Red Wine Poached Pears with Egg Nog

I had an epiphany last week, while trying to persuade a non egg nog loving co-worker to give it a try. She was convinced that it was made with raw eggs, so I started to explain how I’ve made it in the past. And that’s when I realized that egg nog is basically creme anglaise, a classic vanilla sauce served with desserts! So I looked around my kitchen for ingredients and came up with this recipe.

This dessert can be served hot or room temp, if you serve it hot it’s important to use low fat egg nog. I tried using regular nog on hot pears and it curdled; tasted great but it didn’t look pretty.

 

 

4 Pears, peeled, halved and cored

1 1/2 C Red wine*

1/2 C Water

1/3 C Brown sugar

1/4C Dried cherries

1/4inch Piece of ginger, peeled

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Vanilla

Light egg nog

Bring wine, water, brown sugar, dried cherries, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla to a boil in a medium non reactive pan. Add the pears and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the pears are soft, turning the fruit over occasionally; about 30-45 minutes. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid, and set aside. Simmer the poaching liquid until it  becomes syrupy, about 15 minutes or so. Add the pears back to the syrup to reheat the fruit. Place 2 halves of a pear in a glass, spoon in some of the syrup and drizzle some eggnog over the top.

You can poach the pears 2 days in advance. Any remaining syrup tastes great on ice cream or yogurt!

 

*Instead of wine you could use a non-sweetened red juice, like cranberry or pomegranate-cherry.

Brussel Sprouts with Pecans and Golden Raisins

This is my new favorite way of cooking Brussel sprouts. The raisins add a subtle sweetness and the nuts add a lovely texture. My other favorite way is halving and roasting the sprouts in a hot oven until they are almost burnt. This way is much quicker.

1/2# Brussel sprouts, thinly sliced

1Tablespoon Butter

3Tablespoons Golden raisins

2Tablespoons toasted Pecans, chopped

Soak the raisins in hot water for a few minutes. Melt the butter in a large saute pan and add the Brussel sprouts, a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until they are soft and bright green. Drain the raisins and add them and the pecans to the pan. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.