When not hosting Thanksgiving, bring stuffings. This is my fave.
Make 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Cornbread stuffing as directed. Separately, in a large skillet, in a little olive oil, brown one sweet onion, coarsely chopped. Add 2 cups peeled, cored, chopped tart green apples, 2 cups thickly sliced celery stalks. Brown. Add ground black pepper, garlic powder to taste. Blend mixture loosely into the cornbread stuffing. Put in a baking dish in 375 degree oven covered until heated through.
When ready to eat at your host’s home, pop into a hot oven uncovered to reheat and crisp on the top before serving.
Perfect side with Osso Buco, Braised Oxtails or even the traditional Thanksgiving Day turkey. Smooth. Nutty. Delicious.
Chop a large peeled turnip into small chunks and cover with water in a saucepan. Cover and boil until chunks are tender. Drain. Let cool to room temperature. In a bowl, hand mash with a 1/4 stick butter and 1/4 cup milk. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Stir in 1/2 cup plain yogurt, and add a pinch of cayenne. With a hand mixer, blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until brown on top.
Turkey is boring. So make this rich late autumn feast instead.
6 + lbs. short ribs cut 1/2″ thick and of like sizes. This recipe takes a whole bottle of red wine, so a French Beaujolais works well. It’s not too expensive, but good enough to be the main ingredient. The meat has to marinade overnight in most of the extended mirepoix. Best to divide the short ribs into two glass baking dishes to fit all of the vegetables.
For the marinade: 2 cups sliced celery; 2 cups sliced carrots; 1 cup sliced parsnips on a slant; 2 cups sliced leek; 2 cups parsley sprigs; 1 tsp. juniper berries or 1/4 cup gin. 1 bottle red wine; 1/2 cup red wine vinegar. 2+ tsp. red, green, black whole peppercorn mix. Any leftover celery, carrot, parsnip chunks.
Place short ribs evenly into 2 glass baking dishes. Divide all veggies evenly over the meat in each dish, as well as even amounts red wine vinegar, red wine, peppercorns, parsley sprigs on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the short ribs from the marinade and dry with paper towels. Strain the vegetables from the liquid in a bowl. Reserve both. Dust short ribs with a little flour on all sides. In a large stock pot, brown meat on all sides, in a little olive oil in stages. Remove meat from pot with tongs to a large bowl after each browning stage. Add the strained vegetables to the pot and brown. Add 1/3 cup tomato paste to middle of the pot and brown.
Return the meat, wine liquid from marinade to the stock pot. Turn to medium high heat. Stir all veggies, meat, wine marinade lightly to blend. Cover and place pot on middle rack in oven at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
Peel 3 cups cipollini onions, add to the pot and stir in. Cover again and bake for another 1 hour until meat is tender. Add chicken broth if needed to keep meat moist. Uncover for 20 minutes to brown. Remove pot from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Discard bones. Serve meat with veggies, onions, ladled sauce accompanied with horseradish mashed potatoes. Beats turkey!
Braised Veal Shanks
Pilfered parts of Alfred Portale, Michael Romano, Lidia Bastianich recipes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 5-6 veal shanks, 2″ thick, towel dried. A shallow dish of flour to dredge. Coarsely chop-2 carrots, 3 celery stalks, 2 leeks, 1 small onion. Peel and section a large orange. Also on hand, 3 tbs. tomato paste. 1 cup dry white wine. 3 cups chicken stock, olive oil.
In a large stock pot, brown flour-dredged veal shanks in olive oil on all sides. Set aside in bowl. Brown carrots, small onion, celery. Add the tomato paste and after browning it up in the middle of the pot, stir into the veggies. Add the white wine and boil to 1/3 reduction. Add back the veal shanks. Add the orange sections and leeks. Stir. Season with 1/4 tsp. cloves, 4 cloves mashed garlic, 1 tsp. thyme, ground black pepper, salt to taste. Add the chicken stock and bring to boil. Cover. Bake in oven for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover. Bake for another 1/2 – 1 hour until thickens. Serve with horseradish mashed potatoes.
Pierre Franey’s time-tested cooking method. 6 minutes under the broiler, no turning. Perfect every time. 16-18 shrimp. Serves 2.
Clean and de-vein largest fresh shrimp you can get. Place on paper towels to dry. Mix together in a medium-sized bowl, 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, 1/4 tsp. each of cayenne, cardamom, coriander, ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon; 1/2 tsp. paprika. Garlic powder to taste. Add cleaned dried shrimp. Stir to coat shrimp. Place coated shrimp on a cookie sheet so not touching, using all of the coating mixture.
Turn oven broiler to high and when hot, place cookie sheet on highest rack. Broil for 6 minutes. That’s it. No turning. Sprinkle with lemon or lime juice. Serve with Kazmati rice and chutneys.
Little Necks Nectar
Serves 4. Figure 1 dozen little necks per person.
In a bowl or glass container, add the following: A generous half cup of olive oil, 1 tsp. ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, 6 cloves of garlic (3 chopped, 3 mashed), 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 3 tbs. UNsalted butter.
In a deep stock pot, heat 3 tbs. vegetable oil. Add 4 dozen cleaned little neck clams. Cover on high heat until clams start to open and release their juices, 4-5 minutes. Add above sauce ingredients, stir and cover for another 3-5 minutes until all clams have opened and sauce is heated.
Concurrently prepare enough linguine to serve 4. Ladel clams and sauce over the pasta. Have a crusty bread on hand to sop up extra sauce.
We use a lot of garlic, you can use less. Never use salted butter. Clams have enough. The star is the sauce, finished by the nectar of the little necks.
Clean and devein 6-8 large shrimp per person. Dry shrimp and place in a bowl. Coat shrimp with olive oil. Season with finely chopped fresh garlic, add garlic powder, pepperoncini flakes, oregano, black pepper to taste. Stir so shrimp are coated with mixture and refrigerate until ready to cook. Let come to room temperature before broiling. Place coated shrimp on a shallow baking pan, not touching. Top with any leftover olive oil mixture. Pre-heat broiler to high. Place shrimp on top rack and broil for 6 minutes. No need to turn.
For the pasta. Mince together a couple anchovy filets, a couple leaves fresh basil and 1 tbsp. capers. Place in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup red wine and a few pats unsalted butter. Use fresh pasta, fettuccine is great. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 4 minutes or until tender. Drain. Place back in saucepan and stir in caper, anchovy, basil, wine, butter sauce. Garnish with lemon zest.