is considered to be the first Southern cookbook by many culinary historians. Some historians say she used recipes from James Hemings, who was enslaved by Thomas Jefferson and was the chef at Monticello.


My family for Thanksgiving often had another Southern favorite, fried corn, at Thanksgiving, but I’m loving this Spoon Bread Casserole recipe.Sweet "JIFFY" cornbread mix, creamed corn and milk create a silky, super moist cornbread. When you spoon up a serving still warm from the dish (hence the name spoon bread), it’s almost like wrapping yourself in a warm afghan that Grandma crocheted for you. It’s hard to believe that such a delicious and well-loved casserole will cost you under $5 to make. That’s right; less than five Washingtons. Let’s get cooking.



2 eggs, 1 stick butter, 1 cup milk, 2 cans corn, 1 box JIFFY cornbread mix
You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry to make Spoon Bread Casserole.

To make Spoon Bread Casserole, which yields six to eight servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 1 package “JIFFY” Corn Muffin Mix

  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), melted

  • 1 (8¾-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

  • 1 (8¾-ounce) can cream style corn

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 1½-quart casserole dish.


In a large mixing bowl, pour melted butter, milk, hot sauce, pepper, and both cans of corn into dish. Stir to incorporate.


In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs. Stir into large bowl, add muffin mix and blend thoroughly using a spatula, scraping down the sides of the bowl.


Pour into greased casserole dish. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool about 10 minutes before serving.


spoon bread being served from a ramekin dish
Spoon Bread can also be baked in individual ramekins.

I baked my spoon bread in a round casserole to create a beautifully brown dome. However, after sitting on my counter for a couple of hours, the center sunk, so I advise that you serve this right away. If you're taking it to a dinner, prep it at home and ask if you can bake the casserole at the host's home. This spoon bread also can be baked in individual ramekins, which makes a nice table presentation.


Buttermilk or even sour cream could be substituted for milk. The pepper and hot sauce aren’t overwhelming at all but lend just enough spice at the end. This really is a fool-proof casserole that everyone is going to gobble up.


 


Here's another casserole similar to a spoon bread

Although my family usually made this dish for Easter, my mom’s Carrot Caper is a little like spoon bread (only with carrots) in that the casserole bakes like a souffle and has a hint of sweetness from the carrots.


About the blog

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.

10 views0 comments
  • deborahreinhardt

Nutty wild rice, dried cranberries and apricots are combined with a maple vinaigrette to create a healthy salad for your holiday table.


wild and long grain rice, dried cranberries and apricots, walnuts tossed as a salad
Cranberry and Wild Rice Salad

If you’re looking for a lighter yet delicious side dish to serve alongside your turkey this year, home cook Marcy Watson has just the thing: Cranberry and Wild Rice Salad. Easy to prepare but complex in textures and flavor, this cold salad also features crisp, tart apple; dried apricots; toasted walnuts; and a delightful maple vinaigrette.


“It looks good on a plate next to other traditional Thanksgiving Day foods, and it’s a lighter dish that’s sort of healthy,” she said.


Marcy, who lives in Chesterfield, Missouri with husband, Scott, discovered this recipe about 15 years ago. She acknowledges it’s not a familiar dish for Thanksgiving, and remembers a potluck held at her church several years ago. Marcy and Scott were behind an older couple in line, and when the elder gentleman came to Marcy’s wild rice salad, she overheard him say, “What is this? I’m not going to eat that.” She chuckled to herself and thought, “no problem; more for me.”


Wild rice certainly is a healthier option over mashed potatoes or stuffing. There are 101 calories in a 3½-ounce serving of cooked wild rice compared to 140 calories in a 4-ounce serving of traditional stuffing. Wild rice also contains vitamin B6, iron, zinc, and magnesium.


However, wild rice really isn’t rice. It’s an aquatic grass native to North America that grows abundantly in our Great Lakes region. The seeds from the grass are harvested, and the black rice that’s part of this pantry staple is referred to as “paddy rice” by the Ojibwe people.


To make Cranberry and Wild Rice Salad, which yields eight servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked wild rice

  • ½ cup dried cranberries

  • ½ cup dried apricots

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted

  • 1 apple (recommended Granny Smith), peeled, cored and diced

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Marcy said she uses two (4-ounce) pouches of Reese Minnesota Wild Rice for the recipe. Just mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For the holidays, this dish easily could be made a day or two in advance.


The holidays hold strong comfort food memories for her—turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cookies, and fudge. She’ll often make her four-ingredient “desperately easy” fudge recipe as a seasonal treat.


This home cook started in high school to help her mother who sometimes worked in the evenings. Over the years, she learned to appreciate the various textures and flavors created in the kitchen.


“I never developed a hardcore fondness for cooking, but if I was going to go through the trouble, I wanted it to be pleasing to my palate,” she said. Her advice for novice cooks is to allow time to learn the recipe. “Don’t get in a hurry. I’ve made plenty of mistakes being in a hurry,” she said.

 


 

Looking for another recipe that incorporates wild rice?

My Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is a satisfying dish for a chilly day. If you have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, substitute that for the chicken breasts.


About the blog

To make Cranberry and Wild Ric e, which yields eight servings, you’ll need these ingredients:nts:ts:s::forting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.and

8 views0 comments