Monday, November 26, 2007

A Partridge in a Pear Tree Minus the Partridge and Tree

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. For me, it was devoid of turkey after spending weeks testing Thanksgiving recipes. So I decided to make paella with chicken, sausage and artichokes. It was yummy and stress-free. As a dessert, I decided to stay with the Spanish theme and serve pears, which just seems very much like something they’d serve in Barcelona. (OK, I confess, I also made a pumpkin pie along with the pears.)

Earlier in the week, I saw these beautiful Bosc pears at the farmers market in downtown Berkeley. Pears are amazingly seductive fruits, just like figs. I guess it has to do with the shape, but I was especially enamored by the flowing stems stretching high.

In this simple recipe, all you do is create a poaching liquid out of red wine and just cook your pears until tender. The poaching liquid has a real holiday taste to it because of the cinnamon and cloves. It’s almost like making mulled cider. You can create your own flavors with your favorite spices and then drop in the pears and in the end you have this wonderful and elegant dessert.

Some recipes call for Bartlett pears, which I think are softer than Bosc so may not keep their shape as well. But go with your favorite variety of pears and then adjust the cooking time to the ripeness of the meat before you begin poaching. Enjoy!

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