Earlier this week, I woke up one morning and saw this little hare under the falling snow right outside the bedroom window (perks of the rural living vs when you see a homeless person urinating on your luxury condominium (well, at least from my personal experience…)). I realized that Christmas is in less than two weeks. Clearly, this year I am so dans la lune (French for spaced out) that not even Michael Buble’s soundtrack in the stores could alert me about how close I am to my favorite holiday. I guess the rabbit was my jingle bell to get ready for my réveillon.
It’s time to roast our holiday boon (chestnuts), mount a Christmas tree and get enchanted with the Holiday spirit and Nat King Cole. With that in mind, I’m going straight to this year’s holiday recipes, which, hopefully, will be taking the same direction as my 2014 New Year’s Eve resolutions in draft.
Naturally, I mean food and health-related resolutions (there are simply not enough pages on this blog to list all the others). OK, let’s begin (wish No. 1): I wish I will eat more vegetables and nuts. ‘’Your wish is my Command!’’ Wow, that fast? Is that me, or are YOU for real?
And I just happen to have some chestnuts, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes on my kitchen counter. In my head I am adding olive oil, shallot, Spanish paprika, salt, pepper to this trio and it seems to me that the mix will be a delicious treat for today’s lunch or a holiday side dish. And I’m not even talking about nutritional bonus of all three. Hands on…
Ta-Dah! 40 minutes later I sit down with the plate of steamy veggies and roasted chestnuts. Excellent dish for an established vegetarian, but since I am not the one yet, it’s (me) asking for some extra things. What would it be? A plate of home-made potato-sage gnocchi with hazelnut glaze sounds like a good idea (thumbs up, I’m still pushing in vegetarian direction). Both dishes make a perfect company for someone busy to decorate a house and/or a Christmas tree. Are they festive enough though for a holiday table? N-nay…
My autopilot is pushing me to start kneading for some traditional classics, which I do – no problem with that. And while I am doing that, some ideas finally start visiting me. I might reveal them this weekend. In the meantime, have a happy shopping, work-partying and decorating time!
BRUSSELS SPROUTS, SWEET POTATO & ROASTED CHESTNUTS
1 lb sweet potatoes in cubes
1 shallot, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb Brussels sprouts, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
¾ tsp. sea salt
Pinch of Spanish paprika (optional)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup freshly roasted or vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400F. In a bowl, toss cubed sweet potatoes with a tbsp. olive oil and Spanish paprika. Spread evenly in a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes or until potato is soft but not mushy.
In the meantime, coat a baking sheet with olive oil. In a bowl, mix Brussels sprouts, 1 tbsp olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat, spread evenly on the sheet and bake for 20 minutes next to sweet potatoes, stirring once.
After 20 minutes, remove both from the oven; incorporate Brussels sprouts with sweet potatoes, top with sliced roasted chestnuts and toss slightly to distribute evenly throughout. Return to oven and bake until Brussels sprouts are tender and golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve very hot.