"NicoleWeston" news and stories
After a frying experiment last year that left her kitchen smelling like short order station for several days, my mom has issued an embargo on all things fried. That left me looking for oven-baked latke options in order to satisfy my seasonal craving. Luckily, I happened upon a recipe of Nicole's (of Baking Bites) and I used that as my guide into the world of unfried latkes.
Happily, they were absolutely delicious. I learned the hard way that you have to grease your foil-lined pan agressively, as without sufficient oil, they'll stick horribly and you'll lose all the wonderful crisp brownness that develops on the side of the latke that is in contact with the pan. I used four medium baking potatoes and one onion and came away with 15 good-sides latkes. I ate mine with creme fraiche and a little cranberry jam, while my dad ate several along side some poached eggs.
Despite my affection for butter, I don't use brown butter in my own cooking frequently. However, since reading Nicole's post on Baking Bites that details how to make it, I'm thinking that I need to cook up a batch and find an excuse to gently toss some veggies or pasta in it.
Looking for a way to use up some leftover eggnog, I considered possibilities like eggnog cookies and eggnog cheesecake before deciding to make up a batch of eggnog popovers. A popover is made with an egg batter, very similar to crepe batter, that puffs up in the oven, literally popping over the top of the tin that it is made in. Since the batter is similar to pancake batter, I was hoping for something that would be appropriate for breakfast or dessert and that is exactly what I got.
The interior of these popovers is moist and tender, almost custardy, while the exterior is light and crisp. They're best when they're still hot or warm, but are still tasty at room temperature. You can really taste the eggnog flavor, boosted with a bit of nutmeg and vanilla, and they go wonderfully with maple syrup or powdered sugar.
I always start with the desserts for Thanksgiving. Aside from defrosting the turkey, they take a fair amount of time and can be done in advance. Getting them out of the way first frees up the oven for everything that needs to be done at the last minute. I always do a pumpkin pie in addition to a second dessert according to the tastes of the other people joining the dinner. Sometimes the second dessert is a cake or cookies and sometimes it is another pie. Last year, I made an apple pie in addition to the pumpkin and this year I'm doing a lemon tart. The tart tastes lighter (even though it is actually a bit richer) than the pumpkin pie and has a nice bright flavor that is great after a heavy meal. Pumpkin will always be my favorite, though.
The recipe is after the jump.
I know that in some places Thanksgiving stuffing is called "dressing" when it is not cooked inside the turkey, but where I grew up everyone called it stuffing no matter how it was cooked; it was what went into it was much more important. My stuffing is much like a hot, crispy bread salad and uses bread, onions, celery, sage, apples and dried fruit for a mix that is half savory and half sweet. Because it is not stuffed into a bird, but baked in a casserole dish, it seemed prudent to go all-out and make the dish vegetarian. It will still be enjoyed by the meat-eaters, especially if they are they type that puts gravy on their stuffing anyway, and will provide an option other than straight veggies for vegetarians.