Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears

If you like cranberry sauce, then you’ll love these oats! Steel cut oats are a special treat for me. They take too long to make on a weekday morning before work [who has time to babysit at the stove for 30 minutes?], so they’re reserved for the weekend in my mind–and I always make extra for leftovers. :) But I digress. This past Saturday, I whipped up these easy Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears, and let me tell you… they were something amazing!

Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears | thepajamachef.com

I’ve only made steel cut oats a few times in the past and these were by far the best–tender with just a little bit of chewiness. These steel cut oats were the most flavorful oats I’ve ever tasted, and the prettiest too! See that pink? I cooked fresh cranberries in with the steel cut oats to achieve that gorgeous color, added some cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar to cut down the tartness of the fresh berries, then topped off with some easy, juicy caramelized pears. The subtle sweetness of the pears plays so well with the tart cranberries, I love it. I first experienced that unique flavor combo over Christmas when my mom, sister, and I were making brunch for the family and we all helped throw together the pear cranberry compote. Divine! [Everyone loved it, so I knew the flavor combo was a winner.] This breakfast may be a bit time consuming, but it’s totally worth it. If rich and indulgent oatmeal is a thing, this would be it, because, duh, caramelized pears! Enjoy! :)

Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Mexican Cornbread Pot Pie
two years ago: Lasagna Soup
three years ago: Whole-Wheat Cornbread

Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears [adapted from S. John & Sandra Ross and Martha Stewart]
click to print

Ingredients:

for oats

  • 2 cups water
  • 5 ounces fresh cranberries, washed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup pear cider [or milk, water, cranberry juice, apple juice/cider, etc.]
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

for pears

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Anjou pears, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Add water, cranberries, and sugar to a pot and bring to a boil. When berries begin to burst, add steel cut oats, pear cider, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cook for 25-30 minutes until oats are softened, stirring occasionally.

To prepare pears, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When bubbly, sprinkle in sugar gradually. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved and caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add pears, carefully flipping to fully coat in sugar-butter mixture. Cook until just soft, about 2-4 minutes [depending on how thin you slice them], then gently fold in cloves and cinnamon.

Top cranberry oats with caramelized pears to serve.

Time: 40 minutes.
Yield: 4-5 servings.

Linked up with: What’s Cookin’ Wednesday.

About these ads

Mystery Dish: Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa

Welcome to December Mystery Dish! Should be a good post for my last recipe of the year. I didn’t intend to take a two week break, but it’s been nice to unplug. :) Sherri at The Well Floured Kitchen was this month’s host for Mystery Dish, and the ingredients she chose for us included: Dark Chocolate, Greek Yogurt, Berries, Coconut Oil, Walnuts, Fish, Baby Spinach, and Pecorino Romano Cheese. We had to use at least two, and I chose to use fish and berries… cranberries to be specific. I know cranberries aren’t always thought of as traditional ‘berries’ but they are in season and I love them so I wanted to use them! For more info on berries, check out Wikipedia. :)

Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa | thepajamachef.com

Ben helped extensively with this recipe–he came up with the idea to make fish tacos, and I wanted to try my hand at a cranberry salsa. Fruit salsas are so complimentary to fish tacos, and this one, though a little more tart than most, was absolutely amazing. I used two types of fresh herbs [rosemary and parsley] and tangerine to flavor it up, then added a little sweetness and tartness with honey and red raspberry vinegar. My goal was to make the salsa be different from my usual cranberry relish [fresh cranberries, sugar, and an orange], and I think I succeeded!

Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa | thepajamachef.com

While I was cranberry salsa-ing it up, Ben was busy preparing the fish tacos. He’s the fish taco expert in the family, and decided to season the tilapia with some olive oil and vinegar–but not just your average olive oil and vinegar. He used some special blood orange-infused olive oil and coconut-infused white balsamic vinegar from the Bumble Olive Oil Company in his hometown [Toledo, Ohio]. If you can get your hands on these infused oils, DO IT! So good. But if not, use extracts or juices to create the same effect. The result? A sweet, tender, flaky fish that pairs so well with some tart salsa and crunchy cabbage. I also whipped up some Mexican rice with dinner… aka my favorite side ever. Yum yum and yum! Hope you enjoy!

one year ago: White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies
two years ago: Classic Sugar Cookies
three years ago: Cranberry Scones

Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tilapia filets [frozen or fresh]
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil [mine was blood-orange infused]*
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar [mine was coconut infused]*
  • 1/4 of a sweet yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tangerine, sliced and seeded [leave on peel]
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons red raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • tortillas, for serving
  • chopped red cabbage, for serving
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, then place tilapia filets in baking dish. Combine olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl, then brush mixture over tilapia, turning to coat. Cook for 13-15 minutes or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. If you use fresh fish, the cook time will be reduced.

