Do you have a couple piles of turkey meat staring you straight in the eyes every time you open your fridge? I certainly do. Last Christmas, Breakfast Television asked me to get creative and come up with three recipes that people could use to turn a mish mash of Christmas dinner leftovers (still applicable for Thanksgiving) into some interesting dishes.
As I’m always up for a challenge, I brainstormed and came up with some interesting ways to use up the holiday dinner leftovers. (left, photo of my friend Michelle and Chris setting the table for our Thanksgiving dinner this past Monday night)
Here’s the recipe for my favourite ‘reworking’ of the three, Cranberry Barbecue Turkey Sliders with Sweet Potato Aioli. I whipped some up last night in my Start From Scratch class, and mass approval. If you still have some leftovers in your kitchen, try this one out!
3 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen, Calgary Co-op is loaded with fresh ones right now!)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup water
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TSP soy sauce (or tamari to stay gluten free)
2 TSP yellow curry powder
1/2 TSP cayenne pepper
1 TBSP fresh rosemary
2 TSP lemon zest
salt and pepper
Thanksgiving is just about here. How the hell did that happen? I know turduckens are what all the cool kids are making this year, but I’m not really a super cool kid, so I’m going to stick with a traditional turkey. For me, Thanksgiving always ends up being more about the side dishes and desserts than the actual turkey itself.
If you don’t make your own cranberry sauce, you should. It takes fifteen minutes, most good quality grocery stores will have fresh cranberries right now, AND you can play around with some flavours to give the standard cranberry sauce a twist. Naturally, I am biased, but this version with a bit of curry and fresh rosemary is the best damn cranberry sauce this side of awesome! Happy Thanksgiving!
Fall is the time of year when we return to classic comfort dishes that we know and love. Since variety is the spice of life and Bal Arneson is our Food Network Canada’s resident “Spice Goddess,” I chatted with the charming cookbook author and food personality about her Thanksgiving plans and how you can put some interesting twists on heart-warming favourites this autumn.
Dan: What is a typical Thanksgiving Dinner like for you and your family?
BA: It’s very traditional and North American, sweet potatoes, etc…but each individual dish will have my spicy touch to it. I do an Indian-style turkey. Sometimes I like to use star anise and cinnamon sticks and pack them right into the turkey. In between the skin and the meat, I’ll take a handful of dried herbs, like paprika, and rub it all over!
Dan: Obviously with your flare for food, are you the kind of person to undertake the entire cooking process yourself, or is it a family affair?
BA: My biggest pet peeve is having too many people in the kitchen. I like to be alone with some Bollywood music on, maybe some chai tea or a glass of wine. Get out of the kitchen and let me have a good time! But [my kids] will have to do the dishes, because they know I’ve been working hard all day!
Dan: What is the best part about spending the holiday with your family?
BA: Coming from India, every second month we had a festival. Families take part, sharing amazing food. Having family gatherings is so close to my heart.
Dan: Do you have a tried and true family dish that is always on the table every year?
BA: I do make one traditional Indian dish. There’s always butter chicken. There has to be, it’s our tradition!
Last week the Monday Night Supper Club hosted a potluck Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays: there’s no stress of gift giving, no time-consuming costume preparation, and no religious or somber overtones. It’s the time to celebrate a good harvest (admittedly I’ve never seen Co-op have a bad harvest), good food, and to be thankful for our friends and family.
Dan hosted nearly 20 people in his home, miraculously managing to give everyone space to prepare food and eat. The dishes included traditional Thanksgiving fare like potatoes, green beans, and cranberry sauce. Guests also experimented with unconventional dishes including Ashley K’s pumpkin risotto, Lori A’s Mexican soup, and Jacqueline T’s devilled eggs. The main course was a giant turducken prepared by Dan, providing enough meat to feed the entire group with leftovers. A vegetarian alternative of Tofurkey was served with vegan gravy. While not as popular as the Turducken, the tofurkey was surprisingly flavourful and was deemed “not bad” by meat enthusiasts.
The #yycMNSC crew eating and tweeting.
The meal concluded with a number of pies, including pear-berry and pumpkin pie from Jacinthe K. Finding room for dessert after gorging on eight servings of carbs took determination, but the pies were well worth it.
My personal thankful list: great friends, stretchy pants, and a reason to look forward to Mondays.
Pie (left), Caitlin Power (centre), and everyone’s favourite thanksgiving dish (right).
Dan C @dansgoodside : Turducken and homemade cranberry sauce
Chelsea K @chelscore: Tofurkey with vegan gravy
Sarah W @frecklesandash: Gluten-free stuffing made with wild rice
Brie B @brie_elise: Onion casserole
Lori A @designertweets: Spicy Mexican chicken soup
Rob M @rjmcleod : Stuffing/dressing
Jacqueline T: @jacquelintetyler: Devilled eggs
Ashley K @petitegourmet: Creamy pumpkin risotto with marscapone cheese
Drew B @dbeatsbeets: Bread
Jacinthe K @jacinthekoddo: A pear berry pie and a pumpkin pie
Jamie P @jamiepenno: Wine
Tym A @tymarmstrong : Roasted rosemary potatoes and yams
Vincci T @VincciT: Sweet potatoes with spiced maple pecans
Caitlin P @caitlin_power : Cheese and crackers
Dan c’s homemade cranberry sauce (left) and Brie B (right).
1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
1 TBSP curry powder
2 TSP brown sugar
3 cups fresh brussel sprouts
1 yellow onion
1 head fennel
4 bacon strips
salt & pepper
Little known fact: People that don’t eat brussel sprouts are crazy (fact source: unknown). Fennel plays second fiddle in this dish as I’ve always held brussel sprouts near and dear to my heart. They’re kind of like the little cabbages that could, and, let’s be honest, [the addition of] bacon makes any side dish situation a little bit butter better…
Start off by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Now, melt the butter in a small pot on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add-in the curry powder, brown sugar, whisk and let it cook for 1o minutes. In the meantime, halve the brussel sprouts, slice the onions, fennel, and bacon. Place in a large bowl, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper, toss a few times, then place into a prepared, medium-sized, baking dish.
Pour the brown butter mixture over the dish, cover with tin foil (shiny side in!), and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes are up, remove the tin foil and return to the oven on high-broil for 5 minutes to crisp things up.
This is one hell of a side dish. Guaranteed!
Total cook time…30 min
3 TBSP butter (or vegan margarine)
3 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 cup cooked beets (roasted or boiled)
1 TSP cinnamon
1/4 TSP nutmeg
It’s just about that time to start preparing for your holiday feasts! Unless a Grinch comes by and steals away your Christmas dinner offerings, you’ll probably need some tasty cranberry sauce to go on top of all those delicious dishes you’ve been creating for friends and loved ones! This homemade sauce is nice and simple, and the addition of the beets helps to balance out the tartness of the berries.
Start by melting the butter in a small pot. Add-in the cranberries and sugar, give the pot a good stir and let the cranberries cook down for 10 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. While you’re waiting, chop the cooked beets into small chunks. Next add the beets and all remaining ingredients to the pot. Stir, turn down to medium heat, and let the mixture bubble away, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Take the mixture and place into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place in the refrigerator, covered, to chill until you are ready to serve. This can be made several days ahead of time.
Yields 2 1/2 cups
Total cook time…25 min
Thank you CHEP – Good Food Box for featuring this recipe in your monthly newsletter.
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