1 kabocha squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), cut in half, seeds removed (acorn, butternut, delicate are also fine)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika (sweet, spicy or smoked: to your taste)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 thyme sprigs
4 cloves garlic
2 medium onions, sliced (about 2 cups)
5 cups fresh carrot juice, from the refrigerated section
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup Spiced Pepitas (see recipe), for garnish
Crispy Flour Tortilla Flatbreads (see recipe), for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat squash halves with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with the paprika of your choice. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil with cut side facing up. Place garlic cloves and thyme sprigs in each seed hollow. Roast until completely tender and lightly browned in spots, about 45-60 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Discard thyme stems, keeping the leaves and carefully scrape flesh away from skin. Discard skin.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until completely tender and nicely browned, about 15 minutes total. Add cooked squash flesh (discarding the skin) along with garlic cloves and thyme leaves. Stir to combine. Add carrot juice and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, skimming and discarding the foam. Remove from heat and blend until smooth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve piping hot, garnishing with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of chopped cilantro and 1 tablespoon Spiced Pepitas per bowl and Crispy Flour Tortilla Flatbreads.
Makes 1/2 cup, 10 servings
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
A pinch of cayenne, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup raw pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds), unsalted
In a small bowl, combine lime juice, cayenne, salt, and pepper and stir until dissolved. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add pepitas and toast, tossing frequently, until seeds begin to expand and turn a light golden color. Add seasoned lime juice and stir well to coat all seeds. Remove from heat and cool in the pan. Serve at room temperature.
Crispy Flour Tortilla Flatbreads
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 12-inch flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Dissolve salt in lime juice, and then stir in paprika, cayenne and oil.
Brush 1 side of each tortilla with oil lime mixture. Cut each tortilla into 8 to 10-inch long, thin triangles with a sharp knife. Bake until crisp and lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes total. Transfer to racks to cool.
This simple, savory side of baked tomatoes, bread, and cheese is a colorful and comforting addition to the holiday table.
1 (1-lb.) loaf country bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons roughly chopped thyme
1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in purée, crushed by hand
1 (16-oz.) can tomato purée
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, place soft bread, brown sugar and melted butter.
Pour out cans of tomato puree and tomato soup into bread mixture. In each empty can, pour about 1 tablespoon of warm water to rinse out the can, then pour water into bread mixture.
Using your hands or a spatula, gently mix everything together until thoroughly combined. Pour into casserole dish and bake for 1 hour. Serve immediately.
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.
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.
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.