Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Warm Curried Fruit

Here's a short note and an easy recipe for a traditional and unique side for your holiday table. Christmas is just days away and my kitchen is filled with groceries, mulling spices, and two little ones in the floor with monster trucks and tea sets. Experiencing Christmas with my children is a gift like nothing else. Their excitement is literally contagious. I am grateful for every second of the season.
Curried fruit is an old Southern holiday favorite. It's not as common as it once was, but it is worth revisiting. It's divine with roasted duck, turkey and I'm serving it for Christmas dinner with a standing rib roast. Enjoy every bite and each single blessing of Christmas.

Warm Curried Fruit

Serves 6 to 8

1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks in 100% juice

1 (15-ounce) can pear halves in 100% juice

2 (15-ounce) cans sliced peaches in 100% juice

3/4 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup dried raspberries

1/2 cup chopped dried strawberries

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Lightly spray a 7 by 11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Drain the pineapple chunks, pear halves, and sliced peaches and toss the fruit together in a large mixing bowl. Reserve the juice for another use. Add the cherries, raspberries, strawberries, and pecans and stir well.

Pour into the prepared baking dish.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Stir the brown sugar, curry, and vinegar into the hot butter. Pour over the fruit.

Bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Serve Up a Stuffed Stocking

Christmas stockings are not just for children. If stuffed with the best items, they can be great fun for grown-ups too. I remember mine from childhood very well. My sister and I both had stockings that we colored way before we could stay in the lines. The older I became, my stocking was filled with more and more practical gifts each Christmas. As a teenager, it turned into a plethora of toiletries like toothpaste and cotton swabs. Now, with stockings hanging on my own mantel, stuffing them with fun little things is one of my favorite traditions.

After three emails last week asking for Christmas gift suggestions, I thought I’d share my list of can’t-live-without tools that will create a cook’s dream stocking. They are small in size but make a big difference in the kitchen.

RSVP Spice Measuring Spoons

Microplane Stainless Steel Zester (without the handle)

Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper

Oxo Mini Angled Measuring Cup

Joyce Chen Kitchen Shears

Progressive International Magnetic Measuring Spoons

Jar Pop jar opener

Lemon Squeezer

Oxo Bag Cinch

Messermeister Pro Serrated Swivel Peeler

Small offset spatula

Peugeot salt and pepper grinders

Cork Pops Original Wine Bottle Opener

The one item I don’t own, but would love to find in my stocking (hint for Santa…) is a Thermapen thermometer.

I always get asked where I shop for items in my own kitchen. I teach a lot of classes at my favorite shop, The Cook's Warehouse in Atlanta. The store has every kitchen tool you can imagine, as well as a deal on shipping for the holidays.