Wassail … It Must Be Christmas

Christmas is soon here, so let’s start celebrating. As we continue to recover from the devastating effects of the hurricanes, I am thinking of you and wish you all positive thoughts and the best to each and every one of you. Merry Christmas!

PIMM’S CUP COCKTAIL
Prep time: 5 minutes. Serves: 1
2oz Pimm’s No 1 (gin based liqueur)
1 cup of ice
3oz ginger-ale

Garnish:
1 lemon slice
1 cucumber slice
1 raspberry
1 strawberry
1 stalk of mint

Pour Pimm’s into glass, fill with ice. Top with ginger-ale. Garnish with lemon, cucumber, raspberry, strawberry, and mint.

Note: Pimm’s No. 1 liqueur is the key to this refreshing cocktail with British origins. It is the unofficial drink of the Wimbledon tennis tournament!

 

ROAST PUMPKIN, LENTILS, AND RICOTTA OPEN PIES
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes. Serves: 4
1 butternut pumpkin (about 1-1/4lb), peeled, seeded, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, diced
1 medium red onion, peeled, cut into thin slices
1 tsp Moroccan seasoning (See below)
Olive oil spray
1 cup (or 8oz) of grape tomatoes, halved
1 (16oz) can no added salt lentils, rinsed, drained
½ cup reduced fat ricotta
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 reduced fat short crust pastry sheets, just thawed
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place pumpkin, red peppers and onion on the oven tray. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with Moroccan seasoning. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until tender; set aside to slightly cool.

When cooled, place roasted vegetables in a large bowl. Add tomato, lentils, ricotta and parsley; stir gently to combine. Season with cracked black pepper.

Cut eight circles, about 3-inches in diameter from pastry sheets. Brush pastry rounds with egg white. Place one-quarter of the filling in the center of each round, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold up each pastry border to enclose filling, leaving pie tops open. Place pies on a baking tray. Bake 15 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden.

 

MOROCCAN SEASONING
Prep time: 5 minutes. Serves: 8. Makes: 8 Tablespoons
5 tsp ground nutmeg
1-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 tsp ground cumin
5 tsp ground coriander
2-1/2 tsp allspice
2-1/2 tsp ground ginger

Mix all together.

 

BANANA AND SWEET POTATO BREAD
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 55 minutes. Serves: about 16
Cooling time: 20 minutes and overnight. Makes: One loaf
Cooking spray, nonstick
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup shredded sweet potato
2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 (16oz) container plain non fat Greek yogurt
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
1/3 cup canola oil
¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together sweet potato, bananas, yogurt, brown sugar, eggs, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture; stir until evenly moistened. Fold in pecans. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. If necessary to prevent overbrowning, cover loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Wrap in plastic wrap or foil; store overnight before slicing. Tip: It is not recommend using a sugar substitute for this recipe.

 

Capt. Jan Robinson’s Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection is available at your local marine or bookstore. Visit www.shiptoshoreINC.com email [email protected] 

Capt. Jan Robinson
Capt. Jan Robinson’s Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection is available at your local marine or bookstore. Visit www.shiptoshoreINC.com email [email protected] Tel: 704-277-6521. Don’t miss the new cookbook added to Jan’s collection: DINING ON DECK