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Nov 3, 2011 01:16 PM

Your most requested recipe from Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners

Mine is my stuffing/dressing -- I make an effort to go to Asian markets to get fresh water chestnuts for it. It's a pain driving/parking/searching and then peeling that barky stuff off and slicing them BUT it's so much better in the stuffing than canned. They stay crunchy. I also add toasted almond slivers (not slices) and chunks of peeled apple (on top of sauteed onion, celery and lots of parsley, Bell's, chopped fresh sage.

What's your most requested recipe?

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  1. Sausage-mushroom-roasted shallot stuffing and cranberry sauce with port and figs from Thanksgiving - the cranberry sauce is from Epicurious, but the stuffing is my own creation (although inspired by an Epicurious recipe). Thanksgiving is the only holiday I can call my own, though - we still do Christmas at my parents' house, and my family has never really had a traditional Christmas meal - we change it up every year.

    1. The kids and grandkids always ask for grandma's fruit jello. Strawberry gelatin, mixed with strawberries and served in layers (gelatin and fruit/sour cream/gelatin and fruit). The kids say it feels like dessert alongside their dinner (better than cranberry sauce) ...

      1. Shredded brussel sprouts sauteed with crispy bacon'pancetta, garlic and pine nuts/pistachios. Add water if it gets dry, drizzle with olive oil at the end.

        4 Replies
        1. re: escondido123

          Our family ejoys a similar Brussels Sprouts side made with Pancetta as well, plus...

          * a savory sausage stuffing
          * sweet potato muffins
          * an Italian inspired Seafood Salad.....served warm and without acid, Lemon wraps on the side.
          * slow roasted Prime Rib, Rack of Veal or Pork, Picnic Shoulder, Fresh ham or Leg of Lamb

          1. re: fourunder

            fourunder, can you share recipe or expound on the Italian Seafood Salad?
            Sounds intrigueing and nice... no acid has me curious:)

            1. re: gingershelley

              no acid has me curious:)


              The reason for no acid is simply .....not everyone enjoys vinegar and any acid in the main dish will continue to cook the seafood should it sit out for any length of time, or should there be any leftovers....think Cerviche. Personally, I like the delicate sweetness or taste of the ocean in Sea Foods like, Maine Lobster, Crabs, Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, Calamari and Pulpo. Over the years, the seafood salads have been made with acid, but after it was made without, most all family and friends preferred it without red wine vinegar or lemon juice included and made in advance.....

              My first order of business is to have 2-3 pots of boiling water going to cook the seafood separately in stages. Calamari Tubes are cooked separately from the Tentacles to avoid bleeding of the ink. Pulpo is also cooked separately. Calamari Tubes are cooked whole, then sliced in to rings 1/2 or up to one inch ( We like them Big). Calamari tentacles and Baby Pulpo are boiled whole without cutting. Scungilli is boiled and sliced. Lobsters are steamed. Shrimp are usually steamed. Lobster and Shrimp are then shelled and cut accordingly. Any clams or mussels are usually steamed in beer or wine. The only seafood I will pan fry/saute/sear are shrimp and scallops. After each stage of cooking the fish, it is allowed to cool, but never refrigerated. The dish is meant to be served warm.

              The vegetables used are:

              * Red Onion Sliver
              * Celery (including hearts and leaves) cut on the bias or into diamonds
              * Olives
              * Pepperoncini
              * Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
              * Garlic Slivers slow poached in Olive Oil (Inclusion is Optional)*

              Seasonings: All Optional to taste

              * Sea Salt
              * Fresh Cracked Pepper
              * Red Pepper Flakes
              * White Wine
              * Red Wine Vinegar
              * Wrapped lemons on the Side

              * Quality Olive Oil...Garlic* infused from the Slivers
              * Liquor from beer poaching liquid for clams and mussels

              The usual line-up of sea foods will include all, or any combination of the following....with exception of the Salt Cod.......which usually is made separately on it's own as well to satisfy the old timers... Anyone who like the Salt Cod can add it into their mix if desired. Some recipes will use lump crab, but I find it breaks down too easily and loses its presence in the salad

