3 Days Until Thanksgiving

The day is practically here.  Family is coming into town, and there is not much time left for planning!! So you better have all your recipes together and ready! Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple.

 

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Optional Pecans, orange zest, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.

METHOD

1 Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.

2 At this point you can add all number of optional ingredients. We typically mix in a half a cup of roughly chopped pecans with or without a few strips of orange zest. You can add a cup of raisins or currants. You can add up to a pint of fresh or frozen blueberries for added sweetness. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice can be added too.

3 Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

Cranberry sauce base makes 2 1/4 cups.

6 Days Until Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Less than a week away!! You better be ready for the big day!! I know we are!!! Here is a sweet and savory appetizer recipe to keep your guests from getting cranky waiting on the turkey!! Remember to buy local!

 

Brie En Croute

Cook Time: 28 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, pre-packaged
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (8-ounce) wheel Brie
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Crackers, for serving

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Defrost puff pastry for approximately 15 to 20 minutes and unfold.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the walnuts in the butter until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon and stir until walnuts are coated well. Place the walnut mixture on top of the Brie and sprinkle the brown sugar over the mixture. Lay the puff pastry out on a flat surface. Place the brie in the center of the pastry. Gather up the edges of the pastry, pressing around the brie and gather at the top. Gently squeeze together the excess dough and tie together with a piece of kitchen twine. Brush the beaten egg over top and side of Brie. Place Brie on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

Serve with crackers.

To give a special look, cut extra pastry into heart or flower shapes and bake until golden.

Pasteurized Milk – Good or Bad?

First of all, pasteurization is just the process in which milk is heated to 161 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds.  This turns raw milk into the kind of milk that you buy in the grocery store.  Milk from healthy cows doesn’t contain many bacteria, but it can be contaminated easily when it’s separated from the cow. Pathogens can be spread through feces, water, soil that may be on the cow’s udder, sores on the teats, or from the hands of the dairy worker, and infections from any of these occurrences can be greatly reduced by pasteurization.

Although some say that raw milk simply tastes better, it has its benefits as well.  It contains essential amino acids, it’s easy for lactose intolerant people to digest, and it is a complete protein.  If you drink raw milk, it should only come from cows that were fed fresh, organic, green grass.  They say that the standards are far lower for milk that will eventually be heat treated, so those cows aren’t properly taken care of since the heat kills the bacteria.  There just isn’t enough open land to grass feed hundreds of animals.

Everyone should do research on the topic to see which one appeals more to you.  Keep in mind that not all raw milk is going to make you sick, and that pasteurization is done for the safety of the consumers.

Richmond Beer Week: MeKong

Nov 4 – 11 marked Richmond’s Beer Week sponsored by GreatBrewers.com. Beer enthusiasts came into Richmond for a week of beer and a good time. Restaurants offered different selections of beer from many countries while local breweries offered specials and released new beers to the public.

Even though I first considered myself too busy to participate in RBW, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to dedicate an hour to some good beer. Saturday I went to the Vietnamese restraurant MeKong with my cousin to try something new.

Located on 6004 West Broad St., the restaurant is known for its wide selection of beer and owner An MeKong (pictured above). The staff is extremely friendly and you can meet all types of beer lovers.

I typically come here about twice a month with my dad and try new Belgium beers along with IPAs. Beer isn’t the only thing that keeps people coming back, the food is delicious. The veggie spring rolls and clay pot chicken are my favorite things to order.

Check out Mekong’s fan page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/mekongrestaurant or visit their website at www.Mekongva.com.

And remember: Bier ist für Liebhaber! (Beer is for lovers)

10 DAYS UNTIL THANKSGIVING!

It’s time for the Main Course recipe…. TURKEY!!!  Only 10 days left, so you better start getting everything in order, because Thanksgiving is QUICKLY approaching!!! Remember to buy local!

