Wasn't always a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving. Blame it on the past childhood Thanksgivings where three kinds of herring, chopped liver, and Japanese pickled radish were the stars of the show (covered to some extent here www.moveablefeast.me/blog/butternut-squash-latkes), instead of turkey.
For years I felt compelled to make Thanksgiving dishes that were "different." For instance, one year I made savory parmesan bread pudding, cider-brined turkey with star anise and cinnamon, whipped yams with chipotles, and Indian-spiced creamed spinach. On their own, these dishes were delicious. Delicious, but not Thanksgiving fare.
These days I cook most of the meal in a traditional way, but will still experiment and make one or two new recipes (can't help myself). Over the years, a few of them have stuck, like this whipped cranberry butter. The BF and I loved it immediately [Ed. note: can confirm], and it has now become part of our tradition. Deliciously sweet, tart and zesty, with a gorgeous, vibrant color. Last year, it was served with mini pumpkin popovers, and yes we're repeating it this year [Ed. note: aww yeah].
If you feel like trying something a little "different" for this year's Thanksgiving feast, this is worth a try. Any leftover butter can be added to toast, pancakes or roasted brussels sprouts the following week.
Hope everyone's turkey-day prep is going well!
NOTE: I make my cranberry sauce a few days before Thanksgiving so am not overwhelmed the day of, and always make extra specifically for this butter.
PS: One year ago we were feeling healthy with these (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/brussels-sprouts-with-red-black-grapes).
Number of servings: Makes about 1 ½ cups
My father hailed from Vienna, and momala's parents were also from Austria. Oktoberfest fare? Only on days ending in "y."
Growing up, we had everything from Wiener Schnitzel (veal) and Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein (pork), to hasenpfeffer (rabbit), liptauer, palatschinke (crepes with jelly), sauerkraut, sweet-and-sour purple cabbage, Austrian potato salad, cabbage borscht, stuffed cabbage rolls, sauteed cabbage with caraway and lots of heavy duty Russian rye bread (with caraway seeds).
Extended family and friends raved about momala's sautéed green cabbage and sweet-and-sour purple cabbage. Me? Wouldn't know, because as a kid I literally hated all things cabbage-y, and wouldn't get near it, let alone eat it. Now I appreciate cabbage much more, and over the years have tried various ways to prepare, and this is how the BF and I like it. I think momala would be happy. [Ed. note: She would.]
The BF and I happen to love the flavor of caraway, but if you don't, just leave it out.
We added bratwurst to this super-quick supper, but any sausage will do. The BF and I have found a local brand that we love, Dibrov. A favorite is the Oktoberfest Bratwurst (not a sponsored post, we just love it). We paired this cabbage side with sausages, mustard, pickled cukes and onions, and German soft pretzel sticks. We also imbibed some delicious Marionberry Hard Cider that a few good Oregon friends left us this summer, and a German lager that complimented the Oktoberfest meal perfectly. [Ed. note: Am tempted to search for the Bob and Doug McKenzie movie Strange Brew.]
Even if you're not all about Oktoberfest, this cabbage side works any time of year, and goes especially well with pork chops or loin, brisket, chicken schnitzel, etc. Anything!
PS: Things got pretty spicy a year ago with this jalapeño, serrano and fresno pepper roast chicken (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/jalapeno-serrano-fresno-pepper-roast-chicken).
Number of servings: 4
Over the years (I started making this about ten years ago), many clients have grown to love this lentil salad. One of them orders it practically every single week. No wonder.
So easy to make, it's an extremely versatile side dish, and by itself as a main course it's straight-up vegan. The BF loves it, but he needs another protein, so I like to add soft-boiled or poached eggs, and/or chicken sausage (pictured above). Easy to pack for on-the-go sojourns, the dish can be served cold, warm, or at room temperature, and it even tastes better the next day.
