Thanksgiving is next week, and Kris and I decided to start a new tradition at our house. Since we spend the actual holiday with our families, we have never cooked our own Thanksgiving feast. (Of course, we have cooked one or two side dishes to bring along to the big family meal, but not a whole meal from our own kitchen). We both like to cook, and while the kitchen (and our willpower) may be a little small for these kind of plans, we made it work. Quite successfully, I might add. We ate our early Thanksgiving (vegetarian) feast tonight – yet, we started cooking it last night. Until now, I never realized how long good quality food actually takes to cook.
Butternut Squash Gratin / Green Beans with Dill and Shallots / Creamed Corn / Stewed Carrots & Potatoes / Stuffing with Celery / “Tofurkey”
+ a beautiful Seghesio 2006 Zinfandel
The food was perfect. Worthy of the *starry* plates. Some of the dishes were quick fixes (the green beans and the stuffing) while others (the Tofurkey) took several hours to prepare. I have been a vegetarian for about fourteen years, and this is the first year I have made a fake turkey. It was pretty darn good too! It had a light stuffing inside, and tasted wonderful with a light veggie gravy. There were some favorites: Kris and I were both oohing over the Butternut Squash Gratin. So, I thought you may want to ooh over it too…
Butternut Squash Parmesan Gratin
1 butternut squash (2.5 lbs)
1/4 c butter of margarine
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/4 c chopped parsley (fresh)
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 13 x9 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Peel, halve lengthwise and seed squash; cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange slices in bottom of the dish, overlapping slightly.
In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add garlic, cooking for 2 minutes, until garlic is soft and butter is infused with flavor. Do not let the mixture brown.
In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, cheese, and 1 T of the butter mix.
Brush squash slices with the butter/garlic mixture, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the bread crumb mixture. Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes on until squash is tender when pierced by fork. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer on until slightly browned. Garnish with parsley.
So, there is the savory… but what about the sweet?
I love cranberries. And I love pears. This has both!
Cranberry Pear Chutney
1 lb fresh or frozen cranberries (4 c)
2 small pears, peeled and chopped (1.5 c)
1 large onion, chopped
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c raisins
2 t ground cinnamon
1 1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground allspice
In large saucepan, mix all ingredients. Heat to boiling over high hear, and stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Chutney will thicken more as it cools. Store in refrigerator until serving.
What is your favorite traditional holiday food? Do you cook the meal?
I would love to hear more about your traditions surrounding the holidays – please share! and let me know if you try one of these recipes too. I stand by their deliciousness.
All I can say is that I am quite thankful for leftovers!