Monday, November 30, 2009

Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad and Cranberry-Infused Vodka

I know this is what we are all craving post-Thanksgiving with too much rich food in our bellies. I know I was ready for some clean crisp green veggies to detox. And I've had this recipe bookmarked for quite awhile but just never got around to making it so now seemed like the perfect time.

The Brussels sprouts are RAW in this salad, which seemed weird to me at first, but when you think about it, it makes sense. Brussels sprouts are just baby cabbages so this is very comparable to a light cabbage salad or cole slaw.

It's great the next day, too. The sprouts stay crunchy and the lemon juice works its way in there to meld with the parm and the result is a very healthy and satisfying veggie dish. I followed this recipe nearly exactly, just substituting toasted hazelnuts for the walnuts.

To go with the sprout salad, I bought a pre-made 6-grain pizza crust, spread on it a layer of homemade pesto, and added cherry tomatoes and mushrooms that I had roasted and frozen in September. Topped with crumbled goat cheese and parmesan and baked for 10-12 minutes....heaven.

Finally, I was inspired by the cranberry-infused vodka on The Heavy Table so I had to try it. My friends know that if there is one thing I love to make, it's moonshine! I love making infused vodkas, kaluha, irish cream, etc. This one looks so pretty and it's currently marinating for upcoming holiday celebrations. I think it will go smashingly with some prosecco for a festive holiday drink.

However, there are just too many things wrong with the recipe on The Heavy Table website...first, they use the word DETHAWED wich I seriously hate. Second, they say to process the cranberries for 2 minutes in a food processor...that is a long time and I think you would end up with cranberry soup if you did that. Finally, it only calls for 3 cups of vodka and what seems like way too much sugar (2 cups). So, I scrapped their whole recipe and made up my own. I'll let you know in a few weeks if it worked in my favor or not!

Cranberry-Infused Vodka
1 liter vodka
1 package fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Mix sugar and water in saucepan over medium heat until dissolved.
Pulse cranberries in food processor briefly until chopped.
Mix all together and let sit for a few weeks, stirring occasionally.

Serve with tonic, soda, prosecco, on the rocks, or up in a martini glass.

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