Oh festive times! We have some good stuff today and I’m really excited to share it. Addie and I collaborated on a Thanksgiving-centered recipe post, with us both contributing food. If you’re like us, and are going to a big family gathering this Thursday and need to bring something, we have a few ideas for you that are easy and guaranteed to be a hit. I also had a great time styling this shoot, especially the little rotisserie chicken (which isn’t featured in this post, it’s merely decoration) which is like, so tiny. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Appetizer: Rosemary Sea Salt Flatbread Crackers
(This is Caroline speaking) I think Rosemary is one of the most magical herbs. It smells amazing and I even love it for its aesthetic quality. I love using it in savory dishes, especially this time of year. A few years ago I made some rosemary flatbread crackers using a friend’s recipe for a Christmas party we were throwing and it was just so insanely quick and simple and I thought it would work equally as well as an appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner. They go great with a soft cheese like brie, and Addie whipped up some compote using leftover cranberries from her tart (see further down).
– 1½ cups all purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
– 1½ Tablespoons Olive Oil
– ½ cup water
– extra sea salt for topping if desired.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place flour, salt, sugar and rosemary in a bowl, whisk to combine. Then stir in water and oil, stir until fully combined.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper (slightly larger than your baking sheet.) Roll the dough until it is about ⅛th of an inch thick. you may need to add a bit of flour because the dough is quite sticky. Try to keep the thickness as even as possible. Trim the edges if you want. The edges tend to be thinner and so they may burn in the oven before the rest of the crackers are done. Cut the dough into squares using a pizza cutter. Brush with a little water and sprinkle with more sea salt if desired. Use a fork to prick each square a few times. Transfer the dough, still on the parchment paper, onto a baking sheet and place it in the oven. Immediately reduce heat to 425. Bake for 12-17 minutes, or until crackers are starting to become golden.
(recipe from Fox and Briar)
– 1 orange
– 2 cups (8 oz.) fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely grate zest from orange and set aside. Using a sharp paring knife, cut off peel and white pith from orange. Working over a small bowl, cut between membranes to release segments into bowl. Combine zest, cranberries, sugar, juice, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst and sauce has thickened, 5–10 minutes. Chill until cold.
Gently stir orange segments into compote.
Side: Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
I was so pleased with myself for planting something green that I’m still able to harvest this late in the year. It coincided nicely with the holiday, and since Brussels sprouts are so common with Thanksgiving feasts these days, I decided it was a perfect simple side dish for this post. This preparation of Brussels sprouts was the first way I started cooking them after I started consuming them on a regular basis. There’s about a million recipes out there, but I think the simpler, the better. They just need a good deep caramelization, instead of a quick flash sauté. Once they get a good color on them and soften up, they’re done.
– Trimmed, halved Brussels sprouts (roughly 2 cups)
– 3 Large cloves garlic, minced
– 1/2 large shallot, diced
– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
– Fresh lemon juice
– Salt and pepper
Melt butter in a sauté pan. Add sprouts, shallot and garlic, and stir around. Let the shallot soften and the Brussels get some color, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add a generous squeeze of lemon towards the end of cooking along with salt and pepper to taste.
Dessert: Cranberry Curd Tart
I’ve admired this recipe from The New York Times for a long time, but I’ve been intimidated by the process of making the curd and the fussy preparation of the crust. I decided I could start simple and use a store bought crust, which really fits the spirit of what we’re going for here- simple last minute Thanksgiving dishes. The curd was stupid simple to make and it barely took any time at all. The fresh cranberries are pure garnish, but they add a really lovely extra bit of color.
For the curd
-2 cups fresh cranberries
-Peel and juice of 1 large orange
-1 cup sugar
-1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
-2 eggs plus 2 yolks
In a large sauce pan combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice and peel (be careful not to include any of the bitter pith with the peel) over medium heat. Heat for about 10 minutes, until the cranberries have softened and popped. While the cranberries are cooking, crack two eggs plus two egg yolks into a large mixing bowl and whisk gently. Set aside. When the cranberries are finished, pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve (like a chinois) using a ladle to push as much of the liquid through as possible. (Side note: the leftover pulp was turned into a compote that we used for our cheese and crackers spread- waste not!) Whisk the softened butter into the cranberry liquid until completely melted. Slowly whisk the warm cranberries into the eggs to temper until totally combined. To thicken, return to the pot over a low heat until it starts to boil. Stir to make sure the curd has thickened and there are no lumps. Let cool completely to room temperature and set aside.
While the curd is cooling, prepare the crust. Grease a fluted tart pan and press the pastry crust into the sides, cutting off any excess crust. Prick the crust with a fork and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Once the crust has lightly browned, take out and let cool completely. Once the crust is cooled, pour the cranberry curd into the tart shell and smooth out the top. Bake for about 10 minutes to set the curd.
Optional garnish of fresh cranberries.