              * Shelled Maine Lobster...including Tail, Claw and Knuckle meat
              * Jumbo Shrimp.....Whole or Halved, but you could certainly chop or use smaller sizes
              * Calamari Rings and Tentacles
              * Scungilli
              * Baby Pulpo
              * Shelled King or Snow Crab
              * Pan Seared Scallops
              * Mussels in shell, .....I don't shell these, as the black shell make nice contrast visually
              * Little Neck Clams in shell
              * Baccala ...aka Salt Cod

              After all the fish has been cooked and prepared into its appropriate sizes...the prepped vegetables and fish are all then placed into a large mixing bowl and combined with the Infused Olive Oil and gently folded together and transferred to a large serving plate or bowl is lined, or not, with Romaine Lettuce, Radicchio, and or Endive for garnish

              Wrapped Lemon Halves are available in a side bowl .....and vinegar if desired.

              btw....This is one dish I always pile high and aim for height in the presentation

              Mount Vesuvius....can you hear me now?

              Enjoy ! ! ! !



              1. re: gingershelley


                If you like the idea of's a crowd pleaser in the thread below. I have also included shellfish and clams into it with great results.

                I have also tried finishing with more butter.....and heavy cream.

                Give it a read.

          2. Mine is Corn Corn & More Corn Casserole. It's kind of like a firm corn pudding/corn bread hybrid, you can pick it up & eat it with your fingers.
            2 cans creamed corn
            2 cans corn or fresh corn from 1-1/2 cobs
            2 sticks butter
            2 eggs
            16 oz sour cream
            2 eggs
            2 pks of jiffy corn bread mix
            optional cubes of pepper jack cheese, green chiles, ham, chopped bacon....

            mix everything together and bake in a 400 degree oven until brown on top (about 1 to 1-1/3 hr)

            I know this recipe sounds funky but it really is super awesome. I'll make all sorts of elborate side dishes from scratch and while everyone always raves about everything, this is the one dish people want a recipe for.

            It's also great with a hearty beef chili or served along side some BBQ

            2 Replies
            1. re: brassica2012

              This sounds good to me, but huge! What size pan do you use?

              1. re: brassica2012

                Ditto on the pan size question plus I assume the butter is melted? It does sound good and I like something corny at thanksgiving.

              2. A dish I make of caramelized cipollines, roasted chestnuts (not steamed), and figs with a buttery cognac reduction. It's an old Food & Wine recipe that I tinkered with. (The recipe calls for prunes, not figs, and I do a few other things different..). Always a hit and makes great leftovers.

                11 Replies
                  1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                    That sounds delicious - care to share the recipe?

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      Not a chutney. All the ingredients are used whole. Let me get the recipe and post it. Stay tuned...

                      1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                        Here is the original recipe.

                        I used dried black mission figs in place of the prunes. I buy chestnuts and roast and peel them. The recipe also requires tinkering for the caramelization. I let the onions caramelize for considerably longer than the 30 minutes suggested in the recipe, adding more butter and cognac as my instinct tells me to add. A pat here, a splash there. I also make this the day before Tday and reheat gently in the oven. Take care not to heat (or reheat) on too high a stove or oven temp - the sauce will break. One year, I could not find cipollines, so used a combo of shallots and pearl onions with success. Enjoy!

                        1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                          Wow - that looks fantastic. I'm adding that to the short list for Christmas!

                          1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                            I've used the frozen pearl onions from Trader Joe's in recipes similar to this and though the texture is a little different, it is a real time saver when you need it.

                            1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                              there's just something so wonderful about about chestnuts & figs together. last year's NY Times vegetarian Thanksgiving article featured a recipe from Daniel Humm (chef at Eleven Madison Park in NYC) for Brioche Stuffing with Chestnuts and Figs. i was drooling when i read it.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I never thought of using frozen pearl onions. Genius.

                                1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                                  If you have access to Indian stores, they often sell frozen small pink onions (as much shallot-like as onion like) for use in sambals. They are readily substituable and caramelize nicely.

                              2. re: RUNNERFEMME

                                curious, do you leave the figs whole or cut them?

                                1. re: jen kalb

                                  jen kalb - i pinch off the stems and leave them intact. simple.