I didn’t post Round 1, as that was just the basics on Friday: put together a plate of what you had on Thursday and reheat. It isn’t glamorous and there is a point when your are done with Thanksgiving dinner.
Yesterday we had a bit of soup and a few snacks with the crazy football and soccer day that we had scheduled. Today, I started on how to reuse the leftovers so that we weren’t all sick of turkey by the end of the week.
I started this morning with the stuffing; I’m not sure how but I had an entire untouched 9×13″ pan of stuffing. I placed ham into well-buttered cups of my muffin tin, and then pressed in the stuffing to form cups:
I baked these for 20 minutes at 375 and then cracked an egg in each one (large is perfect, extra-large might overflow) and sprinkled with a touch of salt, ground pepper, and pepper jack cheese. I then continued baking for 12 minutes longer.
Next time I would use a couple of strips of bacon rather than ham, but good nonetheless.
I continued my modification of leftovers with dinner. I was looking for a soup with sweet potatoes and came across this one for a Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup. This was just the inspiration I needed; we had roasted carrots too.
I began my soup by sautéing a diced onion in a couple of tablespoons of butter. Once they were soft I stirred in the leftover sweet potatoes and carrots (about 3-4 cups of each) along with a bit of white pepper, 3 cups of broth, and about 1 cup of water. I broght this to a boil and then simmered for about 40 minutes. At the end I simply hit it with the imersion blender and served with a dash of cayenne pepper.
As I’ve mentioned previously I really like to try new recipes on a regular basis. I watch a number of food channels, read Bon Appétit, and peruse the internet and my cookbooks for ideas. With that said, it’s still a good thing that I don’t have to do all of the planning because sometimes there are just too many options. This Saturday as I was well into my planning, I asked my husband if he had any requests; having really enjoyed the braised lamb earlier in the month he asked if I could try short ribs, but maybe like he saw on triple D, braise them and then grill them, and can I do the Brussel sprouts again since they were good and they are in season? On that note I set to work and planned the week.
Braising is not complicated, it simply takes time which means it’s necessary to plan in advance. After my trip to the grocery store I got started on my short ribs. To save time on the chopping, I tossed the jalapeño and the garlic in the food processor and chopped them finely and then added the onion and pulsed it until it was just chopped.
We invited friends for Sunday dinner so I had 10 short ribs in there and scaled accordingly, it just fit:
2 1/2 hours later:
Sunday there was more to do, but most of my time was taken up by the quickest dish to cook…the Brussel Sprouts.
However, I started with the pie. Most crusts respond very well to a break in the fridge and this one is no exception. I selected a Brûléed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie with a chocolate pie crust. This was one of the easiest crusts I have ever worked with. 90% of the work is in the food processor (just pulse as you need, don’t leave it on, you will make your crust tough).
After breakfast I started on my Brussel sprouts, cooking them is the easy part. I have already shared the recipe, but one of my objectives for this blog was to show everyone that cooking is not hard, so here are the details. I had found them on the stalk, but when I went to clean them found aphids on some. So I headed to the store for another stalk (always important to remember that vegetables do grow outside and that is where bugs live too, oh well).
The sprouts snap from the stalk or can be cut off. Then it’s important to clean them. Cut off the excess stem and remove any loose, discolored, or bruised leaves from each sprout, and finally cut them in half (or quarter if large, but they are really best if you don’t exceed the size of a shooter marble). This took a couple of hours ( I see myself teaching the boys to do this next time). After this was done I set them in the colander to rinse them and then set them aside in the fridge until it was time to cook.
At this point I started simmering the braising liquid so that the BBQ sauce would be ready before I was ready to grill.
And back to the pie… The next step is to roll out the crust, form it, and pre-bake it.
While it is in the oven, make the filling, which is easy, just follow the recipe. If you are buyinng canned pumpkin, make sure to buy pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. (NOTE: Do not waste your money on pumpkin pie filling, it is easy to make and will be the subject of a post closer to Thanksgiving.) For this recipe, the most important part is to pour in the hot maple syrup mixture slowly while whisking constantly. After baking I allowed it to cool on the counter and I brûléed just before serving.
With a grilled entrée, a grilled side dish was an obvious selection so that you can pay attention to both on the grill. I am a big fan of sweet potatoes in all forms; the recipe is one my mother in law found a few years ago. Sweet potatoes don’t brown quickly, so they are easy to prepare in advance. I prepared the glaze too and put on a first brush.
BBQ Braised Shortribs
Beef and Lamb, Entrées, Fall, Grilling, Tested and Approved!
