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Showing posts with label pumpkin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pumpkin. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Maple Rosedale Pumpkin Pie

 


Maple Rosedale Pumpkin Pie

yields 1 9" pie

  • 15 oz roasted squash puree
    • Mine was from my special Rosedale pumpkin!
  • 4 oz (a generous half cup) granulated sugar
  • 3 oz (about 1/3 cup) grade A maple syrup
  • 3 eggs, ideally organic
  • 1/2 c almond milk
  • 10 coriander seeds or 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 spicebush berries, dried
    • If you can't find these, use 2 allspice berries plus 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 Chinese long peppercorn 
  • 1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
    • Check out my Partners page for good resources!
  • A fat pinch of kosher salt
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and prepare a sheet pan lined with either aluminum foil or a Silpat mat. Roll out your favorite pie crust into a glass pie dish (I prefer glass because I can see the bottom and make sure it's all cooked) and decorate as you like. I have these adorable cookie cutters that resemble leaves, and one of them looks like a pine cone. Since I tragically couldn't find my maple leaf cutter, this was the perfect alternative! All I did was let them hang out on the cool marble slab until I was ready to use them. I didn't feel the need to refrigerate the pie piece cut-outs since this pie is so quick to put together. 

Combine your hard spices into a spice grinder and blitz until wholly powdered. You can also use a coffee grinder, in a pinch! I much prefer to use whole spices in this way, as they store much better.  Then add about 2 Tbsp of the sugar and blitz together with the spices. This really helps perfume the sugar with the spices and lends more flavor to your pie!

Whisk together the squash puree with the sugars, maple syrup, and spices until well-combined. Next, mix in the eggs, one at a time, until completely combined. Add in all the rest of the ingredients and taste. If it needs a bit more cinnamon or you'd like to add a dash of cardamom or clove, that's perfectly fine. This is your pie, after all!

Once everything is combined and well-mixed, pour your mixture into your prepared crust. If you've chosen to decorate your pie with leaf or pinecone cutouts, like me, now is the time to attach them with egg wash to the sides and let the other half float along the custard top. Please remember that this is, in fact, a custard pie so I don't recommend a lattice top to finish. Go and have some fun with the outer crust, instead!

Bake at 325 for 3(three) twenty-minute intervals in which the pie is rotated gently in the oven. The pie sets up beautifully when baked low-and-slow, so be sure to not try to rush it! Now that I have your attention, and while the pie bakes and cools, let's talk a bit about the brand new Rosedale Pumpkin and the complicated world of cross-pollination. 

Everyone, meet the Rosedale Pumpkin Squash!

When you grow your own produce, either in a small Victory garden or a decent-sized homestead, there's always the possibility of cross-pollination. While there are many ways to avoid it, there is a not-insignificant amount of us gardeners that simply allow the thing to happen and see what comes of it. I noticed this strange thing growing on one of my squash plants. I got several small butternut squashes from my vines this year, but nothing was quite as big as this weird little monster. It was clear that the butternut and acorn squash had cross-pollinated, and while I could have simply cut it off and let the plant continue to make more...I was frankly too curious to not let it grow. I began taking pictures of it and telling my friends about it. We racked our brains trying to come up with a name for the squash, and it never came...I settled on 'Rosedale" squash since I live in Rosedale and that's where it grew. When I harvested it on the morning of Halloween eve and told my husband about the mysterious squash, he groggily looked at the green monstrosity and said: "So, what, it's like a ... buttercorn?"

OH, MY GOURD.

Oh, come on! We've been trying so hard to come up with a cool name and you just pull that out of the air?! Jerk. 

I actually did a live opening of this thing on Instagram. 

I've decided to call it a pumpkin because of the stem, which is woody and quite stiff once it was dried! I was so curious as to what this tasted like. I documented everything about its cooking. It had a gorgeous bright-orange flesh when cut into that quickly beaded up with drops of diamond-like dew. I roasted it slowly at 300 degrees for about 4 hours with some canola oil so it wouldn't dry out. I didn't add salt or sugar, since I wanted to taste the real thing. Sadly? It didn't taste like buttered corn, so I chose to not name it 'buttercorn.' It tasted incredibly mild, and had a texture almost akin to spaghetti squash. It had plenty of moisture in it, still, so I don't know if this wall of text is masking my disappointment well enough at the lack of distinct flavor of my little green monster. 

Oh well. I still stand by my decision to save all of the seeds for next year's planting! Who knows if the seed will be viable or not? I simply know that I'll be starting them all in seed trays and letting them hang out in the garage by the window to keep them warm and safe until they're ready to be transplanted outdoors. Maybe the second generation will be better? 

