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November 23, 2010
We wish you a sumptuous, buttery-sweet Thanksgiving--may your day be filled with joy, gratitude, and wonderful food! Here are a few tips we hope you will find helpful:
1. Season your turkey with salt and pepper (and your chosen herbs or spices) today (Tuesday)—by Thursday it will be seasoned down to the bone. (See page 365 of The Commonsense Kitchen.)
2. Stuff a few sliced apples and a few sprigs of herbs in the neck cavity of the turkey—the moisture from the apples will keep the breast meat juicy. (See page 365 of The Commonsense Kitchen.)
3. A tip from my sister: grate just a pinch of nutmeg into your mashed potatoes—just a little!
4. Try holding your mashed potatoes in your slow cooker on the “low” setting if it’s more convenient to make them ahead.
5. Still searching for a great yam or sweet potato dish? Try Roasted Yams with Pears and Bourbon (pictured above) right here on the WHOLE HOG Blog--click on "Yams" in the Index on the lower right of the page!
6. A wonderful Thanksgiving salad: watercress, arugula, or spinach; peeled sliced Fuyu persimmons; lightly-toasted pecans; and apple cider vinaigrette. (See page 471 of The Commonsense Kitchen.) Fuyu persimmons are pictured in the foreground of the current photo at the top of this site's "Home" page.
7. Another great Thanksgiving salad: shaved fennel tossed with a little lemon juice (include some of the fennel fronds); peeled sliced Bosc pear also tossed with lemon juice; shavings of Parmesan; finish with drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and a few twists of pepper. (See page 285 of The Commonsense Kitchen.)
8. Radishes and salt with bread and butter makes a great, simple, not-too-filling Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvre. (See page 291 of The Commonsense Kitchen.)
9. Add a pinch of salt to your cranberry sauce or cranberry relish. (See page 432 or 433 of The Commonsense Kitchen.)
10. At the end of the meal, after dessert, a small glass of plain sparkling water with a wedge of lime is very refreshing!
November 22, 2010
Although it sounds like something out of a Dickensian tale-of-woe, a punishment, perhaps (“You’ll be gettin’ only a parsnip cake for yer birthday, ye naughty varlet!”), I’ve been thinking about how delicious a Parsnip Cake could be. For some years now, I’ve wanted to follow my carrot cake recipe, only using grated parsnips for the carrots…and adjusting the flavors and spices accordingly. (more…)
November 8, 2010
Many were the buttery delights we churned, cooked, or otherwise offered last Saturday at The Butter Class! Aiming to reveal as many facets as possible of this beloved, ancient product, we churned two kinds of butter from cream (one cultured, the other “sweet cream”), tasted seven different kinds of premium unsalted butter on plain crackers, baked up a butter-rich pound cake, cooked herb omelets in butter (and “finished” them with a little more butter), baked buttery buttermilk biscuits using the buttermilk from the churning…. We whisked up a lemony beurre blanc and tasted it over simple boiled potatoes, fennel, and carrots. We clarified butter, and made butter into Indian ghee…. We cooked delicate California petrale sole in the clarified butter, and sauced it with brown butter; we fried cauliflower pakoras in the ghee, and dipped them in a simple yogurt raita flavored with mustard seed that had been popped in ghee. If that all sounds just too buttery, rest assured we set out a big bowl of chilled radishes, celery sticks, and jicama to provide relief. And I cut up some delicious ripe pears to serve at the end with the pound cake. Long live butter! May your bread always land butter-side-up!
November 2, 2010
I had an absolutely extraordinary meal at Castagna, a restaurant in Portland, Oregon, a couple of weeks ago. I emerged from the experience delightfully astonished, with my perspective utterly shifted. In this long post, I hope to describe that dinner in sufficient detail to give you a sense of being there, too.
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