GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - This Thanksgiving, if you're not the best chef in the kitchen, don't worry. You can still have a delicious thanksgiving meal. Executive Chef Glenn Forgie from Cork Wine and Grille shows us a couple easy recipes to take your holiday to the next level.
- 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
- 2 ½ cups of port wine
- Zest of 1 medium orange
- Juice of 1 medium orange
- ¼ cup of honey or good maple syrup
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Optional: Pinch of clove or Allspice
- Put all ingredients in a sauce pan
- Simmer until the ingredients start to thicken. The Sauce will reduce to about half its original volume and start to take on a light jelly texture. Taste the sauce, I needed to add about an 1/8 of a cup more syrup, adjust to your liking. I like it a touch tart.
- Cool in refrigerator
- Serve chilled
Sweet Potato Mash
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 3 large russet potatoes
- Butter as needed
- Salt and Pepper
- Wrap sweet potatoes in tinfoil
- Place on baking sheet with parchment paper and bake in a 400 degree oven for an hour or more until the sweet potatoes are very soft. They are hot so check softness by pressing on them with a wooden spoon or tongs.
- ---Note: you want to take them a little over being just soft. I usually see a little sugar leaking out and starting to burn on the paper. This means you are starting to caramelize the sugars and the potatoes become super sweet!
- Peel russets and dice to a medium dice
- Put potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water
- Lightly salt the water and bring to a slow boil
- Cook potatoes until just soft in the center and pour into a strainer
- As russets are drying out a little and the sweet potatoes are cooled down. Peel the sweet potatoes. If you let them cook enough the skin will peel right off with your fingers.
- Combine all of both potatoes into the pot and mash together with butter salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat on low heat until warm enough to serve.
- 2 medium sized butternut squash
- 2 medium Spanish onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of clove
- Olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- Milk as needed
- Cut squash in half lengthwise with a large knife. Be careful when doing this the squash is hard so go slow and pay attention to where your fingers are.
- Place the squash on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper with the inside facing up.
- Rub inside of squash with olive oil, salt and pepper
- Turn over the squash and bake in a 400 degree oven until nice and soft. Use a wooden spoon to push down on the squash when checking it, they will be very hot.
- You should have a very nice color of brown on the bottom of the squash. This is just the natural sugar caramelizing and adding a lot of flavor to the soup.
- While the squash is cooking peel and cut the onions into thin slices, Julienne,
- In a 2 quart pan add the 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- Add in the onions and cook on medium low heat so that the onions are simmering at a pretty good pace. The object is to turn the onions brown (caramelizing) so let them cook for a while until there is a little brown showing on the edges and stir them once. Let them sit again to get more color and stir them again. So you are not burning the onions but getting color on them while they cook down. If you stir too much they won’t turn brown. When the batch is a nice golden brown turn the pot off and set aside.
- After the squash has cooled down turn over and, with a spoon, clean out the seeds first and discard. Scrape out the meat of the squash and add into a pot.
- Add the caramelized onions to the squash in the pot.
- Add the nutmeg and clove
- Add the heavy cream and put on low heat while stirring frequently so the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Add milk to thin the soup to the consistency you would like. As the squash cooks it tends to thicken up, so you will have to just keep adding a little milk until it is the correct thickness for you. As you are doing this add a little salt and pepper and taste as you go.
- Cool soup down so you can puree this in a blender in batches. Blending hot liquid is never a good idea it tends to blow up when blending and create very bad burns. So do this the day before and refrigerate. Blend it when cool and reheat at service time…..
- Reheat and check seasonings and serve!
Hope this gives you a couple of great recipes to serve for the holidays on these cold snowy days!
Cork Wine & Grille is at 4100 Thousand Oaks Dr NE in Grand Rapids.
Visit their website for more information.
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