Archive for November, 2012

From Dish Nicole:

For the past several years, I have been going to my Aunt Linda’s house for Thanksgiving.  She is an amazing hostess and prepares all sorts of treats including her famously delicious “garbage soup”, the bird and mashed potatoes (not to mention she has the house festively decked out).  There are usually about 15-20 family members for dinner and more people trickle in for dessert.  We have no problem hunkering down for a long day of eating and drinking with our loved ones.  Everyone in attendance usually brings their signature holiday dishes.  Everyone knows that Aunt Donna brings the creamed onions, Grandma Bardin brings the Oyster stuffing, and Uncle Matt usually brings the corn bread and so on.  My contribution the past few Thanksgivings has been brussel sprouts.  Traditionally I roast them with olive oil and garlic until they start to crisp (always a crowd pleaser).  This year I wanted to try something new so I tested it out in my kitchen last night.  I found a recipe for Hashed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Zest from the New York Times.  I think this could quite possibly be my Thanksgiving signature dish for years to come.



2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus grated zest of 1 lemon

2 pounds brussel sprouts

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons black mustard seeds

¼ cup dry white wine or vermouth

Salt and pepper to taste


 Part of the reason I like this recipe is that you can prepare the brussel sprouts in advance and just toss them in a pan before serving.  Start out by putting your lemon juice in a large bowl and set aside.  Next cut off the bottoms of the brussel sprouts and discard the bottom.  Quarter the sprouts length wise and thinly slice them crosswise.  Add the “hash” to the bowl with lemon juice and mix with your hands and separate the leaves as you are mixing.  You can set aside and refrigerate at this point if you are not ready to serve right away.


To cook, you will start by heating the oil and butter in a large skillet or wok.  Add the garlic and mustard seeds to the oil/butter mixture and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, then add in the sprouts.  Cook for about 4 minutes. Let them wilt slightly but not so much that they lose their bright color.  Add in the wine and salt and pepper cooking for an additional minute.  Remove from heat and transfer to your serving bowl, and sprinkle in the lemon zest.

 Not all of the recipes I try impress me but this one is a sure thing.  It’s a light addition to a rather heavy and glutinous meal.  Of course I garnished my brussel sprouts with parmesan cheese; I mean cheese makes anything good, well great.  Enjoy your Turkey my friends and remember to give thanks!

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From Dish Rachelle:

You know what’s awesome about Thanksgiving food?  We take generally healthy ingredients – poultry, potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin, cranberries – and find a way to douse them all in butter, sugar, fat and salt.  It’s indulgent, it’s American, and it’s amazing.  My Mom makes some of the best turkey and stuffing I’ve ever tasted and her cousin always brings a great broccoli and cheese casserole, which is fluffy and rich and makes broccoli taste like junk food.

For this post, I tried to make a side dish that’s decadent enough for a Thanksgiving table, but also might be served at a dinner party year-round.  That meant no frizzled onions and no condensed soup or soup mix (1950s-era staples that I generally avoid but are totally acceptable on holidays).  I call this Broc’n’Cheese because it came out tasting like that all-American pasta classic – but with broccoli.  Perhaps it could be a good alternative to mac for a gluten free guest?

This recipe can be doubled or tripled or gazippled for Turkey Day…


2 large heads broccoli, florets only

2 tblsp. unsalted butter

¼ cup flour

2 cups milk

½ cup grated good-quality extra sharp cheddar

½ cup grated gruyere cheese

pinches of the following spices: nutmeg, garlic powder, paprika & mustard powder

½ cup breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 350.

Cut and rinse your broccoli florets.  (Reserve the stems for another recipe.)  Steam the florets until bright green and cooked al dente.  Let stand, uncovered, while you prepare the béchamel.


Melt 1½ tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan and add flour, whisking quickly to create a very light roux.  Lower heat to medium and add milk, whisking away the lumps.  This is your béchamel sauce – keep whisking as it gets hotter and thickens, making sure the sides don’t scald.  When it starts bubbling slowly, bring the flame down to low and add dashes of the spices (less than a teaspoon of each) and S&P.  Add cheese and stir until melted and all the spices are combined.

Spread the steamed broccoli out into a baking dish and pour the cheese sauce over it.  Quickly melt the last ½ tablespoon of butter in a small frying pan and add the breadcrumbs.  Toast in butter 1-2 minutes and then pour it evenly over the broccoli and cheese.  Bake the casserole for about 15 minutes or until cheese sauce is bubbling.

Let stand a few minutes and then serve!  You won’t feel guilty about trying three different pies because you ate your broccoli – drenched in cheese, butter and milk, of course.

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From Dish Paige:

Happy November! It’s my favorite time of year right now (aside from all of the insane weather we’ve been having here in the Northeast) because as we near Thanksgiving, it means PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!!!!!!!! I’ve always had a weakness for pumpkin pie, and at this point, if I see the word pumpkin in front of anything, I’ll eat or drink it.  The other day, we made marshmallows in class and all I could think was, “how good would this taste with pumpkin pie spice!?” The answer, as you will find out below, is….AMAZING!

For the cookies (this recipe comes directly from the Quaker Oats website, and it amazing as is):

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 sticks butter, room temp

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 large egg, room temp

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350

In a bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix and set aside.


In the bowl of your mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, paddle the butter until soft and fluffy. Add in the sugars and continue paddling until well combined and nicely creamed. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix until just combined. Add the flour in 3 batches, paddling until just combined after each addition. Line your baking sheet with parchment and scoop the cookies using an ice cream scooper. With wet hands, flatten the cookies into discs. Bake for approximately 10 minutes – you want the cookies to set but remain soft. Cool.

