Thanksgiving

Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad with Ginger-Lemongrass Dressing

Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad with Ginger-Lemongrass Dressing from A Thought For Food www.athoughtforfood.net

I know what my strengths and weaknesses are as a cook and I'd say that one thing I'm consistent with are salads and slaws. Like soups, I love the countless possibilities, the endless flavor combinations. You can go sweet, spicy, creamy, zesty. Whichever way you want it. You can make them during any season, using any produce that's available. I guess I'm kind of geeking over this, but I think they're a wonderful addition to meals. Especially epic dinners like a Thanksgiving feast, where the table tends to be overloaded with cream and butter and cheese (you know, all the good stuff). A bright, crunchy salad can lighten it all up.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, this next week we have a lot going on. On Saturday, we're hosting our annual Friendsgiving and have 18 guests joining us. Usually, I'm pretty stressed over the whole thing, but this year I'm really not worried. I guess I know it'll all come together. There'll be food and drinks and people will have a great time. That's really all that matters.  We're staying local for the actual Thanksgiving festivities, doing brunch with Eric's father and then heading over to do dinner with his mom. 

I may or may not pop in next week to post something else. If I don't, I hope everyone has a happy and delicious holiday.

Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad with Ginger-Lemongrass Dressing from A Thought For Food www.athoughtforfood.net
Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad with Ginger-Lemongrass Dressing from A Thought For Food www.athoughtforfood.net
Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad with Ginger-Lemongrass Dressing from A Thought For Food www.athoughtforfood.net

SHAVED CAULIFLOWER AND RADICCHIO SALAD WITH GINGER-LEMONGRASS DRESSING
Yield: 6-8 servings, as a side

Ingredients:
1 small cauliflower
4-5 radish
1 head radicchio
3 scallion, light and dark green parts only, sliced on the bias
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon chopped lemongrass
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt

Directions:
Using a large chef's knife, remove the green leaves, as well as the stem, from the cauliflower. Quarter the cauliflower and then cut the pieces into thin (approximately 1/4-inch thick) slices. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Thinly slice radish and radicchio and add that, along with the scallion, to the bowl with the cauliflower.

In a separate bowl, add the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until blended. Taste for seasoning and add salt. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to combine. Let sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.  Taste for seasoning and, if necessary, add more salt.

Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce and A Thanksgiving Cocktail

Cranberry Sauce 1

Cranberry Sauce 1

You know those foods that leave a lasting impression?  The ones where you remember your first introduction... the exact place and time you had your first bite and exactly how it tasted and smelled?  Well, I had this with kumquats. Yes... kumquats. It was at the office of a documentary production company I had just started interning with (and would later work for) and one of my fellow interns was always bringing in foods I'd never heard of.  One day she brought in a bag of kumquats and I was amused by their shape.  What are those? What do they taste like?  She was quick to offer me one, explaining to slowly sink my teeth into the peel before continuing into the flesh. I did as instructed. Oh, it's sweet. Oh, it's tart! Oh, I want another!

This may or may not come as a surprise, but the inspiration for this sauce stemmed from a cocktail recipe I started working on a few weeks ago.  My mother in law, a cranberry sauce lover (she makes it all year long... not just around the holidays), left a container of her's at our apartment and, after tasting a spoon, I thought it'd be fun to incorporate it into a drink.  I wanted to keep it refreshing, so I went with gin, a bit of Aperol, some lemon juice and a little simple syrup to sweeten it up (despite what many cranberry sauce recipes say, the less sugar you add the better. Tart is the way to go).

I made this sauce for our Friendsgiving dinner last weekend and it was a huge hit... not as a side dish, but in the drink we served with appetizers.  Either way, folks will be pleased.  I mean, how can you go wrong with booze?

IMG_5394

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Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce - A Thought For Food

Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce - A Thought For Food

Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce - A Thought For Food

Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce - A Thought For Food

Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce - A Thought For Food

Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce - A Thought For Food

Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce - A Thought For Food

Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce - A Thought For Food

Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce

Yield Approx. 1.5 cups

Ingredients 16 oz kumquats, seeds removed and quartered. 12 oz cranberries 1/2 cup fresh orange juice 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise

Instructions

1. In a saucepan, place the the kumquats, cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon and sugar and set over medium heat.  Stir and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until the cranberries burst.

2. Add the vanilla bean.  Stir sauce. Once it thickens a bit, turn off the burner and let cool.

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IMG_2060

IMG_2060

Cranberry and Kumquat Libation - A Thought For Food

Cranberry and Kumquat Libation - A Thought For Food

Cranberry and Kumquat Libation

Ingredients 1 tablespoon cranberry-kumquat sauce (see recipe above) 2 oz gin 1 oz lemon juice 1/2 oz Aperol 1/4 oz simple syrup 1/2 oz lemon-lime seltzer

Instructions

1. With the exception of the seltzer, place all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with three ice cubes.  Shake for 10-15 seconds to chill the drink.  Pour all contents, including ice, into a rocks glass.

2. Add another ice cube if preferred.

3. Add with lemon-lime seltzer and give the drink a stir with a spoon.

Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce and A Thanksgiving Cocktail

You know those foods that leave a lasting impression?  The ones where you remember your first introduction... the exact place and time you had your first bite and exactly how it tasted and smelled?  Well, I had this with kumquats. Yes... kumquats. It was at the office of a documentary production company I had just started interning with (and would later work for) and one of my fellow interns was always bringing in foods I'd never heard of.  One day she brought in a bag of kumquats and I was amused by their shape.  What are those? What do they taste like?  She was quick to offer me one, explaining to slowly sink my teeth into the peel before continuing into the flesh. I did as instructed. Oh, it's sweet. Oh, it's tart! Oh, I want another!

This may or may not come as a surprise, but the inspiration for this sauce stemmed from a cocktail recipe I started working on a few weeks ago.  My mother in law, a cranberry sauce lover (she makes it all year long... not just around the holidays), left a container of her's at our apartment and, after tasting a spoon, I thought it'd be fun to incorporate it into a drink.  I wanted to keep it refreshing, so I went with gin, a bit of Aperol, some lemon juice and a little simple syrup to sweeten it up (despite what many cranberry sauce recipes say, the less sugar you add the better. Tart is the way to go).

I made this sauce for our Friendsgiving dinner last weekend and it was a huge hit... not as a side dish, but in the drink we served with appetizers.  Either way, folks will be pleased.  I mean, how can you go wrong with booze?

Cranberry and Kumquat Sauce

Yield Approx. 1.5 cups

Ingredients 16 oz kumquats, seeds removed and quartered. 12 oz cranberries 1/2 cup fresh orange juice 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise

Instructions

1. In a saucepan, place the the kumquats, cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon and sugar and set over medium heat.  Stir and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until the cranberries burst.

2. Add the vanilla bean.  Stir sauce. Once it thickens a bit, turn off the burner and let cool.

[/print_this]

Cranberry and Kumquat Libation

Ingredients 1 tablespoon cranberry-kumquat sauce (see recipe above) 2 oz gin 1 oz lemon juice 1/2 oz Aperol 1/4 oz simple syrup 1/2 oz lemon-lime seltzer

Instructions

1. With the exception of the seltzer, place all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with three ice cubes.  Shake for 10-15 seconds to chill the drink.  Pour all contents, including ice, into a rocks glass.

2. Add another ice cube if preferred.

3. Add with lemon-lime seltzer and give the drink a stir with a spoon.