Recipes to Reimagine Your Holiday Feast: It’s time to revamp your end-of-year celebration menus – Food

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‘Tis the season for good company and great eats. Before preparing to ring in the Year of the Water Rabbit (2023), maybe shake things up at the end-of-year dinner table?

No matter what or how you celebrate, keeping the peace among gathered loved ones is essential. Appetizers (and snacks) help. To keep the hangries at bay, why not hang ’round the grill and whip up some curry chile peanuts or smoked trout from Paula Disbrowe’s local cookbook Thank You for Smoking? Speaking of fish, if you’re a hard pass on cooking for guests, L’Oca d’Oro’s monthly Paisanos dinner is a Feast of the Seven Fishes on December 23 & 24.

Chanukah feasts honor traditional dishes and also make space for personalized family favorites. The beloved latkes make a perfect accompaniment for literally everything – go wild with the sauce/dip; kugel, an egg noodle pudding or casserole (depending on the cook), is a crowd-pleaser as well. Several Austin spots offer fresh challah if you’re not into baking. Need some green? A well-curated, well-dressed salad for the crowd cuts the richness.

Author Yotam Ottolenghi offers an incredibly flavorful vegetarian butternut crunch pie with pickled chiles for a new spin on entrées in the new Ottolenghi cookbook. If sticking close to traditional, go with beef brisket for a cross-cultural classic main course, or even roasted chicken. The old so-and-so, turkey, can be kosher, but knowing the sourcing details is crucial. If opting in, why not go South Texas-style?

Christmas looks different across the globe, but we wonder: Is cranberry-orange the greatest (American) Christmas flavor combo? Yep! Listen, Meanwhile Brewing has a cranberry sour with orange zest (and other notes) on taps and in cans, so get thee there. Cristian Broglia got his culinary start in Italy, where Christmas is a monthlong event; he features brilliant gluten-free flavor bombs in his 2022 release, The Gluten-Free Cookbook. Shrimp and grits add pizzazz at any time of day, or you could go with slow-cooked Brazilian black bean stew, too. Green is a classic Christmas color, so why not go local with verde enchiladas and/or a vat of Hoover’s jalapeño creamed spinach? As for the red flair, shoot, have a noodle party, and make someone’s grandma’s Sunday red “gravy” or spicy Manchurian sauce or liangpi with extra chili oil.

Cornbread is a classic dish for Kwanzaa, the seven-day festival that celebrates African and African American culture and history. Among the holiday’s symbols are muhindi, ears of corn, representing children and the future of the community. Toni Tipton-Martin, who has already earned two James Beard Awards (and counting), shared two comforting corn dishes from her 2020 cookbook Jubilee that could honor Kwanzaa or Christmas, or even Festivus (for the rest of us).

Dessert? We got you with options for all: honeycomb toffee, Devil’s Food cake with hazelnut praline, smoked pecan chocolate squares? No need to buy fruitcake ever again.

Lastly, during this year-end time of reflections, gratitude, and shared spaces, please continue to respect and honor the land upon which we stand. See “Indigenous Ingredients” (Food, Nov. 18) for other dishes and resources. Please enjoy the baker’s dozen recipes below for ideas to spruce up your end-of-year feasts, and to you and yours, we wish you peace and full bellies to round out the year.

Apps: Keep the Hangries Away ‘Til the Timer Dings


Curry-Chile Peanuts

I love to serve these addictive, sweet-and-spicy peanuts with cocktails, and they always disappear quickly. As you’ll see, the smoking process is done à la minute (rather than starting with already smoked nuts) so all of the aromatics are flavored by the wafting smoke. It’s a fun and fragrant snack to prepare when guests are over because the aroma perks everyone’s appetite (the only challenge is waiting for the nuts to cool before digging in). If you don’t want to scrub a cast-iron grill afterward, you can begin with smoked peanuts and prepare them the same way on your stove. I leave the chiles whole, because the heat is less intense (and they look pretty in the bowl). To kick up the heat, coarsely chop the chiles after you toast them so you can eat them along with the nuts. – Paula Disbrowe

Makes about 4 cups

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 dried árbol chiles, stemmed and seeded

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon spicy curry salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound roasted salted peanuts

PREPARATION

Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium fire, or heat a gas grill to medium-high.

