Good morning, friends. There's barely enough time left for a new twist on Thanksgiving dinner, so you -- right there -- send your best right away, and the rest of us will be watching for your best next Wednesday. Then we can make our final rush to the grocery.
We need some new takes on some old treasures from the family cookbook -- or some new ingredients for the feast, period. Up to you all.
Brussels sprouts continue to be a topic.
Tim Threadgill, who runs a kind of test kitchen at home, offered "a quick note on the Brussels sprouts recipe published in Fare Exchange on Nov. 2. I made them, and they were terrific. I can't wait to use the pomegranate molasses in some other dishes.
"I agreed with the reader you mentioned in (the Nov. 9) column about the Brussels sprouts to get them crispy in a glaze -- or any type of other recipe. The sprouts are fairly dense, without a lot of air space and moist. Almost any method of cooking will result in steaming of the core leaves. About the only way I can think of to get them crispy is to at least halve or quarter them, then dry them for a bit on a paper towel -- maybe an hour or so -- then try to cook them to get a crispier texture. As she mentioned, there is twice cooking them -- similar to what must be done with fresh-cut french fries -- twice frying them or parboiling, then frying.
"Cooking the quartered sprouts in a convection oven or air fryer at high temp does a good job of giving some crispy outer leaves, but the inner core still is a bit chewy -- for the reasons elaborated above."
Enter Diane Marrs, with a Recipe Keeper oniony delight. "Growing up, I had a favorite aunt who always brought her Creamed Pearl Onions dish to our large Thanksgiving feast. I was the only child at the table who asked for seconds and thirds. It's just that good."
Creamed Pearl Onions
1 pound pearl onions (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pinch nutmeg
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (grated, divided)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If using fresh onions, peel by cutting off the top and adding to the water for about 1 minute. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, and place in ice water. Pinch the onion to remove the outer skin. Place peeled onions back into the water, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well. If using frozen onions, simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Drain well.
While onions are simmering, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in flour, and cook for 1 minute. Add stock and cream a little bit at a time, stirring after each addition, whisking until smooth. Stir in a pinch of nutmeg. Remove from heat, and stir in 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in onions.
Spread into a small baking dish or pie plate. Top with remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned.
Nutrition per serving: 94 calories, 6 grams total fat (4 grams saturated fat), 18 milligrams cholesterol, 196 milligrams sodium, 8 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 3 grams sugar, 2 grams protein.
› Frozen pearl onions are usually peeled (double-check when you buy them), making this dish a bit easier.
› Heavy cream can be replaced with light cream, if you stir in about 1 tablespoon of butter once the sauce is mixed.
› Fresh herbs can be added to the sauce along with the onions.
› Frozen green peas are a great addition to this dish too. Place the frozen peas in the strainer, and drain the onions over the peas. The hot water will thaw them enough to cook along with the sauce.
This easy version of a corn casserole came from "A Floured Hand Up," as did the soup recipe that follows.
Corn Casserole To Crow About
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen corn
1/4 stick butter, melted
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup milk or half-and-half
Combine all ingredients, and mix well. Cover and cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
The next recipe has that special-occasion aroma to it. It makes just two servings, and I can imagine a cook wanting to double or triple it for several meals' worth. It's important to note that, while vichyssoise is typically served cold, asparagus vichyssoise would be good in cold weather served warm. I remember my first attempt at traditional vichyssoise, many years ago. I set down the chilled soup bowl in front of the honored guest at the meal -- my mother-in-law. Though she was knowledgeable about such dishes, she took a spoonful and said, "Next time, heat this up." Not a bad idea for the recipe that follows, either.
1/2 pound fresh asparagus
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup peeled baking potato, diced
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Dash white pepper
Remove tough ends from asparagus. Cut in half. Coat saucepan with cooking spray. Add onion, and sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and potato, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add asparagus. Cover and simmer an additional 9 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Puree mixture in a blender until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in milk, lemon rind, salt and pepper. Cover and chill. Stir before serving. Garnish with lemon zest. This is also good served warm. Makes 2 servings.
Please, send more recipes for the giving of thanks: for next week, for always.
-- Thanksgiving change-ups
TO REACH US
Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send, and know we cannot test the recipes printed here.
• Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750
• Email: email@example.com