Christmas will soon be here. Keep the holidays light with a table full of classic but healthy Christmas recipes. Bring out the simple and beautiful Christmas decorations and scatter cheer around your boat.
HERB CREAM CHEESE CUCUMBER BITES
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes. Yields: about 30
2 English cucumbers, cut into ½” slices
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. chopped chives
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
14 tsp. dry basil
Garnish: Jarred red roasted peppers, thinly sliced
In a small bowl, add cream cheese, chives, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and dry basil. Using a hand mixer, blend until all the spices are combined together and cream cheese is smooth and spreadable.
Put cream cheese mixture in a small ziplock bag. Close the bag, cut off one of the bottom tips. Spread cucumbers out on a serving tray and top each cucumber slice with about 1-1/2 teaspoons of the cream cheese mixture.
Garnish with a slice or two of peppers and serve.
Note: Or, refrigerate until ready to use.
EASY GARLIC-LEMON SCALLOPS
Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes. Serves: 6
2 lbs. large sea scallops
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
¾ cup butter
4 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
3 Tbsp. fresh squeezedlemon juice
Rinse the scallops and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Put oil and butter in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and cook for a few seconds until fragrant. Add scallops (making sure they do not touch each other) and sear for about 2 minutes on one side, then turn over and continue cooking until firm and opaque inside.
Remove scallops to a warmed platter, then whisk salt, pepper, and lemon juice into butter. Pour sauce over scallops. Serve immediately.
Note: You want a nice brown crust on both sides, and the internal temperature, as measured by an instant-read to reach 115 degrees F. When fully cooked, the inside should be opaque and moist.
Serving Tip: Serve with roasted cauliflower and mashed potatoes
Important to use fresh ingredients such as pure cranberry juice, sparkling wine, and orange slices keep the punch’s flavor light and flavorful and great to sip on.
Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes. Serves: 8
An attractive large punch bowl
1 large bag of ice
5 cups 100% cranberry juice (not cocktail juice)
2 bottles very dry sparkling wine (brut champagne or prosecco)
2 cups apple cider
1-1/2 cups ginger ale
1-1/2 cups good quality dark rum or brandy
2 oranges, thinly sliced into rounds
1 cup fresh cranberries.
Make sure all of the ingredients are well chilled. Fill the large punch bowl with ice. Top with the cranberry juice, sparkling wine, apple cider, ginger ale, and rum or brandy. Stir gently to combine. Top with the orange slices and fresh cranberries. Cheers!
Note: Look for a cranberry juice that is marked 100% cranberry but has a blend of other juices usually apple added. I know that is confusing, but the cranberries alone are very tart.
Jan Robinson, Captain, Health Coach, and author of the Ship to Shore cookbook collection; available on Amazon and www.shiptoshoreinc.com