on the page magazine

issue no. 9, winter 2002–2003


Hearty Hosting Fare

holiday treats from Lyn Dacanay

the recipes

  • Glögg is a tradiational Swedish holiday drink, made with red wine, almonds, raisins, and spices. I've heard that Ikea sells an instant mixture, but that couldn't compare to this homemade version that'll keep you warm and toasted.
  • Chestnut Cheesecake. Cheesecake is my favorite dessert and this one's a holiday treat ("chestnuts roasting in an open fire..." and all that). It also reminds me of buying chestnuts from street vendors in Paris in the winter.
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Tenderloin and Cheesey-Mushroom-Potato Gratin is a good, cold-weather dinner party combo. It's totally rich. Makes your body fat so that you can stay warm in winter. You can then regret your gluttony when bikini season starts.
  • Walnut Petites. My cousin Josie used to make these when we were little. I never had a big sweet tooth, but these little pastries were always addicting. They are great for gift giving.
  • Dobos Torte is a fabulous recipe; this one is a bastardized version from Martha Stewart Living (Dec '02 edition) and a recipe found in a German-Austrian cookbook. This is labor intensive, but it is well worth it. I think this should be served with strong black coffee after a tree-trimming gathering with friends.

    the recipes

    Glögg (Spicy Hot Red Wine) *

    Makes about 8 drinks

    zest of 1 orange (make sure there is no white rind)
    1 bottle (750ml) of dry red wine
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 cinnamon sticks
    10 cloves
    1 cardamon pod
    1 thin slice fresh ginger
    1/2 cup aquavit
    1/2 cup vodka
    1/2 cup plump golden raisins
    1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds

      Heat half bottle of red wine, sugar, orange zest, spices, and ginger in a saucepan over moderate heat. Do not boil. Stir to dissolve sugar. Simmer 10 minutes.
      Cool. Pour through a fine sieve into another saucepan.
      Stir in remaining half bottle of red wine, aquavit, and vodka. Heat saucepan over moderate heat until warm.
      Divide raisins and almonds among eight coffee cups or heatproof glasses and ladle in glögg.
      Serve with small spoons for eating raisins and almonds.

    *Note: The ingredients are variable according to taste. This combination is strong, so give your keys to a friend and don't drink and drive.

    red bow

    Chestnut Cheesecake

    For crust, use graham cracker crust or any crust of your choice

    10-ounce jar chestnuts in vanilla syrup (marrons glacés)
    2 8-ounce cream cheese packages at room temperature
    1/3 cup sugar
    2 teaspoon vanilla
    2 large eggs

    1/2 cup crème fraîche
    1/2 cup whipping cream

      Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    For Filling
      Drain chestnuts. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. You should have 2 cups of chopped chestnuts.
      With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in small bowl until smooth.
      Beat in eggs, one at a time.
      Cover bottom of crust with 1 cup of chopped chestnuts. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of the chopped chestnuts.
      Bake cheesecake about 45 minutes.
      Cool cheesecake about 30 minutes. Place in refrigerator for 3 hours to chill.
      Once chilled, add topping. Can be kept overnight.

    For Topping
      Whisk crème fraîche and whipping cream in a bowl until stiff. Pour on top of cheesecake.
      Spoon remaining cup of chopped chestnuts on top when serving the sliced cheesecake.

    red bow

    Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Orange Relish

    Makes 6 servings

    2 1-pound pork tenderloins
    4 thin slices prosciutto (about 8"x2")
    1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
    2 teaspoon chopped thyme
    1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
    1/4 cup olive oil
    4 fresh sage leaves
    1 tablespoon olive oil

    1 cup cranberries (frozen or fresh)
    1/4 cup sugar
    juice of 1 orange
    zest of 1 orange, chopped

      Preheat over to 350 degrees.
      Slit the tenderloin so that you have a pocket to fill with the breadcrumb mixture.
      Mix breadcrumbs, thyme, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
      Fill pocket of tenderloins with bread mixture.
      Place two sage leaves on top of each tenderloin. Wrap two prosciutto slices around each tenderloin.
      Using kitchen twine, tie tenderloins and stuffing together in four or five places to make cylinder-shaped roast.
      Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in an oven-proof skillet. Brown the roasts about 10 minutes, until all sides are browned.
      Place skillet in oven and roast about 30 minutes.
      Transfer roast to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
      In a small saucepan, mix all the relish ingredients together and cook about 10 minutes until sugar is dissolved and you have relish consistency.
      Serve relish as side to the roast.

    red bow

    Cheesey-Mushroom-Potato Gratin

    Makes 10 servings.