Meanwhile, combine onion, garlic, and tangerine in a food processor. Pulse until nearly smooth, then add parsley, rosemary, vinegar, honey, and cranberries. Pulse a few times to break up cranberries, then season with pepper and salt to taste.

Gently slice fish into strips, then serve in tortillas with cabbage and sour cream, squeezing lime wedges overtop before enjoying.

Time: 25 minutes.

Yield: 3-4 servings.

Note: I used infused evoo and balsamic vinegar. You can add a few drops of coconut or orange extract for a similar flavor profile, or a little orange juice or zest.

Please check out the rest of the Mystery Dish posts when you have a chance too. They all look SO delicious!

Mystery Dish Collage

1. Cinnamon Coffee Cake from Buttercream Fanatic
2. Dark Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Cookies from Chez Catey Lou
3. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart from The Dessert Chronicles
4. Berry Chocolate Streusel Bars from Baking a Moment
5. Green Berry Smoothie from I Want Crazy
6. Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa from The Pajama Chef
7. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Brownies from Joyful Healthy Eats
8. Healthy Homemade Granola Parfait from Yummy Healthy Easy
9. Pear Cranberry Crockpot Oatmeal from See Hubby Cook
10. Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies from Culinary Couture
11. Raspberry Chocolate Crumb Bars from I Dig Pinterest
12. Dark Chocolate Walnut Coconut Macaroon Fingers from The Well Floured Kitchen

Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies

Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies. A mouthful of words, a mouthful of deliciousness. Seriously you guys… there is SO MUCH DELICIOUSNESS in these lil cookies. Dried cranberries. Pistachios. Lemon. Orange. Butter. Yum yum yum.

Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies | thepajamachef.com

I made these cookies for the 2013 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and sent them to Alicia at Balancing Motherhood [who I found out is a fellow KD sister! AOT!], Renata at First Time Foods, and Emily at Pink Tiger in the Kitchen. I hope y’all liked them! I know we certainly did. They are buttery and nutty, full of holiday cheer.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013

I’m usually wary of baking with nuts and dried fruit, even though I love both on their own. I guess I associate nuts and dried fruit in sweets with old people cooking, or something weird like that [no idea why]. I’ve been trying to think of an exception for a good five minutes, but no can do. WAIT! THESE cookies are the exception. The nuts and dried fruit are totally necessary for adding the right amount of crunch to the chewy citrus butter cookies. If you don’t like cranberries and pistachio, feel free to swap out your favorite alternatives. Cherry-pecan? Blueberry-walnut? Whatever your little heart dreams up is what you should make. Unless you like directions. Then stick with cranberry-pistachio. :)

Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies | thepajamachef.com

In addition to sending out cookies, participating in the cookie swap means you get some in the mail too! I was fortunate to receive Double Coconut Macaroons [top] from Mary Beth at A Carrot and A Cupcake, and Cranberry Pistachio Pudding Cookies [bottom] from Starr at Chicago Foodie Girl. Both were sooo good and I’m anxiously awaiting the recipes! Hopefully I’ll be getting my third batch soon!

cookies

Hope you enjoy!

one year ago: Cranberry Orange Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup
two years ago: Cranberry Pineapple Sauce

Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies [from Vanderbilt Wife]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Place butter and sugars in a bowl and cream with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add milk, lemon juice, orange zest, and egg, then mix on low to combine.

Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda, then mix on low until combined. Fold in pistachios and cranberries with a wooden spoon.

Spoon onto cookie sheets by tablespoons. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are brown. Centers may look a little soft. Let rest on cookie sheets for 3-4 minutes before moving to cooling rack. Store in airtight container.

Time: 30 minutes.
Yield: 3 dozen cookies.

Notes: Dough can get pretty soft, so just pop in the refrigerator between batches. These cookies freeze and ship well, too!

Linked up with: Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck.

Mystery Dish: Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote

Good morning, everyone! I’ve got a wonderful pie to share with you today! But not just any old pie–Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote!

sweet potato pie with cranberry compote | thepajamachef.comRegular readers know that I don’t usually post on Tuesdays [I’m on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule] but this month our Mystery Dish posting happened to fall on a Tuesday. So here I am! :) As a refresher, Mystery Dish is a fun new blogging group that I’m a part of– the premise is this: each month, one blogger will create a mystery box of ingredients. Ingredients can be themed related to a cuisine, a meal, a season, a specific ingredient, or anything else creative. Then, the other eleven bloggers have to create a recipe using some of the ingredients. SO FUN! This month it was Nora’s turn to come up with our assigned ingredients. Nora blogs at Buttercream Fanatic [yummmm] and she chose:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Kale
  • Squash (any kind, including pumpkin)
  • Nutmeg
  • Venison
  • Turkey
  • Cranberries
  • Caramel
  • Candy Corn

