Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Nov 13, 2012

Bourbon, Molasses & Orange-Glazed Fall Fruits & Veggies

Libations used: scant 1/2 cup of bourbon...
Libations left over: Make yourself a cocktail like this fall-inspired American Trilogy while everything is cooking...
This past weekend was the first chilly one in LA where I had to turn on the heat and don a hat and fingerless gloves.  Yes, us Angelenos have it pretty easy.  I feel truly blessed to have such an amazing farmers' market close by that always has a wonderful selection of fruits and veggies, no matter what time of year.  Sunday's visit produced a cornucopia's worth of produce.  I just kept adding more to my bag without really thinking about what I was going to do with everything.  After spreading everything out on the table, I decided to do a fun medley of roasted fruits and veggies using a bourbon, molasses and orange glaze recipe from an old Thanksgiving Tasting Table guide.  I had picked up some beautiful purple, yellow and orange fancy carrots from Weiser Family Farms, so I had the base for the recipe, but wanted to jazz it up.  I ended up using a mini butternut squash, a couple of Fuyu persimmons and two heads of fennel, but feel free to get creative.  You can use a couple of apples if persimmons aren't handy, a couple of sweet potatoes instead of the squash or add some parsnips.  If you're looking for some Thanksgiving side dish ideas, this is a perfect one to serve because it's relatively fast to prepare and will pair really nice with that turkey!

Bourbon, Molasses & Orange Glazed Fall Fruits & Veggies - serves 8
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 bunches fancy (young) carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 heads of fennel, sliced (not too thin)
  • 2 Fuyu persimmons, sliced (not too thin) 
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • Scant 1/2 cup bourbon (I used 101 Proof Wild Turkey)
  • Juice from 2 medium oranges, plus 1 Tbs of orange zest
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs chopped parsley
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- In a dutch oven or medium sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the carrots, squash, fennel and persimmons.
- Season with salt and pepper, and cook everything for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the brown sugar.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the bourbon.
- Return to the stove and cook for 2 minutes longer.
- Add the molasses and orange juice and cover.
- Cook the fruits and veggies for about 8-10 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Also, make sure there is enough liquid in the pan by checking every few minutes.
- Remove the lid and reduce the liquid until it becomes syrupy.
- Add the butter and stir to coat everything with the glaze.
- Season with more salt and pepper, if needed, and transfer to a serving dish.
- Sprinkle with the orange zest and parsley.