Black Pepper-Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Turkey

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 2 hr 15 min
Level: Intermediate
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

Turkey Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate molasses
  • 3/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

Turkey:

  • 1 (about 15 pounds) fresh turkey
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned broth

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk together pomegranate molasses, horseradish, mustard, salt, and coarsely ground black pepper. Set aside and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to meld.

Remove the neck, heart and gizzard from inside of the turkey. Rinse the bird inside and out with cold water and pat dry. Rub the entire surface of the bird with the butter and season well (including the cavity) with salt and pepper. Truss the turkey and place breast-up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Roast for about 45 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue roasting, basting with some of the chicken stock every 15 minutes, for about 1 hour, 15 minutes longer. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh should register 160 degrees F.)

During the last 15 minutes of roasting, stop basting with the chicken stock and brush the entire turkey with 1 cup of the pomegranate glaze. Remove the turkey from the oven, brush with the remaining glaze, loosely tent and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

Meet the people behind RVA Eats Local

We thank everyone who has been following our blog over the past few weeks, and to say thanks we decided to introduce ourselves. Without further ado, the folks behind RVA Eats Local:

My name is Curtis Clark, and it’s great to finally meet you! I am a VCU student studying creative advertising. More importantly, I have lived in RVA for 6 years, most of the time in the Fan, but more recently in Lakeside. My interests are many, including graphic design, social media, and the local art scene. More recently I have gained an interesting perspective on the Richmond restaurant industry as I helped a friend in the unfortunate task of closing her restaurant a few months back. I look forward to continue dishing out any and all information I can find on what RVA’s finest establishments are dishing out.”

Selma Zlatarevic is a senior at VCU studying public relations and business. You can find her every morning at Ellwood Thompson’s and every Sunday afternoon at Joe’s Inn. Selma is passionate about Richmond’s local businesses, baking, and puppies.

Kiara Green is a VCU student majoring in Public Relations while minoring in Spanish and general business. Her favorite spot in Richmond to grab a bite (and probably a beer) is MeKong. According to Kiara: “Richmond is known for so many things but what people don’t know is that Richmond has so many great places for you to try your taste buds. Every day I discover a new restaurant, food festival or market that I want to go and try out!”

Donna Lindsay is a 21 year old creative advertising major and African American studies minor in her second year at VCU. She’s interested in finding food lovers the best local foods and the best deals. Her favorite places to eat in RVA are the Village Cafe and Mama J’s.

“My name is Ashland Husar, and I am a senior creative advertising student with a minor in business at VCU. I am originally from Fairfax, VA. My favorite local restaurant is Baja Bean Co.”

Ali Zaman is studying creative advertising/art direction at the BrandCenter. “My favorite local restaurant would have to be Stuzzi’s pizza. Their food is like no other. They hand make their sauces and mozzarella cheese and you can really taste the difference. I like to try the smaller mom & pop restaurants around Richmond. I don’t bother looking at reviews before I go to places. If something about the restaurant or their menu catches my eye, I’ll go and see what they have. I’ll pretty much try and eat anywhere once.”

“My name is Chris Bower, and I live in Ricmond, VA. I love all the unique things this city has to offer, especially the food! However, I am a near broke student who can’t always afford to try all the local places. This is why I find ways to eat locally without going over my spending limit, and I’ll pass what I find onto you!”

“Hello I am Terrance Williams and I am a 23 year old Mass Communications tudent at VCU. I am currently employed at Comcast where I am a talk show host. I enjoy patting and chilling with friends.”

11 Days until Thanksgiving!!!

Just a little less than a week and a half until Thanksgiving!!! I am sure that everyone already has all of their plans set in stone, but make sure to spice up your recipes this year! And don’t forget to buy local!!  Who doesn’t love Sweet Potato Casserole?

recipe image

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
 
Ingredients:
4 cups sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Put sweet potatoes in a  medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, buyer, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. In medium bowl, mis the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is slightly brown.