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Chef Medeiros' spin on traditional Thanksgiving dishes - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Chef Medeiros' spin on traditional Thanksgiving dishes

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Thanksgiving is around the corner. A lot of people have their go to recipes -- but why not switch it up? Tracy Medeiros is here this morning with a stepped up stuffing recipe.

Roasted Root Vegetable and Artisan Handcrafted Sausage Stuffing

By Tracey Medeiros

SERVES 12 TO 14

This rustic stuffing is all about subtle layers of flavor.  It has a creamy tang from the goat cheese and a sweet earthiness from the roasted rutabaga, red beets, carrot, and onion.  The citrus notes from the lemon zest provide an extra punch of brightness, which is the perfect counterpoint to the savory artisan handcrafted sausage.

Serve this stuffing with beef, pork, roast chicken, or turkey.

Ingredients

Roasted Vegetables

1 (2 pound) rutabaga, ends trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound red beets, scrubbed, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large carrot, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, cut into 1/3-inch wide wedges
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage or thyme
Kosher salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Connecticut honey, or to taste
1 (1 - to 1 1/2 pound) loaf artisan bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound artisan handcrafted sausage, such as red wine and garlic pork sausage, casings removed
3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 (4-ounce) log chevre cheese
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, or as needed

Method of Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.
2. Place the rutabaga, beets, carrot, onion, garlic, rosemary, sage in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle with olive oil and honey and toss to combine, making sure to coat all the vegetables well.
3. Spread the vegetable mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.  Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just fork-tender, about 45 minutes.  Set aside.
4. Place the bread cubes on an ungreased baking sheet and toast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool.
5. While the bread cubes are toasting, cook the sausage.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the sausage and cook, crumbling with a fork, until just browned and slightly pink in the center, about 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
6. Lightly butter a 9 X 13-inch baking dish.  Place the bread cubes in a large bowl.  Mash the garlic with the back of a fork or spoon.  Add the vegetable mixture, including the mashed garlic, to the bread cubes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the bread stuffing.  Stir in the eggs, chevre, lemon zest, and parsley.  Gently mix all the ingredients together; do not overmix.  Season with salt pepper to taste.  Pour the stuffing into the prepared baking dish.  Pour the stock over the surface of the stuffing.  If the mixture seems too dry, add more stock until the desired consistency is achieved.
Lightly coat the dull side of a sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover the baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover the stuffing and continue to bake until the top is crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Let stuffing rest for 5.

Maple Roasted Beet Soup with Fresh Goat Cheese and Pistachios

By Tracey Medeiros

SERVES 6 TO 8

Soup

3 pounds red beets, scrubbed

1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus extra as needed

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

6 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled

1 medium onion, peeled, trimmed and quartered

1 quart low-sodium chicken stock

2 cups orange juice, preferably fresh

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon pistachio oil, or to taste, plus more for drizzling

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes

6-8 thin slices baguette, toasted

1 (4 ounce) log fresh goat cheese, crumbled

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest, or to taste

1 ounce (1/4 cup) salted shelled roasted pistachios, crushed

Method of Preparation

1. To make the roasted beets:Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.Remove the beet greens, reserving them for another purpose.Transfer the beets to a large bowl and toss with the maple syrup and 1 tablespoon olive oil.Season with salt and pepper.Wrap the beets loosely in foil; then transfer to a baking sheet.Roast until fork tender, about 60 minutes, depending on the beet size.When beets are cool enough to handle, wrap one beet at a time in a paper towel and rub the skin away, discarding the skins.Repeat the process with the remain beets; then coarsely chop.

2. To make the roasted onion and garlic:Place the onion and garlic cloves is a medium bowl and toss with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.Season with salt and pepper.Add the onion and garlic cloves to the baking sheet with the beets for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.When the garlic is cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and discard.Coarsely chop the onion.

3. Working in batches, puree the soup ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.Place the soup in a medium stockpot and cook until heated through.Adjust seasonings with maple syrup, if desired, and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Ladle the soup into bowls.Carefully, place 1 baguette slice on top of soup. Garnish with goat cheese, to taste, 1/4 teaspoon orange zest, or to taste, and crushed pistachios, to taste.Drizzle with pistachio oil and serve. 

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