Never too late for a gluten-free bûche de noel

It’s the eleventh hour so what on earth am I doing fiddling around with a fancy cake for Christmas? I had this lofty idea that I would make a yule log with a twist, something that people who can’t eat gluten can feast on that screams “guess what? holidays are happening now.” In case they haven’t noticed. (it's for you, Marina.)

On the way to thinking up this cake, I also wanted to revise a recipe that feeds way more people than I will be entertaining ever again at one time. In my whole life from now on. Unless I lose my mind.

I am postponing that until New Year’s Eve when every year I agree to help cook for forty of someone else’s closest friends. Yes, I am very stupid. It fits in with my ambivalent personality. And in the end, I always enjoy it. And it’s at Catherine’s house, so I don’t look around and say why are you people here and when are you leaving? I fully relish the company.

But back to the yule log. As I plunged in, a voice in the deep recesses of my mind spoke to me: “Elaborate pastry is very time consuming.” Then I started to panic about all the things I need to do this week. I also remembered that elaborate pastry is made up of many components. And if I didn’t have to figure out several recipes and then take pictures so you could see the end point, it really would be do-able. In fact, now it’s done-able (new word) and in my freezer ready for whipping out to surprise whoever happens to be at my table in the next two weeks. (I’m still working on that plan.)

So here are the steps:

1. Make the cake. This is basically a pavlova (baked meringue) baked on a half-sheet pan with a 1-inch rim. I did not want to make anything with weird flour alternatives.

2. Make the filling. This can be done while the cake is baking. True, it uses a lot of bowls, but I can’t help you with that.

3. Fill and roll the cake. Now you are on easy street.

4. Freeze the cake. The only tricky part is remembering to put it on a tray that fits in your freezer. I forgot that point. So I had to cut off the little yule branch and both the branch and the main log fit on the tray that goes in my freezer, once I divested it of last year’s pumpkin and some soup that no one will ever eat. Now you can just cool your heels, because you can leave it there for up to two weeks.

5. Decorate the cake. This is really the best part, and can be done at the last minute or early in the day you are planning to serve it. Just be sure (again) that your platter will fit in your freezer.

If you back away from this, you can always do it next year. Or only make the filling, which is actually a very chic chocolate mousse that can be served in very chic little dessert dishes with whipped cream. Voilà and Joyeux Noel!

Buche de Noel

At first I wanted to make this with vanilla meringue, filled with whipped cream and raspberries or strawberries (still a reasonable idea) but being a strong traditionalist, I decided in favor of keeping with the chocolate theme. The filling is very rich and does not skimp on the chocolate, so it will make chocoholics very happy, and the coffee in the cake mitigates the sugary meringue. I also considered making it black foresty by covering the filling with some halved frozen sweet cherries, but one more trip to the market might have finished me. Those are all ideas you could incorporate. As I mentioned above, I did not have a platter that fit in my freezer. If you don’t have a large, flat platter either, consider using a wooden cutting board and decorating it with some evergreens. Overall, I like this because those who might miss out on dessert on a special occasion can indulge and be spoiled just like everyone else.

Serves 12

For the cake

4 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cornstarch

6 egg whites, at room temperature (about 3/4 cup)

Pinch salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Confectioner’s sugar

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed 12 by16-inch baking sheet with baker’s parchment. Mix the espresso powder with hot water in a small bowl. Stir in the vinegar, vanilla, and cornstarch

2. Beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt with the whisk attachment of a stand mixer on medium speed or with hand held beaters until white and foamy all the way through. Slowly add the sugar, then add the espresso mixture. Beat on medium high speed until the egg whites are thick and glossy and hold stiff peaks.

3. Spread the meringue evenly on the baking sheet and distribute the almonds over the top.

4. Bake for 10 minutes, decrease the oven heat to 300 degrees F, and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, until the meringue feels firm and dry on top. Cool for 10 minutes.

5. Sift a generous amount of confectioners’ sugar over the top of the baked meringue. Invert it onto a large piece of parchment paper. Spread it evenly with the filling. It looks messy but don’t worry about it.