For the filling:

75g egg whites

240g granulated sugar

60g glucose or corn syrup


2 packets powdered gelatin or 15g (bloom the gelatin in 2/3 cup water)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

In your mixer, begin whipping the egg whites on medium speed. Once they reach soft peaks, turn the mixer down to it’s lowest setting and keep it stirring. Meanwhile, place the sugar in a VERY CLEAN pot and combine with just enough water to make it the texture of wet sand (like you’re building a turret on a sand castle). Add the glucose the sugar mixture and heat over medium heat until the mixture reaches 260 degrees. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and pour the sugar syrup in the bowl between the sides of the bowl and the whip. Add the gelatin and increase the speed, mixing until the bowl cools down and the mixture becomes fluffy. Stir in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.

Place the marshmallow in a piping bag and pipe a big old pile of filling on the undersides of half the cookies. Place another cookie on top and enjoy!

Note: You will have TONS of marshmallow filling so you might want to double the recipe. Or you can save it and use it for hot chocolate or any other confection you can think of!

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From Dish Gwen:

Recently two events came together in my life, leading me to make mushroom soup. The first was that I got a new blender, after six months of having a busted old useless one taking up valuable shelf space in my kitchen. The second was that I started growing oyster mushrooms. I’ve been making this soup for years but I don’t make it often. Now that I’ve made it for my 20 month old son and he loved it, I have a feeling it will become part of our regular household menu. Plus it takes less than a half hour to make so it’s kind of a perfect dish.

– ½ lb oyster mushrooms, chopped (you can also use shiitakes, buttons, portabellos, whatever!)
– ½ cup chopped white onion
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ¼ teaspoon white pepper
– 2 cups whole milk
– fresh parsley, chopped


In a deep sauce pan, simmer the olive oil, garlic and onion on medium/high heat until they begin to brown, then throw in the mushrooms. Toss everything together with the salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add about ½ cup of water to loosen any brown bits or caramelized coating from the bottom of the pan, and turn off the heat. Carefully pour all of the contents into your blender, cover, and blend until you get a smooth puree (takes about 1 minute). Pour the puree back into the pot on medium/low heat, and add the milk, stirring so everything combines into a smooth, creamy mixture. Add additional salt as desired, and once it’s steamy hot serve in bowls with crusty bread. Serves 4, and this soup freezes well so got ahead and stash some away for later in a tupperware!

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Apple Tarte Tatins

From Dish Danielle:

There are many pastimes synonymous with upstate New York, but none are as epitomizing as apple picking in the fall. There is something deep inside my upstate bones that pulls me towards apple trees every autumn. I can’t always make the big trek to my hometown, but luckily there are many incredible orchards dotting the perimeter of our beloved city, the BIG APPLE, (…heh). This year, not only did I go apple picking with a couple of dear friends — we visited an orchard not too far upstate that is ALSO A WINERY. This means you can buy a bottle of wine, and then yes…oh yes, tuck that bottle under your arm and head into the orchard to sip and pick. It was quite the fall afternoon…followed by several weeks worth of apple tart making/recipe tweaking. The below recipe is a mash-up of several attempts to perfect my method, taking very clever baking cues from some seriously saucy dishes.

1 large round pie crust: use Julia’s recipe
8 large apples, cut into medium slices (you don’t want them too thin)
6-8 hibiscus tea bags (or another nice aromatic variety)
boiling water
1 lemon, zested and juiced
ground ginger
1c brown sugar
1c white sugar, and a small handful more
½ tsp ground nutmeg
6 tbsp butter

Toss tea bags into a large bowl. Pour boiling water over them—enough so that when the apples slices are added, they’re submerged. Add half of each sugar, and a few liberal pinches of ginger. Add the lemon zest and ½ the lemon juice. Whisk so the sugar dissolves and the tea steeps well (taste the liquid and add any of the above to your liking). Add sliced apples. Let them sit, completely submerged, for 45mins, jostling them now and again. While you’re waiting, make your crust if you’re doing it from scratch.

Preheat your oven to 375.

Strain the liquid from the apples into a small pot. Place over a high flame and allow it to reduce to a thicker drizzle to top your finished tarts with. Toss strained apples with the remaining sugar, the rest of the lemon juice, a few more small pinches of ginger, maybe a few grinds of nutmeg, and cinnamon if it’s to your liking (I didn’t use it).

Place a large cast iron over a med-low flame and set the butter in to melt (I used several small cast irons and made mini tarts). Once it’s melted, take a small handful of white sugar and sprinkle it into the butter. Now, pull the cast iron off the heat and arrange your apple slices however you’d like. Pile them high because they’ll shrink a bit during this next step.

Once your apples are in the cast iron, place the pan back over medium heat and essentially allow the sugar/butter/apples to ‘boil’ for 10 minutes or so. You want the juices to be bubbling up on the sides and to turn amber in color. Remove from heat. Roll out your pie crust. Carefully place it over apples and tuck it inside the edges of your pan.

Pop your tart into the oven for 15-20 minutes and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the pan has cooled down, gently run a knife along the outer edge of the tart to loosen it from the pan. This is the hardest part: lay a large plate or cutting board over the top of the pan and flip the whole thing quickly to invert the tart. You may have to use a small offset to get the most stubborn slices of apples off the bottom of your pan, but you’ll make it pretty again with some of your reduced tea/lemon/ginger drizzle.

Use a bakers brush and paint the inverted tart(s) with the reduced drizzle.

Slice and enjoy fall’s bounty!

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