    4 medium-size russet potatoes, sliced to 1/8-inch thickness. Immerse potatoes in water for 30 minutes, then drain and use in recipe.
    1/2 cup butter, plus 2 tablespoons
    1 cup chopped button mushrooms
    1 cup chopped fresh shiitake mushrooms
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
    1 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 cup chicken broth
    2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1 cup half and half
    1 cup whipping cream

      Preheat over to 350 degrees.
      For mushroom mixture, heat 1/2 cup butter in saucepan. Mix in mushrooms, garlic, and herbs for 5 minutes.
      Add chicken broth and simmer until liquid evaporates (about 20 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Cool.
      Assemble gratin. Butter gratin dish with 2 tablespoons butter.
      First layer: add 1/3 potato mixture to bottom of dish, then add 1/2 mushroom mixture and 1/3 Parmesan cheese.
      Second layer: add another 1/3 potato mixture, then second half of mushroom mixture, and 1/3 Parmesan cheese.
      Third layer: add last third of potato mixture.
      Mix together the half and half and the whipping cream. Pour over the assembled gratin mixture.
      Cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour.
      Uncover pan and sprinkle remaining Parmesan over top of gratin. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.
      Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    red bow

    Walnut Petites

    8 ounces softened cream cheese
    2 sticks unsalted butter
    2 cups all purpose flour
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    2 cups chopped walnuts

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You'll need to use mini-muffin pans to bake these in.
      Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
      Sift in the flour and stir until mixture forms a dough.
      Divide dough into quarters. Wrap each quarter in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
      Make 12 balls from each piece of dough (24 total). Press ball into bottom and up sides of mini-muffin cup to form a pastry shell. Chill until ready to fill.
      Whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and walnuts.
      Fill each pastry shell with 1 teaspoon of walnut mixture. Bake in batches in middle of oven until filling is bubbling and pastry is brown (about 20–30 minutes).
      Run a sharp knife around edges of pastries, then transfer to a rack to cool.

    red bow

    Dobos Torte

    Makes 12 servings

    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for baking sheets
    1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour, plus more for dusting baking sheets
    1 cup sugar
    6 large eggs
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    Hazelnut Simple Syrup
    Caramel Buttercream
    Caramel for garnish

      Preheat oven to 350 degree with rack at center.
      Butter two 12x17 inch rimmed baking sheets. Line the bottom of baking sheets with parchment paper. Butter parchment and sprinkle with flour, tapping out excess flour. Set aside.
      Set a pan over simmering water. Whisk together sugar, eggs, and salt until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
      Beat egg mixture on high speed with an electric mixer until very thick and pale, about 7 minutes. Fold in gently 2/3 of the flour in two batches.
      In another bowl, combine the melted butter and vanilla and almond extracts. Add to egg mixture. Fold in remaining flour. Divide the batter between the two prepared baking sheets. Smooth top with a spatula.
      Bake the cakes about 12 minutes, until they are lightly golden brown and springy to the touch. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
      When cooled, invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the parchment paper. Cut each cake into 3 rectangles to get 6 cake layers. This recipe only uses 5 cake layers so that the sixth layer can be used in another dessert recipe (e.g., cut in slices and topped with a berry compote and freshly whipped cream).
      Lay one rectangle on a flat work surface. Using a pastry brush, soak with a little less than 1/4 cup Hazelnut Simple Syrup. Spread 1 cup Caramel Buttercream evenly over the top. Place another rectangle on top, and continue until you have 5 cake layers soaked with syrup and ending with buttercream. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
      When ready to serve, sprinkle chopped caramel over top.

    Caramel Buttercream
    Makes about two quarts

    2 1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    6 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
    9 large egg whites
    1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

      In a heavy saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cup sugar and the water to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until caramel is dark amber in color. Remove from heat.
      Pour heavy cream in a stream with a wooden spoon. Let cool.
      In a bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy and pale in color. Set aside.
      Set another bowl over a pan of simmering water.
      Whisk together the remaining cup of sugar and the egg whites until mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
      With an electric mixer set on medium speed, whisk the sugar and egg white mixture until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to low; add the creamed butter 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add caramel mixture, beating until smooth.
      Keep mixture at room temperature if using same day. Otherwise, cover in airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days.

    Makes about 1 cup

    Unsalted butter for baking sheet
    1/2 cup sugar
    3 tablespoon water

      Butter a baking sheet.
      In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until caramel is dark amber in color. Remove from heat.
      Pour caramel onto prepared baking sheet. Let caramel sit until hardened and cooled.
      Coarsely chop. Store the caramel in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 1 day.

    Hazelnut Simple Syrup
    Makes about 1 1/8 cups

    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup Frangelico (or other hazelnut liqueur)

      In a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring sugar and the water to a boil, swirling until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, cover and cool completely. Stir in liqueur.
      Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

    more recipes from Lyn
    spring fling menu
    valentine's day for one

    Lyn Dacanay graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in English literature. She thought she would be a writer, chef, or travel editor, but ended up in high tech instead. She's currently devising plans to take over Martha Stewart's empire.

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