Here are some unique holiday favorites, courtesy of Chef Mel Mecinas, culinary extraordinaire, Four Seasons Troon. (BTW, the mac & cheese ROCKS.)
Sweet Crab Mac & Cheese
- 1 cup sweet crab
- 3 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup diced butternut squash
- ½ cup caramelized onions
- 8 ounces tubetti pasta or elbow macaroni
- 1/3 pound pepperjack cheese, grated
- 1/2 pound white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tsp parsley, coarsely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground White pepper
- In a large sauce pot, bring the cream to a boil and add the two cheeses.
- Simmer over low heat for several minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted.
- Combine the sweet crab, butternut squash, and caramelized onions with the cheese mixture. Cook for several minutes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well.
- Add the pasta to the mixture, along with chopped parsley. Stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- 3 butternut squash; peeled, seeded & diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 2 carrots peeled & diced
- 4 oz. butter
- 1 oz. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 bay leaves
- 1½ quart vegetable stock
- 1 cup cream
- Salt & pepper, as needed
- 6 bias-cut French bread croutons
- ½ cup sautéed assorted wild mushrooms.
- Combine squash, 2 oz. butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pepper in a roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until tender. Remove and cool.
- In a large pot, melt 2 oz. butter over medium heat and add celery, onion and carrots; season with salt and pepper and cook until tender.
- Add cooked squash, bay leaves, and vegetable stock. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 35 minutes.
- Add cream, and check seasoning. Remove from heat and puree in a food processor.
- Serve in a soup bowl and garnish with a rustic French bread crouton and roasted wild mushrooms.
- 8 cups low-fat milk
- 6 oz. Mexican chocolate (Ibarra or Abuelita brand)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Pinch of nutmeg
- In a small, nonstick sauce pot, add the chocolate, milk and cinnamon stick.
- Slowly simmer and stir constantly until the chocolate melts.
- Remove the cinnamon stick, add a pinch of nutmeg; blend the mixture with a hand blender to create a nice, foamy hot chocolate.