The countdown has begun for what many consider to be the biggest cooking holiday of the year. Everyone is thinking about food right now, from what to cook to what to eat (and what not to eat), how to organize everything and to how to afford it all. Here are a few finds I would love to share with you to keep your holiday smooth and happy.
Michael Natkin has done it again. I came across his recipe for Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Candied Pepitas and Cider Vinegar and I think it is perfect for the holiday. I featured Michael's recipe for leek fritters a while back. He is a regular contributer to the web site Serious Eats and he has his own blog Herbivoracious. His Brussels sprouts recipe looks easy and delish and I think it is worth a try.
Katie at Party in my Pantry offers up a great cranberry sauce (she is calling her recipe chutney) that is also simple and delicious. Cranberry sauce is really so easy to make. I urge you, if you have any doubts, to try making it yourself rather than from a can. You will NEVER go back, I promise you.
I am stocking up on all sorts of ingredients right now:
Patel Brothers supermarket in Jackson Heights, Queens sells nuts by the pound at VERY reasonable prices. Can you see the price tag on these pecans? $5.99 per pound!! My local supermarket is selling them for $9. I will be making pecan pies with them. I made the dough today, rolled it out and put it in a pie tin and stuck it in the freezer till I am ready to bake.
Butternut squash will store in a cool dry place for weeks. I am going to braise them with apple cider . Don't get discouraged with the peeling. Cut the squash into smaller chunks before you peel, they will be easier to handle that way.
Speaking of peeling. My family insists on mass quantities of mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. Normally I would leave the skin on the potato for a rough mash with herbs, but that would be rejected by the familial purists on this occasion. SO, I peel and quarter the potatoes the day before and store them covered in water in the fridge overnight. Drain and refresh with clean water on the day of and cook as you would. I put my cooked potatoes through a hand cranked food mill for a really nice texture.
Small pearl onions baked in cream look especially pretty in three colors. Don't be afraid to mix things up a bit. I got these as a trio at B.J.s. I use the same mustard cream sauce for them as I use on my baked leeks.
For a really pretty garnish I love to use pomegranate seeds. These were 2 for $5, not exactly a bargain, but a nice treat. Put the seeds in salads, or over rice pilaf, squash gratin, mixed with green vegetables or even piled up on the turkey platter. They are as colorful as gems and give a wonderful tart burst of juice.
Green Beans with Pistachio Nuts
Blanch one pound of trimmed green beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until the beans are tender. Drain beans and wrap in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the fridge overnight.
Before serving remove beans from fridge and allow to come to room temp (or use beans right after blanching), heat olive oil in a pan and saute a finely minced shallot. Cook about 10 minutes till shallot is soft and golden and a little crispy, then add 1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts and the beans to the pan and toss to coat until beans are warmed through and the nuts are lightly toasted.
serves 6-8 as a side dish
Happy happy happy Thanksgiving !!!