This method can be used to roast any winter squash for the sake of preserving the puree over the long winter. I highly recommend doing this, if you don't have access to a cellar (or basement) that's pest-free and is relatively climate-controlled. My deep freezer will likely see a good portion of many bags of winter squash puree this season, even though I have a good cellar that will keep all of my produce fresh over winter. These are the things you really need to think about with a global pandemic going on, and the numbers getting worse. 

I know we're all sick of hearing about Covid-19, but with everything escalating and with hospitals getting overwhelmed again, it would be irresponsible to ignore it and not talk about it. I encourage all of you to contact local farms and see what kind of winter squash they're growing and if they're willing to sell you any or do a trade for them for whatever you may be able and willing to give. I'm fortunate to have partnerships with awesome farmers here in Kansas City that have paid me in produce for doing PR work for them. There are also many farmers markets out there that are participating in a Covid relief program to get good seasonal produce to families that really need them. 



And please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WEAR A DAMN MASK.

Squash - winter squash particularly - are incredibly nutrient-dense. Usually, quite high in fiber, they're a great source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Pumpkin and squash are oddly acidic, so that means they're great at encouraging white blood cells to get amped up and protect you against disease this fall and winter. Who doesn't need that? 

Most eastern medicine - seen specifically in Chinese and Ayurvedic principles - have what are known as warming and cooling foods. There's a lot that could be said about this, but all you need to know right this moment is that a "warming food" is based on the internal nature of the food product. You should have nothing but warming foods if you are recovering from an illness or surgery. Foods like chicken, chestnuts, fresh ginger, and - you guessed it - pumpkin or squash are quite warming. It's no wonder we like it in our baked goods, the most-warming kind of food you can usually have! So, really, eating a whole pumpkin pie could be good for you...

When your pie is set to room temperature, you can cut and serve immediately, but I think it's better to chill it for a couple of hours first, just to help set the custard. After that, I do suggest letting the pie come up to room temperature to serve it. This is because the squash and spices are quite fragrant, and cold temperature dulls the beautiful aromas. This is also because eating cold foods can suppress your immune system so it's better to just let stuff be at least room temperature before you eat it. 

If you're curious about more warming and cooling foods, I invite you to have some fun researching it on your own and making informed decisions on it, all with a grain of salt! My mom, a Filipinx woman, always made sure to put extra ginger in her chicken soup whenever I got sick, and I will say it seemed to kick whatever crud I was experiencing out of my lungs. 

I hope you've enjoyed this recipe! Happy cooking and happy eating!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Butternut Squash Muffins

Want more pictures? Follow me on Instagram @WannaBGourmande!
Fall is here and my inner Basic Bitch is going bananas. (Follow my favorite tag #basicbitchesunite on instagram) Pumpkin Spice is King during these fabulous months, and his lovely Queen Apple Cider reigns benevolently at his side. That being said, there are more than enough fruits and vegetables to go around during this time of year that you can consume to maintain your seasonal lifestyle.

Things that are in season, in America, this Fall:

  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts
  • Cranberries
  • Pears
  • Persimmons
    • Here in Kansas City, you can find the wild ones!
  • Pomegranates 
    • Persephone Returns to her Husband, Hades!
  • Squash of all varieties
  • Pawpaws
    • True American Fruit!
  • Chinese long beans
    • These are AMAZING on the grill!
  • Okra
  • Green beans
  • Quince
    • Important: Cook these for jams and jellies...they are inedible while raw!
  • Sweet potatoes
I personally have found everything except for the pomegranates at my local farmers market. Since I work at a farmer's market, too, I often get the pick of the litter in exchange for cookies or a loaf of bread. Bartering between market stall owners is honestly the main way I get groceries nowadays. I, of course, shop at wholesale stores for my bakery, Pistachio Bakehouse, but I barely go to the grocery store every other week for myself, mostly for toiletries and dog food. Otherwise, I barter with my farmers for produce and I go to The Local Pig(famously local butcher in Kansas City) for my meats and eggs. 

Cooking and eating seasonally is a challenge, and I'd be a jerk to say otherwise. I'm fortunate enough to live in the Midwest, where everything grows. I won't be so lucky in the winter, so I'll have to find alternative methods of finding food, but until then I'm sure I can find a way.

