Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Link Love

Ahhh, just a few more days before Thanksgiving, one of my favorite American holidays. The nice thing is if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, most of the recipes are still perfect for Christmas. I think one of the times overseas workers have the most struggles dealing with being away from home is the winter holiday season. The food isn't quite the same. Often the temperature isn't quite the same. Smells are different. And you're away from your family. Depressed yet?

We've figured out that making our home a really inviting holiday place is key in making this home away from home feel more like our real home. That means making lots of fall decorations and eating warming seasonal foods. At Thanksgiving, our house should smell like the real thing. To make Thanksgiving happen with little ovens and iffy power, you definitely need to do prep ahead of days ahead of time if possible. This week I'll be posting some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes that work where we live. Today's recipes are some of my go-to links during this season.

Main Dishes
So, unless you're going in as part of a large group, it's not all that economical to get a turkey here. It works out to be upwards of $4.50 depending on the size of the bird. Sooo... in our house it's usually roasted chicken, but you can dress it up to taste like a turkey and not have any of the dryness of a turkey. Honestly, if you've got a lot to go in the oven, it seems worth it to just order out cooked chickens due to limited space.

If you're cooking it yourself, here's my favorite roast chicken-- Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken. Just leave out the fennel since I've never seen that in bulb form here. In lieu of fresh thyme, I rub the outside and season the inside with both dried rosemary and thyme.

Vegetable Sides
Michael Chiarello's Green Bean Casserole
Years ago, I gave up on ever having Cream of Mushroom soup at the right time to make Green Bean Casserole. Then, I saw an episode of Easy Entertaining when Chiarello did remakes of old potluck classics. This spin on the casserole is totally doable in our context. I don't use the arborio rice on the onion rings though, just onions dredged in flour and salt and fried. I just use chicken stock as a sub for most of the liquid.

Other green bean side variations: Bacon Braised Green Beans, Sauteed Green Beans and Mushrooms, Best Ever Green Bean Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole
Okay, so I've tried various versions of sweet potatoes here, none of which come out quite right because the potatoes are white and not very close to the real thing. So...really I just do a fake version consisting of a mixture of pureed pumpkin and carrots or just carrots. I like Ellie Krieger's version (with my subs including also subbing walnuts for pecans) because it's lighter than the traditional gooey sweet version, but still very flavorful. Use roughly 3-4 cups of the puree.

Other takes on sweet potatoes you can make "faux": Carrot Souffle (it's delicious!) and Old School Sweet Potato Souffle

Claire Robinson's Ginger Pumpkin Tart
This is about the easiest pumpkin pie recipe ever--and crazy delicious! If you don't like ginger, just make a regular pie crust or shortbread crust to press into the tart pan. For this recipe's local adaptations, I use a sleeve of the Gingernut biscuits crushed, 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree, and add some pumpkin pie spices like grated nutmeg, cinnamon, and a pinch of cloves. Follow her directions, but bake at 170 C.

If you don't know Claire Robinson from Food Network, you should check out her recipes. She uses only 5 ingredients or fewer (minus things like S&P) for the recipes. While some have ingredients we don't have, most are ridiculously simple, inspiring, and delicious.

Other takes on pumpkin pie to check out: Faux Pumpkin Pie

No comments:

Post a Comment