Pomegranate and Cranberry Relish Recipe Recipe

Thanksgiving is in nine days, so I have a lot of planning to do. I always make the classics: mashed potatoes, candied yams, stuffing, etc. It's tradition. But I also like to get creative and throw in a few new dishes for my guests to try. I've been trotting out the same cranberry sauce for years now, which never, ever gets finished, so I think it's time for a change.

We have a pomegranate tree in our garden that gives us a bounty of beautiful fruit every fall. The color and flavor match so well with cranberries, that it just makes sense to combine them. Since this dish is more of a relish than a sauce, I decided to pair the pomegranate seeds with dried cranberries. I soaked dried cranberries in a spiced cinnamon tea with star anise and cloves (see tips). This ensures that they won't be gummy. The rest of the relish is composed of green onions, garlic, orange, orange peels, olive oil and vinegar. I don't object to the crunch, but if the seeds of the pomegranate bother you, you could always juice them and just cut back on the vinegar.

The sweet and sour relish tastes absolutely amazing with poultry. So this Thanksgiving, don't forget to prepare a few flavorful condiments besides gravy to go with your turkey. Have fun!


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Pear Blue Cheese Yam Appetizers (Thanksgiving Recipe) Recipe

This recipe was heavily inspired by my childhood BFF Alexia's soon-to-be husband Olivier. While we were in Paris, my husband Lulu, baby Aria and I visited Alexia and Olivier, who also have a baby girl just a few months younger than Aria. Our meeting was so pleasant, as usual, and Olivier, who is an incredibly talented cook, treated us to a wonderful lunch tasting menu that day. One of the items was blini topped with pear and blue cheese. The dish was very well balanced and I told him at the time that I would make my own version and post it on Pham Fatale when I got back home. So Olivier, c’est pour toi (this is for you)!

Given that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I decided to adapt the appetizer to use roasted yams instead of blinis. I thought the crunch and natural sweetness from the yam would marry wonderfully with the soft pears and pungent blue cheese, and it did! Additionally, I spread the yams with a thin layer of Anaheim pepper chutney and topped them with walnuts for more crunch.

Yesterday, after receiving several emails from friends notifying me that my first cookbook, "Haute Potato", is already "in stock" on Amazon and BarnesAndNoble.com, I contacted my publisher. Indeed, both are shipping my book early on pre-order, which is wonderful news if you're looking for potato dishes for Thanksgiving or Christmas. So if you're planning on cooking a lot of potato dishes for the holidays, consider "Haute Potato" for gourmet potato dish recipes. The official publication date is still December 18th, which is the date my book hits the shelves in bookstores. 

Tomorrow I’ll make some suggestions of recipes from my book that I think would be perfect for Thanksgiving. Stay tuned!

Jacqueline Pham
Here are some pics from our day with Alexia, Olivier and Alice. Aria was very whiny, as you can tell by the photos. And Lulu kept bugging Alexia about how little Alice resembled her. Good times!


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Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Soup Recipe Recipe

After my husband Lulu got sick (a nasty cold, then bronchitis), I got sick too. Now both of us are well again, but the rest of the family, not so much. They all spent the weekend in bed with watery eyes and a tissue box by their side. It was not a happy sight.

I find a nice hot bowl of soup to be one of the few comforts when I’m not feeling well, so I made a big pot with with Japanese white sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and leftover chicken and flavored it with ginger, onions and turmeric. It got me thinking that this soup would be perfect as a starter on Thanksgiving, or the day after using Thanksgiving leftover yams, Brussels sprouts and turkey.  Enjoy! 


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A McDonald's in Paris (Le McDo Baguette Sandwich) Recipe
I'm still going through the photos from my trip to Paris. I found this picture that I thought I'd share. While strolling in the Jardin du Luxembourg near the Sorbonne, I got hungry and across from the street from the garden, there was a McDonald's. I know some of you may think "Why on earth would I try American food in France?" but there are two reasons I went: The first one is that they have very clean bathrooms and I like to see what trends are over there. I tried the baguette sandwich, "McDo" style with their "country potatoes" (by the way, you can find my version of "country potatoes" in my cookbook "Haute Potato".
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French Pumpkin Flan Recipe (Flan Patissier) Recipe

My husband Lulu loves it when Thanksgiving rolls around, because it's usually the time of the year when I experiment with new desserts. He often makes suggestions, and always selflessly volunteers to be the taste-tester.

His latest suggestion was a pumpkin-flavored flan. Lulu tends to forget that I was born French. A "flan pâtissier" in France is a pie crust called "pâte brisée" filled with custard made of egg yolks, milk, cream, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla beans. So that's what I made, with the addition of pumpkin, of course.

I told Lulu he would be eating flan for dessert. Once he finished it in the evening, he smiled and said: "All day long, I was looking forward to pumpkin-flavored crème caramel. I loved this French-style pumpkin custard pie, but can I have a pumpkin crème caramel tomorrow?" I hope my daughter doesn't end up so spoiled! And in case you were wondering, I am going to make the crème caramel today...


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