Pukka Christmas Dinner

I honestly wasn’t planning on having curry for Christmas but one thing led to another.  Blame it on the creative process and my slowly evolving craving for more spice in my life.  Both good signs in my opinion!  Curried Chicken & Chutney is definitely a keeper but I’m respectfully going to withhold the recipe until I can perfect it further.  This simple dish consisted of chicken breast, my Christmas Chutney (see post from 12/13/10), mild curry powder, chicken stock and a splash of fat free half & half but it could be so much more with some fresh ginger and a few other flavors.  Paired with basmati rice and Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes it was a very unexpected, very delicious albeit very nontraditional Christmas dinner for us.  I’m hoping it can become some sort of new tradition.  So forgive me for not sharing any further on the chicken and chutney front…I promise it will be forthcoming.  I’ve included the Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes as they’re a pleasing alternative to mashed squash.  They can be seasoned sweet or savory…just remember to roast until really tender.

As for dessert…I can definitely share what was a simple but special treat.  Warm Banana Sundae with Sea Salt Caramel is another keeper…warm, creamy and sophisticatedly sweet with the unexpected savoriness of sea salt and crunch of crushed salted pretzels!  Frankly, it’s the sea salt and pretzels that make this dessert…without them it would just be cloyingly sweet and one-dimensional.  I love (understatement!) dulce de leche, the south american milk caramel…if you’ve never tried it just imagine “sex on a spoon” but at $10 a jar it’s not practical for everyone’s budget so I substituted Smucker’s Special Recipe Butterscotch Caramel topping ($2.29 at Target).  I hope you’ll try this scrumptious dessert.  The leftover caramel can be spread on toast (like Argentinians do with their dulce de leche!), spooned over banana pancakes, drizzled over bread or rice pudding, stirred into hot chocolate or served with warmed canned pears!

Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes

Serves 4 generously

2 pounds butternut squash peeled and cut into 1″ cubes

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss squash cubes in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread cubes out on a sprayed sheet pan.  Roast 40-50 minutes or until very tender.

Nutritional information Per Serving:

122 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 4.5 grams fiber, 2.3 grams protein


Warm Banana Sundaes with Sea Salt Caramel

This combination is ALL about the crunchy salted pretzels and sea salt caramel!  Serves 1 but can be multiplied

1 small, ripe banana

1/4 cup scoop Edy’s Slow Churned vanilla ice cream (or fat free frozen yogurt)

2 tablespoons Smucker’s Special Recipe Butterscotch Caramel

a few grindings sea salt

4 mini pretzels, crushed

Peel banana and cut in half lengthwise then in half.  Preheat a no stick skillet and spray with flavorless cooking spray.  Saute banana until golden, turn and saute until golden and soft.  Meanwhile, warm caramel in microwave.  Remove bananas to a serving bowl, top with ice cream, warm caramel, sea salt and crushed pretzels.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

302 calories, 3.05 grams fat, 2.7 grams fiber, 3.75 grams protein

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2 responses to “Pukka Christmas Dinner

  1. Mmm, I can’t wait to try this banana sundae! I’m a sucker for sea salt in dessert. And I can’t wait to hear about your curry dinner — the hubby loves curry!