Fruit Crisp

If this were the only dessert I could ever have again, I would be completely satisfied. In fact, I would be thrilled. My favorite combination is strawberry-rhubarb, but I try not to make it too often because I am not exaggerating when I say I am incapable of stopping myself from eating it. I like to serve it warm: I take a normal-size piece and then a tiny sliver and then another tiny sliver, and later, when I have cleaned up after dinner, I eat another piece cold. And then the next day, I eat some more. I am never sick of it.

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Baked Apples

I love warm baked apples and will happily eat them for dessert, as a snack, or even for breakfast. Even when it’s topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or jus a pour of heavy cream, I feel almost virtuous digging into one.

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Irene Diller’s Brisket with Dried Fruit

Irene Diller is my friend Susan Benett’s mother. About 10 years ago, I had a New Year’s Day party and Susan offered to bring her mother’s brisket. I wasn’t a fan of brisket but accepted her offer. Susan’s version of her mother’s recipe included some Vietnamese chili garlic paste, which is not remotely traditional. Even though I was sure I wouldn’t like it, I tasted the brisket – and ate and ate and ate. I absolutely loved it. So even if this doesn’t sound like something you’d like, try it: you’ll like it.

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Nancy’s Raw Cranberry Relish

Here’s a fresh alternative to traditional cranberry sauce. Make this one with a big bag of cranberries and use the other half to make either the recipe on the bag or Sydny’s Cranberry Chutney.

Yield: about 3½ to 4 cups.

4½ cups cranberries
2 oranges, peeled and diced
2 red apples, diced
½ cup sugar

1. Place everything in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and pulse until finely chopped.

From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)

Sydny’s Cranberry Chutney

This chutney is great for Thanksgiving but it’s also good on a Turkey Burger, as an accompaniment to Roasted Chicken, as a spread for turkey or chicken sandwiches, or even mixed into cream cheese for a dip.

Yield: about 2 cups.

1 12-ounce bag cranberries (3 cups)
¼ cup orange juice
1 to 2 jalapeño or chipotle chiles, minced
½ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Grated zest of 1 lime
Grated zest of 1 orange
¾ cup lightly toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

1. Place the cranberries, orange juice, chiles, and brown sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the cranberries are soft and have absorbed all the liquid, about 10 minutes. Set aside and cool.

2. Stir in the salt, lime and orange zests, and nuts. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Strawberries and rhubarb are the most sublime combination. Here they are served unadulterated. If you must, add vanilla or ginger ice cream.
In Latin, rhubarb means “the root of the barbarians,” meaning anything foreign or unknown. What it doesn’t say is that the leaves are toxic, so be sure to use only the stalk. Most cookbooks recommend that you pull off the strings as you do for celery, but I find that using a vegetable peeler works even better.

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Tropical Fruit Salad

The truth is that there are enough salsa recipes for an entire other book, but I couldn’t resist this one, which is more unusual than most. Try it with grilled fish.

Makes about 3 cups.

½ pineapple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and finely chopped
1 ripe papaya peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
Juice and grated zest of 1 well-washed lime
Kosher salt to taste

1. Place everything in a medium-size nonreactive mixing bowl and mix well.

2. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Serve with tortilla or potato chips.

From Party Dips! 50 Zippy, Zesty, Spicy, Savory, Tasty, Tempting Dips (The Harvard Common Press, 2004)