So far my plan is working. I was at Delicious Orchards as they opened the doors yesterday morning. Upon returning home it was time to get crackin’ and prepare Thanksgiving sides. I started by making Great Grandma Freid’s dressing followed by a new sweet potato side dish by The New York’s Times’ Melissa Clark, Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon and Brown Sugar.
Ms. Clark’s recipe was puzzling. Her recipe called for 10-12 sweet potatoes or 3-1/2 pounds. At Delicious Orchards, the New Jersey yams were quite large so I purchased 3 for almost 3 pounds. The recipe is said to feed 10-12, however, after baking the potatoes it looks more suitable for 6 people with leftovers. The yams are wrapped in foil and baked for approximately an hour or until tender. I didn’t feel like dragging out and washing my food processor so I used a hand mixer, which worked just as well. I used the exact ingredients and amounts in the recipe, despite the half pound difference. Although the completed recipe was just warm, I gave it a quick taste and they were delicious. They were not cloyingly sweet, you had the subtleness of the lemon zest and a lovely vanilla note from the Maker’s Mark bourbon I used. I think my family will enjoy this side dish.
For appetizers, I’m serving a wedge of Cowgirl Creamery cheese called Wagon Wheel. I’m going to serve that along with a recipe for Bacon-Parmesan Tassies from the June 2011 issue of Southern Living Magazine. The tassies are made with butter, cream cheese, some half and half and bacon, 1/2 cup of grade Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh chives. Also, you’ll need either a two twelve or one 24 cup miniature muffin pans. If you don’t have the mini’s you could use regular muffin tins and adjust the baking time. The tassies do take a bit of planning as both the butter and cream cheese in the recipe need to be softened. Once the dough is made, you form the mixture into 24 balls and chill for an hour.
While the dough was chilling, I prepared the filling. I crisped and cooled four slices of bacon. The liquid for the filling was half and half, an egg and a bit of salt. Once the dough was chilled, it was time to form the dough balls into my mini muffin pans. I used my thumb then used a measuring spoon to help form the cup. First in went the crumbled bacon, a bit of cheese, the liquid and lastly a topping of chopped chives. The tassies baked for approximately 25-30 minutes until golden brown. I made these before for a dinner party and they went over quite well. Who doesn’t like bacon!
Today, I’ll make the short ribs, along with the dressing for the salad. While shopping at a Delicious Orchards yesterday I spotted some beautiful artichokes ($3.99/lb). Artichokes was another dish my mother included in our holiday dinner. Hers were not stuffed, just seasoned with salt, pepper, fresh garlic and a bit of olive oil. She cooked the artichokes in the pressure cooker. I also have chocolate chip cookie dough to bake off. I know my son-in-law will be looking for something to nosh on. I’ll also try to squeeze in a gym visit and then swing by Pastosa in Manasquan for my fresh ravioli.
After work tomorrow, I’ll make tapioca pudding. Kraft Minute Tapioca was part of our holiday desserts and my mother made it light and fluffy. Tapioca is free of protein and gluten and is a nice option for those guests that are gluten intolerant.
The last thing to do on Wednesday is set the dinner table. Dinner is at 1 pm, but my daughter and her family will be here before then.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.