Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Recipe: Citrus-Spiced Braised Red Cabbage

24 Jan

I love cabbage, that most humble of vegetables. Humble it may be, but versatile, too–and good for you, especially the red kind. With its lovely jewel tones (from a type of pigment also found in flower petals and fruits), red cabbage adds a beautiful touch of color to any meal.

This braised red cabbage is tangy and slightly sweet, featuring fresh orange juice, red wine, and  balsamic vinegar, as well as cinnamon, cloves, and caraway seed. It is a very nice accompaniment to pork or sausages, or a Thanksgiving meal–and also adds bit of zing to sandwiches. And if you are like me, you may also find yourself eating it cold, just because.

Citrus-Spiced Braised Red Cabbage

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lg. onion, cut in half through the ends, then sliced into thin strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
2 lb. red cabbage, any bruised outer leaves removed, cored, and sliced into strips (about 10 c.)
ground black pepper
1 c. vegetable broth
juice of one orange
3 tbsp. red wine
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1. Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a few more minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add the cabbage and mix well to coat with garlic and spices. Continue cooking until the cabbage has wilted, then sprinkle with black pepper to taste, and add the broth and orange juice. With the heat on medium high, cook the cabbage for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by at least half.
3. Add the wine and vinegar, and cook another 15 minutes. There should be some liquid at the bottom of the pot–but the cabbage should not be soupy. Turn up the heat if needed to allow any excess liquid to evaporate.
4. Serve immediately with a slotted spoon.

Recipe: Roasted Carrots with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint

9 Dec

This is a free-form sort of recipe because it doesn’t have specific measurements, but that shouldn’t be cause for panic. No matter how much or how little I drizzle or sprinkle or adjust the various ingredients, I’ve never gone wrong with this dish (because short of burning them, how can anyone really go wrong with roasted carrots?).

This dish is a standard part of our Thanksgiving line up, but these carrots are a nice accompaniment to any roast meal. The hot carrots absorb the balsamic vinegar, resulting in a mellow, layered flavor that is heightened by the mint. Another plus: this dish can be served at room temperature, which means you can get it ready ahead of time and move on to more urgent tasks. For Thanksgiving, I use a 5 lb. bag of carrots. If you aren’t cooking for 12+guests, use 6 large carrots and go from there.

Roasted Carrots with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint

olive oil
salt and pepper
balsamic vinegar
dried mint flakes

1. Trim and peel carrots, cut each carrot in half horizontally, and then cut each half in half lengthwise. You should now have four carrot pieces. Cut each of those pieces lengthwise into thirds (or halves or quarters depending on the thickness of the carrot) — you want to end up with carrot sticks.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
3. Put the carrot sticks in a large bowl, drizzle with enough olive oil to coat the carrots well (they should be glistening), sprinkle some salt and pepper on top, toss to mix, then spread the carrots on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 30 minutes or so, turning once, until the carrots are soft and browned around the edges. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
4. While the carrots are still on the baking sheet and still hot, drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the top, sprinkle with mint flakes, mix together gently, and let rest for a few minutes. Taste a carrot and adjust the seasonings as needed (you may want more salt, pepper, or a dash more vinegar.)
5. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Note: If making the day before, let carrots cool, refrigerate them, and bring to room temperature before serving.)

Adapted from Australian Gourmet magazine.

Recipe: Mushroom Gravy

24 Nov

This gravy is one that has earned a permanent spot on our competitive Thanksgiving line up. It is so easy to make, I don’t know why I don’t think of it at other times of the year. Perhaps some dishes are worth waiting 364 days to taste.

Among its many desirable qualities is the fact that this recipe is versatile; although the original version requires pan juices from a roast turkey, I have successfully made a vegan version, too (see note below). And going back to the carnivorous end of the spectrum, I bet it would be good with the drippings from a chicken roast, or from a beef roast (using beef broth instead of chicken broth, and perhaps a bit of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce for added flavor). Have now made a note to try that iteration….

Mushroom Gravy

pan juices from roast turkey
roughly 2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. cornstarch
salt and pepper

1. Just after the turkey is done and while it is resting, begin making the gravy.

2. Pour any pan juices there may be into a large (4 c.) measuring cup. Spoon off fat, putting 2 tbsp. into a large skillet. Add enough broth to pan juices in measuring cup to measure 3 ½ c. total.

3. Heat the 2 tbsp. turkey drippings in the skillet, add the mushrooms, and sauté until brown and tender, about 15 minutes.

4. Add the 3 ½ c. pan juice mixture and the cream to the mushrooms. Simmer 8 minutes to blend flavors. Mix cornstarch and ¼ c. broth in small bowl. Mix into gravy. Continue to simmer until gravy thickens, about 1 min.; season with salt and pepper.

Note: For vegan version, use olive oil for the mushrooms, 3 1/2 c. vegetable broth, and plain soy milk (or other non-dairy milk) as a substitute for the cream. Make sure that the plain non-dairy milk you use does not contain any cane juice or other sweetener. I learned the hard way just before Thanksgiving dinner one year that many plain soy creamers are sweet–do not use them in this recipe!)

Source of original recipe made with turkey drippings:  Bon Appetit magazine.