7. With the long side of the rectangle facing you, start rolling the cake away from you to form a roll. Use the parchment to help you roll it. Place it on a tray with the seam side down and freeze it, uncovered, until firm, about 4 hours. Remove the roulade from the freezer and carefully wrap it in plastic. Return it to the freezer until you are ready to decorate it. It will keep, wrapped, for up to two weeks,

For the filling

(also makes 8 six-ounce servings of chocolate mousse)

10 ounces bittersweet (60%-70%) chocolate, chopped (about 1/1/2 cups)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar, divided

6 eggs, separated

Pinch salt

1. Melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over hot water or melt carefully in the microwave.

2. Beat the cream until it forms soft peaks. If using a stand mixer, scrape it into another bowl and wash out the mixer bowl. Make sure it is squeaky clean.

3. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and when white and foamy throughout, gradually and slowly add 1/2 cup sugar. Continue to beat until the egg whites are thick and glossy.They should look creamy not dry.  Scrape into a separate bowl.

4. In the now empty mixing bowl (no need to wash it) beat the egg yolks until they are light in color. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue to beat until thick and light.

5.  Use a large rubber spatula to stir the beaten yolks and the chocolate together in a large bowl until combined. Add one or two large spoonfuls of beaten egg whites and stir to lighten the chocolate mixture. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in with a rubber spatula. When almost incorporated, fold in the cream. (If using as a dessert by itself, spoon the mousse into small dessert dishes and refrigerate.)

To finish the cake:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Unsweetened dark cocoa powder

Confectioner’s sugar

1. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until it forms soft peaks. The chocolate and meringue are sweet enough, so the cream needs only a suggestion of sugar. Be careful not to over whip it since you will be spreading it on the cake and mashing it about a bit which further agitates it.

2. Remove the cake from the freezer. Unwrap it and set it on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut about one third of the cake on a sharp diagonal to make a branch. Cut an end piece about 1 1/2 inches thick to make a knot.  Assemble the cake on a platter and fuss around until you get the arrangement you want, setting the sharp diagonal against the main branch to form another branch.

3. Once you have determined placement, remove the 2 smaller pieces and clean up the platter if necessary. Cut some waxed paper strips to go about one inch under the cake on all sides. Cover the cake with some of the whipped cream and use the tines of a fork to make a pattern that looks something like bark. Remove the strips. Now place the other pieces of cake where you want them (tuck more wax paper strips underneath if you know you will be messy.) Cover the appendages with more whipped cream and make more bark-like lines. It’s okay and maybe desirable if some of the meringue shows through in places. Place the cake back in the freezer until ready to serve.

4. Just before serving, use a small strainer to carefully sift some cocoa powder in a few places over the cake. Repeat with confectioners’ sugar. Slice frozen cake and serve.

Posted on December 20, 2010 and filed under Cakes, Gluten free.

Chocolate whiskey truffles: a Christmas memory

Chocolate truffles

Whenever I catch a glimpse of this dainty Chinese bowl tucked behind other odd and pretty things in the back of my cupboard, I think of Nane Bernard.  Holidays inspire sentimental walks down memory lane, so bear with me as I wax nostalgic about a special couple and my first real chocolate revelation. That revelation came from a handful of chocolate truffles in the very bowl pictured here, a Christmas gift from Nane, the wife of my chef-mentor Eugene Bernard.

A young Jersey girl in the seventies had a limited lexicon of taste to draw upon in the chocolate department. There were milk chocolate Hershey bars or chocolate-with-almonds Hershey bars. Or possibly my favorite: Chunky bars. Wow. Things were a lot simpler back in the day. In addition, there was fudge. Starting at about the time I was eleven, thanks to an indulgent aunt, my cousins and I made fudge incessantly to satisfy a raging pre-adolescent sweet tooth. None of this had prepared me for a bite of a real chocolate truffle.

