Creamy Mixed Greens with Pecans

Fall, Sides, Thanksgiving

Creamy Mixed Greens with Pecan / forkful of awesome

By now, I’m sure most everyone has finalized their Thanksgiving menus, but I couldn’t let the holiday pass without sharing this little gem.  Of course, this dish doesn’t have to be limited to the Thanksgiving feast- it’s fantastic anytime during the cold months.  But, if you DO add it to your Thanksgiving repertoire, it will not go unnoticed.  “Green bean casserole?  Pffft, yeah right.  More like creamy mixed greens with pecans!”  I know it’s not traditional, but it works so damn well with turkey and stuffing and cranberries.  It’s begging to be tradition from here on out.

This weekend, I went to visit my youngest sister, my brother-in-law, and my nephew.  They just bought their first home, and I had to go snoop around their new digs.  Also, it’s such a bummer, but they won’t be making it to Thanksgiving this year thanks to the Navy (I give you the middle finger salute Navy).  So, I made them these creamy mixed greens that they can have at their Thanksgiving for three.    They each sampled a bowl of greens and gave me the thumbs up (and not the middle finger salute, thank goodness).  Isn’t my sister loverly?

ashley

Remember my love affair with pecans?  It’s still going strong.  We’re very happy together, and so that’s why they’re included in this recipe.  Wanna diss pecans and use another nut?  Whatever makes you happy on this lovely holiday.  I won’t judge.  Yes I will.  I just won’t tell you I’m judging you.

Be bold, be daring, and try these greens with your Giving Thanks meal.  You’ll be thankful you did.  And so will your friends and family.  Another reason to be thankful?  You can make this a day ahead.  “Oh, thank goodness.” Thanks thanks double thanks.

Thanks.

Creamy Mixed Greens with Pecans

Serves 8-10

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Ingredients

  • 1  big ol’ bunch kale, stems removed and leaves roughly torn
  • 1 bunch collard greens, mustard greens, beet greens, whatever kind of greens you like, stems removed and leaves roughly torn
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems chopped and set aside, and leaves roughly torn
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat the largest pot you own over medium-high heat.  Add the kale, wine, and salt.  If you’re using a thick-leafed green such a collard greens, add it to the pot with the kale.  If it’s something more delicate such as mustard greens, wait to add it to the pot with the swiss chard.  Stir the greens around until wilted, and then cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the leaves are tender.
  2. Add the swiss chard and other delicate greens if you’re using them.  Turn in the pot until wilted, about 3-5 minutes.  Put the cooked greens in a bowl.
  3. Return the pot to medium-high heat, and melt 4 tbsp butter.  Add the swiss chard stems, onion, and garlic.  Saute for 3-5 minutes until the onion is softened.  Add to the bowl with the greens.
  4. Now for the creaminess!  Heat the same pot over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tbsp butter.  When melted, add the 2 tbsp flour and whisk for a minute.  Slowly add the half and half while whisking and continue to whisk until the sauce has thickened.  Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.  Add to the greens and mix everything together.  Mix in the pecans, and reserve a few to garnish on top.  Ta-da!  Enjoy!  xox

Creamy Mixed Greens with Pecan / forkful of awesomecreamy mixed greens with pecans / forkful of awesome

 

 

 

 

 

Mocha Pecan Cake with Coffee Whipped Cream

Dessert, Gluten free

chocolate pecan cake sideview

I have a new crush on pecans.  Almonds, you’re like, so yesterday.  Pecans, you have stolen my heart and I will be eating you with everything, on everything, and in everything within the foreseeable future.  How have I rejected this nut for so many years?  Minus the once a year pecan pie, pecans were off my radar.  Not anymore.  Let’s have food affair together, okay pecans?pecans

 

So, you can just imagine my excitement when I came across a recipe for a flour-less chocolate pecan cake the other day.  Awww yeah!  It was destiny, and I had to make it mine, all mine.

This is a special occasion cake.  It’s not a bake-sale cake or a one-bowl cake.  It requires some luxury time in your kitchen.  Just you, some pecans, chocolate, butter, and some sultry music.  You’re going to be melting, whipping, folding, and licking (the spatula people!).  And it’s worth it.  May I suggest listening to Zou Bisou Bisou while making your cake?  Eating this cake in bed is also highly recommended. Bon appetit!

Mocha Pecan Cake with Coffee Whipped Cream

Inspired from the Chocolate and Pecan Cake from Donna Hay Magazine

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

          The Cake

  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate, chopped
  • 10 tbsp butter, chopped
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature and separated
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped, or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar, dark or light
  • 2 tbsp hot tap water
  • 1 heaping tsp instant espresso
  • 1 2/3 cups toasted, ground pecans*
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Coffee Whipped Cream

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2-3 tbsp confectioners sugar, based on how sweet you want your whipped cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp instant espresso

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 9 inch springform pan, and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, traced from the bottom of the pan.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.  When everything is melted and silky smooth, set aside and let cool slightly.
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant espresso in the 2 tbsp water.
  4. In a large bowl (I mean large- I had to move everything to a larger bowl while making this cake), combine the egg yolks, vanilla seeds or vanilla extract, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, the espresso, the melted chocolate, the pecans, and the salt.
  5. In a stand mixer, or using handheld beaters, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually add 1/2 cup brown sugar, and continue to beat until the egg whites are glossy and stiff (hehe).
  6. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two batches.  Use a plastic spatula to do this.  Be gentle and loving so you don’t deflate your egg whites.
  7. Pour the batter into your pan and bake for one hour.  This is where the licking (spatula) comes into play.  The top of the cake will be crispy and crackled, and the inside will be almost truffle-like. Oh yes.  Cool the cake completely while still in the pan.
  8. To make the coffee whipped cream, beat the cream, vanilla, and instant espresso.  Slowly add the confectioners sugar.  Beat until you have soft peaks.  Taste for sweetness.  Remember, the cake is going to be sweet, so you don’t necessarily want the whipped cream too sugary.

* To toast the pecans, heat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 7 minutes.  Let the pecans cool completely before grinding.

Serve the cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a strong espresso.  Dim the lights, send the kids to bed, close your eyes, and enjoy.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA chocolate pecan cake wedge

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

xox