A Parade Of Appetizer and Dessert Recipes

One of the highlights of this Thanksgiving broadcast was the Parade of Appetizers. Several viewers told us that they not only enjoyed the delicious “parade,” but wanted the recipes.

So, here they are.

Goat Cheese Appetizers

GOAT BALLS
(aka Pecan and Goat Cheese Marbles)

1/4 cup pecans
1/2 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp sugar
5 oz log goat cheese
1/2 tsp minced rosemary
1/2 tsp crushed, chopped coriander seeds
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Toss pecans with butter and sugar, bake for 8-10 minutes or until a shade or two darker.  Set aside and cool, then pulse in food processor.
Mix goat cheese, rosemary, coriander, and freshly ground pepper until blended.  Roll approximately 1/2 teaspoon of cheese mixture into balls, then roll in pecans.  Roll again between palms to press nuts in.
Makes approximately 16 balls.

Bacon Appetizers Almost Gone!

CARAMELIZED BACON (from Martha Stewart Hors D’oeuvres)

1/2 pound peppered slab bacon, cut into 1/8 strips
3/4 cup light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Cover rimmed baking sheet with wax paper.  Pack sugar on both sides of bacon with hands and lay in single layer on baking sheet.  Oil a new sheet of wax paper and lay on top of bacon, oil side down.  Weight wax paper with heavy skillet and/or smaller baking sheets.
Bake bacon 15 minutes.  Drain off fat (careful not to lose too much caramel), and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until bacon is crispy.  Remove weights, spoon caramel over bacon, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Place on a rack to cool, then break into 2″ pieces.  Serve warm.
Makes approximately 2 dozen pieces.

Savory Mushroom Cakes By Sarah

WILD MUSHROOM STACKS

3 cups cleaned stemmed mushrooms (1 used one cup each of portobello, shiitake, and white, but really anything will do)
2 tbsp butter
3 cloves minced garlic
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
3 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced green onions (chives would also be fine)
1 cup room temp Boursin cheese (soft goat cheese will also work)
3 cups greens (I used spinach, but arugula or mesclun might be better)
1 1/2 cup corn (I used canned, but fresh would be great when in season)
Mince all mushrooms together in food processor.  Put butter in a large skillet, then sauté mushroom until they give up liquid.  Add garlic and cook until almost dry.
In a large bowl, mix together eggs, flour, milk, paprika, mustard, basil, thyme, tomatoes, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and chives.  Add the mushrooms and mix well.
Heat a small skillet and season with butter.  Pour enough batter into the skillet to make the size pancakes you want (I used about a tsp for 2″ diameter cakes).  Cook until edges brown and bubbles form on top, then flip over and cook until whole cake is brown.  Place on sheet lined with parchment.
To create the stacks, ice one cake with cheese, then top with corn, greens, and a bit of sauce.*  Repeat as many times as you would like, then top with plan cake (I did three layers total).  Drizzle with more glaze, and top with chives, corn, cheese, whatever!
Makes about 16 2″ diameter stacks of 3.
* Balsamic Vanilla Sauce
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/8 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Boil sugar and water until syrupy (about 10 minutes).  Add vanilla and vinegar and boil until thickened.  Do not overcook or syrup will end up like molasses (which I did … oops)!  If this happens, heat in the microwave for a few seconds and thin with a bit of water.
Cheddar Rolls In A Basket
CHEDDAR & BLACK PEPPER
BRAIDED CHEESE ROLLS
I don’t have the recipe in front of me at the moment (will update when I do). But basically, use your favorite yeast bread recipe.
1. When you’ve got the dry ingredients in a bowl, grind at least a teaspoon of course black pepper. (I use more than that. Just keep grinding ’til there’s a nice speckled look throughout your flour mixture.)
2. After you’ve mixed in your wet ingredients, but before you get the dough all thick with more flour, mix in about a cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. (I used a combo of Tillamook medium cheddar, Tillamook sharp white reserve, and an organic raw sharp white cheddar.)
3. Let your dough rise for an hour.
4. Punch dough down and divide in half. Let it (and yourself) rest for 10 minutes.
5. Tear off bouncy-ball-sized chunks of dough and roll them into ropes. Take three at a time and braid them.
6. Put on baking sheet and let rise another 1/2 hour.
7. Bake ’til golden brown.
NOTE: Our Pie Mistress notes that, with the exception of the Alton Brown recipe, she took her inspiration from Smitten Kitchen – though of course adding her own flair. Annotations from both Smitten Kitchen and our own Pie Mistress are included in the following recipes…

FOOLPROOF PIE DOUGH
Cooks Illustrated, November 2007 via Smitten Kitchen

Makes enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie (if you’re making all the pies that I made for Thanksgiving you’ll need to double this)