Bernard.jpg

After much moaning and pleading, Chef Bernard paid a visit to our restaurant kitchen to pass on the secret of heaven on earth in the form of chocolate. Chocolate for grown-ups.  I was sworn to secrecy, promising to keep the formula from Certain People who may have tried to use this special recipe to their own advantage and to my detriment.  Thirty years later, I think it is safe to say that the secret is out, and you shall have it, dear readers.

The recipe may seem long, but it takes almost as much time to explain how to make these as it does to make them.  There are basically 3 steps: see the pictured tutorial below the recipe.

Bernard’s Chocolate Whiskey Truffles

Bernard’s Chocolate Whiskey Truffles

Makes 45 to 50 truffles

The recipe can be doubled or tripled. If you are making these for gifts you will be sorry not to have at least doubled the recipe, as I am now.

Chocolate needs to be chopped in small pieces in order to melt evenly. If you can find these chips of real 60% to 70% bittersweet chocolate  (NOT the same as Nestles chocolate morsels) it beats having to chop it from a block. If you do have to chop it, use a serrated knife.

INGREDIENTS

CENTERS:

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70% cacao), finely chopped

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 tablespoons whiskey

FOR THE COATING

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (optional)

Flavorless vegetable oil (optional)

About 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to coat the centers

TO MAKE THE CENTERS

1. In a saucepan that will accommodate a heatproof bowl, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and leave until needed (see step 2.) This is a makeshift (and effective) double boiler.  

2 .In the heatproof bowl, place the chopped chocolate.

3 .In a small saucepan (or in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave,) bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Pour it over the chocolate and, with a rubber spatula, begin stirring the cream and chocolate together in a small circle at the center of the bowl. Gradually widen the center to incorporate the cream. If bits of chocolate remain, place the bowl over the saucepan set above the hot water, and stir for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and stir gently off the heat. Repeat if necessary, until the chocolate is melted. This back and forth on and off the heat allows the chocolate to melt gradually and keeps the mixture creamy.

4. Add the soft butter in tablespoon size pieces and stir until smooth. Add the whiskey one tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition until incorporated.

5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 50 to 60 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is firm but not hard.  It should be the consistency of creamed butter.

TO SHAPE THE TRUFFLES

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Have on hand a small cookie scoop, a melon baller, or a pastry bag. On a baking sheet or in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, sift 1 cup  unsweetened cocoa powder.

2. To use a scoop: When the chocolate is firm (like malleable clay), dip a melon baller, or a small cookie scoop in hot water and scoop the chocolate into scant 1-inch balls. Set them on the parchment-lined tray, and if necessary, use the tips of your fingers to press them into truffle-like balls. They do not need to be perfect rounds. (The heat of your palms will warm the chocolate too much, so use your fingers.) Roll in cocoa powder. If you want to coat them with a thin layer of chocolate first, refrigerate for about 30 minutes and proceed to the next phase (see coating below)

3.To use a pastry bag: When the chocolate is creamy (like soft butter) load it into a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch tip. Pipe out the chocolate into 1-inch blobs. If they have little candy-kiss peaks, lightly press them down. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes and when the chocolate is firm but not hard, shape into uneven rounds with the tips of your fingers. Roll in cocoa powder or refrigerate for about 30 minutes and proceed to the next phase if you want to coat them with a thin layer of chocolate first.

COATING THE TRUFFLES WITH UNTEMPERED CHOCOLATE AND COCOA POWDER (for a crisp outer shell that preserves the creamy center) Hint: keep one hand clean while working with the chocolate.

1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees F, or the lowest setting.  Place a dinner plate in the oven to warm. Line a baking sheet with parchment and with a fine-meshed strainer, sift a thin layer of cocoa powder over it. Load the strainer with more cocoa and set it next to the baking sheet.

2. In a heatproof bowl over hot water, melt the chocolate. Stir in about 1 tablespoon (or a little more) vegetable oil to thin the chocolate slightly. The oil helps create a very thin chocolate coating that adds a subtle crispness to the shell when you take a bite of the truffle. (You can re-use leftover chocolate in baking.)

