|Fall in So Cal|
Thanks Mother Nature (and Melissa's Produce) for giving us the amazing Korean Pear. Crisp, sweet, refreshing, and generously sized, Korean pears are very different from other "pears" because I think their unique, exotic flavor is superior and their crunchy texture and bright, white flesh inspire me to get busy in the kitchen on a couple of fall recipes.
|Double Duty Ingredients|
Melissa's Basmati with Wild Rice. To make this a genuine pilaf, you first briefly toast the dry rice in a bit of oil until lightly browned, then proceed according to package directions. You can use the pilaf on its own as a warm side dish, as a filling for roasted winter squash, or chilled and served on a bed of greens as a fresh, seasonal salad. Find the base recipe below.
chef Tom Fraker. Korean pears, dried cranberries, pepitas and pecans are enrobed in filo dough in this versatile recipe that you could proudly place on your Thanksgiving dessert table or enjoy for breakfast the morning after. Don't make this too far in advance of when you plan to serve it or you will eat it all yourself and there won't be any left for anyone else. That would make you a bad (but very happy) person, so let's try and keep the giving in Thanksgiving, shall we?
|2 wire hangers + mesh produce bags + seasonal embellishments|
(P.S. Some diced fresh Persimmons would add even more fall fabulousness to both recipes.)
1 1/2 cups wild and basmati rice blend
1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Korean pear, diced and sprinkled with Meyer lemon juice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pepitas, lightly toasted
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
|Pilgrims waiting for Pilaf|
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1/4 cup apple cider
1 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
fresh ground pepper & Kosher or sea salt to taste
In a medium pan heat the vegetable oil, add the rice, and saute about 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Add water according to package directions and cook until done. Fluff with a fork.
Add the remaining ingredients, toss to combine, and serve as a side dish. You can also use this as a filled for a cut half or quarter of a winter squash, drizzled with a little oil and roasted at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.
To serve the pilaf as a salad, let the rice cool to room temperature. Add the other ingredients to the rice, whisk the dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the rice, toss, and serve on a bed of mixed greens.
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup apple cider
6 sheets filo dough
1/3 cup Earth Balance (or butter), melted
1 Korean pear, diced
1 tsp. Meyer lemon juice
1 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. five spice
1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup pecans
confectioner's sugar for dusting
Soak the dried cranberries in heated apple cider for at least 20 minutes.
On a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, lay out one sheet of filo dough and brush with melted butter. Place a second sheet of filo dough on the first sheet, brush with butter, and then repeat with the remaining sheets.
In a medium sized bowl, toss the diced pear, lemon, brown sugar, spices, pepitas and pecans together. Place the mixture along the length of the filo stack, leaving at least a 2 inch edge where you'll start rolling the strudel as tightly as possible. After rolling, pinch the ends or fold the ends under the strudel. Brush the remaining butter over the outside of the strudel. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven, let cool slightly, dust with confectioners sugar, and enjoy.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!