Cooking my way to happiness with Rachael Ray

What’s for Dinner….Roast Cornish Game Hens with Roast Squash and Cran-Apple Stuffing

Still in Joplin, cooking Rachael Ray on the road.  Not like I’m cooking in an RV or anything but it’s just not my kitchen.  Really busy time of year with Christmas Eve deadline fast approaching.  I’m not completely done shopping and a big winter storm is on the way.  Didn’t want to take time to cook today but didn’t want to not cook.

No strange ingredients to google today.  Tyler, my teenager, shopped with me and he did google to see what Macoun apples are.  They are a cross between Macintosh and Jersey Black varieties.   I didn’t know what a Jersey Black apple was so I googled that.  The Jersey Black apple is an old american apple thought to originate circa 1817.  It’s skin is a very dark red, bordering on black. The Macoun apple(sometimes pronounced McCowan)  was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. It was first introduced in 1923 and has been thought to be one of the finest eating apples in the Northeast.  They are very popular at roadside stands and pick-your-own farms. Needless to say we couldn’t find any Macoun’s so we went with Macintosh.

Speaking of apples, I grew up thinking I didn’t like them because my mom only bought red and delicious apples, and contrary to the name, I don’t think they are delicious.  As I started grocery shopping on my own I learned there are many varieties of apples.  Apparently I do like apples.  The best way to find out what your really love in life is to start a list of what you don’t.  My list will start with red & delicious apples.

Cooking the Game Hen’s was easy, you just drizzle EVOO over them, season with salt, pepper and a spice blend of fresh thyme, orange zest, fennel and paprika.  Then just stick them in the oven.  I did learn to make sure the orange is completely dry before you zest it or you will end up with mush, not zest.  The recipe said to cook at 450 degrees.  I personally think that was to hot.  I have learned that EVOO gets really smokey when you cook at a high temp.  Long story short… my mom did not appreciate her house being so smokey.  It was a nice day outside so I just opened a window.  Problem solved!

The Cran-Apple stuffing was amazing.  I have not ever been a huge stuffing fan until I made this.  It was made by cooking the onions with the fresh apples in butter.  You then add in sweetened dried cranberries, apple cider and chicken stock. At the end you combine with toasted whole wheat bread crumbs and gently mix in the pre roasted acorn squash. Words can’t describe how good this smells, looks and taste.

An incredible sauce made with Worcestershire and orange marmalade is served over the Game Hen.  YUMMO as Rachael Ray would say.

So glad I cooked!

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