I adore Thanksgiving. It is the only holiday where there are virtually no expectations. The kids are not expecting something to open, the food is extraordinarily colorful and each dish has a taste all to itself. I love the flowers this time of year, I love the color palate and I like the weather outside (however, here in Los Angeles, it is supposed to be 90* tomorrow -boo hoo).
I like that the kids have 4 days off from school (don't have to pack lunches -yahoo) and it is a relatively easy, relaxing weekend.
I have a few dishes that I make each and every year. Those are my standards, my ritual, my own tradition. Yet, each year I try and add a new one into the mix. Sometimes, they bomb completely, yet others...mmm mmm good!
This year my contribution to the Thanksgiving table are:
• Cranberry relish
• Beet Pear Puree
• Corn Pudding (new)
• Caramelized Shallots
• Haricot Verte Vinaigrette
• Pecan Pie
• Upside down Cranberry Cake
(adapted from Marlene Sorofsky)
1 lb fresh cranberries
10 oz frozen raspberries - thawed
2 tart green apples, peeled and cut in to small cubes
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup sugar
juice from half of a lemon ( or to taste)
Throw it all into a food processor and chop, chop, chop.
Real Creamed Corn Pudding
(Food & Wine 11/2009)
12 ears of corn, shucked
4 Tbl. butter, divided
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 large eggs separated
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1/8 tsp. pepper
1. Grate corn on large box grater. Should create about 4 cups
2. Preheat oven to 425*. Melt 2 Tbl. butter in skillet and add onions and celery. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Saute until tender about 15 minutes.
3. Whisk egg yolks for 2 minutes. Add corn, onion mixture, creme fraiche, 1/8 tsp. pepper and 2 tsp. salt. Whisk egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into corn batter in two batches.
4. Put remaining 2 Tbl. butter in baking dish and transfer to oven and heat until a little brown. Brush butter up sides of the pan. Add pudding. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce oven temp to 350*and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.
Beet Pear Puree
(adapted from Thanksgiving Dinner by Kathryn Blue
this book is out of print)
I have been making this for 25 years. It is so good! When I originally starting make it, I followed the directions perfectly. Yet, years later I questioned why I needed to use 4 sticks of butter. Yes, that's right, 4 sticks of butter? Over the years I have cut that back to 1 1/2 sticks and the recipe is just as good.
8 medium beets
1 1/2 - 2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups minced onions
4 bosc pears, peeled, cored and minced
2 Tbl. sugar
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1. roast beets. 375* in a small covered casserole and cover with water. Cover and bake until fork tender.
2. Rinse beets in cold water and peel. Chop
3. Melt butter in a pan and add onions, pears, sugar and vinegar. Saute about 20 minutes.
4. Add onion mixture to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add salt and half the beets, pulse 4-5 times. Add the remaining beets and pulse 2-3 times. This should have some chunks in it.
These are great with almost any meal. These are from Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris
. The recipe can be found here
So much of the Thanksgiving table is starchy type foods. We needed something a little green. I am keeping it simple with haricot vertes with my new favorite vinaigrette. I found this recipe in a Martha Stewart Magazine and everyone in my home is happy with the new addition.
Haircot Verte w/ Shallot Vinaigrette & Crispy Shallots
I blanched the string beans for about 3-4 minutes and then dumped in ice cold water. I drained the beans until they were dry.
Dress the beans with this recipe (here
) and I topped it off with some crispy shallots (slice shallots, saute in very hot olive oil, drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little truffle salt or fleur de sel).
Labels: caramelized shallots, corn pudding, cranberry sauce, haricot verte vinaigrette