There's been a plethora of butternut squash around me as of late, and I just adore it. Squash is a fabulous food full of potassium and high amounts of fiber, making it a great choice for your heart and bones. You can roast it in chunks, but I find that it's much more versatile in the puree form, especially because this is how you use it for pies, cakes, muffins, etc. Here's how to roast it for puree:

We got these from a local farmer, since mine didn't turn out so great this year...
 Cut your squash in half using a big fukken knife and score in hatch marks using a smaller knife. Scoop out the seeds and, if you're a gardener, too, set aside to wash them free from the pulp and let dry for planting next season. (This does take some work, but it's an investment of time now to pay off later in spades.) I had about ten squash to work with, but simply use this formula:

Per 1 Medium Squash:

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 oz(4 Tbsp) butter, really really soft
  • Two or three nice sage leaves from the garden
Rub the sage leaves a few times between your palms to release the oils. Rub the butter all over the fleshy side of the squash, then rub in the sage and salt. Roast first at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 325 and then continue roasting for another 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and then cover with aluminum foil. Let set for about 15 minutes, or until cool enough to handle with your hands. 
dat color tho

Scoop out the squash from its skin and pop it in a blender/food processor, and puree until smooth. You can pop this mixture into mason jars and can it for later use, or you can use some now for muffins! This is makes and exceptionally delicious spice cake and it's just lovely with a hot tea or a cold morning. 


Butternut Squash Spice Muffins
Adapted from Quick Breads by Liz Franklin

Cake:

  • 320 g Cake flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 100 ml Maple syrup
  • 50 g coconut oil
  • 50 g olive oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Rum extract(optional, but yummy!)
  • 150 g butternut squash puree
  • Strusel topping, if desired
Strusel Topping
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, soft
Make your strusel first by combining all ingredients in the bowl of your standing mixer and blending with the dough hook until it all comes together when you take a handful and squeeze it in your fist. You can set this aside in a separate container, in the refrigerator, for up to a month. Make sure you write the date using a piece of tape and a sharpie! Organization will set you free...

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. 

Combine your dry ingredients (flour, spices, baking soda, salt, brown sugar) in the bowl of the standing mixer and mix to combine with the paddle attachment. Add in your fat and stir for about a minute, until the mixture is sort of crumbly-looking. Add in your liquid ingredients(maple syrup, extract, eggs, and squash) all at once and stir until everything comes together, but do not over-mix. It's 10000000% okay if the mixture is lumpy, just be sure to scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl once more before popping it in your mold.

This recipe makes a very nice loaf cake for your eating pleasure, but I much prefer to have them in individual muffins, lined with paper. The reason I don't just spray the bejeezus out of a muffin tin and pop in my batter? Well, there are a few...

This recipe is what is known as a quickbread, and therefore "rises quickly." In order for it to get a nice top, the batter has to be able to climb the sides and stick to them so it expands as it bakes. If I were to spray the pan, my batter would release easily from the sides after baked, sure, but they'd be sadly short and muffin-top-less. If I have a loaf pan, I'll simply spray and then flour, so that it'll both be easy to release but the batter will have something to cling on to as it rises, resulting in lovely, even bubbles and a light, fluffy muffin. 

Here's a little naughty Chef's trick: After I've panned my batter(put it in the pans), I let it sit for about 5 minutes while the oven gets up to temperature. Quickbreads are meant to be quick, yes, but baking soda is activated by both moisture and acid. Since this is a fairly low-acid recipe, you have a little leeway to let those flour granules soak up some of that lovely moisture from the eggs and squash. Sugar is also highly hygroscopic, so the high amount in this recipe helps you keep this muffin moist anyway....but why go halfway when you could go all the way by letting it rest?

Once my batter is panned and rested, and my oven heated, then go ahead and sprinkle on that yummy strusel topping, if you're using it, and bake. Set your timer for 25 minutes and then check them with a toothpick. If you're super-precise like me, you should temp your cakes/breads/quickbreads at about 200 degrees F with a thermometer. Mine took about 27 minutes in my oven at home, but your oven will likely behave differently.

Allow the quickbread to cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan, and then cool completely before cutting into it. Enjoy it with some warm apple cider and an infinity scarf while you drag your boyfriend Jeremy to the apple orchard.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Soup(Snuggle up and eat it)

Kansas City, the City of Fountains, is also known as the Paris of the Plains.
As a transplant, I thought this was a bit pretentious. But I’ve lived here for four years now, and I must say that it does have certain Parisian qualities. For example, the snobbery of the different kinds of barbecue. The Plaza may as well be the Midwestern Champs-Elysees. There’s a coffee shop/cafe on just about every corner, and the culture of art and food is thriving like no other. It really is a fantastic city. And this fantastic city is proud of its strong agricultural roots. Speaking of agriculture, let’s talk about pumpkins.
The Kansas City Pumpkin Patch Guide is a great place to check out where to take your kids, or your friends, or your date. I mean, come on. Taking your lady to the pumpkin patch where you go pick out pumpkins, take pictures, and get messy carving them together?
Come on, nobody else thinks that would be totally romantic? Hello? Bueller?
But if you don’t want to go all the way out to the pumpkin patch, many grocery stores are carrying pumpkins, and not just the Jack-o-Lantern varieties anymore…
Also slightly hilarious.
These are called Lunch Lady Gourds. Slightly offensive to lunch ladies everywhere.
I live in Westwood Hills, a great little area south of the river, and the closest store to me is the Price Chopper in Roeland Park(and most others), which has an amazing selection of pumpkins sitting right outside the store. These Lunch Lady Gourds(seen above) are warty and fun for decoration, but I have never used them for cooking before. The ones I have used for cooking, however, are just as fun to look at as they are to eat. And the whole point of pumpkins is, pretty much, to eat them. They’re vegetables! They’re squash! Let’s eat!
Citing your pictures is an excellent practice, children. We should all do so!
Courtesy of DelightfulDelicacies.Blogspot.com!
This variety is called the Australian Blue. It’s more of a grayish-green, but these are fantastic as decorations. Imagine a ghostly, goulish gray theme for your Halloween party…a table set with lacy antique linens and these suckers, all aglow. But the point is you can also keep them out on your front porch for decoration. And what you don’t want to use, you can eat. Because the weather in Kansas City right now is perfect for storing these veggies for later consumption. Or just until you’re ready to carve them. Because who wants to be that house with just the boring old Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins on the front door? Just imagine how great the more colorful varieties will look, all carved and lit up at night!
All kept nicely cool on my porch!
From top going clockwise: One Too Many Squash(the speckled squash), Long Island Cheese Pumpkin(the pretty white squash), Rumbo Squash(the squashed-squash)
The One Too Many Squash and the Rumbo Squash are both available to buy right now, and some of the Price Choppers in Kansas City are using locally grown pumpkins from right around this area.The Long Island Cheese pumpkin is not, however, because that’s one that I grew myself. I’ve wanted a pumpkin patch since I was a little girl, and that was the pumpkin of my choosing! How do they taste? Well, it just so happens that I’ve made my favorite vegetarian recipe using the Rumbo Squash: Pumpkin Soup.
Don’t scoff at the vegetarian stuff: October is, in fact, National Vegetarian Awareness Month. But that’s neither here nor there.
Seriously, you should only ever need to buy certain vegetables once. Start planting your seeds, guys.
Make sure you scrape out the guts and bury it somewhere in your backyard for a never-ending supply of Rumbo Squash come next year.
Pumpkin Soup
  • 1 Rumbo Squash, cut in half( you can also use 1 large butternut squash, or any other pumpkin of a similar size)
  • 12 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 generous bouquet of fresh thyme, plus one sprig
  • 1/2 black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1/2 pt baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bottle hard apple cider
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Butter, A/N
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Time: 2 hours
Yield: A big pot of love
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, or 350 with high fan if you have a convection oven. Cut your squash in half  and remove the seeds. Since the squash are rather large, wrap one half of the squash in plastic wrap to save for later; or you can just double the recipe and freeze what you don’t eat in Tupperware containers! They make a great go-to quick dinner.
Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and apply a tablespoon of canola oil to keep the pumpkin from sticking. Place your pumpkin, cut side facing up, on the tray and score using a knife. Make nice big hash marks, cutting in but not completely through the outer rind. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange your pepper corns, half the garlic, and thyme sprigs onto the cut and scored surface. You can also take the garlic and rub it onto the pumpkin’s flesh for a bit of extra flavor, but that’s up to you.
Roast the pumpkin for about an hour, or until the flesh is easily pierced with a knife. Meanwhile, prepare your other ingredients. This practice is called mise-en-place, which is French for “things in place.” It makes cooking a billion times more stress free and cleaning your kitchen as you go like this makes for an exponentially faster cleanup.
Once your pumpkin is ready, remove from the oven and gently scrape out the flesh into a bowl. Your garlic, thyme, and peppercorns should be well on their way to broken down by this point, so just lump them into the bowl with the pumpkin puree. Discard the rind, unless you have a compost heap in the back. In which case, dump the rind in the compost.
In a heavy-bottomed sauce pot(a big soup kettle is ideal, the bigger the better), take about a Tbsp of canola oil(or another neutral oil, such as grape seed) and warm to medium heat. Add in the diced onion and remaining garlic, with a sprig of fresh thyme, and sweat together over medium-low heat, until it becomes translucent. The garlic shouldn’t burn because it’s still in the big cloves. Make sure you press your garlic down using the back of a spoon while cooking to really release the yummy flavors. Add in your sliced mushrooms at this point and continue to sweat.
Once sweated, about fifteen minutes, add in the pumpkin puree with your garlic, thyme, and all. Raise your heat to medium-high and add the cider. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning, then break out the blender.
I like to use an immersion blender for soups and sauces, usually, but you can use a regular counter-top blender if you like. But blitz the soup until it’s a smooth puree, adding in little knobs(just pieces that are about 1/2 a Tbsp each, cold, right from the fridge) of butter as you go. That’s a naughty little chef’s trick to help you get a super-smooth and yummy soup. Return the soup to the pot(if you took it out to blend it) and add the cream. Stir and taste for seasoning. You can serve on its own or garnish with some roasted mushroom slices. Up to you. But this yummy soup will warm you right to the bones on a chilly autumn night.
**continued heavy breathing**
**heavy breathing**
So, you see? Pumpkins aren’t just for Pumpkin Spice Lattes or Pumpkin Pies(although you can roast that other half of the Rumbo squash to MAKE yourself a pumpkin pie using the real puree yourself) or Pumpkin Muffins. They’re fantastic veggies to be used in many different ways. Boil the cubed pumpkin with your potatoes for a potato pumpkin puree as a side for your roasted chicken on Sunday! Saute pumpkin with shallots and arborio rice to create a wonderful risotto! Don’t be afraid. These pumpkins are just dying to be eaten.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Recap

