Thanksgiving With Jonathan Gold; Holiday Etiquette; Wines
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Jonathan Gold celebrates pre-Thanksgiving with new versions of classic recipes, while chef Eric Gower brines turkey. Stacie Hunt decants Beaujolais Nouveau wines, Susie Middleton has tips for how to cook a turkey, and writer Helena Echlin helps navigate holiday etiquette. Plus, listeners’ share their last meal requests with producer Thea Chaloner, Kathy Stevens has a turkey-free Thanksgiving and author Adrian Butash shares food blessings from around the world. And as always, Laura Avery finds what’s in season in the Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Amelia Saltsman, author of The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook, shares two Thanksgiving and Fall side dishes. She braises beet greens in olive oil, a small amount of stock and garlic over low heat for about 30 minutes. She also makes a seasonal persimmon, celery and pomegranate salad.
Laura Avery also spoke with Rusty Hall who sells dry farmed, non-pasteurized almonds. The drought is affecting the size and the yield from his 100 year-old trees.
Beets and Their Greens
4 bunches red beets with their tops
1 bunch Swiss chard
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup stock or water
2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut the leaves off the beets, leaving 1 inch of stem attached. Scrub the beets, cut large ones in half or quarters, and place in baking pan. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover pan with foil and roast beets until nearly tender, about 30 minutes. Remove foil, loosen beets from pan, and return them to the oven, uncovered, until tender when pierced with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes longer. When beets are cool enough to handle, slip off skins, and cut beets into large bite-size pieces or slices. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the vinegar.
Meanwhile, wash chard and beet tops. Remove chard stems and slice crosswise. Roughly chop chard and beet leaves. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions and chard stems with a little salt until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chard and beet leaves and a little salt and pepper and sauté until wilted and glossy, 7 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan and steam the greens until very tender, about 20 minutes more, adding stock or water as necessary to keep greens from sticking. Stir in remaining tablespoon of vinegar during last 5 minutes of cooking time.
To serve, mound greens on a serving platter, pile beets on top and drizzle with remaining olive oil and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. May be prepared several hours ahead.
Persimmon, Celery and Pomegranate Salad
1 ripe pomegranate
4 ribs celery
2 small or 1 large fuyu persimmon
1/2 cup pecan or walnut pieces, toasted
1/2 lb mixed baby salad greens
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled, optional
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Take out the pomegranate seeds: cut or split open the pomegranate and put the pieces in a bowl of water and use your fingers to loosen all the seeds. Drain and reserve. Use a peeler to pare off strings from celery. Slice celery thinly on the diagonal and place in salad bowl. Cut away stem from persimmon. Cut persimmon vertically in quarters and cut quarters crosswise into thin slices. Add to bowl along with nuts, greens, as many pomegranate seeds as you'd like, and cheese, if desired. Drizzle olive oil over salad, squeeze lemon juice on to taste, add salt and pepper and toss.
Both recipes adapted from The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm by Amelia Saltsman (Blenheim Press, 2007)
Music break: Montserrat by Bajofondo Tango Club
Thanksgiving with Jonathan Gold ()
Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer and LA Weekly columnist Jonathan Gold has a solution for those of us who want to try out new versions of classic recipes. He celebrates Thanksgiving on the Sunday before the holiday, free of all the stress and pressure of pulling off the perfect feast. It's his favorite party of the year!
Music break: Get It by RJD2
Soy-Brined Roasted Turkey ()
Breakaway Cook Eric Gower brines his Thanksgiving turkey. Brining involves soaking the meat in salt so that it retains lots of water, making the meat tender and juicy. He suggests brining turkey in soy and brown sugar overnight and stuffing the cavity with pink grapefruit wedges, then roasting it. A simple gravy of fennel and onions can be made by blending it with some olive oil. Here's his soy-brined roasted turkey recipe.
