Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Thanksgiving Deliciosity Part Deux- Cranberry fritters

Posted: November 21st, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

When it comes to Thanksgiving recipes, my family is pretty set in their ways.  We all have our favorite dish, and if it wasn’t on the table for Thanksgiving, we would die.  For one of my sisters, it is corn.  Not super complex, but a NECESSITY.  For my other sister, it is crescent rolls, which unfortunately we often forget in the over and are super overdone.  But they are there.  For me, its broccoli and onion casserole, again very simple: broccoli, onions and a cheddar white sauce, but hey I love it and it is a must have.  My mother tried to change the menu one year and added sweet potato casserole (I know its a tradition in most houses, but had NEVER been present in our kitchen) for my brother in law who was spending his first Thanksgiving with us (god bless him).  We were outraged that she would change the menu, even if it was just to add something.  I don’t tell you this information to make you think we are resistant to change, just that we feel strongly about our traditions.  Fortunately, we do not have our ‘required’ desserts, and it tends to depend on the year, and what we find at the grocery store that looks good.  So when we decided to test out some Thanksgiving recipes for our dear Bakezilla, I immediately gravitated toward desert, because to test another side dish would feel a little like adultery to me.  So as I was wandering around in recipe land I stumbled across Paula Deen’s cranberry sauce fritter recipe, which sounded ok, but used the canned gelatinous cranberry ’sauce’ that we are all so used to.  She simply battered and fried slices of the cranberry jello, which seemed interesting but not entirely up my alley.  However, it did put the idea of cranberry fritters in my head.  So I looked around for other recipes and found one that used real cranberries.  I stumbled across THIS recipe, which I liked so I went ahead and tried it.  The batter was easy enough to make, but when it comes time to handle it, they aren’t kidding when they say your hands need to be well floured…seriously, coat your hands.  Fritter Batter

I rolled the batter in my hands, and poked a little hole to fill with brown sugar and a cranberry and threw it in the oil.  It takes about a minute to get nice and golden.  Of course after making about 3, my inner fat kid escaped and had to try one.  So I bit into and it was super crispy and delicious…except in the first bite I didn’t get any cranberry…crap.  So I put the rest in my mouth and got a whole mouthful of cranberry as well as the interesting texture of uncooked batter that surrounded the cranberry.  I think that the cranberry made it too dense to really cook all the way through, and the tang of the cranberry was all concentrated in the center, so you get sweet fritter and then BAM super sour cranberry.  Recipe Fail.

Fortunately, I have failed enough  times in my life (insert high school math joke here) so I know not to give up.  I was determined to make this bastard work…it sounded good and dammit, IT WOULD BE.  So I took the cranberries and chopped them up with my awesome food chopper.  I love my food chopper…it get the job done and you get to beat the hell out of it :) .  So then I threw the chopped cranberry directly into the batter and mixed it in.  I pulled off some dough, rolled it in my well floured hands, then still poked a hole in the middle, but this time I filled it with just the dark brown sugar.

Batter I’m not entirely sure why my hands look like weird chimp hands here, but it was super hard to take the picture with my hands covered in baking crap.

Batter and sugar

Then I rolled the dough around the sugar and fried it.  Once it cooled, I rolled it in cinnamon sugar rather than the recommended powdered sugar.Frying Fritter

I did about 10 of those and then did what most people do when they aren’t sure how something is going to taste…I had someone else taste it.  Luckily, he loved it, so I knew I could eat one :) .  The tang of the cranberry balanced out the sweet of the batter and the brown sugar in the middle made for a fun surprise.  I was really pleased with this recipe.  We ate most of them that night, but I may have eaten the last three for breakfast the next day… :)

Cranberry Fritter

This is definitely a recipe that I will make over and over again.  I have even seen some people put in cranberry and apple, so its super versatile and I’m guessing can be adapted to most of the denser fruits.

Many thanks to Peter who was my willing lab rat, and just an all around good guy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

TT


Thanksgiving Deliciosity–Super easy pumpkin mousse

Posted: November 17th, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »

I’ve never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the flavor with its sweet, spicy amazingness, I think what always got me was the intense density of the dish.  That is probably why, once I was old enough to try eating my favorite Halloween decoration, I stuck more to stealing a couple bites of my dads pumpkin chiffon pie, which was significantly lighter than the traditional pie.  So when I stumbled across a recipe for pumpkin mousse, I thought that it would be perfect for me since it would have the great pumpkin flavor that I like, but be nice and light in texture.  It took about 15 minutes of actual prep time and so far has the approval of 10 high school freshman and one actual adult besides me.

Pumpkin Mousse: ( as stolen from Dave Leiberman on FoodNetwork.com)

-1 can pumpkin (the 15 oz, not that huge beast of a can)

-3 pints (cups) of heavy cream

-3/4 cup of confectioners sugar

-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

-1 Tbsp vanilla

Seriously this is wicked easy.  Just take the pumpkin, sugar, pie spice and 1 cup of the cream and put it in a sauce pan.  Cook it over medium heat until it is all combined and smooth.  I ended up putting in an extra dash of the spice, just because I wanted the flavor a little stronger.  Once that is cooked, set it aside to cool.  You can put it in the refrigerator if you would like, but I just left mine on the counter to cool, and it took about 20 minutes.  Then take the remaining 2 cups of cream and whip them with the vanilla.  Fold the pumpkin mixture into the whipped cream until it is smooth, and Voila! you have pumpkin mousse….I know, I know…its not REAL mousse with the eggs and everything, but trust me when I say that you barely notice the difference.  I put mine in the fridge to chill for a while and make sure that it set nicely.

I also went a little crazy and made a vanilla bean-cinnamon whipped cream to garnish.  Just whip some cream and put in a dash of cinnamon and vanilla from 1 bean.  I didn’t sweeten it because the mousse was sweet enough, but if you have a bigger sweet tooth, then just use cinnamon sugar rather than just cinnamon

Pumpkin Mousse

Ialso am a big fan of this with a little bit of chocolate syrup added …but I’m a firm believer that everything is better with chocolate :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

TT