When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, add your smoke source (chips, chunks, or log). Carefully wipe the preheated grill grates with a lightly oiled paper towel. Using a grill brush, scrape the grill grates clean, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled towel again.

Place the oil and chiles in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over direct heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the chiles begin to sizzle and smell toasty and aromatic. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the honey, spicy curry salt, pepper, and peanuts and stir until the nuts are evenly coated.

Return the skillet to the grill over indirect heat, close the grill, vent the grill for smoking, and smoke the mixture for 10 to 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the nuts are toasted and richly fragrant. Remove the skillet from the grill, transfer the nuts to a bowl, and continue to stir the nuts every few minutes so they don’t clump as they cool. Allow them to cool completely, and then serve immediately or store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Paula Disbrowe’s Thank You for Smoking: Fun and Fearless Recipes Cooked With a Whiff of Wood Fire on Your Grill or Smoker, Ten Speed Press, 2019. Photography © 2019 Johnny Autry.)


Smoked Trout

Having smoked fish on hand is a luxury that inspires easy meals and impromptu snacks at any time of day. The moist, flaky fish is delicious with scrambled eggs, for instance, or on toasted rye bread in the morning, in green or potato salads for lunch, or as an appetizer (with crackers and lemon). What follows is my basic method for smoking trout, which gives you a feast of smoked fish for brunch, pâté, or a serious spread inspired by Minnesota flavors. While you can use any variety of trout with this recipe, I usually opt for copper-colored varieties with a higher oil content, like steelhead or arctic char, which helps keep them moist. Don’t forget to account for carryover heat during cooking, meaning the fish will continue to cook as it cools. To avoid overcooking, pull the trout off when the fat begins to bead on the surface and the fish just begins to flake when tested with a fork. – Paula Disbrowe

Servings: 4 to 8

INGREDIENTS

1 skin-on side of steelhead or arctic char (about 1¼ pounds), or 2 skin-on trout filets (about 8 ounces each), pin bones removed

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 or 4 sprigs rosemary, thyme, or dill (enough to cover the fish)

Flaky salt, for garnish

Lemon wedges, for serving

PREPARATION

Measure out two sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil that are 12 inches longer than the trout and place them on a rimless baking sheet. Place the trout skin-side down on the foil, drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly coat, generously season with salt and pepper (use your fingers to spread the seasonings and oil evenly over the flesh), and top with herb sprigs. Set the trout aside to marinate at room temperature while you prepare the grill.

Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire, or heat a gas grill to high.

When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, use tongs to remove the cooking grate and place a drip pan with 1 inch of warm water on the side with no coals, and add your smoke source (chips, chunks, or log). Return the cooking grate to its position, allow it to preheat, and then carefully wipe the preheated grill grates with a lightly oiled paper towel. Using a grill brush, scrape the grill grates clean, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled towel again.

When the fire begins to produce a steady stream of smoke, carefully slide the foil and fish off of the baking sheet and onto the grill over indirect heat. Close the grill, vent the grill for smoking, and smoke for 20 to 30 minutes; be sure to rotate the fish as needed to ensure even cooking. When the trout is cooked (it will feel just firm to the touch and flake easily with a fork), carefully slide the foil and trout back onto the baking sheet and let it rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with a light sprinkling of flaky salt and serve with lemon wedges.

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Paula Disbrowe’s Thank You for Smoking: Fun and Fearless Recipes Cooked With a Whiff of Wood Fire on Your Grill or Smoker, Ten Speed Press, 2019. Photography © 2019 Johnny Autry.)


