Can you believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner?
It feels a bit odd, Thanksgiving being so late this year. All around me I’m getting the sense that people are anxious for the holiday season to begin, and therefore Christmas trees are coming up, holiday decorations are in full force inside stores, and sales are everywhere. Heck, add to that the fact that Hanukkah is this weekend, the holiday spirit is everywhere!
Anyway, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite Thanksgiving-related recipes and past posts. I’ve got everything from Asian-inspired roast duck Thanksgiving meal that I prepared a couple years ago to some of my fall favorites.
I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time two years ago at my new house. I made this well-received Chinese oven-roasted duck, which was made tender by roasting with a beer can. Fill this with Chinese sticky rice for a pretty authentic Chinese version of the American turkey with stuffing.
These savory Chinese pumpkin cakes are a family classic from Bryan’s side of the family. His grandmother used to make them in China, and his mom figured out how to adapt it using US ingredients. This totally makes us think of the holidays and especially reminds Bryan of home, since that’s the only time he ever eats it (except when I make it, which still weirds him out because he’s not at home while eating it).
This oven roasted kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin) is one of my favorites right now. I actually prefer Kabocha squash to normal pumpkins. It’s like crack for me – I can’t stop eating it! It’s sweet, roasts up beautifully, and works with so many things. I recently roasted a whole squash and have been enjoying it for breakfast (!) and dinner every day.
These Chinese Long Beans with Garlic are the healthier, crispier, and (in my opinion) better way of preparing green beans compared to the typical green bean casserole. Serve these as a side dish to counter all that rich gravy and mashed potatoes!
Another fun Asian-inspired side is to make something with taro root. I fried these taro “fries” in duck fat – which is delicious – but totally not necessary.
Or to be a bit healthier, you can bake your own sweet potato chips in the oven. Just be careful to watch the chips really carefully – you can easily overcook them and burn them!
I have always loved the Kaddo Bourani (Afghan baked sugar pumpkin) at The Helmand, my favorite Afghan restaurant here in the Boston area. The magical combination of the sweet pumpkin, savory meat sauce, and cool garlic mint yogurt is out of this world.
Why boil gnocchi when you can fry it? Kabocha squash is starchier than pumpkin, and therefore lends itself really easily to being made into gnocchi. I love eating gnocchi this way, just simply pan-fried and drizzled with some truffle oil and sea salt. Click here to see the recipe.
Warm, Hearty Soups
Ahh, autumn is the perfect time to enjoy comforting bowls of warm, hearty soup. I love blended soups, especially when they are made without cream. This creamy kabocha soup with a kick uses no cream yet comes out velvety smooth, sweet, and super addictive.
I made this celeriac apple potato soup based on an inspiration from a meal at Upstairs on the Square. It’s simple, hearty, and perfect for those chilly nights. It’s also a great way to use up those apples you got from apple picking!
Bryan dreamed up this creative interpretation of the traditional apple pie – inside out apple pies! All you need is a muffin tin and a really sharp knife. They present beautifully and are eco-friendly too.
Don’t forget to spend some time this long weekend reflecting on all things for which you are thankful. In the hectic nature of these last few weeks leading up to the new year, it’s easy to forget!
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