Poultry & Pork

Happiest Thanksgiving to All

Many of you are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with your friends and family. We are both doing just that on opposite sides of the coast, but this past weekend, we had the chance to eat a pre-Thanksgiving meal with friends here in Los Angeles. One of the things we had to do when we moved to Los Angeles was create a sense of family amongst friends. We’ve both spent different holidays away from our blood relatives, and it’s nice to know that there are people around to be with you when you can’t go home. Enjoy the holiday however you’re spending it. Whether you’re with friends, family or your pet Fido, make it a good one.

We’ll keep it short and sweet and just give you a look at a few of the dishes that graced our potluck table!  You will notice a definite lack of photos in this post. There was more…much more.  Perhaps you understand just how difficult it can be to remember to take pictures with 30 people swarming around, food coming out of the oven, wine being poured into your glass and dishes piled everywhere. In the middle of all of that chaos, the camera can easily be forgotten. Even if there are two of us. Shame! You may notice the use of several products and ingredients snagged during the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. Score! We definitely have to thank many of our friends for bringing cheesey mac and cheese, broccoli rice, risotto, spinach, spinach and bacon mashed potatoes, seven layer salad, rolls, green bean casserole, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole…The list goes on.  Good thing we had a Thanksgiving a few days before the actual holiday.  There was a little time to recover before the big day.  Have yourselves a great one!

Cranberry Goat Cheese Spread – Serves 8 to 10
10 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
3 ounces dried cranberries, chopped
Zest of 1 orange, minced
2 ounces pistachios, toasted and crushed

1. Using an electric mixer, blend softened goat cheese, cranberries and orange zest until combined. Plop cheese onto a sheet of wax paper and shape into a log or a large ball. Chill for 1-2 hours or until firm again.

2. When the cheese has hardened, roll in pistachios to cover all sides. Chill until ready to serve.  (This could also be good rolled in the Oregon Dukkah Traditional dry dip from the Foodbuzz Tasting Pavillion!  It worked as a nice crunchy dip on the side.)

Marinated Olives – Serves 10 to 12
24 ounces pitted olives (create your own mix of size and color-kalamata, manzanilla, niçoise, etc.)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Juice and zest of 1 orange
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 bay leaves

Mix all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and chill for at least 3-4 hours or up to a week in advance. Bring to room temperature and remove bay leaves before serving.

Cranberry Sauce – Makes 4 cups
24 ounces fresh cranberries
1 3/4 cups water
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1. In a large sauce pan, heat the water, ginger, cayenne, salt, orange juice, zest, sugars and maple syrup to boiling.

2. Once the sugars have dissolved, add the cranberries. Bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until most of the berries have popped.

3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Citrus and Herb Roasted Chicken

Honey Balsamic Roasted Chicken with Carrots, Turnips and Brussels Sprouts – Serves 6 to 8
4 1/2 pound whole chicken
4 large sprigs fresh rosemary, destemmed and roughly chopped
10-12 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/8 cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic, whole
1 cup balsamic vinegar (Made in Napa Valley’s Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar with Pear was perfect.)
1/4 cup honey
1-1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound baby carrots
1 pound brussels sprouts
3 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 8ths
Kosher salt
Black pepper

1. Remove chicken innards and rinse inside and outside of bird. Place in a deep baking dish or roasting pan.

2. Whisk butter with olive oil, balsamic, honey, rosemary, thyme sprigs until fully blended.

3. Season inside of the chicken with kosher salt. Rub 3/4 of the balsamic mixture over the chicken, covering him completely. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

4. Stick garlic, carrots, brussels sprouts and turnips around the chicken and pour remaining balsamic liquid over vegetables. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

5. Cover the chicken with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

6. Take chicken out of the oven, remove foil and pour in chicken broth. Mix broth with drippings in the pan and baste well. Put the chicken back in the oven, uncovered, and bake for another 25-30 minutes, basting frequently. If you have a meat thermometer, the thickest part of the chicken should register between 160 and 165 degrees.

