Vegan Recipes

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Pommes Rissolees (French Browned Potatoes) Recipe

Pommes rissolées are a French classic. They are crisp, cube-shaped, pan-fried potatoes flavored with herbs.

I made one batch the traditional way by cooking it in duck fat, but for the vegetarians in our house, I made a similar version with a combination of oil and butter. I added ground saffron and a hint of cayenne pepper for color and flavor, which are non-traditional but really enhance the final result.

We had a huge bag of potatoes left from Thanksgiving grocery shopping and I couldn't think of a better way to finish them off. I hadn't made this French classic for the family since our last visit to Paris. It immediately took us all back in time to the open air markets, the Rodin Museum, and the picnic we had in the Jardin de Luxembourg. Food can be many things, and today it was a trip down memory lane. And what delicious memories they are!


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Cranberry Bars with Chestnut Spread and Crushed Pecans Recipe

As Thanksgiving approaches, I've been giving more thought to new dessert recipes to go with the traditional pecan and pumpkin pies that we make each year. I recently had an absolutely delicious lemon bar, and it occurred to me that a modified cranberry sauce would be a good substitute for the lemon curd.

I used shortbread as the cookie layer. Shortbread is very easy to make, and the buttery and crumbly texture is a nice foil to the sweet and tart flavor of the cranberries. Once the shortbread had baked, I spread a thin layer of chestnut spread over it. The chestnut spread balances the tartness of the jellied cranberries.

To make the cranberry jelly, I added guava in place of the usual orange juice to give the jelly sweetness as well as a more complex flavor. (It also reminds me of our recent anniversary trip to Cancun). Guava is not really in keeping with the season, so if you prefer, apple juice would be fine, but I think the guava has more depth. The goal is to limit the sourness of the jelly because after all, we're making a dessert.

After applying a generous layer of the cranberry spread to the bars, I finished them with a sprinkling of chopped pecans.


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Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce with Kumquat and Jalapeno Recipe

We make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving every year, and every year at the end of the meal there's a bowl full of cranberry sauce left-over. It's not that we don't like cranberries; they have a great flavor that I make user of in stuffing, cakes and drinks. Cranberry sauce, though, is a bit one-dimensional, so I've been on a quest to come up with a version that is more food than Thanksgiving table ornament.

After several trials, I think I've come up with some small additions to a traditional cranberry sauce recipe that really give it new life. I added roasted and chopped jalapeños for a little heat, kumquat zest for a touch of citrus, and brown sugar to mellow out the sweetness with hints of caramel. I knew I was on to something because Lulu was eating it all by itself!

If you're like me and the idea of cranberry sauce has been more appealing than the reality, I can tell you that with a few simple modifications you may actually come to enjoy some cranberry sauce with your turkey.


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Pecan Stuffing with Rosemary, Fennel and Fresh Water Chestnuts Recipe

Here's a stuffing recipe that really packs a crunch. Pecans and water chestnuts provide flavor as well as a nice texture contrast. I added a fennel bulb for a mild licorice flavor, mushroom salt and a small amount of jalapeño for a bit of heat.

For a fancier stuffing, you can add some crumbled blue cheese to the croutons. I finished the pecan stuffing with a little parmesan for a salty (but not overpowering) note.

This recipe is far more savory than the cranberry apple stuffing I made last week. The differences between the two versions really demonstrate the versatility of stuffing. Whatever your preference, there's a stuffing that you and your family will love.


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Vegetarian Gravy for Thanksgiving Recipe

I personally love homemade turkey gravy with all the caramelized bits and drippings of the roasted turkey, so I was a bit skeptical when Lulu asked me to try his vegetarian miso gravy recipe. I couldn't believe that it would have the complexity of flavors that are present in traditional giblet gravy, but to my surprise, it was absolutely delicious. 

Miso is fermented soy bean paste, and it imparts a strong, earthy flavor to the gravy. For additional flavor I added fried onions and chili flakes. Butter and a touch of heavy cream created a rich texture.

Even if you don't have a gaggle of vegetarians in your house as I do, it's worth trying out this recipe.

Gravy for Vegetarian Thanksgiving


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