Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

No Refined Sugar Apple Cranberry Sauce

November 18, 2013

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I love cranberry sauce, but I don’t love the massive amount of sugar that goes into it. My solution was to offset the tartness of the cranberries with sweet fruits.

My first attempt involved cooking the cranberries with orange juice and a super sweet apple. The cranberry sauce was almost, but not quite sweet enough. I needed to add a small amount of sweetener to take the edge off the tartness.

For my next attempt, I used white grape juice and golden raisins. That did the trick. The apples, golden raisins and white grape juice add sweetness without changing the taste of the cranberries.

If you puree this, the texture, from the apple, becomes something between applesauce and cranberry sauce.

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Chanukah Hush Puppies

November 18, 2013

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A popular theme for Chanukah this year is “Food that is Thanksgiving-ish or Autumnal but still recognizable as Chanukah fare.” Put another way, the question is: What Thanksgiving food can be fried as latkes or sufganiyot?

I offer you hush puppies. It is fried–perfect for Chanukah. It is a traditional recipe from the American South that is a twist on cornbread, a Thanksgiving classic. Basically, hush puppies are mini latkes made from cornbread batter. Or maybe it is more accurate to say that hush puppies are to cornbread what latkes are to kugel.

Why hush puppies are not more popular (outside the South) I will never understand. They are, according to one journalist, “the best fried food in existence.” Hush puppies may be ready to have their moment, though. The New York Times just featured an article about quinoa hush puppies, as served at Market Table. I wouldn’t be shocked if the NYT quinoa hush puppies recipe makes the rounds for Chanukah.

There are a lot of stories about how Hush Puppies got their name. A popular story is that hush puppies were made from cornmeal leftover from frying fish and thrown to the dogs to quiet them.

My husband was reminiscing recently how his mother would make little latkes from matzoh meal/breadcrumbs and egg that was leftover from breading something for frying. I’ve done that, too. You don’t want to throw away the extra egg and breading, right?

That is kind of what hush puppies taste like, those little breading latkes, but there are also little bits of onion, like with potato latkes. Actually, they also kind of remind me of falafel, but cornbread flavored, of course.

Traditionally, hush puppies are served with fried fish and tartar sauce, but I am not such a fan of dipping deep-fried food into a fat-based sauce. I think the hush puppies taste nice by themselves or served with cranberry applesauce.

But serving hush puppies with a rich sauce is apparently the norm. Curious whether anyone else is serving hush puppies for Chanukah, I came across an article about Amanda Cohen chef/owner of Dirt Candy in New York City. Apparently, Dirt Candy has a super popular appetizer consisting of hush puppies with a side of maple Dijon butter. Market Table offers a spicy aioli to go with the quinoa hush puppies, which is a mayo-based sauce. If that appeals to you, follow the links to get the Maple Dijon Butter and Chili Aioli sauce recipes.

There are lots of recipes for hush puppies, but I offer you the recipe I have been making for many years, which comes right off the side of a bag of Indian Head cornmeal.

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Boozy Blondies

November 3, 2013

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Imagine a blondie that tastes like rum balls or like bourbon chocolate pecan pie (with the emphasis on the bourbon and the chocolate). That is what these boozy blondies taste like. They could be an interesting dessert choice for Thanksgiving (well, for the adult guests), but you also might want to save these for Purim (again, for the adults).

I made these for sheva brachos this past weekend, and I am dutifully complying with requests to post the recipe.

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Latest Best Corn Muffins Ever

November 21, 2012

Give me 22 minutes, and I’ll give you a dozen of the best corn muffins you have ever tasted. Sweet and moist, with a maple-ey note that makes you think of corn pancakes drenched in syrup. This recipe originally appeared in Good Housekeeping at the request of a reader who had tasted them at Heathcote Tavern in Scarsdale, New York.

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Pumpkin Bars with Streusel Crust

November 20, 2012

Having turned my pecan pie into bar cookies, I decided to do the same with my pumpkin pie. I used the same crust recipe as for the pecan bars, but used brown sugar and added in a little cinnamon to give the dough a streusel flavor.

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Maple Pecan Bars

November 20, 2012

Is it just me, or do you also find it next to impossible to find pareve deep dish pie crusts in the freezer section of the supermarket right before Thanksgiving? They are dairy, or the only crusts left are all broken, or something. Maybe I should have shopped earlier?

Homemade crusts are better, anyway, but I am so not in the mood to be rolling out crusts.

Fortunately, I remembered about my pecan bars. The crust is an easy press-in dough and, when all is said and done, you end up with forty bars, which is a bigger serving yield than you would get from a pie anyway. Isn’t it easier to platter and serve bar cookies than pie? Most people want just a nibble after all that heavy food.

And these pecan bars are exceptional, with a perfect balance of nuts, maple brown sugar goo and crust.

See, it turned out for the best. Who needs frozen pie crusts? Not me.

