Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving thanks for ample amounts of food

I know you have to be holding your breath, waiting for me to reveal what I ate for Thanksgiving. Well, sadly I worked on Thanksgiving (such is the profession I joined and the propensity of my boss to schedule for every single holiday that he can possibly come up with). Thankfully, my dad was able to visit the week before, and I decided to have a Thanksgiving-esque feast to commemorate (and cause I love cooking food).

  • Apple-cranberry pork roast
  • Candied sweet potatoes
  • Red-skinned mashed potatoes (no photo)
  • Green bean casserole (no photo)
  • Orange-cranberry sauce
  • Spaghetti Squash gratin
Most of these are straightforward recipes, but I will include photos of all and recipes for the the three things that I had never made before.

First, the easiest: Apple-cranberry pork roast.
Line the bottom of a crock pot with a layer of onion slices and a layer of apple (peeled) slices. Place pork roast (any cut you want, with fat trimmed out. Leave the bone in, but don't forget to take it back out). Cover roast with chopped cranberries and more apple slices. Whisk salt, pepper, 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 of apple cider and a 1/4 of orange juice. Pour mix over it. It will look like this:

Pretty, right? Next, cover and turn the pot on high for about two hours. At this point I pull out the bone, flip the meat and turn it down to low. Cook until it's done or you are ready to eat. Baste occassionally. It will look like this when its done:

Everything breaks down and makes an amazing sauce that is sweet and tangy and savory. It works on top of the mashed potatoes I made (no picture sorry.)

Next, I made spaghetti Squash gratin. Roast the squash however you like (I cut it in half, place it cut side down on a backing sheet and put it in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until it's tender.) Scoop out the filling. In a big bowl mix it with:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 t. dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream
3/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano, divided
Pour into pans and bake in the broiler uncovered until it keeps lightly browned on top.

I put a garnish of chopped tomatoes sauteed in garlic, basil and oregano on each serving just because it needed some acid to break through the richness of the cream.

I also made classic candied sweet potatoes (below). I chose to use real sweet potatoes as opposed to canned. It really did make a difference in the flavor and texture.

Lastly I made homemade cranberry sauce with the extra cranberries that I didn't use in the roast.

Here's the recipe since I had never made this before. The others I sort of made up myself, but this one I wanted to get right.

Orange-Cranberry Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Yield: About 3 cups
1 pound (about 4 cups) cranberries
1- 3/4 cups white sugar
1/4 dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 cup triple sec
1/8 cup orange juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until cranberries are tender and sugar is dissolved, stirring once, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven, carefully remove the foil and allow the cranberry sauce to cool completely. Refrigerate cranberry sauce until well chilled. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead.)

My favorite thing I did with this sauce, was when it was still warm, I put it over vanilla ice cream. AWESOME. Definitely do this!


  1. I hate your ability to cook. And by that I mean I love it (and you!) because it's so inspirational... and your food is always yummy :)

    quit journalism and do something with food!

  2. Oh please. You know you can cook! Plus, my secret is to just dump some stuff in a crock pot and let it go. Crock pots make EVERYTHING yummy.