Music break: Clutch Cargo Cult by Don Tiki
Beaujolais Nouveau ()
Beaujolais Nouveau wine season starts this weekend. It's also a pre-Thanksgiving day feast that marks the end of the harvest season. Beaujolais Nouveau refers to the 7- 9-week old wine made from the Gamay grape that is grown in Burgundy France. In 1985, the French government declared that Beaujolais Nouveau be sold beginning on the third Thursday of November worldwide. Du Vin Wine's wine specialist Stacie Hunt decants this quaffing wine and recommends:
Louis Tet or Georges Duboeuf labels. Both excellent producers. Louis Tet: $10.99; Georges Dubious: $11.99
Cru Beaujolais (fermented and aged longer, light to medium-bodied wine), "cru" means a designated vineyard or estate that is deemed superior. $12.99-$23.00
- Fleurie (floral and fruity, considered the most feminine)
- Morgon (this is the masculine version, rich and rather full bodied)
- St.-Amour (as you can imagine, rich and silky the wine of love)
- Moulin-a-Vent (hearty, textured wine, considered on of the best)
- Chiroubles (highest altitude vineyards, the lightest of the wines)
- Brouilly (aromas of raspberry, cherries, blueberries)
- Julienas (relatively powerful, spicy – named for Julius Caesar)
- Regnie (full bodied, round, red current and raspberry flavored)
- Cote de Brouilly (heady, lively, grows on the slopes of an extinct volcano)
Du Vin Wine & Spirits
540 N San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
Music break: The Clouds by Spacemen
How to Cook a Turkey ()
Fine Cooking magazine's editor Susie Middleton shares ideas on how to plan a tasty and manageable Thanksgiving feast in her book How to Cook a Turkey. She recommends having plenty of refrigerator space for leftovers, choosing dishes that suit your appliances and making side dishes ahead of time.
Brown-Butter Green Beans with Pine Nuts
by Susie Middleton from Fine Cooking 76, pp. 10
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a 4- to 6-quart pot (like a Dutch oven) of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook until tender to the bite, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander. Return the pot to the stove over low heat and melt the butter in the pot. Add the pine nuts and 1/4 teaspoon salt, turn the heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter browns and the pine nuts turn mostly golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat (or remove the pot from the stove) and add the green beans and 1/2 tsp. salt to the pot. Toss to combine thoroughly, sprinkle with the lemon juice, and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve warm.
Make Ahead Tips: You can boil the green beans ahead of time, but you’ll need to rewarm them a bit longer in the brown butter, covered, over low heat.
Silky Pan Gravy with Cream, Cognac & Thyme
by Pamela Anderson from Fine Cooking 74, pp. 42-46
Yields about 3 cups
Drippings and vegetables from Dry-Brined Roasted Turkey
2 Tablespoons Cognac
1/2 cup dry vermouth
2-1/2 cups Rich Turkey Broth
2 tsp lightly chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Set the roasting pan with the turkey drippings and vegetables over two burners set on medium high. Add the Cognac, vermouth, and 1/2 cup of the turkey broth; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon or wooden spatula to loosen the browned bits in the pan, until the liquid comes to a simmer. Strain the contents of the roasting pan through a large sieve and into a large saucepan. Add the remaining 2 cups turkey broth and the thyme to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat and let simmer to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the cream in a small bowl and whisk the flour into the cream to make a smooth paste. Gradually whisk the cream mixture into the turkey broth mixture. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low, and gently simmer to thicken the gravy and cook off the raw flour flavor, about 10 minutes. Keep hot until ready to serve.
Bourbon Pumpkin Tart with Walnut Streusel
by Rebecca Rather from Fine Cooking 74, pp. 52-53
Yields one 10-inch tart
For the tart crust:
9 oz (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1/2 tsp table salt
5-1/2 oz (11 Tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream; more if needed
For the pumpkin filling:
1 15-oz can pure solid-pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon
For the streusel topping:
3-1/2 oz (3/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 lb (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup walnut halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
Lightly sweetened whipped cream for garnish (optional)
Make the tart crust:
Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, orange zest, and salt in a large bowl on low speed for about 30 seconds. Add the butter and combine on low speed until the mixture looks crumbly, with pieces of butter about the size of dried peas, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and cream, mixing on low speed until the dough is just combined. If the dough is too dry to come together, add more cream, a tablespoon at a time. Gently mold the dough into a 1-inch-thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to a week; the dough can also be frozen for up to a month.
Make the pumpkin filling:
Spoon the pumpkin into a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated. Add both sugars and the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Whisk about 30 seconds. Whisk in the heavy cream and bourbon.
Make the streusel topping:
Combine the flour, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse briefly to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the butter has blended into the dry ingredients and the mixture is crumbly. Remove the blade and stir in the walnuts and crystallized ginger.
Assemble the tart:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Take the tart dough from the refrigerator and let it warm up until pliable, 5 to 15 minutes. Unwrap the dough and set it on a lightly floured work surface. With as few passes of the rolling pin as possible, roll the disk into a 13-inch round, about 3/16 inch thick. Drape the round into a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom gently fitting it into the contours of the pan. Fold the excess dough into the sides of the pan and press to create an edge that’s flush with the top of the pan and about 1/2 inch thick.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the unbaked tart crust. Scatter the streusel topping evenly over the pumpkin mixture.
