Category: Thanksgiving


Turkey Tamales with Fresh Cranberry Salsa       

Turkey Tamale

These tamales are the perfect dish for spicing up your Thanksgiving leftovers. Turn leftover dark turkey meat, orange yams, and caramelized onion into light fluffy tamales topped with a crisp cranberry salsa.

Makes 10 to 12 tamales

1 package dried corn husks
1 cup richly flavored chicken stock, room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 pounds ground masa for tamales, chilled
1/2 cup lard or vegetable shortening, chilled
1 pound orange yams, cut into 1/2-inch dice, seared in butter until lightly golden and fork tender, chilled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, julienned
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 to 2 roasted turkey thighs, shredded, about 1 1/2 cups
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Fresh Cranberry Salsa (see recipe), for serving

Soak the dried corn husks in hot water, weighted with a plate to keep husks submerged, 2 hours or overnight.

Mix together chicken stock, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

Place the masa in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle and beat at medium speed until light in texture, 5 to 7 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock mixture, while beating continuously at medium-high speed. Turn the mixer speed up to medium high and add the lard or vegetable shortening, a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating and scraping down the bowl until mixture is light and fluffy, about 15 minutes total. Test for lightness by dropping one tablespoon of masa into ice water: If it floats, the mixture is light enough. If not, continue beating at high speed a few minutes longer.  Gently fold in the chilled, seared, diced yams.

Meanwhile, heat butter over medium heat in a sauté pan and add julienned onion and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook stirring often until limp and slightly golden.  Add shredded turkey and parsley, taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary.  Cool to room temperature.

To make the tamales, spread 1 large or 2 small corn husks on a counter, with the narrow end pointing away from you. Leaving 2 inches bare at the top, spread about 4 tablespoons of the masa mixture over the center and one side of husk. Top with turkey mixture. Fold the side covered with masa over to enclose the filling and fold over the bare side of the husk.  Fold the top down and place on a square of foil. Wrap to enclose. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

To cook, line a steamer with corn husks and fill with tamales. Steam over simmering water for 1 hour, or until the husks just pull away from the masa without sticking. Unwrap tamales and serve hot topped with Fresh Cranberry Salsa.



Roasted Onion and Chestnut Compote

Roasted Onion Chestnut Compote

Photo: Ariana Lindquist

Sweet onions with cream and bacon are irresistible, especially with a holiday dinner of turkey or roast beef. You can make this dish the day before.

Serves 6

1 3/4 pounds small white and red onions, with skins
1 pound fresh chestnuts scored, soaked in water for 1 hour, then roasted over fire, peeled and cut into quarters
1/2 pound thickly sliced bacon
1/2 cup brandy
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange onions in an even layer in a large baking sheet. Bake, shaking pan occasionally to ensure even roasting, about 40 minutes. The largest onion should feel soft when pressed. Set aside to cool. Trim ends and peel.

Slice bacon across width into 1/4-inch pieces. Fry until crisp in a large skillet. Drain off fat, leaving bacon in pan. Remove from heat. Pour in brandy, turn heat to high and light alcohol with a match. When flame subsides, add cream, chestnuts, reserved onions, and pepper. Cook until cream is reduced by half. Serve immediately.


Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

Sweet Sour Cabbage

Photo: Ariana Lindquist

Although this Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage can be eaten hot or cold, the flavor of this sweet and sour accompaniment benefits from a few days in the refrigerator. You can use the Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage to garnish almost anything: sandwiches, smoked fish, salads, brisket, pork, or event liver. It’s especially delicious on a day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich on toasted bread with mayonnaise, turkey, and lettuce.

Serves 10 to 12

1 large red head cabbage
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup rendered duck fat*, preferably, or bacon fat or pork fat

Cut cabbage in quarters, core, and finely julienne. Combine all ingredients, except the fat, in a large bowl. Stir to blend.

Heat fat in a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven over moderate heat. Add cabbage mixture and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender, about 1 hour. Serve hot or cold. Sweet and sour cabbage may be stored in the refrigerator up to 5 days and may also be reheated.

* To render fat, boil at a slow simmer until the solids settle to the bottom and water evaporates. The remaining clear liquid can be stored in the refrigerator and used for sauteeing.


Spicy Cornbread Stuffing

spicy cornbread stuffing

Photo: Helen Rosner

This is a variation on traditional cornbread stuffing for pork lovers. When we’re feeling decadent and want to make this Spicy Cornbread Stuffing even richer we like to add browned sausage.

Serves 6

6 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
4 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded and minced
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
3 1/2 cups cornbread, diced and toasted

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 2 quart baking dish and set aside.

Fry the bacon until crisp in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.

Place the pan over medium heat and sauté the onion 3 to 5 minutes, until transparent. Add the celery and jalapeños and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the stock, the crisp bacon, and parsley. Stir to combine and remove from heat.

Place the cornbread in a large bowl. Pour the chicken stock mixture over the cornbread and toss well to combine.

Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake until top is crisp and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.