Friday, November 27, 2015

November 2015 Digest

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving, Gobbled Up

November is always a unique month for me. Other months I have a mix of recipes, cocktails and restaurant posts, along with the occasional "other" food-related thing that interests me. But November is all about Thanksgiving, which means its all about recipes. Lots of recipes.

A few themes ran through the recipes I presented this year. The idea of reinterpreting traditional dishes led me to take The Silver Palate Cookbook's classic Chicken Marbella recipe and adapt those wonderful Spanish flavors into Marbella-Brined Roast Turkey Breast. Similarly, I played around with the idea that people stuff their turkeys because it gives the stuffing turkey flavor. I reserved this--using the stuffing to instead flavor the turkey with Stuffing-Brined Roast Turkey Breast.

Deconstructed Sweet Potato Casserole

One of my favorites along these lines is the Deconstructed Sweet Potato Casserole, which reinterprets the traditional marshmallow-covered (overly) sweetened puree into a dish of roasted sweet potatoes with pecans, bacon and (just a few) mini marshmallows all brought together with a bourbon-maple sauce.

Another theme was incorporating international flair into the meal. I experimented with Indian flavors in both the Indian-Spiced Nan Bread Stuffing and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Honey-Curry Yogurt. I turned to Mexico for the inspiration behind Sweet Potatoes with Mole and Queso Fresco.

Then there were a few recipes that spoke to nostalgia and simplicity, namely my favorite recipe for Sausage-Cornbread Stuffing and a traditional take on Buttery Mashed Potatoes. And for biscuit lovers, I definitely have to mention the Butter-Flaky Biscuits.

Noodle Me Momofuku

The D.C. restaurant has undeniably heated up in recent years. The latest trend is for big-name chefs from other places, namely New York, to open outposts in D.C. Danny Meyer's burgers have been winning Washingtonians over for several years now with several locations of the New York-based Shake Shack. The biggest of such imports last year was Daniel Boulud, who opened DBGB Kitchen and Bar in the downtown CityCenter development. As popular as these spots are, neither grabbed headlines the way the arrival of David Chang's first D.C.-area Momofuku has. Much ink has been spilled in anticipation of the opening of Momofuku CCDC which, like DBGB, is located in CityCenter. Riding shotgun in the new restaurant's corner space is an outpost of the Momofuku bakery, Milk Bar, known for Christina Tosi's creative confections like crack pie and corn cookies. We snagged a much-coveted Saturday night reservation and enjoyed some pretty tasty appetizers, noodles and, of course, those cookies.

Food Recipes

  • Marbella-Brined Roast Turkey Breast Spanish flavors of the classic Silver Palate Cookbook recipe Chicken Marbella infuse this wet-brined turkey.
  • Stuffing-Brined Roast Turkey Breast Some people stuff turkeys to flavor the stuffing with the turkey. But what if you instead flavor the turkey with stuffing?
  • Buttery Mashed Potatoes Mashed potatoes seems simple, but there are some techniques involving how you mash and butter the potatoes for optimal texture and flavor.
  • Sausage-Cornbread Stuffing My all-time favorite stuffing recipe handed down from my mother.
  • Butternut Squash, Pecan and Bacon Bread Like pumpkin bread but with butternut squash. Oh, and bacon. Yeah, bacon.
  • Indian-Spiced Nan Bread Stuffing Indian spices flavor this stuffing made with Indian nan bread.
  • Butter-Flaky Biscuits Through folding and rolling, these biscuits have buttery flaky layers.
  • Apple Butter A wonderful fall accompaniment to biscuits and other breads.
  • Deconstructed Sweet Potato Casserole Re-thinking the Thanksgiving classic side to be less sweet and gooey with a stronger focus on good sweet potato flavor.
  • Kale, Smoked Gouda and Pecan Gratin Gratins are awesome because you can get credit for eating a vegetable side, but it's actually an excuse for eating something creamy and cheesy.
  • Green Bean Salad with Almonds and Quinoa A truly healthful side dish to help balance all these other rich holiday dishes.
  • Sweet Potatoes with Mole and Queso Fresco A simple side of roasted sweet potatoes with spicy Mexican mole sauce and cheese.
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Honey-Curry Yogurt Another Indian-inspired dish, a simple affair of roasted sprouts and pecans with yogurt mixed with honey and curry powder.
  • Caramel Apple Custard Pie Another look at the apple custard pie--a nice compromise between a pumpkin pie and an apple pie--this time with a graham-cracker-coated crust and caramel sauce.

  • Cocktail Recipe

    • A Sage Old Bourbon This whiskey and sherry cocktail, with flavors of cranberry, celery and sage, is inspired by the savory flavors of a Thanksgiving dinner.


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