Wild Rice, Mushroom, and Herb Stuffing
Bring 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 2 cups wild blend rice (such as Lundberg), and 1 tablespoon butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until tender, adding additional broth if necessary. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan on medium heat, and melt
4 tablespoons butter. When butter is hot and bubbly, add 6 diced scallions (white and light green parts only), and 4 minced garlic cloves. To this, add 4 cups mixed diced mushrooms, such as cremini, button, shitaki (remove stems), and oyster. Cook until the mushrooms have released all of their moisture and are deep golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. In a bowl, combine the rice and the cooked mushrooms along with ½ cup roughly chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, and 1 tablespoon minced sage. Toss together and taste to see if you need additional seasonings. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, butter a large baking dish, and spread mixture in an even layer. Top with a generous ½ cup shredded parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 12 minutes or until the top has a nice crust.
Lemon-Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 3 medium sweet potatoes in a pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender, but not soft. Drain the potatoes, and let cool. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a nonreactive saucepan, and bring to a vigorous boil, stirring just until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat, and stir in ¼ cup fresh lemon juice and ½ teaspoon allspice. Set aside. Butter a shallow baking dish. Peel the sweet potatoes, and cut into ¾-inch rounds. Arrange the potato rounds in the buttered baking dish in a single layer. Pour the lemon syrup over them, and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, basting 2 or 3 times until the sweet potatoes are glazed and begin to caramelize slightly. Serve hot.
Quick-Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Using a box grater or food processor, shred 1½ pounds trimmed Brussels sprouts and add to the hot pan, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts begin to brown and wilt, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. Serve hot.
Pear and Cranberry Crumble
For topping: Combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, ¾ cup old fashioned oats, 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ cup soft, unsalted butter in a medium bowl. Mix with clean hands until it is equally moistened and holds together in clumps. Set aside.
For filling: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter 8-inch square baking dish with 2-inch-high sides. Peel and dice 7 large firm Bartlett pears, and combine in a large bowl with 1 generous cup frozen cranberries, ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons flour or cornstarch, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. Transfer to prepared dish. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling. Set dish on baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake until topping is golden and juices bubble thickly, about 1 hour. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.