Corn nuggets with hot sauce from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things (Photo by Elena Heatherwick © 2022)

Corn Nuggets With Hot Sauce

These nuggets are crispy on the outside and melty on the inside, making them really quite snackable. The vinegary hot sauce is just what’s needed to cut through the rich cheesiness of the nuggets, but it’s also great to have in the fridge to drizzle over anything that needs a spicy kick. You’ll make more than you need (see storage information below). – Yotam Ottolenghi

Makes 15 nuggets

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Freezing time: 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup coarse polenta (aka coarse yellow cornmeal)

2 teaspoons salt

Black pepper

1¾ ounces cream cheese

3 ounces Lancashire cheese, finely grated (⅔ cup)

1½ ounces pecorino Romano, finely grated ( cup)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 large egg

¾ cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1¾ cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted

1 quart sunflower oil, for deep frying, plus extra for oiling

HOT SAUCE

3½ ounces Fresno chiles, roughly chopped into ¾-inch lengths (seeded if you like less heat)

2 garlic cloves, peeled

6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons water

PREPARATION

Add the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons of the polenta, 2 teaspoons salt, and a good grind of pepper to a large bowl and whisk to combine. To a separate medium bowl add the cream cheese, Lancashire cheese, pecorino, garlic, and egg, then mix to combine. Stir in the cilantro and a generous grind of pepper.

Squeeze as much moisture from the corn as possible. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop the kernels, then add the corn and the cheese mixture to the flour bowl and mix to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes to settle.

Using lightly oiled hands, roll the mixture into 1-ounce balls to make 15 in total (they’ll be slightly sticky; don’t worry if they’re not perfect). Place the remaining 6 tablespoons of polenta into a separate bowl and roll each ball in it, using your hands to evenly shape each ball and make sure it’s nicely coated. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet or plate and freeze for 1-1½ hours, until semifirm but not completely frozen through the middle.

Meanwhile, make the hot sauce. Put the chiles, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and ½ teaspoon of salt into a small saucepan and place it on medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool completely. Transfer to a food processor (or blender) along with the olive oil and water and blitz until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Strain through a sieve set over a bowl, discarding the solids.

When ready to fry, heat the sunflower oil in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Test if the oil is hot enough by sprinkling in some polenta – it should sizzle immediately. Fry the nuggets in batches of five, for about 5 minutes per batch, until browned and heated through the center. Turn down the heat if the nuggets color too quickly. When ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Serve the nuggets warm, with the hot sauce in a bowl alongside.

Store hot sauce refrigerated in a sterilized jar or glass bottle for up to 2 months.

Hot sauce on everything, really: eggs, toast, rice, potatoes, and more!

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things, Clarkson Potter, 2022. Photographs © 2022 Elena Heatherwick.)


Mains: Expand Your Menu Horizons


Photo by Johnny Autry © 2019

South Texas-Style Turkey

The swoon-worthy results and surprising ease of cooking a whole turkey over a wood-infused fire just might make you rethink your traditional [holiday] menu. Two things bring this method together: Butterflying the turkey creates a broad, flat surface that cooks more quickly and evenly. And to address the perennial quandary of how to cook the turkey through without drying out the breast meat, the coals are arranged in a crescent shape that allows both parts of the bird to reach the ideal temperatures at the same time.

You can ask your butcher to spatchcock the turkey for you, or you can wrangle it yourself with poultry shears (be sure to reserve the backbone, neck, and giblets for making turkey stock or gravy). It’s important to maintain the grill at a medium heat of 325 F to 350 F so the skin doesn’t get too dark while the meat cooks through. To account for carryover cooking (which is more significant with a large bird), I pull the turkey off the grill at the lower end of the doneness range. Slathered with warm spices, this turkey is delicious on its own, with gravy, in tacos, and sliced for sandwiches. – Paula Disbrowe

Servings: 10 to 12

INGREDIENTS

One 12- to 15-pound turkey

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons pure ground chile powder (such as New Mexico or ancho)

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

PREPARATION

At least 1 hour before cooking, spatchcock the turkey. Rinse the carcass under cold water, pat it dry with paper towels, and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle both sides of the bird with oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cumin, coriander, oregano, paprika, chile powder, and vinegar until it forms a thick paste. Use your hands to slather the mixture over both sides of the turkey and set it aside to marinate while you prepare the fire.

Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire, or heat a gas grill to high.

When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, use your tongs to arrange them into a crescent moon shape and add your smoke source (chips, chunks, or log). Carefully wipe the preheated grill grates with a lightly oiled paper towel. Using a grill brush, scrape the grill grates clean, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled towel again.

When the fire begins to produce a steady stream of smoke, place the turkey on the grill, skin-side down, with the turkey legs and thighs situated over the direct heat of the coals and the breast toward indirect heat. Close the grill, vent the grill for smoking, and smoke for 2 to 2½ hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads between 175 F and 180 F and the breast reads between 160 F and 165 F. Add additional hot coals or wood chunks as needed to maintain a steady temperature between 325 F and 350 F.

Transfer the turkey to a cutting board to rest for at least 20 minutes, then slice it into portions and serve immediately.

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Paula Disbrowe’s Thank You for Smoking: Fun and Fearless Recipes Cooked With a Whiff of Wood Fire on Your Grill or Smoker, Ten Speed Press, 2019. Photography © 2019 Johnny Autry.)


Shrimp and Grits

This is a traditional breakfast dish from coastal South Carolina and Georgia that is now served any time of day. Grits are coarsely ground yellow or white corn, most commonly from hominy, which is large white field corn that has been treated with an alkaline solution to remove its skin. Sweet shrimp (prawns) are the perfect partners for the creamy comfort of grits. – Cristian Broglia

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups milk

7 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ tablespoon sea salt

½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Scant 1½ cups hominy grits

11 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

12 slices smoked bacon, chopped

1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 scallions, minced, for garnish

PREPARATION

In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over medium heat. Add the milk, butter, salt, and pepper. Stir in the grits, cover, and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cheddar and stir until it is melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

In a large frying pan, crisp the bacon over medium heat. Reserving the fat in the pan, drain the bacon on paper towels. Set the frying pan over high heat. Add the shrimp and garlic and cook in the bacon fat until the shrimp are golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Spoon the grits into shallow bowls and set the bacon and shrimp on top. Garnish with the minced scallions and serve.

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Cristian Broglia’s The Gluten-Free Cookbook, Phaidon Press, 2022.)


Black bean stew (Courtesy of Phaidon Press)

Black Bean Stew

Feijoada is perhaps the most famous dish of Brazil and takes its name from “feijão,” a Portuguese word meaning “bean.” There are many variations of this dish, both in the type of bean used (black beans are typical of the carioca version from Rio de Janeiro) and in the meat, which can be pork or beef and of different cuts (including offal or pig’s ear). Serve the stew with white rice for a complete meal. Please ensure the sausages you use contain no gluten. – Cristian Broglia

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 1 hour, plus overnight soaking time

Cook time: 2 hours 40 minutes (or 2 hours if using a pressure cooker)

INGREDIENTS

6 ounces smoked pork ribs, cut crosswise into 2-inch lengths

6 cups water (or 4¼ cups water if using a pressure cooker)

1 pound dried black beans, soaked in salted warm water overnight, undrained

1 bay leaf

9 ounces bacon, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 sprigs thyme

6 ounces smoked sausages, sliced

1 chile pepper, sliced

PREPARATION

In a large pot, combine the pork ribs and 6 cups water, bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1½ hours, or until the meat is tender. (Alternatively, place the pork ribs in a pressure cooker with 4¼ cups water. Seal and pressure-cook on low for 1 hour. Natural-release the pressure.) Reserving the cooking water, drain the pork and set aside.

