This month’s Weekend Cookbook Challenge, (which I almost forgot about — oops!), is all about party food. So, to accomplish this, I turned to a book all about parties, entertaining and proper hostessing — I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, by Amy Sedaris. It’s very funny, kitschy, deadpan in tone and is sprinkled with hilarious photos of Amy and (quite honestly) some very unappetizing food photos. Ah, so what? I love this book. There’s also some handy and practical advice for entertaining:
A good trick is to fill your medicine cabinet with marbles. Nothing announces a nosy guest better than an avalanche of marbles hitting a porcelain sink.
Have toilet paper.
While looking through the book I was tempted to make a cheese ball (one of her “famous cheese balls”), but figured another stick of butter is one of the last things jwa and I need right now. Instead, a recipe in the book submitted by Paul Dinello caught my eye. Paul’s Zucchini Fritters. The suggestion for serving these is at a “grieving party” but I say they just make a tasty breakfast, dinner snack or happy party snack! No . . . → Read More: Weekend Cookbook Challenge #11: Zucchini-Feta Fritters
There’s something about the Fall and early Winter that makes me want to chop fresh herbs — specifically sage, rosemary and thyme. Oh hell, parsley too. And this raisin compote has them all.
We had this very recently with a roast chicken (sort of like a pre-mini-Thanksgiving) and it was quite good. The original recipe called for all raisins, but I used half golden raisins and half currants. I’m thinking of making this to go with our traditional Christmas Cornish Game Hens next month.
The recipe that I use for those is out of the same book that the raisin compote is in — The Cook’s Illustrated Complete Book of Poultry. This book is worth it’s weight in gold, if you ask me, even with the new name.
Raisin Compote with Rosemary & Thyme
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dark raisins or currants
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup minced parsley leaves
1 1/2 tsp minced rosemary leaves
1 1/2 tsp fresh minced thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh minced sage leaves
salt & pepper
Bring the raisins, juices, sugar, cayenne, and 1 1/2 cups water to a simmer in a heavy-bottomed pan. Reduce . . . → Read More: A Tasty Little Garnish: Herbed and Slightly Spicy Raisin Compote
Wondering what to do with the leftover turkey and other side dishes from Thursday, I came across this recipe from Giada of Everyday Italian. Although this recipe was originally intended as a Thanksgiving meal for two, I figured it would work well enough with leftover, cooked turkey (as opposed to the raw, ground turkey she uses). It did. I made one other alteration to the original recipe — I added some ricotta cheese to make it a bit creamier. I was quite pleased with the way these ravioli turned out.
Oh and speaking of Everyday Italian, whenever I watch that show and she talks about her husband, Todd, I visualize him as The Todd from Scrubs. And then I laugh and laugh.
Turkey and Cranberry Ravioli
1 cup diced leftover turkey, a mix of dark and white meat (my turkey had fresh herbs — parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme under the skin, so I skipped the fresh parsley listed below)
3 tbsp cranberry sauce
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
3 tbsp grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp bread crumbs
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
20 store-bought wonton wrappers
For the sauce:
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic . . . → Read More: Leftover Madness: Turkey-Cranberry Ravioli
Leftovers, as taken by jwa to work on Friday morning.
Mostly pictures today, as I am mostly tired. I stupidly tried to go shopping with a bunch of other people and although the check-out line at Cost Plus was not bad, actually getting on the ramp to come home sucked.
The final basting. It went back in the oven for about a half hour more after this.
Oh well. I’m home now and making turkey stock. Tonight, we are taking jwa’s parents to Wildwood. As far as last night’s dinner went, I thought it went well. I will say that the brussels sprouts are better when I can give them more attention. I steamed them ahead of time and although that saved a bit of time, I think they suffered a bit for it. C’est la vie, I’m not going to dwell on it.
Starting the gravy the night before. Turkey parts, thyme, onion and chicken broth
Note to self: Next year, only one vegetable side dish. Okay, that doesn’t include the mashed potatoes. Or the sweet potatoes, butternut squash and garlic. That just means just stick to the carrots and parsnips in the honey lemon glaze. . . . → Read More: Thanksgiving: Is It Really Over?
This was creamy and cheesy and squashy. The color makes it look like it’s a regular cheddar mac and cheese but that’s really the color of the roasted butternut squash. Sneaky! But, of course, there’s cheese in it too, so it’s not like the meal is completely healthy. On the other hand, it’s also not completely unhealthy. It’s a nice mix of good for you and gooey, melted cheese in a bowl.
Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese with Sage
1 lb elbow macaroni
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb peeled and cubed butternut squash (You can also use whole squash, just slice in half, remove seeds and bake it that way. Scoop roasted squash out and use that in place of the roasted cubes).
2 cups 2 % milk
1 tsp jarred rubbed sage (if using fresh sage, mince it and use a bit more)
a nice sprinkle of nutmeg
3 cloves garlic, minced
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1 small onion, diced
2 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 – 3/4 cup grated fontina, mozzarella or provolone cheese (or a combination of cheeses — I used the above mix)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash . . . → Read More: Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese with Sage