Everything you could ever want…
I mentioned the mashed potato recipe in yesterday’s post and the whipped sweet potatoes suffered a similar fate. It’s not much of a recipe – it’s pretty much just cooking & mashing with vegetable broth until you get the desired consistency. The roasted veggies also require no recipe, and I don’t feel like posting photos of my dad and the turkey carcass here, so that leaves the green beans.
My mom found this recipe in Bon Appetit and it was the perfect side dish because much of the prep work could be done ahead of time.
The main time saving technique used is blanching. For those who don’t know, that means boiling something quickly then dumping it in a bowl of ice water. The payoff? The rapid boil cooks them just enough, but then the ice bath stops the cooking so they aren’t mushy and maintain their pretty green color.
Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Dried-Cherry Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup EVOO
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 3 tbsp plus 2 tbsp sherry wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp black pepper plus additional (for sprinkling)
- 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
- 1 1/2 pounds trimmed slender green beans (ie haricot verts)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
Whisk first 6 ingredients and 1/2 tsp pepper in small bowl. Mix in dried cherries and set aside. Vinaigrette can be made a ahead, covered, and chilled – just allow it to get to room temp on the day of serving.
To blanch the green beans, fill a large bowl with ice water and set it aside. Then cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender (3-5 mins), drain them, and transfer them to the bowl of ice water. Once they have cooled, drain them and either use them or store them for later use. The best way to keep veggies fresh is to wrap them in paper towels, enclosed in a plastic bag (don’t seal the bag until they are at room temp).
To assemble salad, toss the green beans, toasted walnuts, and vinaigrette together. And serve!
My mom’s stuffing is also one of
my everyone’s favorite parts of thanksgiving. She doubled it this year to accommodate the high demand, thus ensuring plenty of leftovers. Or so she thought…
Mom’s Thanksgiving Stuffing
- ~6 slices of old bread, chopped into small pieces
- 1 large bag (14 oz) herbed stuffing mix (she uses Pepperidge Farm)
- 1 large onion
- 1 bag (12 oz) fresh whole cranberries
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 5-6 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 cup walnuts, crushed
- vegetable broth (to reach desired consistency)
Usually my mom stuffs the turkey with half of the portion of stuffing and then removes it to mix with the other half (cooked separately in the oven). This is to perfect the consistency of the stuffing since the turkey stuffed half is typically overly saturated, but then gets mixed with the other portion, producing a perfectly semi-juicy, tasty stuffing. For meat-eaters, this is the way to go. However, since I don’t do turkey, all of the stuffing is now made separately (thanks mom).
Sautee onion, and celery with EVOO until tender, then add mushrooms. Once onions and celery are clear add in cubed bread, stuffing mix, and veggie broth until texture is crumbly but not too dry or too wet. Fold in cranberries carefully, so as not to burst them. Finally add in walnuts and cook in oven at 350 for ~30 minutes or until the top starts to brown. To keep warm or finish off the cooking, cover the top with tin foil so it doesn’t burn.
My salad-less plate.
A little bit of everything.
And then the sweet ending…starting with pumpkin pie.
Spicy Pumpkin Pie
- 2 c. pumpkin
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 1/4 c. white sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 1/2 tsp rum extract (omitted)
- 3 eggs
- 1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
Mix everything together and fill crust to brim. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 400 degrees.
There was also chocolate cake for Laura’s birthday.
And finally a cranberry & blueberry pie.
- 1 bag (12 oz.) fresh whole cranberries
- equal amount of blueberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
Combine all ingredients in large saucepan and cook on med. heat, stirring while mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Continue cooking 10-12 minutes more, being careful not to mash blueberries, while still letting cranberries cook and burst. Then remove cinnamon sticks and transfer berry mix to glass or ceramic bowl while it cools (and thickens). Once the mix has chilled to room temp, add to pie crust and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour at 400 degrees. It will be less time if the mixture hasn’t cooled all the way because you are basically just waiting for the crust to cook.