3. Spread a shallow pool of chocolate (about 1/4 cup) on the warmed plate and place 5 or 6 truffle centers on top. With your outspread hand, use a circular motion to roll all the truffles at once in the chocolate. Carefully place each one on the cocoa lined tray and sift some cocoa over the top.  Repeat with all the centers.  If the chocolate on the plate starts to harden,  use your clean hand to return the plate in the oven for about 30 seconds to warm it.

4. When all the truffles are coated and dusted, shake the tray back and forth to completely coat them, sifting them with more cocoa if necessary. Leave to set (10 to 20 minutes), and store the truffles at cool room temperature in a tightly closed tin. They will keep for up to 10 days. The also can be frozen, wrapped in several layers of parchment and then a heavy duty plastic bag, for up to 2 months.

5. Sift and reuse extra cocoa powder. Pour leftover chocolate onto a piece of waxed paper, let it harden and use it in baking.

LOOK AND COOK

1) Make the filling

Pour hot cream over the chocolate

Stir in a gradually widening circle

Gradually add soft butter

Slowly stir in the whiskey

Stir until creamy and refrigerate 

2. Shape and chill the centers.

Scoop with a small cookie scoop or pipe onto a cookie sheet with a 5/8-inch tip and then form into balls

 

3. (a) Coat them in cocoa OR 

3. (b) coat them in a thin layer of untempered chocolate and then roll them in cocoa.

This gilding the lily third (b) step saves you the trouble of tempering chocolate (which you must do if you want it to look shiny and free of streaks and gray spots) and also achieves a thin shell coating that keeps the creamy centers from drying out and prolongs shelf life for a couple of weeks. The cocoa covers up the untempered  chocolate, so problem solved.

Spread a pool of chocolate on a dinner plate and add 5 to 7 truffle centers

Place your outspread hand over the truffles and move it around in a circle to coat the truffles

Drop them on a cocoa lined baking sheet. Shake the pan to coat them with cocoa.

Santa should be so lucky

Chocolate Truffles

Footnote:  Special thanks to the maker of literally tons of truffles Terry Spencer, wherever you are, for the oil in chocolate trick. 

Posted on December 16, 2010 and filed under Food gifts, Sweets.

Kiss the cook: give the gift of preserved lemons

If you want to make someone happy, give her a jar of preserved lemons.

Make sure that said person is also a cook. If she is not much of a cook, you will not make her happy. You will perplex her. She will wonder, what the hell am I going to do with this little jar of sunshine? She will stick it in the back of her fridge where it will take up important real estate for months, perhaps even years. Then she will chuck it and feel guilty because she didn’t really appreciate your gift. On top of that, she will be reminded every time she sees that little jar taking up important real estate that she is a lousy cook. I predict she will feel tinges of guilt about that too, consciously or unconsciously.

So make these. They are very easy and if you start tomorrow, they will be ready right after the holidays when we return to the sanity of eating good, clean food, but need something to perk it up from time to time. Like tuna salad. Or add to any Moroccan recipe like David Lebovitz's tagine .Paula Wolfert's books are full of enticing recipes that use them, too.

Just be certain to carefully choose the recipient of your precious jar of these beauties. A person you love who has reverence for food. That's you, too. Give yourself a jar and a hug. Happy holidays!

Preserved lemons have a deep, intense lemony flavor that goes in a completely different direction from the zesty sourness you expect from a fresh lemon. You may have seen giant, fancy jars of these with whole lemons in salty brine. Those lemons are almost quartered (the bottom of the ‘flower’ cut stays intact) but practically speaking, you might as well cut them in quarters. The quarters are easier to get into the jars and more importantly, easier to retrieve from the jars as you need them (with a clean fork, never fingers) than the whole lemons. It is helpful to use jars that have “shoulders” so that the lemons stay submerged in liquid. I found a mesh bag of organic lemons at Whole Foods last week—you will be eating the rind, so use organic.

