Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to show off our love of local foods and enthusiastically experiment with seasonal dishes. I have included some fun recipes below that are pretty straightforward, not too time consuming, and won't scare your out of town family away.
This is a tried and true, simple cranberry sauce recipe. I make this sauce every year or so and can lots of it so I can pull out a jar whenever needed. It will also freeze great and keeps in the fridge for a long time too. If you want to get a little more fancy add some apple pieces and raisins or spice it up with cloves, allspice and ginger.
3 cups cranberries
1.5 cups water
1 to 1.5 cups sugar
Boil sugar and water together 5 minutes; add cranberries and boil without stirring (5 minutes) until all skins pop open. Remove from heat when popping stops and allow the sauce to cool.
Without bread in the share this week, it seemed natural to include a homemade version, even if it is a quick bread. Serve a piece of this pumpkin-inspired bread alongside sliced apples and a wedge of brie. If you do not have pastry and all-purpose flour feel free to use all all-purpose or 2 c white and 1 c all-purpose mixed together.
2 1/2 c maple or white sugar
2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
2 c squash puree
2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 c all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Whisk sugar and melted butter in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Whisk together flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Mix in walnuts, if desired.
Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.
Baby Brussels Sprouts with Pecans
This is a tasty side or a good base to a whole grain side dish. I would suggest combining with a starch such as rice, pearled barley or another whole grain. You could also add some cranberries by simmering them in the sauce right before you add the sprouts and nuts.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup pecans or substitute almonds (optional, but flavorful)
1/2 c cippolini onions, finely chopped
2 c baby Brussels sprouts
2 Tbs sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
3 Tbs maple sugar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Toast pecans, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer pecans to a plate, and season with salt. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, onions, and 1/4 cup water to pan; simmer until water is evaporated and onions are tender and pale golden, about 10 minutes. Trim Brussels sprouts, then score an X into the bottom of each one. Steam Brussels sprouts by bringing 1/3c water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, add sprouts, cover and steam until just tender enough to pierce with the tip of a sharp knife, 6 to 8 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar, maple sugar, and mustard. Add Brussels sprouts, and onions. Toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Coarsely chop pecans and add just before serving, warm or at room temperature.
Balsamic Roasted Vegetables and Vermont Cranberries
This recipe was adapted from Boyden Valley Winery's newsletter using vegetables you have in this week or last week's share. Feel free to add any that you have on hand. Increase dressing if needed to coat larger portions.
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, pressed and finely chopped
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp basil
3-4 l cippolini onions, quartered
2 parsnips, sliced 1/4" thick
4 carrots, sliced 1/4" thick
1 Sweet potato, cubed into 12" cubes
5 Fingerling potatoes, sliced 1/2" thick
1 pound fresh Vermont Cranberry Company Cranberries (optional)
Coarse kosher salt
Coarse black pepper
Whisk vinegar and oil together and stir in garlic, thyme and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss onions and next 7 ingredients in large bowl; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Add dressing, toss to coat. Spread vegetables out on baking sheet. Roast until vegetable are tender and slightly brown around the edges. About 35-40 minutes.
Sky-High Apple-Cranberry Pie
This can be made with or without the cranberries, but I think they make a great seasonal addition. It is a classic apple pie recipe that gives a light fluffy top crust perfectly for vanilla ice cream topping. Adapted from Martha Stuart Living.
2 cups flour (ww pastry or unbleached white or a combo)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1.5 sticks cold butter cut into 1/4" slices
For The Filling
5 pounds (about 10) apples, cored and sliced lengthwise (see below)
1 1/2 c fresh cranberries
3/4 c granulated or maple sugar
1/3 c all-purpose flour
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons heavy cream, for egg wash
2 Tbs coarse sugar for crust topping (optional but delicious)
Make the crusts: Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and give it a quick pulse to mix. Toss in the slices of cold butter. Using the pulse button, pulse 7-8 times for 1 second each time until the flour butter mixture looks like very coarse cornmeal. Run a fork through it and look for butter chunks. The largest chunks should be pea sized or a bit larger (high bush blue berry sized?). Transfer to a mixing bowl. Pour in 1/3 cup of water and fold flour in from outer edges of bowl with a rubber spatula. The goal in mixing water into the dough is to do it with as few strokes as possible so use some strategy. You will need to add more water, depending on how cold your butter is, moisture content of flour etc. You may need as much nearly another 1/3 cup but probably not quite that much. As soon as it starts holding together, use your hands to gather the dry flakes that resist capture and form the dough into two equal sized balls. The dough wants to be just moist enough to come together, and not so dry that your balls want to crack apart again. Separate into two balls with one being slightly larger than the other. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and core apples. Cut each into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick wedges, and transfer to a bowl. Toss in cranberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Roll out each dough, the small one for the bottom, the large ball for the top. Line bottom crust in 9"pan. Transfer filling to bottom crust, dot with butter. Cover with top crust. Fold edges under; crimp. Cut eight 2 1/2-inch vents into the top dough to let steam escape. Put in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Gently brush top crust with egg wash; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake pie set on a rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes at 425F. Reduce oven temperature to 375F. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, 1 hour 20 minutes more. (Tent with foil if crust is browning too quickly.) Let pie cool completely in plate set on a wire rack.
Note: As you're piling the apples in, you may think you have too many -- keep going. They elevate the top crust and will cook down. You'll need a large disk of dough for the top crust and a small one for the bottom. Make two batches of pate crust: Resist the temptation to double the recipe (it won't work as well).
This simple batter is similar to pancake batter. Poured in a pan with fruit, it bakes into a creamy custard. Serves 4 to 6. Adapted from Martha Stewart Living.
1 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature, for dish
1/2 c plus 2 Tbs maple sugar
1/4 c plus 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
3/4 c whole milk
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 c fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 1-quart baking dish (not metal). Sprinkle 2 tablespoons maple sugar over bottom. Sift remaining 1/2 cup maple sugar, flour, and salt into a large bowl. Gradually whisk in eggs, 3/4 cup cream, the milk, and zest. Scatter cranberries into dish; pour batter over top. Bake until puffed, slightly set, and brown around edges, 32 to 34 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes (it will sink). Whisk remaining 1/4 cup cream until soft peaks form. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!
Sweet Potato Spread
This recipe is great for your leftovers! Use sweet potatoes, squash or pumpkin puree. A tasty spread for, dinner rolls, toast, pancakes, muffins or anything else you would like to smack it on. A great treat for the the big day or the morning after!
2 sticks softened unsalted butter
1 lg sweet potato, cooked and mashed
3 Tbs maple sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or substitute cardamon, nutmeg, or cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp coarse salt
Combine all ingredients. With a mixer, mix on high speed until pale and fluffy. The mix will stay fresh in the fridge for up to to 2 weeks.