We are so very, very excited to welcome another new contributor here at NellieBellie. Alice, from Dining with Alice, is a real-life friend from here in Minnesota. She's a genius in the kitchen and a lovely lady to boot. She is the kitchen star for the local Twin Cities Live T.V. show and rightfully so; she is charming, talented and fun. You'll be able to catch a new MN recipe from her her on NellieBellie each month. Watch for tater tots, cheese, wild rice and things on a stick! Today she's bringing us a great, healthy meal featuring a MN favorite...wild rice. We know you will adore Alice as much as we do!
I'm a Minnesota girl of balance-I like my craft beer, doughnuts and stuffed cheeseburgers but I balance those great foods with comfort foods stuffed with veggies, protein-packed snacks and satisfying salads. One of my very favorite ways to make salad fun is by adding poached pears. The poached pears can be the perfect way to start a dinner party or a new way to make an ordinary salad extraordinary.
I walked into my favorite doughnut shop the first weekend of January and there looking back at me was a doughnut ghost town. A window usually filled with honey-dipped, sugar-rolled, sprinkle-topped confections was virtually empty. Just tumbleweeds of powdered sugar and sprinkles were left. I looked up at the cashier and said, "Aren't people supposed to be on diets?" She laughed and just shrugged her shoulders.
I hate the "D word."
What a downer. Starting a new year should be fun and exciting. Salad can be fun, right? Well, I think so.
Whether you are making poached pears for a dinner party or planning ahead and making them for your lunch, this is a really easy way to put a satisfying and fun spin on an everyday salad.
Start with six pears. I like red pears because the beautiful dark color doesn't show bruising. The first thing we are going to do is take these ladies swimming in apple juice, champagne, water, cinnamon, honey and vanilla bean paste.
Whew, all that swimming was hard work. Time to rest and cool off.
You can take your poached pears and drizzle them with honey, top with cheese and nuts and serve with salad. Or we can stuff them. Yes, let's stuff them. Use a knife to make a small circle around the core and a food scissors to cut the cores out of the poached pears.
Ok now we are ready to get stuffing. I love stuffing mine with herbed cheese and wild rice but you can really get creative and stuff with a variety of ingredients like goat cheese, blue cheese, dried fruits and nuts.
Want the full recipe with all the details on how to make these poached pears? You can find it here on the Dining with Alice web page.
Of course she stuffed them with wild rice!! We shove wild rice into everything we can, here in MN. Oh gosh... Alice makes the BEST wild rice cookies. Yes, cookies!! That recipe is here.