Preserved lemons (Makes 3 pint-size jars)

9 small organic lemons for the jars, plus about 9 more extra lemons for juice

About 1 cup coarse Kosher salt

3 bay leaves

3 sticks of cinnamon

A few whole cloves

1. Scrub the lemons and cut off the stem (pointy) end if it is very prominent. Quarter the lemons.

2. Place a heaping tablespoon of salt in the bottom of each squeaky clean jar. Cram in some lemon quarters to fill the bottom of the jar and sprinkle with a rounded tablespoon of salt. Continue to layer the lemons with the salt. If you want to be fancy, add a bay leaf, a cinnamon stick and a few cloves to each jar. Press down on the lemons so that they release some juice. Eventually they will soften and be easier to press down. By eventually I mean about a week or so. Top off the jar with lemon juice so that the lemons are completely submerged in brine.

3. Close the jars and let stand at room temperature overnight. The next day, open the jars and press down on the lemons to encourage them to release more juice. Close the jars and tilt them a few times to begin to dissolve the salt. Repeat this routine for about 5 days; then store them in the refrigerator. Top off with more lemon juice as needed. The lemons are ready to use when the rind softens. This will take 3 to 4 weeks.

Note: The most taxing part of this recipe is squeezing the lemons for extra juice. If you have an electric juicer, it will go a lot faster. In any case, use lemons at room-temperature and roll them back and forth vigorously before squeezing them, or zap them in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

To use:

Remove a lemon quarter from the jar with a clean fork. (Remember, fingers contaminate!) Scrape out the pulp and rinse if necessary. Cut in strips or small dice. One quarter adds a lot to normal, everyday tuna salad, or use them in a Moroccan tagine. You could also add them to this chicken dish from the Boston Globe. They are not listed in the recipe because this would leave too many readers scratching their heads or being annoyed because they don’t have any, but I suggest using 2 to 3 quarters (depending on the size), cut in small dice.

Posted on December 7, 2010 and filed under Food gifts, Condiments and Jams.

The aftermath: turkey soup with butternut squash, beans and spinach

Had enough turkey yet?

I have come within a hair’s breadth of tossing everything to liberate myself from the memory of my indiscretions on the fateful fourth Thursday in November. At least I am in good company. But the frugal housewife in me cannot tolerate the waste. So I have removed the meat from the bones, saved some for the last couple of sandwiches, and a bit for soup. The bones are going into stock. Some day. Right now, I am shoving them into the freezer because I made stock on Thanksgiving.

Here’s why. First, we had a very small Thanksgiving. As in, only our very small family of three at the table. It was College Boy’s twenty-first birthday. I could make peace with the small number around the table since I wanted him to myself for a day. To that age group, “coming home” means “sleeping at home.” I take what I can get. He requested a birthday pie. And we had pink champagne (of course.)

I mention this as background to my decision to roast the turkey in two halves as an experiment. Presentation was not so high on the list of priorities that day. Even though I am happily and thoroughly tradition-bound when it comes to my Thanksgiving menu, I am mesmerized by all the cooking advice that proliferates at this time of year. So after reading chef’s tips on cooking a turkey in the New York Times and viewing Tyler Florence on the Today Show, I decided to try the split turkey method. (Note to Tyler: the herbs were messy and did not add much, in my opinion; I think I’ll skip them next time, better for garnish.)

It was a last minute decision. I had to hack the bird in half myself. It felt very un-American, believe me. That left me with the backbone, neck, and gizzards. I had a lot of chicken bones in my freezer, too, so I ended up with a nice big pot of stock by the time the day was over.

p.s. The turkey (12 pounds) was juicy and perfect, not in the least bit dry.  I rubbed it with butter, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and added a bit of stock to the bottom of the pan and roasted it at 425 degrees F.  I might have basted it once. Of course I used a probe thermometer (set to 160 degrees F.) so I don’t remember how long it took, but I would guess around 2 hours. It was easy to carve, too. So unless I want to bring the bird to the table, I think it is one new experiment that I will repeat. Maybe I’ll leave the hack job to the butcher.

Now that most of the work is done, the soup is a snap. We will eat a little and freeze the rest. It will be even better as a go-to, healthy meal, when the excess of Thanksgiving is far behind.

