Thursday, April 21, 2005

Something Classy

This weeks Carnival of the Recipes is up here! Every now and again, my Better Half makes me my favorite "rich people" dessert . . . Poached Pears. They are unbelievably simple, and can be poached in just about any sweet liquid. Here is a variation we have used: Chianti Chianti Poached Pears 3 tablespoons lemon juice 6 ripe but firm pears 1 bottle Chianti 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon grated orange peel 2 (2-in.) cinnamon sticks 4 or 5 whole cloves 2 whole allspice Fresh mint sprigs 1. Fill large bowl half full with cool water; stir in lemon juice. Peel pears, leaving them whole with stems intact; place each pear in water before peeling the next one. 2. Place Chianti, sugar, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice in medium saucepan; cook over medium heat until boiling and sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low. Drain pears; place, one at a time, in Chianti mixture. Add enough water to cover completely. Simmer 15 to 30 minutes or until pears are tender but not mushy. Cool pears in liquid; place in clean dry bowl. 3. Return saucepan to medium heat; simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced by two-thirds. Strain; discard spices. Place 1 pear on each serving plate; drizzle with sauce. Garnish with mint sprigs. And serve with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream or an itty bitty dolop of whipped cream!

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