Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spicy Lamb-Stuffed Mushrooms

Gentle reader, I would be the first person to say that Thanksgiving is not the time to experiment with new dishes. Duh, you don’t want something to fail miserably on the biggest food day of the year, when a crowd is depending on you to provide for them. However, a dish that The Beez and I came up with last Thanksgiving was a huge hit that became an instant family classic.

Last year we came up with the idea of a stuffed-mushroom appetizer with a ground-lamb-based filling. In a wacky-sitcom-ish occurrence, unbeknownst to each other, The Beez and I both added hot spice to the mix as it was sautéing on the stove top. So it ended up being reeeally spicy. But everyone loved it and agreed we should make it again, and so we did.

After winging the preparation last year without writing anything down, we freestyled it again this year, with The Beez suggesting the addition of feta cheese, which proved awesome. The spice balance is up to you, but these definitely work nicely with a little heat. You may end up with some extra filling which you can save (to reheat and eat in a pita or over rice) or just eat with a spoon out of the pan.

Friday, November 25, 2011

This Year's Thanksgiving Dessert Table

Clockwise from top left (pie pan rim touching wine bottle): Pumpkin pie, buttermilk-lemon chess pie, chocolate-pecan-coconut-bourbon tart, pumpkin chocolate squares, chocolate chip cookies*, spiced apple pie, cheesecake with cranberry topping 

Note: We had 11 people for Thanksgiving. 

* These were provided by Aunty Olga. Brooklyn Girls Cooking is not affiliated with these cookies.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Braise? What braise?

Hello readers!

Thanksgiving approaches, and I have the family coming into town. OK, I admit, that has nothing to do with this post, but I have a lot of Thanksgiving foods on my mind with the approaching holiday. This weekend I got my half of our CSA share, and man did we have a lot of root vegetables...
by root vegetables I mean turnips, we got a lot of turnips. A lot. With the holiday coming up, I am loathe to over-buy food right now. I know there will be lots of leftovers, and I'm excited to tell you all about our Thanksgiving plans (yes! my family is coming to NY!) but here I was on a Sunday evening, I had some brown rice I had cooked the night before, and I had a plethora of turnips.

Thanksgiving Made Easy! (Well, Easier.)

Last year, as regular readers may recall, my cousin The Beez and I prepared a very Brooklyn Thanksgiving for our family who were kind enough to travel to us. This year, Turkey Day dinner will be at the Massachusetts home of our aunt (a.k.a. the Turkey Ninja) and uncle, and we will be preparing apps and desserts with my mom. I have mixed feelings about not being responsible for the whole feast; on the one hand, it’s a welcome respite from pressure at a time when I’m emerging from an all-consuming work wormhole; on the other, I’m kind of bummed to miss out on preparing the biggest meal of the year.

(On that note, I’m excited for, though slightly envious of, Alyce that her fam will be having Thanksgiving dinner at her BK apartment this year—at least one of the Brooklyn Girls Cooking will be cooking in Brooklyn on this high holy foodie day!!!)

While Thanksgiving dinner is made easier for me this year by the fact that I’m not making it, you, gentle reader, should have the benefit of learning from the meal-planning lessons of the past. Herewith, please find some of BGC’s classic (read: year-old) Thanksgiving how-to posts…because recycling is good for the planet, amirite?!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Pork Chops: So, That Happened.

I’m baa-aack, did you miss me? Gentle reader, I am just setting foot in the kitchen again after weeks of what I dubbed the Taco Diet, and leave it to me to eat even less nutritiously when cooking at home.

The Rob, as I have mentioned, enjoys very much the Stove Top, and I cannot deny that I see where he is coming from. The other night when I asked if he had any requests, he said he wanted Stove Top, but not chicken. Clearly, that was just silly. But I took this as a challenge and ended up inventing a sort of unholy inside-out pork sandwich, or maybe an inverted version of a KFC Double Down but with pork. If both of those concepts intrigue and excite you, you’ve come to the right post. This meal couldn’t have been simpler to put together and was shamefully satisfying.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sarma- aka Stuffed Grape Leaves

Well readers!

Way back when this summer, my birthday was extra special this year because my Grandma Viola trekked all the way up north from Florida by train so we could celebrate our birthdays together. In honor of this momentous occassion, we had a party with a ton of great food. There was lobster involved, so you know I was happy.

One of the dishes we made was one of my all time favorites- sarma, stuffed grape leaves. If you have never had stuffed grape leaves before, well, i am shaking my head. GO! Find them! Make them! Eat them!