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Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes

November 19, 2012

So the theme for the November Kosher Connection is “stuffing,” and I originally was going to go with my traditional bread stuffing, or maybe mini pumpkins stuffed with pumpkin bread pudding, or a savory stuffed vegetable (like this tempeh quinoa stuffed acorn squash) or something, anything connected to traditional Thanksgiving flavors. But, then I saw an Oreo Stuffed Bundt Cake on Bakers Royale, and changed my plans.

These are cupcakes stuffed with a cookies and cream filling, glazed with chocolate and garnished with an additional bit of cookie. It looks fancy, but is really not hard to make. A multi-step recipe, yes, that it is, but each step is dead simple.

Update: even though I thought people would be more in the mood for pumpkin and pecan pie on Thanksgiving, these cupcakes disappeared fast.

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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Five Grain Pilaf and Tempeh

October 22, 2012

This would be a great thing to serve to vegans on Thanksgiving: it looks festive, has seasonal fall flavors, and is a filling meat-free main dish.

I used a grain mix, but you could use any single grain you like. The idea is simple: saute onion and garlic with some diced tempeh. Add seasonings and fold in cooked grain. While you are doing all this, let acorn squash roast until tender and then stuff it with the pilaf. That’s it.

It is actually not so complicated to make, so it is a nice weekday vegan supper, too. I brought some to Leora, and she says I should mention that she really liked it. A lot. My husband liked it so much that he wants it added to the regular rotation, and he is more a meat and potatoes type of eater than a fan of vegan cuisine. Which is a way of saying that this dish pleases the health conscious but also has that crucial mainstream crossover appeal.

The combination of grains, vegetables and seasonings is unusually savory. What I especially like is the way that the tempeh seamlessly blends in with the other ingredients. Tempeh can sometimes be a bit of a tough sell–this recipe has a great chance of converting the tempeh suspicious.

The Kosher Connection, an informal group of creative kosher food bloggers from all around the world, proudly present the first kosher recipe challenge.  Each month we will present you with recipes on a different theme from all the kosher food bloggers.

This month is root vegetables!  Follow our recipes on Twitter with #KosherRecipes.



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Perfect Pumpkin Bread

January 24, 2012

This is the pumpkin bread recipe you need. Sweet and moist, but not too sweet, spicy, but not overbearingly so–this irresistible pumpkin bread has been winning accolades for my mom. She made it for Thanksgiving, and it was a huge success. So much so that my mom decided to bake it for other occasions.  Now, she is asked to bring it all the time and it is rapidly becoming a signature dessert.

The recipe comes from Lunch ‘Til Four, a cookbook put together by the sisterhood of Young Israel of West Hempstead. This cookbook, incidentally, is full of wonderful recipes. One of the recipe contributors is Michele Friedman, the author of Chef’s Confidential.

This pumpkin bread is almost exactly the same as Irene’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, except that Irene uses allspice instead of nutmeg and 12 ounces of chocolate chips instead of nuts and raisins. Plus, Irene uses a slightly different mixing method, adding the sugar to the dry ingredients.

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Thanksgiving Recipes (wild rice salad, cranberry relish, green bean casserole, stuffing and dessert)

November 20, 2011

Here are some of my favorite recipes for Thanksgiving:

Wild Rice Salad (from Connecticut eatery Anna’s Temptations, as printed in Bon Appetit, 2006): this is always a hit. It features golden raisins, walnuts, grated carrots, scallions, dill and a delicious Dijon dressing. I leave out the chicken from the recipe, but I have also tried it with seitan “chicken,” which makes it handy if serving vegetarians. I don’t use sherry vinegar. Red wine vinegar or balsamic is fine. If you don’t use the chicken, you will need less dressing.

Another Wild Rice Salad that I love–and also a handy recipe for vegetarian guests–features chickpeas, golden raisins and a curried honey Dijon dressing.  I leave out the ham or add cubes of soy “ham” (veggie cold cuts). This recipe, oddly enough, comes from a dessert cookbook, The Pastry Queen. It was featured in 150 Best American Recipes.  The recipe comes from Paula Disbrowe and was also featured in Food and Wine Magazine.

It is nice to serve a warm bread. I love this recipe for crescent rolls which came from the 2005 Thanksgiving issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine. That issue featured Dr. Phil on the cover ( “Change your life for good! Seven decisions that will make everything better”). GH product analyst Nate Benforado contributed the recipe, and making these rolls was a decision that certainly made my Thanksgiving better. I use either water or dairy-free “milk” and oil or margarine to keep these pareve. These lovely rolls always make me think happily of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and those enticing advertisements for canned rolls.

Before latching onto this recipe, I had also tried out a Williams Sonoma recipe for Sally Lunn Herbed Rolls (here, too, I swapped out the milk and butter for non-dairy products). Delicious, sophisticated, and a little less fussy to make. But they don’t make me think of Poppin’ Fresh.

My son learned in school that corn muffins are a must, and I favor this recipe, adapted from AllRecipes.

And, then of course, another must is cranberry sauce.

When I was growing up, I remember cranberry sauce being dumped straight from the can onto a plate and sliced. That was it. It was still in the shape of the can, with the ridges and everything.

Then, we got gourmet and bought the whole cranberry sauce and added stuff to it.

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