10 December 2010

Easy & Elegant Entertaining

I think we all are in need of easy and elegant dishes for entertaining this time of year!  My idea of easy is; no-fail-done-in-the-kitchen-in-30-minutes-tastes-incredible-minimal-dish-using-it-all-fits-in-the-dishwasher kind of meal!!  I am sharing the latest main course in our series of cooking classes! Cornish hens are a bit early 1980's yet they taste so great and are so darn easy to prepare!  I will warn you though, it's been so long since I've purchased them, I didn't realize they are no longer sold fresh...for real?  So, do purchase and plan a day ahead for defrosting! I love this stuffing recipe as well because we have a vegetarian in the household.  I add a bit of vegetable stock to the leftover stuffing and throw it into a hollowed out squash carcass for a great main dish for her as well!  If you are looking for gluten-free, just omit the bread cubes from stuffing!  This recipe was designed to make and serve 8 hens, so adjust accordingly to suit your needs! MAPLE GLAZED CORNISH HENS I small onion, grated 1 clove garlic, minced Salt & Pepper ½ cup red wine vinegar 1 cup pure maple syrup 6 Cornish Game Hens Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove giblet package from hen and rinse hen. Pat dry and loosely stuff with rice mixture, place in shallow roasting pan. Combine above ingredients and pour over hens evenly. Roast in oven about a hour basting occasionally (3 times) Check with food thermometer for doneness. RICE STUFFING FOR MAPLE GLAZED CORNISH HENS 4 cups cooked rice, any variety you choose (I chose black japonica and basmati) 6 Tablespoons Butter 1 head Savoy Cabbage 8 ounces button, shitake or porcini mushrooms 2 cloves garlic, minced Salt & Pepper to taste 3 cups crusty bread, cut in ½ inch cubes ½ cup water or stock 2 Tablespoons each, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, chopped finely In a large saut√© pan over medium-high heat, melt butter and add cabbage. Cook about 4 minutes until cabbage begins to soften, add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Continue cooking another 3 minutes. Add garlic, bread, herbs and rice. Stir until combined and pour ½ cup water over to moisten. Add more if rice mixture is too dry. Mixture should hold together when squeezed gently. Remove from heat and season to taste. Stuff birds loosely or serve as side dish immediately.

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