Thanksgiving recipes don’t have to break your monthly food budget to qualify as “thankful.” Thankfully, decimals in the purchase price of the ingredients don’t count in the enjoyment of a dish.
Here are three simple, inexpensive (if not cheap) recipes to contribute to a Thanksgiving feast and share with family and friends:
Chose a large lidded pot. Peel carrots and cut to fit pot, that is, you want them longer rather than the short “squares” you buy in the frozen food section of your grocery store. You will be peeling probably 2 lbs. or so of carrots, at least. Fill with cold water and perhaps 1/3 cup olive oil. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to a slow simmer, and replace lid. Allow to simmer until carrots are soft, perhaps 30 – 40 minutes or so, but standing there waiting for them to cook is not the point. If you’re in that much of a hurry, you should have bought those frozen mixed peas and carrots in the frozen foods section and nuked them.
Anyway, drain when ready to serve, sprinkle with tarragon, and toss gently.
These will be colorful, delicious and disappear in a surprisingly short length of time.
Baked Acorn Squash
Preheat oven to 375* or so. Slice acorn squash in half, taking care to avoid cutting off a finger and having to unexpectedly visit the emergency room for stitches. Clean out the seeds and fibrous “netting” in each half of the squash with a soupspoon. Fit each squash side into one end of a glass loaf pan. (If one of the halves is too large, simply trim it to fit and stick the trimmed off part wherever it fits in the pan.) Fill the “basin” of each squash with a little broth (vegetable or chicken), a few tablespoons of olive oil, or a splash or two of white wine. Or all three. Fill the loaf pan with water to within about ¾ ” of the halves’ basins. Cover carefully with aluminum foil and place in middle of oven. Bake for perhaps an hour, and remove from oven. To serve, remove each half and slice into ½” crescents. Arrange artfully on platter. Sprinkle with sea salt.
“French Word, French Word” Spread
If you call this what it is, most people will turn up their noses and avoid it. If you mumble some French around it and set a basket of toasted bread or crackers next to it, it will disappear fairly quickly.
Take a pound of chicken livers and puree in a blender. Heat a large skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add some minced garlic and some finely diced onions to the skillet, stir until soft, and then add the chicken liver mixture. Add a splash or two of wine if convenient, red preferred. Continue to sauté as the mixture thickens. Add a few teaspoons of capers if you have them or even a pinch of anchovy paste if already open and in the fridge. When mixture is of a proper “spread” consistency, remove from heat, salt, and place in a dish next to the crackers or bread.
Have a thankful Thanksgiving!