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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

thanksgiving recipes, part 1

I had no idea there would be so much interest in my Thanksgiving menu.  Over the next week or two I will try to post all of the recipes, but today I am starting with my top 3 favorites:  Caramelized Onion Pull-Apart rolls, Twice-Baked sweet potatoes, and Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts.

I'm just going to start out by pointing out that none of these recipes could in any way be considered "healthy."  If you are looking for low-fat, low-carb, heart-smart cooking, keep looking.  You won't find that here.  But please, I beg of you, don't scrimp or substitute or try to "lighten" them up.  They won't be as good.  They just won't.  It's Thanksgiving, for goodness sake, indulge a little!

Caramelized Onion Pull-Apart Rolls
(Original Recipe from Martha Stewart Living, November 2005)

I have made these rolls every year since I discovered this recipe in 2005.  They are heavenly, and hands down my favorite thing about Thanksgiving.  And maybe it is just me but there is something so satisfying about the process making homemade yeast bread.  I wish I had time to do it more often. The first year I made them, I woke up at 5am on Thanksgiving morning.  Every year since then, I make them the day before, leave them in the pan overnight, and simply heat them before serving.

11 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for bowl, plus 5 tablespoons melted
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons warm water (105-110 degrees)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 3/4  cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and pin
2 teaspoons salt
2 pounds sweet onions (1 1/2 pounds cut into 1/4 inch slices, 1/2 pound finely chopped)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1.  Butter a 9-inch round cake pound using 1 tablespoon softened butter.  Butter a large bowl; set aside.  stir together yeast, sugar, and water in a small bowl; let mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.   Stir until dissolved.  Stir in butter
2.  Mix 2 3/4 cups flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Make a well in center.  Pour in buttermilk mixture; mix to combine.  Add 6 tablespoons softened butter; mix on medium-high speed until a soft dough forms, about 10 minutes
3.  Scrape dough onto a lightly floured work surface; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons flour.  Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to buttered bowl.  Cover dough with a clean kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
4.  Melt remaining 4 tablespoons softened butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onions; raise heat to high and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Stir in nutmeg.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Let cool.
5.  Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface.  With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 17x10 inch rectangle, and brush with 3 tablespoons melted butter.  Spread onions evenly over dough.  Starting on 1 long side, roll dough into a log.  Press seam to seal.  Cut into about 12 slices, about 1 1/4" thinck each.  Arrange slices, cut sides up, in buttered pan, and brush with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
6.  Preheat oven to 375.  Bake rolls until golden brown, about 35 minutes.  Immediately invert and unmold rolls unto a wire rack.  Serve warm.  (Note:  I don't immediately invert the rolls.  I let them cool and sit in the pan overnight, then warm in the oven before dinner and invert just before serving.)

(Image courtesy of MarthaStewart.com)

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
(Original Recipe from Martha Stewart Living, November 2005)

This recipe was in the same issue as the rolls and I have made it every year since as well, with a few modifications.  But be forewarned, once you've tried these, no other sweet potatoes will ever quite compare!  I usually complete steps 1 and 2 the day before, then refrigerate, covered, overnight, and complete step 3 on Thanksgiving day.

7 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 c. sour cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4'' slices
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper
10 large marshmallows, cut in half lengthwise (use kitchen shears)
**Optional** 2/3 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 400.  Prick sweet potatoes with a fork.  Bake until soft, about 1 hour. (tip--place on nonstick foil covered cookie sheet before baking to avoid a drippy mess in your oven!)  Let cool slightly on rack.
2.  Cut potatoes in half.  Carefully scoop out flesh, leaving a 1/2" thick border.  Put flesh in bowl of stand mixer and mix until smooth.  Stir in sour cream, softened butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, lemon juice, & nutmeg.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer sweet potato mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (or just use a spoon very carefully), and fill 12 of the shells, dividing the mixture evenly among them.
3.  Reduce oven temperature to 350.  Sprinkle potatoes with remaining brown sugar, pecans (optional), then top with one slice of butter each.  Arrange marshmallows on top.  Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until hot and marshmallows are golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

My dear friend Jackie introduced me to this recipe about 6 years ago and I have been hooked ever since.  A true Dutch girl through and through, I adore Brussels Sprouts in all forms, but these shredded wonders have converted even the most ardent Sprout hater.  It never ceases to amaze me that 5 simple ingredients can result in the richest, nutty roasted yumminess you can imagine.  I usually make them a few hours ahead of time and then re-warm them just before serving.

3 pounds Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 425.  In a food processor fitted with a slicing blade, coarsely shred the Brussels sprouts.  On 2 large rimmed baking sheets, toss the shredded sprouts with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread in an even layer.
2.  Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until the sprouts are tender and browned in spots; rotate the pans and stir the sprouts halfway through roasting.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, toss and bake for 1 more minute, or until the cheese is melted.  Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a bowl and serve.

And finally, one last note about kitchen tools.  I am very attached to my KitchenAid and 12 cup food processor, but all of these recipes can be prepared without them.  (Trust me, I've done it!) They just take a little more time, patience, and effort, but the taste is the same.

Happy cooking!

1 comment:

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