November 2005

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

 Just in case some of you are still figuring out what to bring for Thanksgiving Dinner, here are a few recipes perfect for your holiday table. Visit our Thanksgiving Recipes section for more recipes including recipes using leftover turkey.

Mary Ellen        

recipe newsletter



Use buttercup pumpkin if you can find it, or another variety such as sugar pumpkin.

1 pumpkin (3 1/2 pounds) halved and seeded (save the seeds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 whole cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Few leaves fresh sage, chopped
1 quart chicken stock, heated to warm
1 cup heavy cream

Set the oven at 350 degrees.

In a roasting pan, set pumpkin halves cut sides down. Add enough water to shallowly cover the bottom of the pan. Roast for about 50 to 60 minutes or until pumpkin is caramelized and tender when pierced with a skewer. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, rinse the pumpkin seeds. Pat them dry with paper towels. Toss them with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Toast them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are dry and crisp.

In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the butter, and when it melts, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.

Scoop the flesh from the pumpkin shells. Add the pumpkin, thyme, and sage to the onion mixture. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Stir in the stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring. Lower the heat and simmer the soup for 10 minutes. Let the soup cool slightly. In a blender, puree it in batches.

Return the soup to a clean pot and stir in cream. Heat gently without boiling. Ladle into bowls or pumpkin tureens (see accompanying recipe) and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Serves 6


6 carnival pumpkins
Salt and pepper, to taste

Set the oven at 350 degrees. In a roasting pan, set the pumpkins stems up.

Roast the pumpkins for 15 minutes. Leave to cool slightly. Cut a round in the top of each pumpkin to make an opening for soup. Reserve the tops. Remove the seeds and sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper.

Return the pumpkins to the oven. Roast them for 15 minutes or until they are tender but still hold their shape. Ladle soup into tureens and cap with tops.

Makes 6


3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the ramekins
8 ounces mixed mushrooms such as shiitake, cremini and oyster
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (divided)
1 cup whipping cream
4 large eggs
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano (divided)

Butter six (½-cup) ramekins, soufflé dishes or custard cups. Line them with rounds of parchment or wax paper cut to fit the bottoms. Butter the papers. Place ramekins in baking pan large enough to hold them in a single layer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse mushrooms well in large strainer under cold water to remove any grit, then pat dry with clean kitchen towel. Remove and discard stems from shiitakes. Slice all mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.

In large, heavy skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. When hot, add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they are browned and softened and all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt, several grindings of black pepper and 1 tablespoon parsley. Divide mushrooms evenly among ramekins, covering bottom of each ramekin with some of the mixture.

In mixing bowl, whisk together cream, eggs, 1/3 cup Parmesan, ¼ teaspoon salt and several grindings of pepper until well mixed. Transfer cream mixture to 2-cup or larger measuring cup with a spout and pour it into the ramekins, filling them almost to the top. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come half way up sides of ramekins. Carefully place pan on center rack of preheated oven.

As flans bake they will puff up. Bake until flans are set and a small, sharp knife inserted into centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Using pot holders, remove ramekins from pan to cooling rack for 5 minutes. Flans will deflate as they cool.

(Flans can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and reheat, uncovered, on baking sheet in preheated 350-degree oven, 10 to 15 minutes.)

Loosen edges of flans with small, sharp knife, then invert flans and remove and discard paper. Place one flan on each of 6 salad plates and sprinkle with some of remaining cheese and parsley. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

Note: If you want to double or triple this recipe but have only six ramekins, bake a single recipe, cool flans 5 minutes, then unmold them onto a baking sheet. Clean ramekins, then bake and unmold the second group onto the baking sheet. Cool, cover and refrigerate unmolded flans. Reheat them, uncovered, on baking sheet in preheated 350-degree oven, 10 to 15 minutes. Use metal spatula to transfer flans to salad plates.


1 whole, bone-in turkey breast
1 gallon (or more) water
1 cup orange juice
2 whole star anise
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup kosher salt
1 orange, sliced

Wash turkey breast. Place in a large, heavy-duty plastic bag. Add water, juice, star anise, garlic and salt and squish it around to mix. Seal bag with a twist-tie and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.

Remove turkey breast from bag and discard marinade. Pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels. Scatter orange slices in a shallow roasting pan and arrange turkey on top, skin side up. Rub skin all over with butter. Roast uncovered at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per pound, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 165 to 170 degrees. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before slicing.


1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to thaw if frozen)
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup sugar
2 cups water

In a large saucepan, combine cranberries, cherries, sugar and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until most berries have burst and liquid is syrupy, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Cover, pressing plastic wrap directly on surface of relish; refrigerate. Makes 3 cups.

