Thanksgiving Recipes

Duchess Potatoes (Pommes Duchesse) Recipe

Duchess Potatoes (Pommes Duchesse)

10.11.09 by Jackie

The name may sound fancy, but pomme duchesse are simply baked mashed potato balls. As a kid, I think it was my favorite side dish. It's crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and just oozes potato-ey goodness. 

Not only is it a perfect dish for formal events, but it dresses down as well. Halloween is on its way, and the girls and I have been planning to make some edible ghosts for a Halloween party the girls are attending. Mashed potatoes seemed like the obvious choice. Since I had some pommes duchesse mixture on hand, we decided to test our decorating skills today. I piped the pommes duchesse mixture into several cones. The girls added eyes by using mustard seeds and cumin seeds for the eyebrows. The result is ghoulishly delicious. Sorry, I couldn't resist!

Halloween ghost potatoes


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Cumin and Saffron Flavored Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

Cumin and Saffron Flavored Butternut Squash Risotto

10.10.09 by Jackie

If Fall had a flavor, it would be butternut squash. I know pumpkins are the symbol of Halloween, and sweet potatoes are a staple of Thanksgiving meals, but to me, nothing compares to the earthy sweetness and versatility of butternut squash. It works perfectly in salads, soups, side dishes, and, in the case of this risotto, as a main course.

To prepare this dish, I just diced and roasted some butternut squash and mixed it with a pot of risotto I infused with saffron. It's a simple, no frills preparation that really highlights the flavor and texture of the butternut squash.


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Brussels Sprout Salad with Marinated Feta Cheese Recipe

Brussels Sprout Salad with Marinated Feta Cheese

09.26.09 by Jackie

We're in a funny period. It's not cold enough to make soup, but we're starting to get fall and wintry ingredients such as figs and Brussels sprouts despite the hot weather. I bought some Brussels sprouts from the local market and decided to make a salad with them. I think the brininess of the feta complements the flavor of the Brussels sprouts really well. I marinated some feta cheese with lemon juice, lemon zest and pink and green peppercorns, and added it to the steamed and grilled Brussels sprouts. The result is something that in no way resembles the boiled, lifeless Brussels sprouts that are reviled by kids and adults alike. In fact, the girls absolutely love Brussels sprouts, and they completely inhaled the salad. 

This winter, I'll post a Brussels sprout gratin that no one can resist . Stay tuned!


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Corn Chowder Recipe Recipe

Corn Chowder Recipe

08.22.09 by Jackie

Chowders, like many other Western soups, are thickened with a roux. A roux is a combination of flour, butter and milk. To make corn chowder, just add corn kernels and some diced potatoes for texture. It couldn't be simpler than that!

I think chowder comes from the French word chaudière, which is the name of the pot in which the soup is made. It seems though, that the dish first gained popularity in New England. Traditional chowder is prepared with seafood, but I only had some fresh ears of corn on hand. After making countless corn salads, grilled corn on the cob and desserts, it was time to make some good ol' comfort food for dinner.


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Roasted Pheasant Stuffed with Sage and Granny Smith Apples Recipe

Roasted Pheasant Stuffed with Sage and Granny Smith Apples

08.05.09 by Jackie

I'm still on the quest for the perfect 4-course "French meal" in honor of the opening of the movie called "Julie and Julia".

Pheasant is a French delicacy. My family would cook pheasant around the holidays. I looked through Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in search of a good pheasant dish to make, and the only recipe I found was a stew called "faisan en escabèche" (pheasant jellied in lemon). I think it tastes better when it's roasted, so I made this dish.

I stuffed the game bird with sage, bread to absorb all the fat (and flavors) of the bird, and some Granny Smith apples for their sweet and acidic taste. Yogurt is used as a meat tenderizer. In France, I would always use two Petits suisses instead. What's a Petit suisse? Le Petit suisse is like yogurt, but better; it has a richer consistency than regular yogurt and is sold in half the size (4 ounces) of the standard American yogurt because of its high fat content . It's made from milk, sweet cream and a starter. And it's oh, so good.


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