At Least Thanksgiving Dessert is Set

Thanksgiving is coming! Yikes! I’ve been bookmarking recipes on my “Thanksgiving” Pinterest page for a few weeks, but somehow lost track of time and now it feels like:

I’LLNEVERGETEVERYTHINGDONEOMGRUNAWAYRUNAWAYRUNAWAY!

Deep breaths…

I’ve never been one for making a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, I was planning to serve my Short Rib Ragu as the main this year, but my father-in-law ordered a turkey for us instead, so we’re going with a tried-and-true menu! We’ll pick up the bird Wednesday, which means no dry brining for us, but I’ve found a few traditional recipes that should do the trick, either alone or in combination. The bird will be 18 POUNDS for only five of us and I really don’t know if my refrigerator can accommodate such a large bird, but at least we’ll have plenty of gumbo over the weekend, if anyone wants to join us.

Seriously. Please join us.

So as far as I can tell, we’ll have a fairly traditional Thanksgiving, with:

Nibbles

  • Cheeses, olives and Prosecco
  • Endive with figs, blue cheese, chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey and balsamic vinegar

Main Course

  • Turkey – I’m leaning toward this simple recipe, though Peking-style sounds amazing, and I wonder if breaking apart the bird before roasting would be the better course of action. I can break a raw chicken into parts without mangling it most days, but fear this beast will be too much for me to handle.

Sides

  • Purple potatoes, either salt roasted whole or prepared this way
  • Kale salad, which I’ll try to replicate from a salad I threw together a couple of Thanksgivings ago. I really should start writing things down!
  • Alton Brown’s cornbread
  • Green beans, maybe? I’m leaning toward the version on this Pinterest board with lemon and capers. What do you think?

Dessert

  • Apple Pie from Auntie El’s in Sloatsburg, NY (There’s no website, sorry.)
  • Sweet Potato Chiffon Puddings (picture above, recipe below)

While the menu doesn’t sound inspired, exactly, it will be the type of cooking I enjoy doing — simple home cooking that relies on fresh, whole ingredients. I’d love to throw in some of the traditional Cajun foods I grew up with (like my grandpa’s Oyster Dressing or Uncle Phil’s Cornbread Dressing), but I’d be the only one to eat them. And sentimentality aside, that’s a lot of work and expense for an already-busy holiday. Also, I can usually count on my dad to make oyster dressing at Christmas, so it isn’t that long of a wait.

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Are you spending it with family, taking in strays or maybe escaping completely and going on vacation (preferably someplace warm)?

Sweet Potato Chiffon Puddings

Allergy Egg, Milk
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Dessert
Misc Pre-preparable
These gluten-free Sweet Potato Chiffon Puddings have an airy texture, spicy orange flavor and can be made ahead in individual servings, so they're perfect for a dinner party or Thanksgiving gathering.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1lb roasted sweet potato (peeled)
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 Large egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 Large egg whites (room temperature)
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Note

If you'd like to make your own pumpkin pie spice, I highly recommend this recipe at My Baking Addiction.

I'm thinking a thin layer of caramel, dulce de leche or cajeta would be a delicious addition between the sweet potato and whipped cream layers.

I adapted this recipe from my favorite Sweet Potato Pie and this recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie at Chow.

Directions

Pour orange juice and Grand Marnier into a small measuring cup and sprinkle gelatin evenly over the surface. Set aside for later.
In a food processor, add sweet potato, milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, pie spice and salt, and pulse until smooth. Pour into a medium saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture reaches 160°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove pan from heat, add orange-gelatin mixture and orange zest and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
Pour egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and add cream of tartar. Whisk on high speed until whites start to form medium peaks, about one minute. Add sugar a little at a time and whisk until stiff peaks form, about another minute and a half.
Using a rubber spatula, fold half the egg whites into the cooled sweet potato mixture until no streaks are visible, then repeat with the remaining egg whites.
Either spoon the pudding into individual serving cups and chill or cover bowl and refrigerate pudding until ready to serve.
Just before serving, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Top puddings with the cream and sprinkle with ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg or crumbled gingersnaps, if desired.

Sweet potato chips

These sweet potato chips came about simply because I wanted to enter the photo contest at Leite’s Culinaria. The rules were simple: Contestants could choose any recipe on the site to cook as written, then photograph the dish in any manner of their choosing. No crazy digital shenanigans beyond tweaking white balance and exposure were allowed.

As it turned out, I had a couple of problems with this:

  1. For about a month, I literally could not decide on a recipe to cook. Everything sounded delicious, but no one recipe jumped out at me visually.
  2. When I finally decided on this recipe (mainly because I had all of the ingredients in the house and the day was drawing to a close), cooked it and took my pictures, the images didn’t seem contest-appropriate.

So… I didn’t enter. /facepalm

But these chips were absolutely delicious, and you deserve to know about them. Sea Salt and Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips. Try them now. Don’t let my neuroses stop you!