Per ¼-cup serving: 120 calories, 32g carbohydrates, 1g protein, trace total fat (trace saturated fat), no cholesterol, 4mg sodium, 1g fiber. Calories from fat: 2%.


3 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup golden raisins
1 navel orange, peeled, coarsely chopped, and seeded
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
8 ounces dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt

In a large saucepan, combine the fresh and dried cranberries, raisins, orange, onion, apricots, ginger, sugar, orange juice, vinegar, thyme, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves.

Turn the heat to medium-high. Let the mixture come to a boil. Cook until the fresh cranberries pop. Turn the heat to low. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the chutney thickens.

Remove the saucepan from heat and let the chutney cool, stirring several times. Refrigerate in covered containers for up to 4 weeks.

Makes about 6 cups


3 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
1/4 cup maple syrup

In large bowl, combine carrot, raisin, celery and pecans. In small bowl combine mayonnaise and syrup. Add to carrot mixture and mix gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Serves 6.


6 oz. pkg. red gelatin
2 C. boiling water
1 bag cranberries
1 large orange
1/2 C. chopped nuts
1 C. sugar

Grind cranberries and orange. Add sugar over cranberries. Add to gelatin when it is partially set. Refrigerate.


14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 cups drained crushed pineapple
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can strawberry pie filling
12 ounces cool whip, thawed
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Fold all ingredients together and blend well. Chill until ready to serve.


2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
1 tablespoon tarragon, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

* Parboil the beans in salted water until tender to the bite, about 5 minutes. Drain. Saute the shallots in butter until tender, add the beans, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until warm. Stir in the chopped tarragon, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per 4-ounce serving: 50 cal., 2 g pro., 8 g carbo., 1.5 g fat, 150 mg sodium, 5 mg chol., 4 g fiber.

SOURCE: "Gourmet Meals in Minutes"


1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1/2 pound white mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps cleaned and finely chopped
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons sherry
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
4 to 5 cups stuffing, any meat-free recipe
1 package phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

First, make the mushroom duxelles. Soak dried mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for 30 minutes to soften. Remove mushrooms and chop finely. Heat butter in heavy 12-inch skillet over medium high heat until foam subsides. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add all mushrooms to pan and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden and all liquid mushrooms give off has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in cream, sherry and nutmeg and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to bowl, cooling to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently unfold phyllo and place on half a large towel. Fold other half of towel over dough to keep it moist. Place 1 sheet phyllo on parchment-covered pan. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with 2 more sheets of phyllo. Place stuffing on phyllo in a long rectangle 4 inches wide and about 9 inches long, leaving about 4 inches of phyllo on all sides. Compact stuffing with your hands.

Cover stuffing with the mushroom mixture, and compact gently with your hands. Fold short edges of phyllo over filling, then long sides. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until filling is hot and phyllo is golden brown. (To see whether filling is hot, insert point of sharp knife into center and feel it. If knife is hot, filling will be, too.) If phyllo browns too quickly, cover with foil.

Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. To serve, cut into inch-wide slices.


2 cups canned or homemade pumpkin puree, unseasoned
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
Optional garnish:
Whipped cream
Pumpkin candies

In a medium mixing bowl, mix pumpkin, milk, cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and egg yolks. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until firm. Gently, with a plastic spatula, fold egg whites into the pumpkin mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter six 3-inch ramekins. Lightly sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly in bottoms of the ramekins. Divide pumpkin mixture among ramekins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until nicely puffed up. Don't overcook or the souffle will fall. Serve immediately if you want a warm dessert, or cool for 1/2 to 1 hour to serve cooled. Serve with whipped cream and pumpkin candy garnish, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe from pastry chef Januz Noka, of Grand Central Oyster Bar, New York City


1 stick butter
1 16 ounce box powdered sugar, sifted
1 6 ounce can frozen cranberry juice concentrate
1 12 ounce box vanilla wafers (finely crumbed)
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Coconut flakes, for rolling

Sift powder sugar and cream with butter. Add cranberry concentrate, crumbled wafers and chopped pecans. Form into small balls the size of a walnut. Roll in coconut. These freeze well. This recipe also works well with orange juice concentrate instead of cranberry.


Two 15-ounce cans pumpkin pie mix
1 container Cool Whip Light
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 graham cracker crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Follow mixing directions as instructed on the can of pumpkin pie mix. Blend in 3/4 Cool Whip in lieu of milk and fold in ginger. Puree in the blender and pour into graham cracker crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes.

Let cool and garnish with Cool Whip and/or pumpkin seeds.

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