I think of Thanksgiving dinner as existing in tiers of necessity. First, there must be a turkey. That’s non-negotiable (unless you’re a vegetarian, of course, but we’re talking Norman Rockwell here). Turkey is a core necessity. Next tier: gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pie. Some variation is allowed there, giving allowance to individual [...]
Little sliders (fun to eat!, finger food that one can eat on the couch while watching the TV), made from mushroom caps (We’ll ignore the fact that for purposes of the challenge, mushrooms aren’t exactly Vegetables. They are like vegetables.) oozing with garlic butter and melted cheese. Forget the Super Bowl. I want to eat these EVERY day.
a title=”Stuffed Kabocha Squash by Savour Fare, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/amusebouches/8379744890/”>
This recipe, which is adapted from Dorie Greenspan, may not pass the five year old test (until she TRIES it) but it is one of my favorites. Dorie calls it “Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good” and it really is stuffed with, if not everything good, many good things. Things like bread and cheese and bacon and cream and garlic, and just to up the vegetal quotient, I added red chard, which only added instead of detracted. Since it’s nearly impossible to find an edible pumpkin outside the months of October and November, I make it with Kabocha Squash, which I prefer to pumpkin anyway. This dish also looks better in person than it does in photographs, and tastes better than it looks (I must convince the five year old of this). (As an aside – raw vegetables are BEAUTIFUL to photograph, but the second they’re cooked they look far less appealing. C’est la vie.) You can also omit the bacon the make it vegetarian, but please don’t leave out the cheese. [...]
Despite what my husband thinks, I do try to avoid foodie preciousness. I’m short on time, like everyone else, and I make liberal use of shortcuts in my cooking. I get that premade ingredients make cooking easier and more accessible. But there are some things that making from scratch is such a deeply ingrained habit that I wouldn’t think of buying them premade. For example: I never buy bottled salad dressing. Salad dressing may not seem like a hill to die on, but homemade is so simple (once you know how), and it tastes so much cleaner. It’s free of the gums and sugars and preservatives you get in even high-end bottled dressing. And it’s pretty infinitely variable. [...]
I make no pretenses that this is based on some autentico salsa especiale I tasted in a tiny cafe in Zihuatanejo. In fact, this recipe is based entirely on a pineapple I had in my refrigerator that was quickly getting a little too ripe (shopping with a 4 year old means you come home with lots of produce and few plans). But it makes use of the Mexican flavors and produce I find all over southern California — the sweet acidity of pineapple matched by savory onions, chiles and cilantro, all mellowed by avocado and enlivened with the crunch of jicama. (If you’ve never had jicama, it’s a great ingredient. Resembling a large pale brown turnip, it’s a juicy root vegetable that’s very faintly sweet and has a terrific crunch not unlike a water chestnut.) [...]