Corn Pudding – Serves 16 to 18
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 large brown onion, diced
56 ounces corn, fresh or frozen and thawed
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 box Jiffy mix
1 cup sour cream
5 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups Mexican cheese
10-12 fresh basil leaves, sliced
Olive oil

1. Rub a little extra butter over two 9″ x 13″ baking dishes. Set aside.

2. In a very large and deep skillet, melt butter with a swirl of olive oil. When hot, add the onions and cook until they begin to soften, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add corn and stir to combine well with onions. Season with the salt, pepper and cayenne.

3. Pour cream and sugar over corn and stir to mix. Cook corn down until all the cream is gone, approximately 15-20 minutes. Stir often. Remove corn from heat and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, mix Jiffy mix with sour cream, milk and eggs until combined. Stir in cheese and basil. Add corn to the wet ingredients and incorporate well.

5. Pour the mixture into the two baking dishes and smooth the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until the top has browned and the middle has firmed.

Mini Cheesecakes – Serves 36
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg

1. For crust, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, spices, salt and butter until combined. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon into the bottom of three mini muffin-lined tins. Press flat with your thumb to create an even layer. Bake crusts in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 4-6 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. (Cool for 5-7 minutes before adding the filling.)

2. While crusts bake, use an electric mixer beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg until smooth. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the cheesecake mix over the crust.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely, then move to the fridge to chill before serving.

-Stir in 1/4 cup melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate chips for chocolate cheesecakes.
-Spoon about 1 teaspoon of cheesecake batter over the crust, followed by a teaspoon of caramel syrup, then another teaspoon of batter for caramel cheesecakes.
-Add the zest of 1 or 2 citrus fruits to the batter before pouring into the crust.

Almond Apple Crumble Pie (modified from Odense)- Serves 6 to 8
3 1/2 ounces almond paste
6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (This was a mix of Gala, Fuji and Granny Smith apples.)
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter, chilled and grated
1 unbaked 9″ pie shell, chilled (Leftover pie dough in the freezer worked well here.)

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

1. Roll almond paste out to a flat 10″ circle and press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie crust. Set in the fridge to keep cold.

2. In a medium sized bowl, toss the apples with the vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Pour sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cornstarch and salt over the apples and toss to mix. Scrape into the chilled pie shell and sprinkle butter on top. Set back in the fridge.

3. Place all of the topping ingredients into a large food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly. Spread evenly over the pie.

4. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until the crust and topping has browned.

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie (adapted from Closet Cooking) – Serves 6 to 8
1 pie crust (or homemade pie dough)*
2 cups sweet potato, roasted, cooled and mashed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons whiskey

1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon whiskey

1. Using an electric mixer, combine the sweet potatoes, eggs, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and bourbon until smooth. Pour it into the pie crust, and sprinkle the pecans over the filling.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, maple syrup, eggs, butter, vanilla, salt and bourbon and pour evenly over the pecans. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 40-60 minutes.

*It’s suggested that you use a deep dish pie crust or pie dish if you’re making your own crust. If not, there may be a little run over of the pecan topping, and of course you want to be sure to use it all!

Click HERE for printable recipes.


26 thoughts on “Happiest Thanksgiving to All

  1. I know what you mean about creating a sense of family among friends. I have finally found a group to share my Thanksgiving with (we expats get thrown together) and finally, this year, I almost didn’t miss my actual family. Almost.

  2. I have made a similar cranberry goat’s cheese spread!! I also love the other lovely & fab looking dishes!!

    MMMMMM,…Happy Thanks Giving to you 2!!!

  3. Um. Whose pet’s name is Fido? Lol!
    I’m super excited to see you guys start using the Foodbuz Festival freebies already. I knew you’ll come up with awesome recipes!

  4. I’ve got my eye all over that goat cheese spread – all my favorite things! 🙂 It’s great having a network of friends who are like family – especially in LA. It’s what keeps me sane!

    Have a great one, Amir and Chrystal!

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