Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some Accompaniments

In an effort not to rush things, merely to offer some 'food for thought', here are some ideas for new twists on some classic Thanksgiving side dishes. Some people are big fans of butternut squash ~ I am firmly in this camp! ~ some are not (more for me!). In any case, I once was so enthusiastic we served a Butternut Squash Lasagna as a main dish for Thanksgiving. There were some individuals who were less than thankful for the change in the plan. I have not done that again, tho' I remain steadfast in my affection for winter squash. On all the other Thanksgivings where a big breasted bird was involved, my go-to recipe for the absolute BEST turkey I ever tasted in my life, has always been a recipe I cut out of a magazine from the East Bay years ago. It was Nancy Oakes' take on turkey that was stuffed under the skin & marinated for 3 days prior to The Big Day. It was roasted sans stuffing, so the time in the oven is considerably less, allowing for more goodies to take up valuable oven space. Moist does not begin to describe the meat (sorry if this offends vegetarians or vegans). I will find that recipe I have carried with me since the late 80's & will plan a post around it. Meanwhile, here are some other tasty ideas from the chef of Boulevard ~ a truly wonderful San Francisco restaurant. And for you vegetarians out there?? Don't create holiday mayhem by serving YOUR traditional Boston-bred Father a 'Tofurkey'. My sister tried that once. It was a day to remember, all right. I'll let you guess what words were uttered. My suggestion would be to find that Butternut Squash Lasagna & offer to make a dinner BEFORE the Big Day for those who hanker for Tradition. Or not...November is a fine time for fireworks of a different nature, too. Please feel free to post comments or ideas or write to me about memorable disaster Turkey Days. We've all had 'em.

Butternut Squash & Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding
Nancy Oakes, Boulevard

Yield: 18 servings
  • 1 loaf brioche
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced yellow onions
  • 1-1/2 lbs chanterelle mushrooms, or any combination of domestic mushrooms, shiitake, hedgehog, porcini and oyster
  • 3 cups diced butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup creme fraiche
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
Roast butternut squash with olive oil,
salt and pepper at 400 degrees,
about 7 minutes, until tender.
Roast mushrooms with thyme and garlic
in a 475 degree oven for 7 minutes.

Remove crust from the bread and cut into 1 inch cubes.
Grease a large baking dish about 12" by 18" with some of the butter.

In a large saute pan melt the remaining butter and saute the onions until soft.

In a large bowl, toss together bread, mushrooms, squash and parsley.
In another small bowl, whisk together the milk, creme fraiche, eggs,
salt, pepper and cheese. Add the milk mixture to the bread mixture,
pour into the baking dish and press down firmly.

Allow pudding to set 30 minutes before baking.
Reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake pudding about 1 hour.
If pudding browns, cover with foil.

Test for doneness by inserting a knife in the middle, it should come out clean.

Sweet Potato Pecan and Tangerine Relish
Nancy Oakes, Boulevard

Serves 10 
  • 5 sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1" cubes
  • 3 tablespoons rosemary
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, roasted, skinned & diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted & coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups tangerine peeled, seeded and separated
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 Anaheim chilies, chopped
  • salt & pepper
Toss the sweet potato in a little olive oil, rosemary & garlic.
Roast in a 350 degree oven until tender, cool.
Mix together sweet potatoes, red peppers, red onions,
pecans, chilies and tangerines. Combine maple syrup,
vinegar, oil and season to taste.
Mix dry ingredients with dressing.
Serve with turkey. 

No comments:

Post a Comment