In a large pot, combine the black beans, their soaking water, and the pork rib cooking water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the bay leaf and cook until the beans are softened, about 40 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Reserving the liquid, drain the beans.

In a large Dutch oven (casserole), combine the bacon, one-third of the garlic, and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat until the bacon is browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon to paper towels. Add the olive oil, remaining garlic, onion, and thyme and cook until the onion is browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the drained beans, sliced sausages, pork ribs, chile pepper, and salt and black pepper to taste. Add 1 cup of the reserved bean-cooking liquid and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add more of the bean liquid if the mixture is too dry; the consistency has to be thick but loose. Serve hot.

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Cristian Broglia’s The Gluten-Free Cookbook, Phaidon Press, 2022.)


Butternut crunch pie with pickled chiles from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things (Photo by Elena Heatherwick © 2022)

Butternut Crunch Pie With Pickled Chiles

This is a very festive pie. Adding sugar to the filo might seem counterintuitive here, but it really helps caramelize the pastry and is balanced out nicely with the salty feta and pickled chiles. Get ahead by preparing the filling the day before, leaving you with a quick assembly and bake on the day you want to serve the pie. You can serve it warm or at room temperature, with a simple salad such as the endive salad with tahini-parmesan dressing. – Yotam Ottolenghi

Servings: 6

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 2 hours 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

10 sheets of good-quality phyllo pastry

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2½ tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

FILLING

¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for greasing

2 onions, peeled, halved, and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices

⅞ teaspoons salt, divided

¼ cup sage leaves, finely chopped

½ cup parsley, roughly chopped

5¼ ounces Greek feta, roughly crumbled

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Black pepper

½ butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, then cut into ½-inch-thick half moons

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

PICKLED CHILES

2 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds and all

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Salt

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Grease and line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform cake pan.

First, make the filling. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the onions and ¼ teaspoon of salt, then turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely caramelized, 45-50 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the herbs, feta, lemon zest, teaspoon of salt, and a good grind of pepper.

Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the butternut squash, cinnamon, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, and a good grind of pepper and toss everything together. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping over the butternut pieces halfway through, or until cooked through and lightly colored. Turn the oven temperature down to 375 F.

Put the phyllo sheets under a slightly damp, clean kitchen towel. Brush one sheet with some of the melted butter and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the granulated sugar. Transfer to the prepared cake pan, pressing the sheet into the bottom and letting any excess hang over the sides. Repeat this process with four more sheets of phyllo (so five in total), rotating them slightly when you press them into the pan, so the excess hangs over at a different angle.

Put the squash pieces in the bottom of the pie, overlapping them slightly. Top with the onion mixture, pushing down to compress.

Take another sheet of phyllo, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of granulated sugar. Roughly scrunch it up like a tissue, then arrange on top of the exposed filling. Repeat with the remaining four sheets of phyllo, to cover the filling completely. Fold in the overhang, scrunching it up in the same way, and brush with any remaining butter. Place the pan on a flat baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pickled chiles. Put the chiles, vinegar, and a tiny pinch of salt into a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside to pickle lightly.

Remove the pie from the oven and use a kitchen towel to help release the pan, removing the outer ring and parchment paper (leaving the pie on the bottom). Bake for another 25 minutes, or until browned and caramelized all over. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes, before transferring to a plate or board. Dust with the confectioners’ sugar just before serving and serve the pickled chiles alongside.

Keep a sterilized jar of pickled chiles in the fridge for up to 1 week; they’ll become milder with time.

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things, Clarkson Potter, 2022. Photographs © 2022 Elena Heatherwick.)


Sides: Something for Everybody and Then Some


Corn Pudding

Corn pudding is a way for families to enjoy corn in a lush custard. Served as a savory side dish for roast beef, or slightly sweeter with pork or ham, it is customary at Thanksgiving. In Rebecca West’s recipe collection, it’s referred to as corn soufflé, which gives you a sense of how refined and light it can be.

Carla Hall is a celebrity chef – she was a finalist on Top Chef and hosted The Chew on daytime television for many years – who has dedicated her career to spinning the beloved flavors of home into stunning new dishes with global appeal. Of all the techniques I discovered in recipe books to ensure this pudding is light and fluffy – from folding stiffly beaten egg whites into the mix to baking the corn pudding in a water bath to underbaking the mixture so that it has a jiggly center when removed from the oven – I like the ideas in Carla’s Comfort Foods best. Hers gets a flavor boost from a little cornmeal, a quick browning in a hot oven, and a midbake stir. (Carolyn Quick Tillery’s A Taste of Freedom: A Cookbook With Recipes and Remembrances from the Hampton Institute bound the pudding with cornmeal alone.)

To serve the dish during winter, do what farm cooks who canned their own stewed corn did: Replace flavorless, out-of-season fresh corn with canned cream-style corn for a super soft custard. – Toni Tipton-Martin

Servings: 6

INGREDIENTS

Softened butter, for the baking dish

3 large eggs, separated

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup stone-ground cornmeal

3 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted

1 tablespoon minced onion

3 cups fresh corn kernels

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Generously butter a 3-quart shallow baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are light and form a ribbon. Gradually whisk in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, then add the salt. Whisk in the flour, cornmeal, milk, cream, and melted butter. Stir in the onion until well blended.

In a very clean bowl, with a whisk or hand mixer (or in a stand mixer), whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the beaten whites into the yolk mixture. Pour this into the buttered dish. Scatter the corn evenly over the top.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top of the pudding is lightly browned. Remove from the oven, stir with a fork to mix in the browned crust, then return to the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and continue baking until the pudding is just set, about 20 minutes more.

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking, Clarkson Potter, 2019. Photographs © 2019 Jerrelle Guy.)


Cornbread Dressing

The authors of Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking offered high praise for the cornbread dressing created by Sally Washington and gubernatorial butler William Deas. This recipe reminds me of the cornbread dressing I grew up on and still serve at Thanksgiving. I’ve offered a few more details than the dish recorded on behalf of Deas, whom the authors call “one of the great cooks of the world.”

During the busy holiday season, you can prepare it ahead, which allows the flavors to mingle. I bake the cornbread several days before putting the dressing together, crumble it, and store it tightly covered. Stale or dried leftover cornbread is sometimes suggested, but I’m not a fan. Once assembled, I cover the casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Simply bring the dressing to room temperature and remove the plastic to bake it. I pour stock into the dish just before it goes into the oven for moist, rich flavor. For smaller gatherings, cut this recipe in half; it makes enough dressing for second helpings. – Toni Tipton-Martin

Servings: 12 to 16

INGREDIENTS

Softened butter, for the baking pan

Two recipes of pre-prepared cornbread, crumbled

1½ cups dried bread crumbs, toasted

2½ teaspoons dried sage

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 stick (4 ounces) butter

1 cup finely diced onion

cup finely diced green bell pepper

cup finely diced celery

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 large eggs, beaten

2 cups turkey or chicken stock

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Generously butter a deep 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the cornbread crumbles, bread crumbs, sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, marjoram, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.

In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and sauté until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer. Cool slightly. Gently stir the vegetables into the cornbread mixture, then stir in the eggs. (At this point, the dish may be refrigerated for later baking; just let it come to room temperature before baking.)

Drizzle the turkey stock over the cornbread mixture, tossing with a fork until the mixture is just moistened. Spoon the dressing into the baking pan and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, rotate the pan, and bake until hot, set, and crusty, about 30 minutes longer.

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking, Clarkson Potter, 2019. Photographs © 2019 Jerrelle Guy.)


Desserts: Even a Sweet Tooth Has Roots


Smoked Pecan-Chocolate Squares

These rich, chewy bars combine the best qualities: buttery shortbread and gooey pecan pie. And while they look entirely familiar, there are a few secret weapons that elevate these squares: a thin layer of bittersweet chocolate, a pinch of cayenne in the cookie base, and a healthy amount of salt in the topping. Using smoked pecans in the caramellike topping adds an entirely new level of sophistication – and creates the kind of after-dinner treat you’ll want to have with a few sips of your favorite single-barrel beverage. – Paula Disbrowe

Makes 16 squares

INGREDIENTS

COOKIE BASE

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

½ cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

Pinch of cayenne

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated

PECAN TOPPING

3 cups smoked pecans

½ cup unsalted butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

cup honey

2 tablespoons heavy cream

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

PREPARATION

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F.

To make the cookie base, combine the flour, butter, light brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 20 times, until the mixture is well-combined. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan. Wipe out the processor bowl, but don’t bother washing it.

Bake the cookie base until firm and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the grated chocolate evenly over the cookie base. Set the pan aside and leave the oven on.

To make the pecan topping, place the smoked pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the dark brown sugar, honey, cream, and salt and simmer for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the smoked pecans.

Pour the pecan topping over the cookie base, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Return the pan to the oven and bake until much of the topping is bubbling (not just the edges), 16 to 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.

To serve, run a sharp knife around the rim of the bars to loosen them from the pan. Invert the pan onto a cutting board and bang the bottom a few times to release the bars. Use a chef’s knife or metal bench scraper to cut the bars into 16 squares. Store the bars tightly covered at room temperature for up to 5 days.

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Paula Disbrowe’s Thank You for Smoking: Fun and Fearless Recipes Cooked With a Whiff of Wood Fire on Your Grill or Smoker, Ten Speed Press, 2019. Photography © 2019 Johnny Autry.)


Honeycomb Toffee

This crunchy, sweet confection is perfect sprinkled over (or into) ice cream or yogurt. It is a fun recipe to make with children, who will be amazed by the drama of the foaming caramel. In New Zealand its original name was “hokey pokey.” – Cristian Broglia

Makes 12 ounces

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour cooling time

Cook time: 4 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Sunflower oil, for greasing

⅔ cup golden syrup

1 cup superfine (caster) sugar

3 tablespoons baking soda

PREPARATION

Line a 6-inch square pan with foil and grease the foil with oil.

In a saucepan, thoroughly stir the syrup and sugar together. Set over medium heat, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 300 F on a candy thermometer, about 3-4 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the baking soda, whisk, and quickly pour the mixture onto the greased foil in an even layer. Let it cool, then smash it into many pieces.

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Cristian Broglia’s The Gluten-Free Cookbook, Phaidon Press, 2022.)


Devil’s food cake with hazelnut praline from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things (Photo by Elena Heatherwick © 2022)

Devil’s Food Cake With Hazelnut Praline

You’ll make more smooth praline than you need; keep any extra in a jar in the fridge to spread on toast, or to mix with cocoa powder for a Nutella-esque experience – we promise you won’t regret it. – Yotam Ottolenghi

Servings: 8

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Cooling time: 30+ minutes

INGREDIENTS

CAKE BATTER

¾ cup cocoa powder

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar, packed

½ cup dark brown sugar

5¼ ounces sunflower oil (by weight, not by volume), plus extra for greasing

2 large eggs

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons plain kefir (or buttermilk)

¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons very hot coffee, plus 1 tablespoon extra at room temperature for brushing

HAZELNUT PRALINE

1 cups blanched hazelnuts

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

MASCARPONE CREAM

1¼ cups heavy cream

½ cup mascarpone

2 tablespoons malted milk powder

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Salt

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans (that have removable bottoms) with parchment paper and grease the sides.

Put the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the sugars into a large bowl and use a whisk to combine and get rid of any lumps. Put the oil, eggs, and kefir into a separate bowl and whisk just to combine. Add this to the dry mixture and use a spatula to gently fold together. Lastly, add the hot coffee and mix gently to combine. It’ll look very runny at first, but will soon come together into a glossy, pourable batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans (about 1 pound per pan). Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool for about 30 minutes, then slide a butter knife around the sides to help release each cake. Brush the tops lightly with the extra coffee (discarding any leftover).

Invert one cake onto a board, remove the lining paper, then invert it again onto a cake stand or the platter you intend to serve it on (domed side up now). Invert the other cake onto a board (don’t remove the paper). Invert it again, onto a plate, so that it’s paper side down (this’ll help prevent it from sticking). Set both cakes aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the praline. With the oven still at 400 F, spread the hazelnuts out on a medium, parchment-paper-lined sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, shaking the sheet halfway through, or until deeply golden. Set aside, keeping the sheet and parchment paper – you’ll use this again later.

Place a large saucepan on medium-high heat and, once quite hot, sprinkle in a third of the granulated sugar to cover the bottom – it should immediately start to melt at the sides but not brown too quickly. Swirl the sugar in the pan a little, then add another third of the sugar, allowing it to melt a little before adding the remaining third. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the sugar is an amber caramel, stirring with a spatula just a couple of times (but not much more). Add the hazelnuts and ¼ teaspoon of salt, stirring to coat, then quickly transfer the mixture to the parchment-paper-lined sheet and let cool completely.

Once cool, roughly break apart the praline and put it into a food processor. Pulse a few times until you have very coarse crumbs, then measure out 2½ ounces of the mixture and transfer it to a bowl. Blitz the remaining mixture in the food processor for 4-5 minutes, or until it has the consistency of a smooth nut butter. Transfer to a separate bowl.

Make the mascarpone cream. Put all the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high speed for 1½-2 minutes, or until you have medium peaks. Refrigerate if not assembling right away (you want it nice and cold).

When ready to assemble, top the cake that is on your cake stand (or platter) with half the cream mixture. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the smooth praline on top and gently swirl it through the cream with your spatula. Top with another 2 tablespoons of the praline, this time without swirling. Sprinkle with half the praline crumble. Carefully invert the other cake on top now, removing the paper. Top with the remaining cream and repeat the same process with the smooth praline and praline crumble. Serve right away, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Seal the top of the leftover praline with sunflower oil and store in your pantry for up to 2 weeks, or refrigerated for up to 1 month. Spoon onto toast, pancakes, and oatmeal or eat from the jar with a spoon!

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things, Clarkson Potter, 2022. Photographs © 2022 Elena Heatherwick.)


Drinks: Zhuzh up Your Drinks Selection


Ginger Punch

This is a combination of several ginger beer recipes from the books in The Jemima Code. Simply made, it relies upon journalist Eric Copage’s steeping method, which yields a sweet-tangy ginger infusion rather than an effervescent beer. With this technique, your beverage will be ready in less than an hour. Add a little rum or vodka for a heady brew. – Toni Tipton-Martin

Makes about 8 cups

INGREDIENTS

½ pound fresh ginger

2 cups water

1 cup honey or 1½ cups sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup fresh lemon or lime juice

6 cups still or sparkling water

Ice cubes

PREPARATION

Scrub the ginger with a brush to clean off any dirt and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices. Do not peel. In a small saucepan, combine the ginger and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until you have a strong infusion, about 20 minutes. You may add water ¼ cup at a time, to keep the ginger covered by water, if needed.

Stir in the honey or sugar, salt, and lemon or lime juice. Cool completely. Strain and chill.

To serve, add the still or sparkling water to the syrup and serve over ice.

(Recipe reprinted with permission from Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking, Clarkson Potter, 2019. Photographs © 2019 Jerrelle Guy.)


source : https://folobooks.com/

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