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Sauces, salads and side dishes complete the Thanksgiving meal

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By The Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, 8:48 p.m.

We have favorite recipes — Grandma's cranberry sauce, Aunt Anna's Brussels sprouts or Mom's coleslaw — without which Thanksgiving dinner is deemed a failure.

But it's always fun to introduce a new recipe to the mix that — who knows? — might be the next favorite that's demanded year after year.

Start new traditions with one or two of these recipes.

Cranberry Sauce With Port

Regardless of your cranberry-sauce recipe, getting the sauce to thicken and take on the right consistency requires that the cranberries simmer for at least 10 minutes.

That is how long it takes to release the pectin — the natural jelling ingredient — from the fruit.

This cranberry sauce is heavy with fruit, like jam, with a depth of flavor.

Start to finish: 15 minutes

2 bags (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, washed and picked through

Zest and juice of 1 large orange (about 1⁄2 cup of juice)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup port wine

1 cup sugar

1 cup dried Turkish apricots, cut into strips

1 cup dried cherries

Pinch salt

1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large, heavy pot, combine the cranberries, orange zest and juice, balsamic vinegar, port and sugar. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Add the apricots, cherries and salt.

Making sure the cranberries don't burn, continue cooking over a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the cranberries start to pop.

Add the nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, then stir well to combine. Continue cooking on low until thick, about another 5 to 7 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Makes 16 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 130 calories, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 1 gram protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams dietary fiber, 20 milligram sodium

Roasted Vegetable Quiche

This simple, colorful quiche is jammed with seasonal vegetables, and has just enough rich gruyere to make it taste indulgent. But the most indulgent aspect of this recipe is that it can be prepared and baked the day before, meaning you have one less dish to worry about on the big day. Just pop it into a 300-degrees oven for 10 to 15 minutes to warm right before serving.

Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes (15 minutes active)

1 medium-size sweet red bell pepper, cored and diced

1 small red onion, diced

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 medium-size zucchini, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon minced, fresh rosemary

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 prepared raw 9-inch pie crust

3⁄4 cup shredded gruyere cheese

6 large eggs

1 cup half-and-half

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss together the red pepper, red onion, sweet potato and zucchini. Add the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper, then stir to coat the vegetables. Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown. Remove the vegetables from the oven.

Reduce the heat to 350 degrees.

If it isn't already, fit the pie crust into a pie pan, crimping the edges as needed. Place the pie shell on a baking sheet and add the roasted vegetables. Top with the cheese.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the eggs and the half-and-half. Pour over the cheese and vegetables. Bake for 45 minutes, or until slightly puffed and set in the middle. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 290 calories, 19 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 160 milligrams cholesterol, 10 grams protein, 20 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 330 milligrams sodium

Spicy Peanut Roasted Butternut Squash

The trouble with butternut squash at the Thanksgiving table is that we tend to be pretty unimaginative in how we prepare it. This recipe effortlessly delivers tons of flavor with a relatively new ingredient — powdered peanut butter.

The most common brand is PB2. Look for it in your grocer's natural-foods aisle.

Start to finish: 1 hour (15 minutes active)

Nonstick cooking spray

5-pound butternut squash, peeled and seeded

1⁄4 cup olive oil

1⁄2 cup powdered peanut butter

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Cut the peeled and seeded squash into bite-size pieces, then place them in a large bowl. Drizzle the squash with the olive oil, then toss to coat evenly. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the powdered peanut butter, garlic powder, smoked paprika, chile powder, cumin, salt and pepper. While using a silicone spatula to toss the squash, sprinkle the seasoning mixture over it, continuing to toss until the squash is well-coated.

Transfer the squash to the prepared baking sheets, using the spatula to scrape the oil and seasonings from the bowl. Arrange the squash in an even layer, then roast for 25 minutes. Use the spatula to flip the squash, then roast for another 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 220 calories, 8 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 0 cholesterol, 6 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams dietary fiber, 300 milligrams sodium

Arugula Pear Salad With Pomegranate Vinaigrette and Goat Cheese

To stand out in a Thanksgiving spread, a salad must be bold and flavorful. Yet, it should not compete with the other flavors on the table.

Start to finish: 15 minutes

1 tablespoon butter

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 large pears, cored and sliced

1⁄2 cup dried cranberries

1⁄2 cup sliced, dried apricots

For the vinaigrette:

1⁄2 cup pomegranate juice

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of ground allspice

1⁄4 cup olive oil

For the salad:

1 container (10-ounces) baby arugula

4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine the butter and cinnamon. When the butter has melted, add the pears and saute until they are softened, for about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and apricots, then cook for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

To prepare the vinaigrette: In a blender, combine the pomegranate juice, red-wine vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, allspice and olive oil. Blend until well combined.

To prepare the salad: In a large bowl, arrange the arugula. Top the greens with the sauteed pear mixture, then the crumbled goat cheese. Serve the vinaigrette on the side.

Makes 10 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 190 calories, 10 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 10 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams dietary fiber, 180 milligrams sodium

Lemon-Herb Carrot Tarts

The tarts are a wonderfully refreshing way to serve carrots. And, because these tarts are delicious warm or at room temperature, they are an easy do-ahead item. To save time, use purchased pastry dough.

Start to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active)

For the crust:

Nonstick baking spray

2 cups flour, plus more for rolling dough

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon water

1⁄2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut up

For the filling:

Water, for boiling

Salt, to taste

11⁄2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme

2 teaspoons chopped, fresh sage

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 egg yolks

To prepare the crust: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat 8 individual tart pans with nonstick baking spray.

In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Pulse to mix, then add the egg and water, and pulse until incorporated. Add the butter, and pulse just until a dough comes together.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1⁄8- inch thick. Cut circles from the dough sized to fit the tart pans. Press the circles into each pan, trimming the edges as needed. Place the tart pans on a baking sheet, and set in the freezer while you make the filling.

To prepare the filling: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and boil until tender, for 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the carrots, then transfer to the food processor. Add the butter and process until smooth.

Allow the carrots to cool slightly, then stir in the thyme, sage and lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper, then mix in the egg yolks. Spoon the carrot mixture into the prepared tart shells and bake, leaving the tarts on the baking sheet, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden, and the filling is set. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 300 calories, 16 grams fat (10 grams saturated), 115 milligrams cholesterol, 6 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams dietary fiber, 320 milligrams sodium

 

 
 


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