So Thanksgiving was amazing. Like, historically so. Those of you who saw my twitter posts(if you're not following me, you can do so here at Twitter.com/WannaBGourmande), I made a gravy so awesome that my dad thought it was soup(and he recently went vegetarian). I also made a beautiful Fennel Vichyssoise(which I will be posting the recipe for in a future blog(probably tomorrow, but most-likely later today)), a slew of pot de cremes, and the turkey.

There were about 20 or so of us in Grandma Janie's house, so we made two turkeys. Dad said it was the best turkey he's ever had(but he's my dad so he has to say that), and the family of mine that had some said it was amazing, too. My aunt even asked what my secret was. Well, the secret is brining, and it's in my previous blog, which you can find it here.

At 9 am, after two or three turns in the brine overnight, I took the turkey out and patted it dry. A little trick to browning meat is drying it properly, so remember that. Then I roasted:

  • 1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 gala apple, quartered
  • 1 garlic clove
...all in the oven at 400 degrees on a sheet pan for 5-7 minutes, or just until it got a little soft. I wasn't looking to cook it, just soften it a tad to get the flavors released. Then, take a container of whole cloves and stick each piece of apple with two. So you should have 8 cloves. That's ALL YOU NEED. Stuff the garlic, onion and apple into the cavity of the turkey(DO NOT STUFF IT) along with two sprigs of tarragon.

Once that is done, set it in your roasting pan. Then rub a palm-full of rubbed sage powder all over the bird, and crack some black pepper over the surface. THEN(here comes the cool part) take a large, relatively square piece of tinfoil and fold the corners together to form a kind of triangular shield. Mold the shield to the turkey breast. If you have to, make another triangle shield to cover the breast portion entirely. We want to create a barrier because, let's face it, the dry turkey breast on Thanksgiving is one of the things that we don't have to deal with anymore.

With the oven still at 425, pop your turkey in and let it hang out for 30 - 45 minutes, just until it's browned on the surface. THEN(here comes another cool part) we open the oven door and slide out the turkey to place our shield on the breast. This will keep it moist without having to sacrifice the beautiful and iconic browned turkey color that we all adore. Slide it back in the oven and lower the temperature to about 325 degrees and continue roasting for the duration of the cooking period.This dual-temperature cooking method will allow us to keep the bird moist and cook it all the way through.

We had a 20 lb bird, so it took about 2.5 hours to get it to the sweet spot of 140 degrees in the thigh meat, which is really where you want to check. Always use a thermometer when checking for meat doneness. There are actually super-neat probe thermometers that can go inside the oven with a long wire, while the gauge sticks outside on the oven or countertop and goes off with a beep when its at the right temperature. You can find them at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $20. This is a good model right here.