Since I made a pie for the first edition of Mystery Dish, I didn’t intend to make another one for this go-round. It just happened. I saw a picture on instagram of a sweet potato pie and inspiration struck! I have always wanted to try sweet potatoes in a pie and here was my chance. Oh, and Ben nixed the idea of anything else butternut squash, pumpkin, or kale. I guess he’s tired of those ingredients. I don’t understand… But I digress.

sweet potato pie with cranberry compote | thepajamachef.comI’ve typically shied away from making sweet potato pie because it seems so close to pumpkin… but YOU GUYS! It’s not! It’s pumpkin pie’s savorier cousin. It has a subtle sweetness, and when paired with tangy sweet cranberries, each bite is like Thanksgiving. Seriously. So I hope you make this pie and can look past the photos I took at 7 am in the morning because central time and fall and having a full time job are [gratefully] messing with my photography/blogging rhythm. The pie is great with coffee for breakfast, great for a late night snack, and just great all around. Try it out!

So there you have it. Mystery Dish is fun and Sweet Potato Pie is just as amazing as I dreamed it was… but don’t just check out my recipe. There are eleven permanent members in the group, and one guest each month who have each made something utterly fabulous! This month, our guest is Cate of Chez Catey Lou. She’s super sweet so be sure to check out her site! For a look at what everyone else made, check out the collage and links below. Enjoy my pie, and enjoy your day! :)

Mystery Dish Collage

1. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream
2. Roasted Acorn Squash with Cranberries, Almonds, and Brown Sugar
3. Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup
4. Pumpkin Magic Bars
5. Pumpkin Pie Cake
6. Sweet Potato, Smoked Turkey, and Cranberry Croque Madame
7. Caramel Candy Corn Poke Cake
8. Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Kale and Ricotta
9. Sweet Potato Cranberry Quick Bread
10. Venison with Sweet Potato Hash & Fried Egg
11. Orange Cranberry Bread
12. Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote

Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote [pie recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen]
click to print

Ingredients:

for sweet potato pie

  • 2 large sweet potatoes [~1.25 lb]
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 9 inch pie shell, unbaked – I used the recipe and method here

for cranberry compote

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place in a microwave safe dish and add about 1/2 cup water before microwaving for 10 minutes, checking halfway through for doneness. When potatoes are very soft, add butter and mash until smooth. Set aside.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until combined, then pour in milk and mix again. After potatoes have cooled, add to sugar and milk mixture and beat on low for 2-3 minutes until very smooth.

Pour into unbaked pie crust, and bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the crust starts browning too much during cooking, cover with aluminum foil.

To make cranberry compote, stir together sugar, water, and orange juice in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then add cranberries. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cook until berries begin to burst, stirring occasionally. Cool completely then store in the refrigerator.

Cool pie completely before cutting.

To serve, cut pie and top each slice with a generous serving of cranberry compote.

Time: 75 minutes.

Yield: 8-10 servings.

Autumnal Muffins

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. Last fall, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!

~

from November 26, 2010 … I wanted to post these sooner rather than later so that you can enjoy these muffins early on in pumpkin season! :) So just ignore the Christmas talk. Haha. 

Autumnal Muffins | thepajamachef.com

Even though Christmas is just around the corner, fall is still in full swing for another month or so. [Side note: where has 2010 gone?!?] And I am really glad about that, because while I love Christmas baking, I really enjoy fall flavors–pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves immensely. Recently I was in the mood for baking, and whipped up a batch of Autumnal Muffins, a creation of mine that combines the wonderful flavors of the season–savory pumpkin, tart cranberries, and sweet, crunchy apples with some amazing spices. These smell absolutely amazing while baking, and they make a healthy, tasty, seasonal treat, perfect for breakfast or a snack.

Autumnal Muffins | thepajamachef.com

Autumnal Muffins
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup skim milk + more for mixing
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • about 2 cups pumpkin, canned [I used a 15 ounce can]
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup apple, finely chopped [I used a Granny Smith and didn’t peel it]
  • zest and juice of 1 orange

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line muffin tins with paper cups or grease well with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients: flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Grate orange zest over mixture and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: milk, eggs, and pumpkin. Squeeze orange’s juice into bowl and stir to combine. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then gently mix in apple and cranberries. If mixture needs additional liquid to combine, add extra milk in 1 tablespoon increments. [I used about 2 tablespoons additional milk.] Do not overmix. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen.

Note:

These muffins are not very sweet, so feel free to alter the recipe by increasing the sugar or using sweetened dried cranberries in place of the fresh cranberries for a different taste.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday.