For months last year, I ate canned pumpkin nearly every morning. During these months, I wondered why canned pumpkin was so rarely used in savory applications and so beloved in sweet applications. This past weekend I decided I would satisfy my curiosity. After paring through several options, I narrowed choices down to two: curry-pumpkin pie and nduja-pumpkin pie. Continue reading
It about the time of year, actually it is a little late, to start testing recipes for Thanksgiving. As I have noted in the past, our family’s holiday ritual is a gathering so large that it can at any given time, 50 people over 4 generations might be eating. Picking a dish which I will have fun preparing which is not already being prepared which most people will like is difficult. With that in mind, I grabbed a turkey to feed our family this week with a few takes on standard favorites of ours made with Thanksgiving ingredients. Continue reading
Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to dine at the Kyoto incarnation of Chicago’s Next Restaurant. Our meal ended with a course that I thought of as a brave way to end a meal. It was a small confection, warabimochi, that was neither overly sweet nor overly savory. The very next week, a friend sent a few of these little numbers covered in toasted soy powder that she had made herself. It finally hit me why I loved these. Continue reading
I resist. Each year, I try. but I fail. I tell myself to avoid the trap of making Thanksgiving a challenge, but I cannot help but dig deep and try to make Thanksgiving exciting and start cool projects. This year, I tried something new. I had made salmon mousseline not long ago and rolled them into dogs, but this time I wanted to make a terrine of smoothly textured turkey and I wanted create a mosaic view of colorful fall vegetables inlaid in the terrine. Continue reading
Last year, you may remember that I did a month’s worth of Thanksgiving testing. This year, nothing. As many people do, I alternate Thanksgivings with my lovely spouse. Last year, we attended two local Thanksgiving meals where I had the free reign to make what I want, so I needed tons of testing. This year, we are headed to Oklahoma and I am limited as what my contribution will be, but I pretty much knew which direction that I wanted to go. Continue reading
Since starting the blog, I have extolled the writing of Michael Ruhlman and Linda Ziedrich. Both Charcuterie and The Joy of Pickling are two of my favorite (and most used) cookbooks. Around Halloween, Ruhlman posted a recipe of Ziedrich’s for pickled green tomatoes on his blog and days later, I found some beautiful green tomatoes at the Green City Market on the cheap. Continue reading
The final installment of the Thanksgiving Challenge is pickled cranberries. These cranberries were originally meant for mostarda, but I forgot to pick up a few ingredients during the shopping trip from hell. I kept composure for the most part despite calling a gaggle of herb poachers a combination of curse words that was both unique and non-sensical. Continue reading
With Thanksgiving only days away, those who have not planned for what they will be making have fewer and fewer options. Even worse, is trying to go grocery shopping in the evenings leading up to the holiday. With that in mind, this recipe takes just a few minutes and a few ingredients.
Bacon and maple are a natural pair. This recipe does not use actual bacon, but rather bacon fat along with maple syrup (and a touch of chipotle) to glaze pecans. The result is a sweet, salty, and crunchy snack. The pecans also have a real smokiness resulting from the chipotle powder and also from the smoky fat from the most recent batch of bacon smoked over whiskey barrel wood. Continue reading
The Thanksgiving Challenge has its most visually appealing candidate so far. This terrine made from a turkey leg quarter, a roasted sweet potato, pancetta, and a heaping spoonful of trotter gear is not just a looker either. Despite serving it cold, it features the strongest flavor of turkey so far in the challenge.
Eventhough this terrine combines two of the most traditional Thanksgiving flavors, this terrine could be served anytime. By keeping the sage out of the terrine, the flavors of turkey is intense without tasting like a tube of Jimmy Dean sausage or a box of Stove Top Stuffing. Continue reading
Perhaps the most ridiculous of all Thanksgiving culinary traditions is cranberry “sauce”. The ribbed edges from the tin can are not for your pleasure. To me, spending all day cooking a whole turkey, to varying degrees of success, and then opening a can of “sauce”, slicing it (slicing sauce?) and putting it on top of it is like spending all day cleaning your house and then hanging those little pine-y tree scenters all over the place. Continue reading