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into small bits
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water

1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Apple Pear Gallette By Erin

APPLE-PEAR GALETTE

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for the surface
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
3 Empire, Gala, or Cortland apples, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick (I used Granny Smith for extra zing)
3 Bartlett pears, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (I used only brown sugar)
1 large egg, beaten

Heat oven to 350° F. On a lightly floured surface, roll piecrust into 16-inch circle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup of the preserves on the crust, leaving a 2-inch border.
In a large bowl, toss the apples, pears, flour, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Transfer to the crust, leaving the border clear. Fold the edges of the crust over the fruit mixture. Brush the egg on the crust and sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of sugar. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is tender, 50 to 60 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of preserves and 1 tablespoon water over medium heat until liquid, 2 to 3 minutes. Brush on the fruit. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pumpkin!

SILKY SMOOTH PUMPKIN PIE
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, November & December 2008 by Smitten Kitchen

A half-recipe of your favorite pie crust, chilled

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk (I used a cup and a half of milk and a half cup of heavy cream instead)
3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks (I just did the 3 eggs)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup drained candied yams from 15-ounce can (regular canned yams can be substituted) (I used a half a baked yam)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground because I’m not a huge fan of fresh ginger)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon table salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll out dough on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to make 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang all around pie plate.

Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Using thumb and forefinger, flute edge of dough. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Remove pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil and fill with pie weights or pennies. Bake on rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate. Bake 5 to 10 more minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove plate and baking sheet from oven.

Make the filling: While pie shell is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla together in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. Whisk in cream mixture until fully incorporated. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl, using back of ladle or spatula to press solids through strainer. Re-whisk mixture and transfer to warm pre-baked pie shell. Return pie plate with baking sheet to oven and bake pie for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Continue baking until edges are set (instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175 degrees), 20 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours. (The pie finishes cooking with resident heat; to ensure the filling sets, cool it at room temperature and not in the refrigerator.)

Alton Brown

LEMON MERINGUE PIE from ALTON BROWN

Lemon Filling:

* 4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
* 1/3 cup cornstarch
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1 1/3 cups sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1/2 cup lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
* 1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell
* 1 recipe Meringue, recipe follows

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn heat on medium and, stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually, 1 whisk-full at a time, add hot mixture to egg yolks and stir until you have added at least half of the mixture.

Return egg mixture to saucepan, turn heat down to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, lemon juice, and zest until well combined. Pour mixture into pie shell and top with meringue while filling is still hot. Make sure meringue completely covers filling and that it goes right up to the edge of the crust. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is cooled completely before slicing.

Meringue Topping:

* 4 egg whites
* 1 pinch cream of tartar
* 2 tablespoons sugar

Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Use to top lemon filling.

I left out the meringue and so we had just plain old lemon pie, but it was pretty tasty anyway.

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Published in: on December 2, 2008 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rock and Roll

I just got done baking two huge batches of cheddar-pepper braided cheese rolls (I switched yam duty for roll duty) and am now on my way out the door to join the live TurkeyTracker action.

I’ve been watching the guys with the smoker all morning, and my family has been calling saying “when are you going to go over there and wave hi to us?”

Oh yes, and I almost forgot my other duty: to bring THIS GAME. Get ready for us to make total fools out of ourselves…

Finished Rolls Cheese! Rock n' Roll. Cheesy Bread Dough Pink Pepper. Fancy. Do The Twist.

-Robin

Published in: on November 27, 2008 at 11:55 pm  Comments (1)  

It’s November!

Thanksgiving is mere weeks away. We just started this blog so I’m going to post a few belated updates about what we’ve already done in prep for the big day:

  • Included in the invitation, an FAQ in case anyone is curious how – and why –  we do this crazy thing.
  • Chris made a brand new Turkey Tracking device, with temperature probes that will – hopefully – not burn up if there is a “thermal malfunction” in the smoker this year.
  • Also, the device now Twitters! (In addition to updating the online temperature graph.) Note: Yes, it twittered a lot on the test run. Chris has adjusted it since so it’s not quite so chatty.
  • Mid-October we tested the thing with a chicken. It seemed to work. I’ll let Chris give you technical details.

And me? Um, I took some photos. And started up this blog. My responsibilities are pretty much: moral support, spreading the word, and cooking some sort of dish with yams.

You_re Invited — Thanksgiving 2008 — Nov. 28th soldering closer up working on Turkey Trackin' electronics Testing Turkey Tracker Technology soldering close up Turkey Tracker 2008

Published in: on November 3, 2008 at 5:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Hello world!

We’re counting down to T-Day at TurkeyTracker.com. We’ll be posting updates here as we prep for the big day!

Published in: on October 30, 2008 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment