It has been a while since I’ve posted anything related to the “Sabor” portion of my Journal. Herewith, two recipes I served at a small Christmas brunch in mid-December.

Beet-and-Pear Salad

3 medium-sized fresh beets
1 pear, peeled and sliced

1/4 C olive oil
2 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs honey
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 C loosely packed salad greens–arugula or butter lettuce work well
¼ C coarsely chopped pistachios or pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
Feta cheese (optional)

In an 8×8 pan, roast beets in ¼ C of water for about 1 hour 10 minutes, or until tender in a 350-degree
oven. Cool. Peal. Slice. Prepare fruit.
Arrange beets and fruit over greens on a serving platter. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle pistachios
or pepitas over. Optional: sprinkle with feta cheese.

The original recipe appeared in Southern Living magazine as “Beet-and-Citrus” salad, but I can’t eat grapefruit, although I love it.

Cornbread Casserole with Ham and Kale
(modified from a Food Network recipe)

Corn Filling

3 Tbs butter, plus extra for greasing the baking dish (2 ½ quart dish)

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme (1/2 tsp if using dried)
½ tsp kosher salt
A few grinds of pepper
2 16-ounce bags frozen corn, thawed
1 ½ C heavy cream
½ lb ham, diced
5 ounces frozen kale (or any other greens substitute – I used collard greens)
¼ – ½ tsp of Aleppo chili for a little heat and smokiness

Cornbread Topping

¾ C yellow cornmeal
¾ C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp each of salt and freshly ground black pepper (I used less)
1 ½ sticks of butter, cut into pieces
¾ C heavy cream
1 C shredded sharp yellow Cheddar, divided
Hot Sauce for serving

Coat 2 ½ qt. baking dish with butter
Preheat oven to 350

I made the corn filling a day ahead.

In a LARGE skillet over medium heat, saute onion in butter until translucent. Add thyme salt, pepper.
Add corn and cream, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces in volume
and bubbles rapidly. (About 15 minutes) Transfer 2 C of the hot mixture to a food processor and puree.
Return the pureed corn to the skillet. Add Aleppo chili, if using, to taste. Fold in ham and
kale (or other greens). Set aside (or cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator overnight if
preparing ahead).

Cornbread Topping: Pulse corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper to combine. Add
the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add cream and ½ C of the
Cheddar, pulse until mixture just comes together.

Place baking dish on a sheet pan. Drop cornbread in lumps over the corn filling. It will puff and
spread out, so don’t worry about covering the corn mixture from side to side. Sprinkle with
remaining ½ C of Cheddar. Bake at 350 until the filling is bubbling and the cornbread is puffed
and golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.  





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