Bake until the topping is evenly cooked and no longer looks wet in the center, 50 to 65 minutes. Let the tart cool on a rack for at least 2 hours before serving (or wrap it in plastic and refrigerate overnight; before serving, let it sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours). Serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled, with lightly sweetened whipped cream, if you like.
Molasses Mashed Sweet Potatoes
by Ben Barker, Karen Barker from Fine Cooking 47, pp. 60
2 medium sweet potatoes (1 lb total), peeled and cut-into 1-inch chunks
4 small carrots (1/2 lb total), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium parsnips (1/2 lb. total), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons sour cream
2 Tablespoons molasses
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup half-and-half
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large saucepan, combine the sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, add a dash of salt, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and return to the saucepan. Set the pan over low heat, uncovered, and let the vegetables dry in the pan for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally so they don’t stick. Pass the vegetables through a food mill or mash them by hand, if you prefer. (Hand mashing gives a rustic texture to the dish, while a food mill will give a smoother result.) Stir in the butter, sour cream, molasses, grated ginger, and half-and-half (if you're preparing the potatoes ahead, save 2 tablespoons of the half-and-half for reheating). Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, adjust the seasonings, and serve.
Spicy Maple Walnuts
by Barbara Witt from Fine Cooking 48, pp. 62-63
Yields 4 cups
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
6 quarter-size slices fresh ginger, halved
1 Tablespoon water
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Tabasco, or to taste
1 lb (4 cups) shelled walnuts
In a conventional oven:
Heat the oven to 300ºF. Combine all the ingredients except the nuts in a small saucepan and slowly simmer over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Put the nuts in a bowl, pour the glaze over them, and stir and toss to coat them with the glaze. Line a jellyroll pan with foil and spread the nuts in a single layer on it. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring at 15- and then 10-minutes intervals. When the nuts look light and almost dry as you toss them, they're done. Don't touch them; the caramelized sugar is extremely hot. Slide the foil onto a rack and let the nuts cool completely.
In a microwave:
Put the butter in the largest shallow dish that fits in your microwave. Heat on high for 1 minute to melt the butter. Add the remaining ingredients except the nuts and heat for 3 minutes on high. Stir to combine. Add the nuts, stirring and tossing to coat them with the glaze. Microwave on high for up to 9 minutes, stirring at 2-minutes and then 1-minute intervals to redistribute the coating and prevent scorching. When all the liquid has caramelized, they're done. Don't touch them; the caramelized sugar is extremely hot. Carefully slide the nuts onto a foil-lined rack to cool.
Store in airtight containers or plastic freezer bags.
Music break: Memphis by Lonnie Mack
Holiday Etiquette ()
The best thing about Thanksgiving is the food, but along with that comes the friends and family that make this meal memorable, or something to be forgotten. Chow magazine Table Manners columnist Helena Echlin helps us navigate these treacherous social waters during the holidays.
Music break: Funky John by Johnny Cameron & The Camerons
Listeners' Last Meals ()
A few weeks ago we featured author-photographer Melanie Dunea and her book, My Last Supper, cataloging the results of this old chef game called Last Meals. We asked our listeners to call in with their responses to the question "What would you want your last meal on earth to be?." Producer Thea Chaloner compiled a montage with our listeners' last meal requests.
Internal music breaks:
Deep Purple by Bucky Pizzarelli & Frank Vignola
Tarnation by Max Avery Lichtenstein, from the soundtrack of Tarnation
Nyamaropa Chipembere by Mbira Post
Music break: Skokiaan by Perez Prado & His Orchestra
Save The Turkey ()
Catskill Animal Sanctuary's founder Kathy Stevens has suggestions for having a turkey-free Thanksgiving. Located in New York, the santuary is a haven for abandoned and abused farm animals. She is the author of Where the Blind Horse Sings and believes in the healing power of love and kindness that rescued animals provide.
Music break: Guitar Rhumbo by Guitar Gable
Bless This Food ()
The practice of asking for a blessing or for praying over your meal goes back to prehistoric times. And of course, lots of blessings and prayers will be said over this Thanksgiving Day meal. Author Adrian Butash explore mealtime reflections throughout cultures and religions in Bless This Food: Ancient and Contemporary Graces from Around the World.
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Du Vin Wine & Spirits: In business for more than two decades at San Vicente in West Hollywood, Du Vin offers more than 10,000 bottles of hand-picked wine, with staff specialists in the wines of France, Italy, Latin America and California.
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