YOUR RECIPE FOR CONVECTION COOKING!
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Stuffed Pumpkins with Wild Rice, Chestnuts, and Dried Cherries
Make-ahead side dishes are a great addition to your holiday menu and since all the work is done in advance, several dishes can be heated through at one time in your Convection oven. These mini pumpkins are easy to work with and make a wonderful festive presentation.
Even though winter squash is considered to be hard squash, the skin is actually quite thin, still, you will find cutting them easier if your knife is nice and sharp.
6 assorted mini pumpkins (easily found at a Farmer's market)
3 fresh sage leaves, minced or ¼ tsp dried sage
1 cup wild rice blend
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup cooked chestnuts, chopped
½ cup dried cherries
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
In this recipe, the first step is to scoop the seeds out of the pumpkins and bake them for about 35 - 40 minutes until they soften. The wild rice blend is cooked at the same time then combined with the remaining stuffing ingredients. Once the pumpkins have been stuffed they only require heating prior to serving.
For the pumpkins
Heat the oven in the Convection Bake Mode to 350F.
Shave a thin slice off the bottom of each pumpkin so they will sit upright on a baking sheet.
Cut the top of each pumpkin off with a sharp knife, scoop out the seeds and discard Drizzle a little olive oil in each pumpkin and sprinkle with the sage. Place the pumpkins on a baking pan and bake for 35 - 40 minutes until they have softened. Remove the oven and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, rinse the rice and cook following the package directions.
Heat a medium-sized skillet over moderate heat, add a little olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter and saute the onion for several minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few minutes then stir in the chestnuts, cherries, cooked rice, and chopped parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Stir in the vegetable stock to keep the mixture moist during the reheating and stuff each pumpkin with a generous amount of the stuffing. Cool and cover before refrigerating or reheat for 15 - 20 minutes, in the Convection Bake mode at 350F.
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Baked Ham with Tangerine Glaze and Roasted Carrots
Since ham is already cooked by smoking it is most often eaten cold, however heated through and brushed with a fruity glaze it makes a great centerpiece for celebration meals.
In order to heat the ham through it usually needs a fair bit of time in a slow oven and to avoid drying out the meat it is covered until the final stage when the glaze is added. However, if you bake your unsliced ham in Convection you will not need to cover the ham and the heating through time will take approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours, depending on the weight of the ham. If you are heating a sliced ham then it must remain covered in foil to avoid drying out.
1 - smoked ham, bone-in, skin on 7 - 9 lbs
1 - bunch fresh sage leaves
¾ - cup olive oil
1 - cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 - cups tangerine juice
2 - tangerines, sliced thin, seeds removed
2 - cups, packed light brown sugar
1 - cup water
½ - teaspoon whole cloves
2 - cinnamon sticks
1 ½ - lbs baby carrots
Preheat the oven in the Convection Mode 300 degrees.
Place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan.
Score the ham with cuts in a diamond pattern about 2 inches apart and ½ deep.
Season generously with salt and pepper. Chop 8 of the sage leaves and mix with the olive oil to make a paste, rub all of the ham getting into the slits.
Bake for 2 hours.
Combine the butter, tangerine juice, tangerines, brown sugar, water and spices in a heavy medium saucepan and heat over medium heat.
Bring to a gentle boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy glaze, 30 - 40 minutes.
Brush the glaze over the ham when it has completed its initial heating phase. Add the baby carrots and another 8 chopped sage leaves and continue baking for another 40 - 50 minutes until the carrots are tender and the internal temperature of the ham is 150 degrees.