Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving is fast approaching which means menus need to be planned! I'm not a huge fan of the "traditional" thanksgiving dinner; the kind with soggy green-bean casserole and overly-sweetened marshmallow sweet potatoes. The taste of a crispy young green-bean and a lightly maple glazed sweet-potato far outweigh vegetables that have been overly cooked and overly flavored. Here are some of my favorite, fresh recipes that will definitely be on the table this year!
  1. GF Buttermilk Cornbread Stuffing
  2. Lemon Roasted Green Beans with Marcona Almonds
  3. Braised Carrots with Shallots, Sage and Thyme
  4. Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Cipollini Onions
  5. Chocolate Torte drizzled with Fleur de Sel Carmel Sauce (recipe to come!)
Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes 
2 cups (8 ounces) cipollini onions 
1/4 cup vegetable oil 
5 sweet potatoes (2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick semicircles 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
3 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1/2 cup maple syrup 
3 tablespoons thinly sliced sage leaves
Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add onions, and blanch for 30 seconds. Transfer to ice-water bath; drain, and peel onions.
Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat until almost smoking. Add onions, and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and continue to cook onions until tender, about 5 minutes more. 
Remove onions. Reheat pan over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add sweet potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until browned, about 20 minutes. Add butter, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and onions, and cook another 4 minutes, until maple syrup has reduced to a glaze. Stir in sage, and season with salt and pepper. Recipe courtesy of  BluePrint Magazine 
Cornbread Stuffing
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
4 cups GF Cornbread, toasted and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried herb blend
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Prepare the stuffing. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease an 8-inch square pan with olive oil. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, about five minutes; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste. In a large bowl, toss together the onion mixture, cornbread, apple and herb blend. Transfer to the prepared pan. Scatter the pecans on top and cover with foil; bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil; bake until crispy and golden, about 20 minutes more. Recipe found on The NY Times  
Carrots with Shallots, Sage and Thyme
1 cup chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 stick unsalted butter 
1/4 cup chopped sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Cut carrots into 3-by 1/2-inch sticks. Bring stock to a boil with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a 12-inch heavy skillet. Add carrots and simmer, covered, until just tender, about 15 minutes. Remove lid and boil until most of liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer carrots to a bowl and wipe out skillet.
Cook shallots in butter with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden- brown, about 6 minutes. Add sage, thyme, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and return carrots to skillet, tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Recipe found on Epicurious 
Lemon Roasted Green Beans with Marcona Almonds
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 onion, peeled, cut into 8 wedges
6 large fresh marjoram sprigs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Marcona almonds or roasted regular almonds
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 450°F. Spray 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. Combine green beans, onion wedges, and marjoram in large bowl. Drizzle with oil, then sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Toss; divide between prepared sheets. Roast vegetables 15 minutes. Reverse sheets. Continue to roast until beans are tender and beginning to brown in spots, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer vegetables to bowl. Add lemon juice, grated lemon peel, and half of chopped almonds. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining almonds. Recipe found on Epicurious  

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