Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner: Green Beans with Miso & Almonds

30 Nov

The following recipe is adapted from the November 2011 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.  If you want to try their original recipe, you can find it here.  For my adaptation, I followed their directions closely, but changed the ingredients as I found the original recipe was a little sour/bitter.  Nothing that tripling the amount of sugar couldn’t fix! 🙂  I picked this recipe, because I wanted to try a lighter green veggie recipe this year.  Normally whatever green vegetable we serve at Thanksgiving is soaked in cream (think: creamed spinach) or high in fat (think: asparagus wrapped in bacon).  I was kind of shocked by how much dressing was coating the green beans when I followed the recipe amounts, but was very pleased that the green beans were still crispy and not soaked in dressing, despite sitting in our warming oven for 1.5 hours before dinner was served.  If I were to make this recipe again, I would likely halve the amount of dressing used so the green bean flavor could come through even more.  The recipe below is exactly what I made on Thursday.

Green Beans with Miso & Almonds
Adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2011 Issue

Ingredients
2 1/2 lb. fresh green beans (ends trimmed or snapped off)
kosher salt
1/4 cup white miso (fermented soybean paste)
3 tbsp. thinly sliced scallions, dark green parts only, divided
3 tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp. mustard powder mixed with 1 tbsp. water (Note: BA recommends 2 tbsp. Japanese prepared hot mustard (not wasabi) and this is the alternative)
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 tbsp. sugar, to taste
1/4 cup, sliced almonds, toasted

Directions
1. Boil a medium sized pot of salted water.  When the water is boiling, toss in the green beans and cook until crisp-tender (about 7-8 minutes).
2. Drain green beans and transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool.  (Note: This is what keeps the green beans crispy – don’t skip this step!)
3. In a small bowl, whisk miso, 2 tbsp. scallions, vinegar,  mustard (and water), oil and sugar.  Season dressing to taste with salt.
4. Place green beans in a serving bowl.  Pour dressing over; toss to coat.
5. Pre-heat oven to 350 degree.  On a baking sheet, lay out flat sliced almonds and toast until they are lightly browned.  This should take about 15 minutes.
6. Right before serving, garnish dish with toasted almonds and remaining 1 tbsp. scallions.  Serve warm or at room temperature (I prefer warm).

Note: After completing step 4 above, I put the green beans in our warming oven for 1.5 hours until the turkey was ready.  I did steps 5-6 immediately before we sat down to eat.

Here is a close up of the finished product:

Thanksgiving Dinner: Pear Bellinis (aka Christmas in a Cup)

29 Nov

Pear Bellini

My Mom started making this recipe a few years back.  It’s a great seasonal twist on a traditional bellini; adding with rosemary and cranberries as a garnish makes this cocktail even more festive for this time of year!

Pear Bellinis with Rosemary & Cranberry

Ingredients
Pear nectar (I like this one)
Prosecco, or any other dry sparkling white wine
Fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Handful of fresh cranberries, for garnish

Directions (per serving)
1.  Pour ~2 oz. pear nectar into a champagne flute.
2. Slowly fill glass to top with ~4 oz. prosecco.
3. Add 1 sprig of rosemary and 3-4 fresh cranberries for garnish and you have Christmas in a cup!! 🙂

Thanksgiving Dinner: Mom’s Stuffing

28 Nov

This recipe was passed down from my Great Grandmother on my Mom’s side.  I credit this recipe to my Mom because a few years ago, she made a key adaptation to a previously unchanged recipe that made it truly GREAT.  I was never a stuffing person growing up; I found it gummy, flavorless and, most of all, full of raisins (which I strongly dislike).  A few years back, my Mom switched out the raisins for craisins (dried cranberries) and I am now a huge fan of this dish.

Mom’s Stuffing
(For a 9-12 lb. turkey)

Ingredients
Pullman size loaf of bread (toasted – crusts removed) (Note: If you’re short on time, you can use one bread from of the Pepperidge Farm stuffing bags. No one will know the difference and this saves a ton of time.)
1/2 bag craisins (or 1-2 generous handfuls) (Note: if you prefer, substitute *plumped raisins for craisins)
1 large onion, chopped
4 large celery stalks, chopped
1/2 lb pork sausage (bulk-medium hot) (drained)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Poultry seasoning, to taste
Sage, to taste
Broth (strained)
1 egg, beaten
1 stick unsalted butter

Directions
*If you are using raisins, plump them before adding them to the mix.  To do this, pour boiling water over raisins until they are covered.  This should puff them right up.
1. Remove crusts from bread and toast lightly on both sides.  If you have stale or day old bread, it is better so buy this ingredient ahead of time if you can.
2. Chop onion and saute until golden brown in about 3 tbsp. of butter.  When onions are golden brown, add chopped celery and cook slightly.
3. In another skillet, break up the pork sausage and cook until almost done.  Start with a cold skillet and drain grease as it accumulated.  You don’t want to add the grease to the stuffing mix.
4. In a large bowl, break up the toasted bread into about six pieces per slice (you don’t want it too small as you don’t want mushy stuffing).  Pour the onion and celery mixture over this and then add the pork sausage, craisins (or raisins) and beaten egg.  Mix lightly.
5. Add small amount of broth to moisten (not too much as it will get juices from the turkey as it cooks).  Then add salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and sage, to taste.  Don’t forget the stuffing is going to cook inside your seasoned bird and will absorb many of the turkey’s flavors.  Go lighter rather than heavier on the seasoning and broth here.
6.  Stuff the neck of the bird and close it with a skewer.  Then flip the bird over and stuff the other side; cover with a thick slice of bread (you will discard this piece of bread, it is just to prevent the stuffing from burning or absorbing too much of the turkey baste).  Don’t overfill either opening as the stuffing will swell in baking.  If there is any extra stuffing, you can bake this separately at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, until brown and warm.
7. Cook turkey according to directions on Thanksgiving Dinner: Grandma’s Turkey recipe.  When turkey is removed from oven, remove stuffing and put in a serving dish.  Serve immediately.

Here is a close up of the final product: