Happy Thanksgiving!

ginormous mushroom pie

Happy thanksgiving, everybody! However it began, it’s become a holiday to celebrate being with people we love, and to celebrate having good food to eat and the opportunity to cook it together. Of course I love that idea! It’s a day to think about what it means to be grateful, and to concentrate on all of the things we have to be thankful for, which is something I wish I did more often. It seems like one of the least commercializable holidays – no toys or candies or cards. The things they’re pushing at you in the stores are ingredients for food that we can make together – bags of walnuts, cans of pumpkin purée, yams and turnips. Yeah.

So what am I making, you ask? I’m making a ginormous deep mushroom pie, that will be just as satisfying and delicious as turkey, I feel sure, for the vegetarians among us. And I’m making a herbed walnut “gravy.” I’ll let you know how that goes later on. And I’m making a stuffing of chestnuts, white beans, apples, shallots and sage. Recipe after the … jump!

Here’s a small playlist of songs of thanks and gratitude. Have a wonderful day, everybody!

Chestnut, white bean, apple, shallot & sage dressing.

7 chestnuts
2 slices whole wheat toast
2 large shallots
1 clove garlic finely diced
sage, rosemary, thyme
2 apples – peeled and finely chopped
1 can (15 oz) white beans, rinsed, drained, and slightly mushed
1/2 cup oats, toasted
1/2 cup mixed pecans and walnuts, toasted and chopped.
1 egg
1/2 t. paprika
1 pinch nutmeg
salt & plenty of pepper

This recipe is loosely based on a sage and onion stuffing recipe I saw on historical foods. Obviously, I didn’t use sausage or bacon, but white beans & smoked paprika provide a substantial smokey substitute, and a nice texture.

1. make a small X in each chestnut, coat with a little bit of olive oil and roast at 350 till the skin opens and they’re soft inside. About 1/2 hour.

aren't they pretty?

When they’re cool enough to touch, peel them (I felt a little like a squirrel) and chop up the tiny-brain-looking insides into tiny pieces.

2. Cut the shallots into very fine dice, drizzle with a little olive oil, add 1 t. sage, 1 t. rosemary, and 1/2 t. thyme. Roast in a hot oven for 15 – 20 minutes until the shallots start to brown.

3. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, except the egg. Taste for salt and add tons of freshly ground black pepper. Then add the egg and be sure to mix it very well.

4. Smush the mixture into a lightly oiled bread pan. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about half an hour, till it’s brown and crispy. I was talking to a friend and left it for about 50 minutes, and it got quite dry and a little charred on the outside. But I decided I liked it that way, because when I crumbled it up it had nice constrasty textures of crispy parts and soft inner parts. Yum

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2 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. Pingback: Walnut & herb sauce | Out of the Ordinary

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