what i’ve been cooking over the holidays — 2012 edition!

Hello friends! Sorry for the light posting this past week. As you can imagine, we’ve been busy cooking, wrapping, playing and making merry. The kitchen has seen a lot of action — thank God we installed that dishwasher this year! Here’s a round up of some of the recipes that have graced our table.

1. Popovers. Always a favorite. Though they’re great for breakfast, served warm with butter, honey and your favorite jams, on Christmas, I serve them with the main course. They go great with a roast beast of any kind, especially if there is gravy in picture.

2. Slow cooked pomegranate short ribs.
I took this recipe from Everyday food and adapted it for my slow cooker. Here’s how. First brown the meat in a skillet. Then place it in a slow cooker with onion, garlic gloves, thyme, red wine and pomegranate juice and cook on slow for five or six hours. Once the meat is falling-apart tender, remove and plate. Make a roux with butter and cornstarch in a sauce pan on the stove, and strain some of the fragrant juice from the slow cooker in, stirring until it turns into a gravy. Pour over the meat and sprinkle it with pomegranate seeds. It was insanely delicious.

3. Braised broccoli rabe. I took another page from Everyday Food and had broccoli rabe as a side dish. This is another favorite in our house. Usually I just saute in it garlic, but this time I cooked it for about ten minutes in a chicken broth and garlic bath. The results were tender and sweet.

4. Parmesan polenta. The other side dish I whipped up was Ina Garten’s parmesan polenta. This is another example of a simple recipe made stunning by using the best ingredients. Into basic polenta you add creme fraiche and freshly grated parmesan. So rich and heavenly, I could eat a whole bowlful.

5. Tiramisu. Since the menu inadvertently evolved into one with Italian flavors, I thought a traditional Tiramisu would be nice way to end the evening. I used a basic recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. Every time I make this I am amazed at how easy it is. As long as you have a stand mixer, and can easily whip up those egg yolks until they are nice and frothy, restaurant-style Tiramisu is a breeze. After a hearty meal, it is light and sweet and has just enough of a coffee flavor to perk things up. Amazing.

What did you serve over the holidays? I’d love the hear about it! — Angela M.

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