To quell my guilt over not posting at all during the month of November (NaBloPoMo is clearly not a realistic goal for me at this point), I’d like to present my Thanksgiving menu, almost in its entirety! Although not included here, I also made one of my favorite appetizers ever: Strange Flavor Eggplant. A super huge thanks to my sister for introducing me to this gem from Barbara Tropp’s China Moon Cookbook. I could eat this stuff by the spoonful, but it’s really worth making Garlic Croutons to eat along with the sweet and spicy spread. The baked baguette rounds are also spectacular with cloves of roasted garlic (I like to roast a bulb or two while I’m roasting the eggplant).
The cranberry chutney was adjusted many times during cooking – I made as directed, except cut the apple cider vinegar down to 1/3 cup, which was still waaaaay too much. So I ended up adding at least 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce and extra sugar to cut the vinegar tang. The recipe makes enough chutney for three or four Thanksgivings; I froze most of the leftover chutney in ice-cube trays this year, but next time I’ll be making a quarter recipe. Or trying something else altogether.
Cranberry, Apple and Ginger Chutney
Adapted from The Food Network
Yields about 3 cups
1 (12 ounce) bag o’ fresh cranberries
3 large, crisp red apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 to 1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
- Combine ingredients in a large pot.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until softened, reduced, and thickened, about 30 minutes.
- Cool fully before serving.
Five-Spice Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from Food & Wine
Yields 5 to 6 servings
2 to 2-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the sweet potato chunks in one 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Add 1 cup of water, cover the dish with foil and bake until the sweet potatoes are barely tender, about 25 minutes. Drain off any remaining water.
- In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, five-spice powder, and nutmeg and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is bubbling, about 4 minutes.
- Pour the mixture over the potatoes, stir to coat, and season with salt.
- Bake uncovered for another 10 – 20 minutes, stirring a few times, until the potatoes are tender and nicely glazed.
Garlic and Lemon Green Beans
Yields 4 to 6 side servings
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium pot, bring approximately 2 quarts of well-salted water to a boil.
- Blanch green beans in boiling water until bright green, roughly 2 minutes. Drain in colander and run cold water over beans to stop the cooking and preserve the color.
- Heat a medium to large skillet over medium heat; add the olive oil and butter. When butter is melted into oil, add the garlic and saute about 30 seconds.
- Add the beans and continue to saute until they begin to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add lemon zest and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bacon-wrapped!! Honey Mustard Pork
Adapted from The Food Network
Yields 4 to 6 servings
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons course-ground mustard
2 tablespoons honey
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 (4 pound) center-cut boneless pork loin roast
8 to 10 slices of bacon
- With an oven rack in the lower third of the oven, preheat to 350 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together mustards, honey, garlic, and rosemary.
- Place the pork in a 9 by 14 inch baking dish and spread the mustard mixture evenly over the top. Place bacon on pork lengthwise, layering the pieces until the pork is completely covered. (I had to cut some of the bacon in half to ensure full coverage on the other side of the roast.)
- Place the pork in the oven and roast for about an hour. Tent foil over the pork and roast for another 10 minutes, or until it reaches an inner temperature of 160 degrees F.
- Transfer the pork to a cutting board; tent foil over the pork and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes.
- Slice the roast into 1/2-inch slices and serve.
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream
Adapted from numerous web recipes
Yields 8 servings
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, minced
1-1/4 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
pie crust (see below)
sweetened whipped cream (see below)
- With oven rack in the lower third of the oven, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Prepare pie crust and layer 2 sheets of foil directly on top of the crust; this will weigh down the crust and prevent it from shrinking away from the sides of the pie pan. Bake for about 10 mintues, until the crust is golden brown. Remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes. Set crust aside.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolks together and set aside.
- In a blender, puree the pumpkin, ginger, and half-and-half until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a medium bowl and whisk in the last 8 ingredients (through white pepper on ingredients list).
- Pour the filling into the pie crust and smooth out the top. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a knife inserted in the pie center comes out clean.
- Serve with whipped cream (see below)
Yields 1 pie shell
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/8 to 1/4 cup water, very cold
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add butter and mix with your fingers until butter is pea-sized. Add the shortening and continue blending with your fingers. Mixture will be coarse.
- Add 1/8 cup of water and stir mixture together. If the dough does not hold together, add more water a tablespoon at a time (no more than 2 additional tablespoons).
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Refrigerate at least one hour or up to two days.
- Remove dough disk from the fridge. Unwrap it and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it’s 1/8 inch thick and 2 inches larger than the pie plate.
- Gently transfer to pie plate and trim the dough, leaving about 1 inch of overhang. Turn the edge under and crimp.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Yields about 2 cups
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl with electric mixer and medium speed until the cream holds soft peaks.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Use immediately.