TURKEY STOCK

Place the carcass and all the denuded bones in a large pot. If you happen to have any chicken bones in the freezer, you can add them too. Cover with about 2 inches of cool water and bring to a boil. Let the stock bubble for a few minutes and skim off the foam. When the foam subsides, add:

1 to 2 sliced onions

3 to 4 carrots, thickly sliced (don’t bother to peel them),

A few stalks of celery, thickly sliced

Several peppercorns

Parsley and thyme sprigs if you have them

A generous pinch of salt

Simmer very gently for 2 to 4 hours. Strain. Divide among quart freezer containers and let sit at room temperature to cool for about 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim off the fat and freeze or use in soup.

Turkey soup with white beans and squash (Serves 6)

Feel free to substitute chicken anywhere the recipe says “turkey”

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 stalks celery, cut in 1/4-inch dice

1/2 small peeled and seeded butternut squash (8 ounces) cut in 1/4-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)

Salt and pepper

10 cups turkey stock

1 can (14-15 ounces) cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups diced leftover turkey

5 cups (about 4 ounces) baby spinach leaves

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion, celery, squash, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the stock and the beans, bring the soup to a simmer, and cook until the squash is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the turkey and spinach leaves and simmer for another minute or two until the turkey is heated through and the spinach has wilted.

Ladle into warm bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan to taste.

Posted on November 28, 2010 and filed under Soups, Thanksgiving.

Maple candied sweet potatoes:hold the marshmallows

When I was a kid, I filled my plate almost exclusively with stuffing and sweet potatoes. The turkey was a mere cursory, compulsory nod to expectations. Not that anyone was really noticing mind you, so busy were they contemplating their own plates from the Thanksgiving groaning board.

At Grandmother’s house, the potatoes were smothered in a caramelized goo of butter and brown sugar, enough to send a small person into shock. 

Lord, they were good.

I’ve tamed my sweet tooth since then. We were never a marshmallow family, so luckily I did not graduate from that school. But I decided to tone them down.  I know. Thanksgiving is all about excess.  But as a wiser grown-up, I understand that I have to pace myself if I want to make it to the most important part of the meal: the pie.

Here is a recipe for gently sweetened potatoes. Are they yams, or are they sweet potatoes?  Do we know which is which? Do we care?  Do we have time?  In this photo, the “yams” are on the left and the “sweet potatoes” are on the right. I think. 

The main thing is you can eat the leftovers with almost no guilt, or sub them in when the pie is all gone.

Maple candied sweet potatoes: hold the marshmallows

Serves 12 or more as part of Thanksgiving dinner

1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter (1/2 stick) plus more for the pan

4 large sweet potatoes (3 to 4 pounds) cut in half crosswise

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Zest of 1/2 orange

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Generously butter a large baking dish.

2. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cool water. Add 1 teaspoon salt, cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Decrease heat to a steady simmer and cook potatoes, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes, until tender BUT STILL FIRM. The potatoes should be slightly underdone since they will be baked again. Drain and cool.  When cool enough to handle, peel and cut each half in two lengthwise pieces.

3. Place the potatoes in the buttered baking dish in one layer with the flat sides up. Combine the melted butter, maple syrup, brown sugar and orange zest in a small bowl  (or nuke them in the microwave for 30 seconds until the butter melts.) Use a pastry brush to coat the potatoes with the syrup; if you have extra, drizzle it over them.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Potatoes can be prepared to this point up to one day ahead of time.)  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden. Baste occasionally if time permits.

I feel that I have finally fulfilled my obligation to my family by posting almost all of our traditional recipes. For everyone else, please chime in with your favorites. Here is a roundup

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Gravy

Cranberry sauce

Glazed carrots with cranberries

Pumpkin pie with maple whipped cream

How to cook a pumpkin

Step-by-step illustrated guide to making a pie crust

Roasted acorn squash with sage and pine nuts (from White on Rice Couple)

Posted on November 23, 2010 and filed under Side dishes, Thanksgiving, Winter food.