I cook fresh lentils all the time, but have to say a terrific hack and time saver is to use Trader Joe's steamed lentils, which are found in their fresh produce section. They're delicious and have a firm texture, which is key to this salad.
This one is a perfect summer dish, and unlike most of these blog recipes, isn't an adaptation–it's wholly original. Feel free to make subsitutions, i.e., substitute parsnip for carrot, dill for parsley, and if you don't like fennel, use only celery. Make it your own.
Number of servings: 4
NOTE: If using Trader Joe's steamed lentils, take out of box, make three slits in the plastic. Place on plate and microwave for approx 45 seconds.
It was about seven years ago that I started to like avocados. I know. I was in the minority. Wouldn't touch guacamole. Didn't understand the draw of "nature's butter" on sandwiches. It truly puzzled me. The BF can take it or leave it.
Now I love them and can't get enough. Will plan entire meals around a ripe avocado I have hanging out in the kitchen. When my sister visits, avocado toast for breakfast. Every. Single. Day.
Guacamole? [Ed. note: The late George Carlin used to say, "That sounds like something you yell when you're on fire."] All the time. And god help me if I don't have spare avocados to top tacos.
Years ago I fell in love with this warm Indian spiced avocado dip from Heidi Swanson's cookbook Super Natural Every Day. She is also known for her blog 101 Cookbooks.
Serve this dip at room temperature, or warm with sesame rice crackers, fresh veggies, toasted naan, pita or tortilla chips. My current favorite scooper is parsnip chips from Trader Joe's.
Adapted from: Super Natural Every Day
Number of servings: 2 cups
One year ago the BF and I did an abbreviated version of Whole30 (we allowed for an exception...or two). He lost 8.5 pounds and thought it was pretty easy to stay on the program. [Ed. note: You give me meat an potatoes and I shall find a way to survive.] I didn't fare that well in the weight-loss department, but it was a terrific reboot, and the real saving grace was the coconut milk sauce I developed that was incorporated into everything. With the exception of Indian and Thai dishes, I rarely used coconut milk. This turned out to be a worthwhile challenge, and the result was a savory sauce that is a brilliant dairy-free option.
Here the coconut milk –infused into a garlic turmeric sauce– is a perfect foil to the crunchy cabbage, spicy chives and crispy skinned potatoes. We actually had this as a main course, but it would work as a side dish for steak, chicken, pork, or any protein. (We are unapolegetic carnivoires.)
We will be hopping on the Whole30 again soon, and certainly will be incorporating this into the process.
Inspired by Dolly and Oatmeal
Number of servings: 2-3 entrees or 4-6 side dishes
Coconut-Garlic Turmeric Sauce
There is no gray area with brussels sprouts. People love them or hate them. Luckily, I live in a house were brussels sprouts rule. The BF actually requests this cruciferous vegetable any chance he gets.
The many health benefits of brussels sprouts are well documented. They're loaded with vitamin K (great for bone health), promote weight loss and lower cholesterol levels, are a great source of protein, and can even reduce cancer risk.
When cooking with them, can't stress this enough: buy good sprouts. They should feel firm and have tight, shiny-edged leaves. I like to buy medium-to-small ones, because I find the larger ones have a more bitter flavor (especially those gigantic, loose-leafed monstrosities). Never buy those.
Several thousand acres of sprouts are planted in coastal areas of San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties of California (lucky to have this level of quality available locally), which offer an ideal combination of coastal fog year-round.
Roasting brussels sprouts (in the oven) was my way of winning over skeptics (like the BF), but this recipe works whether you steam them on a stove top or use the microwave. Those of you with one oven, like me, will appreciate not having to use it for multiple dishes, especially on Thanksgiving or other holidays.
This dish is delicious alongside any meat that typically graces the holiday table: beef, turkey, ham, lamb, pork, duck or sausage (second pic).
NOTE: I make these in the microwave for convenience, but feel free to steam the sprouts on the stove top.
Number of servings: 4 (depending on how many other side dishes you offer)
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.