Posted by on Nov 25, 2010 in Recipe | 4 comments

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving Dinner? Hopefully only the turkey was stuffed for the meal, that bloated sensation is never comfortable despite that satisfied feeling in your mind of having successfully taken a bite of every dish offered. (No point in denying it, I do the same myself!)

As great as it is to have a buffet-style meal, sometimes it may be simpler to have individual meals instead. If you’re trying for that fancy restaurant feel…a few pretty plates and portioning the food – you’re set.

From salad, to appetizers, the entrée, and dessert…don’t forget the wine! Today’s recipe is a full course dinner that should be filling if not healthily satisfying.

As with all recipes, the amount of ingredients used will depend on how much you would like to make. So play with it as you will!

First off, the appetizers…


Lotus Roots

Usually, I have lotus roots in soup. However, this cold dish has won over more than one stomach.

Ingredients:

  • lotus roots
  • EVOO, salt, pepper
  • garlic
  • sesame oil

Rinse the lotus roots and peel its skin before slicing evenly, about 1/8 inch per slice. Finely dice as much garlic as you’d like to add to the dish.

Boil the sliced lotus roots, but not until they’re boiled through otherwise they won’t be crunchy! When boiling, make sure to watch them. When only the middle is still white, take them out and chill in cold water – this ensures crunchiness.

In a bowl (or a large container), mix the lotus roots with generous amounts of EVOO (don’t worry, EVOO is good for you!). Add the garlic then season with salt, pepper, and sesame oil as you like. Shake/mix thoroughly. Chill before serving.

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts were nowhere near the top of my ‘Favorite Vegetables’ list…until this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • brussel sprouts
  • butter (~ 1 stick)
  • EVOO, salt, pepper
  • garlic
  • cayenne pepper
  • leeks (greens only, no white)
  • Cognac
  • Virginia ham or bacon

Thinly slice the brussel sprouts, and finely dice garlic. Put to the side. Cube the bacon (or Virginia ham).

Cook the bacon, but not to the point that it becomes crunchy. Remove and place to the side.

Add butter to the bacon grease and fry the diced garlic with salt and pepper. Add a dash of cayenne pepper (Dad’s secret – stolen!). Add a small amount of Cognac (~ 1 tbsp).

Now, add the brussel sprouts and cook on high heat until it’s softened and has turned a vibrant green. Add the cooked bacon and mix.


Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • Idaho potatoes
  • butter
  • garlic
  • EVOO, salt, pepper
  • heavy cream
  • cream cheese
  • herbs of choice

Wash and peel your potatoes before dropping them into the pot. Make sure to remove any ‘eyes’ you manage to spot on the potato!

Boil until fork tender and drain. While the potatoes are boiling, roast some garlic in the oven. Make sure to peel the garlic first since it’ll be a pain to do it afterwards. Season the garlic with salt and pepper, coat the baking sheet with EVOO and drizzle a bit on the garlic as well. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, mash the potatoes and garlic to your desired consistency. Some may prefer it to be slightly chunky, while others might like the creamy texture better.

As you mash, add butter to let it melt while the potatoes are still hot. If you’d like the potato salad to be creamier, add more cream cheese to the mix. If you’d like it to be more moist, add heavy cream.

Season with your choice of herbs, salt, and pepper. We used the usual mix of basil, parsley, Italian seasoning, and rosemary.

Mixed Greens Salad

Ingredients:

  • mixed greens
  • red onion
  • black olives
  • tomatoes
  • dressing (same as the sauce used for the chicken, recipe found below)

You can buy a box of mixed greens at the supermarket, choose your favorite selection. Simply add your own variation of vegetables to the mix. We used sliced red onions, sliced black olives, and diced tomatoes before drizzling on the Dijon dressing (recipe below).

Cornish Hen

The following list of ingredients are for 1 serving. Alter and change depending on how many you’re cooking for.

Ingredients:

For the brine (marinade):

  • 1/2 lemon or lime
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/4 apple
  • carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

For the chicken:

  • Cornish hen
  • salt, pepper
  • paprika

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp orange marmalade
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Cognac

Preheat your oven to 410 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a zip lock bag (the big freezer kind), mix the ingredients for the brine/marinade and place the Cornish hen inside. Seal and let sit for a minimum of 4 hours.

When you’re ready to bake the chicken, remove from the marinade and make sure to pat it dry completely. This means both inside and outside! Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Make sure that you season the inside as well.

Drain the marinade and stuff the solid marinade ingredients (apple, celery, carrot) inside the cavity of the hen. Bake at 410 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 mins. Then turn it down to 375 degrees and continue baking for 30 mins. Let cool before cutting the hens in half for plating.

To make the sauce, first melt the butter in a pan before adding the orange juice and other ingredients. Let the mixture boil in order for it to reduce and thicken. Serve by spreading sauce on the plate before placing the Cornish hen on top.

Put it all together and dinner is served. Here the proud chef sits, ready for his magazine spread.

Hope you guys enjoyed this long post and had a wonderful Thanksgiving! With one major holiday down we still have the December holidays to look forward to. Here’s hoping that you all have your gifts picked out already and perhaps a few of these recipes will make it to your dinner table. =)

Enjoy~!

~ AJ ~

Photographs taken and provided by AnnMarie Hwang

4 Comments

  1. Nov-26-2010

    Wow the hen looks really divine! I love lotus root, too but don’t really have many recipe for it. Everything sounds so delicious.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Nov-28-2010

    This is such a resourceful blog! I will surely try some recipe to entertain my friends. Thanks for sharing your tips with us!

  3. Nov-29-2010

    how are you I was fortunate to search your topic in wordpress
    your topic is marvelous
    I obtain a lot in your Topics really thanks very much
    btw the theme of you blog is really impressive
    where can find it

  4. Dec-6-2010

    Tes: Lotus root is awesome, I used to have it primarily in soup though and as a kid I found it kind of fun to play with the fibers. Other than that I don’t have too many amazing ways of preparing it as a dish. Guess we’re in the same boat? We should trade ideas. =)

    Satoe: Thanks! If you ever get around to trying the recipes out, I’d love to know how it went. ^^

    bet365: I’m glad you managed to stumble across our blog! If you’re asking about the background theme of the blog, I just used one of the pre-made ones offered by WordPress. It’s the Koi theme by N. Design.

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  1. Turkey & the Works « Sisters' Snacktime: Munchies for Two - [...] prepared? The answer is quite simple really. Some of you may remember our previous post about Cornish Hen, Individual…
  2. Turkey & the Works « Sisters' Snacktime: Munchies for Two - [...] prepared? The answer is quite simple really. Some of you may remember our previous post about Cornish Hen, Individual…

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