Anyway, once the thermometer reaches about 150 degrees, simply turn off the oven off and leave it for another 20 minutes. The residual heat in the oven and in the bird will continue to cook the bird, and will leave it so moist. It will look like this once its done.

it's like ZOMG perfect an' stuff!!!!1!
To make the gravy, remove the bird from the pan and set it on a cutting board lined with aluminum foil(to catch extra juices), and pour all the drippings in a sauce pot. Use a ladel or a soup spoon to skim off all but a few tablespoons of the fat. Mix the fat with an equal amount of flour and drop that in the drippings. Cook over a low simmer for about 6-8 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Add about two cups of room-temperature milk once that's all done and let simmer longer to develop more flavor. It should simmer for about 10 minutes with the milk, but never boil. Taste often for seasoning, but you shouldn't really need any, since the turkey is seasoned already. Whisk often.

Anyway, once everything was all done, we packed up and went over to Grandma Janie's house. Here's what we ate:

  1. 2 turkeys(one was mine, one was Grandpa Jim's)
  2. 2 stuffings(one was Grandma Janie's, one was Aunt Evonne's)
  3. Roasted squash with pumpkin seeds and balsamic vinager
  4. Mashed potatoes
  5. Green bean casserole
  6. Sweet potatoes
  7. Grandma's homemade rolls
  8. 2 different kinds of gravy
  9. Fennel vichyssoise
  10. Ambrosia
  11. Cranberry relish
  12. Kale salad
  13. Wild rice dried fruit pilaf
  14. Roasted cauliflower
  15. Pecan pie
  16. Pumpkin Pie
  17. Pot de Creme
  18. Sweet Potato Pie
So there you have it. Thanksgiving at my Grandma's house. A. was with us and said it was probably one of the best Thanksgivings he's ever had. I couldn't really move much after that. I'm pretty sure they had to carry me out. Or at least assist. Anyway, we're going over there in a few hours for leftovers. It will definitely be awesome, especially considering there was a lot of gravy and my turkey is still going to be super moist after the brining.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipes - Part 1, Succotash

So my glorious editor at the illustrious StyleCoven.com Facebooked me the other night asking me if I knew of any delicious recipes for Thanksgiving. "Of course!" I said with a little laugh. "What did you have in mind. And by when do you need it?"

With the wonderful and fabulous 'cackle' that belongs only to Marie, she said "Blow me away with your genius."

That was pretty much it and the end of our conversation. Marie and I first met in Los Angeles several years ago at a Coven meeting celebrating Mabon in North Hollywood. I was buying a black dress for the ritual and she came right over to me, all 5' 2" of her, and pushed my bosoms up saying "Oh, good, darling! Now we need some fishing line to perk these girls up, and wear combat boots with it." Being a wide-eyed and aspiring fashion designer at the time, I immediately fell in love with her. But enough about that.

Thanksgiving began circa 1621 when the Plymouth colonists shared their autumn harvest meal with the local Native Americans, the most-famous of which is probably Squanto. He was the one to teach those stuffy Brits how to live off the land, harvest and plant, catch fish and what have you. Truthfully, the first Thanksgiving feast did have turkey, and more wild game birds such as duck and goose.

However, if you want to talk about authenticity, the big hit at the first Thanksgiving was venison! Not that there wasn't a lot of food, mind you. They had all sorts of things like pumpkins, eel, lobster, oysters, cod, bass, gooseberries, cranberries(but not cranberry sauce because they didn't have sugar), and lots more! They also didn't have stuffing, but they did use dried corn that was made into cornmeal and succotash, which is a kind of  thick soup that they ate all winter. Succotash itself is kind of a staple of New England cuisine, nowadays.  So why not use it as a new staple in your Thanksgiving feast? Not only is it rich in veggies, but it is oh-so-rustic-chic.

Many succotash recipes vary nowadays, but they will always contain corn and some kind of beans, usually Lima beans. I got this recipe from Martha Stewart, the ultimate Domestic Diva.

I told you it could be chic

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded, deveined, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 medium zucchini, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 ten-ounce packages frozen lima beans, rinsed under warm running water and drained
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (4 ears)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon picked fresh thyme leaves

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add bell peppers, zucchini, lima beans, and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in herbs, and serve.

Succotash is perfect for an appetizer or side dish. And the best part about it is that you don't have to wait til Thanksgiving to have it. This glorious dish can be made all winter, and is just perfect.