The cranberry relish is a recipe from my mom, the mac and cheese is a recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, and the pie is my own recipe distilled from several sources.
Cranberry Relish (6-8 servings):
- 4 cups cranberries, ground in food processor
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 medium apples
- 2 small oranges
- 1 small lemon
- 1/2 cup currants
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
- 2 tbsp orange liqueur, such as Gran Marnier or Cointreau
Finely zest one orange and half the lemon. Mix cranberries, sugar, and zest. Process the apples with the orange and lemon flesh until well mixed but still coarse. Add currants, nuts, and liqueur. Improves with sitting overnight in fridge.
Macaroni and Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Peppers (serves 6):
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 lb macaroni, shells, or other suitably shaped pasta
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 cup grated white cheddar or emmenthal
- 1 cup goat cheese
- 2 roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1/2 cup toasted almond slivers
- 1/2 cup basil
- black pepper
- 1/2 cup crushed saltines or bread crumbs
Heat the oven to 400* F. Boil the pasta in salted water until a minute or two away from being done. Drain, rinse, and set aside. Melt 3 tbsp butter, then add flour. Stir until browned, then add milk, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add the grated cheese a little at a time, stirring until smooth after each addition. Remove from heat, stir in the goat cheese.
Grease a casserole dish with the remaining butter. Combine pasta, cheese sauce, red peppers, almonds, basil leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into greased dish and top with crushed crackers or bread crumbs. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden on top.
Sweet Potato Pie:
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or use all white flour)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold, chopped into pieces
- 3 tbsp ice water, or as needed
- 3 small sweet potatoes, roasted and peeled
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
To make the pie crust, combine flours, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp sugar. Using a food processor or pinching with fingers, work the cold butter into the flour until the mixture is the texture of coarse cornmeal. Mix in the ice water, adding a bit more if mixture won’t hold together. Form into a ball or disk, and refrigerate or freeze until butter is hard again (about an hour). Roll out until big enough to fill pie plate. Place in plate, form edges, and allow to chill again for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 425* F. Prick the crust all over with a fork, butter a piece of aluminum foil, and place on pie butter side down. Fill with pie weights, or beans or rice set aside for the purpose. Bake for 12 minutes, then remove foil and weights. Reduce the oven heat to 325* F and bake for 10 minutes, or until crust is turning golden. Let cool while you make the filling.
Combine all filling ingredients well. Pour into crust and bake at 400* F for about 50 minutes, or until filling is set. Chill the pie before serving.