Sophisticated Cooking Made Simple

For many, the cornerstone of any gathering is the food. People often begin to crave the flavors and aromas of the holiday as soon as the weather begins to cool. While some dishes show up at every table, it's fun to surprise guests with something new. Special dishes don't have to be fancy or over the top. Simply pairing unexpected flavors and presenting them in a unique way can delight even the pickiest of company. For an upscale feel that won't leave novice chefs stressed while cooking, try mixing fancy ingredients with ones that are likely already in the kitchen, such as canned Bartlett pears. With a long shelf life, canned pears are convenient, delicious and always ready to eat. You may care to try these simple-chic recipes for your next gathering:

Pear Steak Roll-Up

Makes 4 servings

2 oz. cream cheese

4 oz. crumbled blue cheese

3 cups packed arugula

1 11/2-lb. flank steak

1 15-oz. can Bartlett pears, drained

6-8 chives

Preheat broiler. Pound flank steak until thin, about 1/2 inch. Spread with cream cheese. Sprinkle with blue cheese. Press arugula on top of blue cheese, to within one inch of outside edge. Lay pears across center of meat. Starting at the long end, roll meat as tightly as possible. Tie securely with chives. Broil until desired doneness, about 8 minutes for 1 pound. Slice and serve hot.

Glazed Carrots, Pears

& Cranberries

Makes 6 Side Dish Servings

12 oz. fresh cranberries, washed and sorted

1 15-oz. can Bartlett pears, drained and juice reserved

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup pear juice

1 cup sugar

1/2 pound cooked carrots

In a small saucepan, combine cranberries, pear juice, sugar and lemon juice.

Bring to boil and reduce to simmer for about 4 minutes until juice thickens.

Fold in carrots and pears.

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About The Author, Stacey Moore
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