6 beef short ribs (large meaty ribs, 1 per person)
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Hot pepper sauce, to taste (optional)
olive oil, for brushing ribs before grilling
kosher salt and black pepper, for seasoning ribs before grilling
In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño and cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the oregano, cumin seed, salt, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Pour in the lager and add the bay leaf. Place the ribs in the braising liquid, meaty side down, and add just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the ribs are very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 2-3 hours. (braising time will depend upon size of ribs) Transfer the ribs to a sheet pan to cool. Remove and discard any bones that may have fallen off the ribs in the liquid. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl and discard the solids. Cover and refrigerate the cooled ribs and the braising liquid (separately) until chilled, about 2 hours (or overnight if you wish).
Remove the fat from the surface of the liquid. Pour the liquid into a stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer the liquid until is reduced to ~¾ cup, 1 to 1½ hours. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Stir in the ketchup, molasses, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and season with hot pepper sauce, if desired. Set aside at room temperature.
Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and cut off any large pieces of exterior fat; this will minimize any grill flare-ups. Brush the ribs with the oil and season evenly with the salt and pepper. Preheat the grill to medium and brush the cooking grate clean. Grill the ribs over medium heat until warmed through and the exterior is beginning to turn crispy, turning several times, about 10 minutes.
Brush the ribs generously with the sauce. Turn the heat up and continue to cook until the meat is glazed, about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from the grill and serve warm with the remaining sauce.
Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Grilling, Tested and Approved!, Vegetables, Vegetarian
cook 15-20 minutes ∙ makes 4-6 Servings ∙ difficulty Easy ∙ source Weber’s Real Grilling | by Jamie Purviance
2 limes, zest of
1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
3 large sweet potatoes, about 1 pound each
In a bowl, whisk the lime zest, lime juice, canola oil, honey, salt, and pepper.
Peel sweet potatoes, trim the ends and cut each potato into 1/2 inch slices.
Brush the potatoes with the oil mixture to coat evenly.
Grill the potatoes over direct medium heat until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, 15-20 minutes, turning both and brushing them with the oil mixture every 5 minutes, and immediately after removing from grill.
Brûléed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie
Desserts, Pies and Tarts, Tested and Approved!
cook 1 hour ∙ makes Servings: 8 ∙ difficulty Medium ∙ source Bon Appétit | November 2013
Chocolate Pie Dough
5 Tbsp Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
3½ Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 5/16 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup ice water
All-purpose flour (for dusting)
3 large eggs
15 ounces pure pumpkin purée
¼ cup sour cream
2 Tbsp bourbon
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ginger, ground
¼ tsp nutmeg, ground
⅛ tsp allspice, ground
⅛ tsp mace, ground, optional
¾ cup maple syrup , pure, preferably grade B
½ vanilla bean , split lengthwise, or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
Chocolate Pie Dough
Pulse cocoa powder, granulated sugar, salt, and 1¼ cups plus 1 Tbsp. flour in a food processor to combine. Add butter and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
Whisk egg yolk, vinegar, and water in a small bowl. Drizzle half of egg mixture over flour mixture and pulse gently just until combined. Add remaining egg mixture and mix until dough just comes together (you will have some unincorporated pieces).
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, flatten slightly, and cut into quarters. Stack pieces on top of one another, placing unincorporated dry pieces of dough between layers, and press down to combine. Repeat process twice more (all pieces of dough should be incorporated at this point). Form dough into a 1”-thick disk. Wrap in plastic; chill at least 1 hour.
DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled, or freeze up to 3 months.
Roll out disk of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14” round. Transfer to a 9” pie dish. Lift up edge and allow dough to slump down into dish. Trim, leaving about 1” overhang. Fold overhang under and crimp edge. Chill in freezer 15 minutes.
Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350°. Line pie with parchment paper or heavy-duty foil, leaving a 1½” overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until crust is dry around the edge, about 20 minutes. Remove paper and weights and bake until surface of crust looks dry, 5-10 minutes. Brush bottom and sides of crust with 1 beaten egg. Return to oven and bake until dry and set, about 3 minutes longer. (Brushing crust with egg and baking will prevent a soggy crust.)
Whisk pumpkin purée, sour cream, bourbon, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, mace, if desired, and 3 eggs in a large bowl; set aside.
Pour maple syrup in a small saucepan; scrape in seeds from vanilla bean (reserve pod for another use) or add vanilla extract and bring syrup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened and small puffs of steam start to release, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add cream in 3 additions, stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition until smooth. Gradually whisk hot maple cream into pumpkin mixture.
Place pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet and pour in filling. Bake pie, rotating halfway through, until set around edge but center barely jiggles, 50-60 minutes. Transfer pie dish to a wire rack and let pie cool.
Just before serving, sprinkle pie with sugar and, using a kitchen torch, brûlée until sugar is melted and dark brown.
DO AHEAD: Pie can be baked 1 day ahead (do not brûlée). Cover and chill.