Every Thanksgiving I make popovers. If you’re looking for an easy side dish that isn’t your ordinary dinner roll and take very little time to prepare, popovers are it! I’ve talked about popovers here before. They’re pretty much my favorite breakfast item ever. I love to tear them upon while they’re still hot and slather them in butter and jam. This time, I made them savory and topped the tops with everything seasoning– because everything is better with everything!
Although popovers are incredibly easy to make, there are a few rules you must abide by to get large balloon-like and crispy popovers: (1) use room temperature ingredients (I usually leave mine out on the counter overnight); (2) as tempted as you may be, do NOT open the oven to peek at the popovers, you need all that heat trapped in the oven to give the popovers their lift; (3) serve immediately, they should be served fresh out of the oven (I like to put these in as my turkey or rib roast is resting)! If you don’t have a popover pan, you can use a muffin tin, although you won’t get as dramatic a rise as you do with a popover tin.
I know it’s not Thanksgiving without a turkey, but this year I wanted to do something a little non-traditional. Every now and then it’s nice to change things up and bottom line for me: if it tastes really good, why not serve it for the dinner of all dinners? The harissa paste is fiery and spicy, but what I really love about this recipe is the cous cous. They include two of my favorite ingredients, saffron and preserved lemons. If any dish includes either of these ingredients, I’m making it/ordering it! The stuffing is particularly delicious after having been steamed in the Cornish hens. I may or may not have eaten the stuffing out of all these hens. If you’re insisting on a turkey for Thanksgiving (and I don’t blame you!) you could easily use the same harissa seasoning I have here. I have yet to try this with turkey, but harissa works with any poultry really. If you don’t make this recipe this week, I hope you try it soon– it’s one of my favorites!
2017 has been a doozy. It was the year that I learned that a yam is a sweet potato. And a sweet potato is, in fact, not a yam! I apologize in advance if this is old news to you but in all seriousness, I always thought the two were one and the same. But clearly, I’ve been living under a rock. A big, starchy yam rock. Regardless, I’m just relieved to say, with pride, that we’re preparing sweet potatoes today in a way that will make you want eat them like this all season long. Gratin-style. Just like our potato gratin, the sweet potatoes are baked to tender perfection in mixture of heavy cream and all the warm and cozy spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped off with a nutty and buttery streusel topping. If I were you, I wouldn’t wait to devour this until dessert. Trust me, you’ll want to bring it out to your Thanksgiving table as a side dish. It’s that good.
I always like to add soup to our Thanksgiving spread. It makes for a convenient and delicious side dish that can be easily made ahead of time and re-heated on the stove (always a good idea when most Thanksgiving dishes are competing for precious oven space). Kabocha squash is my favorite squash. It has such a great and complex flavor and has a better texture than other squash like butternut or acorn. This soup incorporates ginger and miso to showcase the kabocha and I like to top mine with something crunchy like black sesame seeds and Crunch Dynasty, a crunchy condiment of shallots, garlic, ginger and chiles. This is such a gorgeous and vibrant dish to make for Thanksgiving or any other day!
Should I consider it a compliment that, amongst my friends, I’m referred to as the cheese platter guru? I’d like to think so. After all, cheese is my jam. I take far too much enjoyment assembling platters of all kinds for parties and gatherings – but truthfully, cheese is always the most fun. I love experimenting with different varieties of cheeses, artisanal crackers and seasonal fruits. It keeps those guests on their toes! So without doubt, I’ll be responsible for hors d’oeuvres this Thanksgiving. The crazy cheese lady has got this . . .
Most of the time I eat salad to be healthy/enjoy seasonal vegetables. Sometimes, I eat salad purely as a vehicle for amazing dressing. And that’s okay, because there are some dressings that are worth the extra effort to make from scratch. The perfect example of this is ranch. The difference between homemade ranch and bottled ranch is like day and night. If you aren’t a fan of ranch it’s most likely because you haven’t had good ranch.