We are a family of non-traditional traditions.
That means we don’t follow the conventional turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie route that most everyone I know takes. We instead do this whole play on those items. This year we did brunch! Let me give you a run down on what we had. Overnight cranberry oatmeal, baked eggs with taleggio and squash, sweet potato waffles with your choice of onion gravy or pumpkin butter as toppings, turkey bacon & sausage and a wonderful thick cut maple syrup bacon. We also had rumaki, sausage stuffed mushrooms, fruit kebabs and two kinds of banana bread. Oh and let us not forget the mimosas! In all it was absolutely wonderful and tasty. These recipes were found on the internet during my trawlings. Some modified for our gathering, some made up between a few recipes and one or two not messed with at all. I was asked to post 3 of the recipes: the rumaki, stuffed mushrooms and the baked eggs. Let me get right to them!
Original recipe found here
Makes approximately 24 appetizers
12 slices bacon, halved crosswise
12 ounces chicken livers, halved
2 cans whole water chestnuts, halved if large
1/4 c soy sauce
1 t fresh minced ginger
2 T dry sherry
1 t sugar
Combine soy sauce, ginger, sherry and sugar in a small bowl. Add the chicken livers and water chestnut pieces and marinate them in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Place 1 chicken liver piece and 1 chestnut piece in the center of each bacon-half, wrap, and secure with a toothpick.
You can either broil them or bake them. To broil: place the rumaki on a broiler pan or shallow baking pan and broil, about 5 or 6 inches from the heat, until the bacon is crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To bake: place on a baking sheet in a 375° oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
**Note: The chicken livers frankly sounded awful to me so I skipped that part all together. The cans of water chestnuts I got the chestnuts were really small so I didn’t think it was necessary to halve them. I would also suggest a regular cut of bacon that is thinner. I had very thick bacon and that would have overwhelmed the small size of the chestnuts with too much smoke flavor so I cut them into a 1 inch square and picked them to the top. A thinner bacon would have wrapped easier.
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Original recipe found in Ladies’ Home Journal from Ina Garten’s cookbook
Serves 8 to 10 people
25 extra-large white mushrooms, caps and stems separated
5 tbsp olive oil, separated
2 1/2 T Marsala wine or dry sherry
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
6 scallions, white and green parts finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
2/3 c panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)
5 oz mascarpone cheese, plus a little extra
1/3 c grated Parmesan
2 1/2 T minced flat-leaf parsley
Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Trim mushroom stems and finely chop; set aside. Place mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tbsp oil and Marsala. Set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and crumble into small pieces; cook until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the mushroom stems and cook 3 minutes more. Stir in the scallions, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the panko crumbs and mascarpone and continue cooking until the mascarpone has melted and made the mixture creamy. Remove from heat, add the Parmesan and parsley and season to taste. Cool slightly. Fill each mushroom cap generously with the sausage mixture. Arrange in a snug single layer in a large baking dish. Bake until the stuffing is browned and crusty, 50 minutes.
**Note: I’m not sure I was a huge fan of the larger mushrooms because they are a two biter then instead of something you can just pop in your mouth. In either case it would suggest removing some of the mushroom to accommodate as much stuffing as you can. I used a strawberry huller to core out a bit more being careful not to crush the cap as I did this. I also used a mini ice cream scoop to make a nice tight ball of stuffing to drop into the cap. We had also tried to make as much ahead of time as we could. I cleaned and cored the mushrooms and dropped them in a plastic bag. Mixed up the oil and marsala in a separate container and made the stuffing, then cooled and stored. When it came time to make the mushrooms, I reheated the stuffing and added a healthy tablespoon of marscarpone to make sure it had enough stick. Worked like a charm.
1 T butter
16 T heavy cream
1/3 lb of taleggio cheese, sliced into 8 pieces
8 large eggs
1/2 c roasted squash cut into small slices
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease 8 1-cup ramekins with 1/2 teaspoon of butter each. bring a pot of water to boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. To fill the fill the ramekins pour 1 tablespoon of cream into each. Cut each slice of taleggio in half and drop both pieces on top of the cream. Plop 1 egg into each ramekin. Put in 2 or 3 small pieces of squash. Pour another tablespoon of cream over each ramekin. Sprinkle small amount of thyme (fresh or dry) over the top and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Drizzle on remaining butter evenly over each ramekin. Place ramekins in a baking dish and carefully pour the simmering water into the dish, enough to fill the dish halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake the eggs in the oven until there is no hint of uncoagulated egg, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully remove each ramekin for the water bath. Drizzle on 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinaigrette (recipe follows). Serve immediately.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Recipe found on Epicurious and modified by me
2 c apple cider (can use apple juice)
1/4 c cider vinegar
1/4 c honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 T shallot, finely diced
1 t salt
In a jar with tight fitting lid, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove cinnamon stick. Can be stored in refrigerator for several weeks.
**Note: Taleggio, I had to find this in a specialty cheese store. Worth it for a holiday but a bit much for an everyday sort of meal. Any semisoft cheese would work in its place making it different every time you prepare it, try: pecorino fresco, smoked Gouda, drunken goat cheese or Manchego.