Mulled Wine Poached Pears with Blue Cheese and Walnuts
In a saucepan, combine wine, honey, and spices and heat over medium heat.
Peel the pear and place it into the mulled wine.
Simmer uncovered about 40 minutes until pears are fork-tender. Turn pears occasionally so they cook and color evenly on all sides.
Remove pears from wine and let cool. You can keep the wine to drink as mulled wine by straining the whole spices out first. Serve wine hot or at room temperature.
Slice pears into halves and scoop out the seeds with a melon baller or tablespoon.
Sprinkle a small amount of blue cheese and walnuts into each pear and serve with a little drizzle of the mulled wine.
Garnish with mint leaves if desired.
These can be served warm or cold and can be made a day in advance.
The simple sight of fruitcake or Swedish rosettes brings me right back to my grandmother’s kitchen filled with the assortment of goodies and the scent of a holiday meal being cooked. The festive mood in the room was filled with anticipation waiting for Christmas morning. Christmas Eve holds just as much excitement for me as an adult, and I’m still grinning with pure joy on Christmas morning. We often celebrated our holiday with gifts to each other on the night of Christmas Eve, but it would always have to wait until our meal was made, eaten, and dishes were complete. My grandmother would always make us a home-cooked meal on Christmas Eve along with my aunts, and though she has passed, the tradition continues with a special feast on the night before Christmas.
There is such enjoyment that comes from creating a meal together, especially when you experience it as a family. It can, however, be stressful to bring a healthful spread to the table that still holds the nostalgia of the holidays as well as maintains your current eating goals as an athlete or health-conscious family.
For this holiday, leave the stress behind with a simple menu that will leave everyone content and able to enjoy the rest of the day or night with loved ones. Roasted pork tenderloin is both delicious and warming with a comforting porchetta style spice blend topped with a traditional cranberry sauce. The other meal components include an easy sweet potato soufflé and a festive Brussels sprouts sauté that can be put together in minutes. For dessert, we’re complementing our meal with mulled wine poached pears topped with blue cheese and walnuts. The whole meal will take you about 1.5 to 2 hours to cook if only one person is doing the cooking. I’ve included a sequence of how to manage all of the cooking at the end of the recipes. You can save time by baking the sweet potatoes and making the cranberry sauce and pears the day before as well as seasoning the tenderloin in advance. From my family to yours, I wish you the happiest and healthiest of holidays!
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