read_w (read_w) wrote,
read_w
read_w

Thanksgiving meal

I've made a pretty set Thanksgiving meal when I've cooked for myself for a while now, seasonal for this part of the world. I like all of these individually, and really like them as a menu. A pretty plate, too.

Succotash
To whatever extent succotash is authentically Indian, it'd be made with dried corn and dried beans.
Soak 2 c lima beans (I like large ones) in 8 c water with 4-1/2 tsp salt overnight. Drain; bring to boil in water to cover, cover pot, and transfer to 300° oven for 30 min to 2 hrs (depending partly on how old they are) until just tender. Drain and quickly cool to stop cooking.
Soak 1-1/2 c dried posole (mote) in water overnight. Drain and cook in water to cover 1-2 hrs (depending partly on how old they are) until cooked through, adding 3/4 tsp salt toward the end; they won't get tender, but they'll stop being mealy. Drain. (This can be difficult to find in some places. It's often labeled mote pelado in Spanish; I believe anything labeled mote or posole will be right. "Hominy" may or may not be the same thing; maíz trillado isn't the same, nor is regular dried corn. Canned hominy would be the closest substitute.)
Cook 2 onions, diced, 2 green peppers, diced, 3-4 Tbs oil, 1/2 tsp salt over med-high heat until well browned. Add a little water to deglaze the pan, along with 3-4 Tbs almond butter, and enough additional water to make a sauce. Stir in the posole, then fold in the beans. Taste for salt (or tamari) and pepper.
From The Second Seasonal Political Palate with small variation.
Growing up, my babysitter was a very good cook of typical midwestern food. Her butterbeans (large lima beans) were one of my favorites. I'm sure hers was made with saltpork, which I don't eat now, but almond butter adds a richness and savoriness that is reminiscent. Here's remembering Hazel.

Butternut squash with ginger and garlic
Peel 2 lbs butternut down to the orange flesh, and scoop out seeds; cut into 1/2" dice. Add to pot with water to not quite cover, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 Tbs butter. Simmer, covered, until just tender, 4-10 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid, and spread out to quickly cool. Return liquid to pot along with 2 Tbs grated ginger, 2 Tbs pressed garlic, and 1 more Tbs butter. Boil down quickly until most of liquid is gone and it's syrupy-thick. Toss with the cooked squash. Best if it sits at least an hour for flavors to soak in before reheating.
From Julia Child & More Company with small variation.

Cranberry-orange relish
Roughly chop 1 whole orange. Pulse in food processor until finely chopped but not pureed. (You may want to go through it to pull out larger chunks to add to next step.) Sort 12 oz cranberries and pulse in food processor until finely chopped but not pureed. Add to chopped orange along with 1/3-1/2 c honey and 1/4 tsp salt Best either immediately or after a day.
Adapted from Joy of Cooking.
Even a little salt interferes with the perception of bitterness; the salt greatly mellows this. I'm surprised the Joy recipe doesn't include it.

Wilted cabbage salad
Finely shred 2-1/4 lb red cabbage (quarter longitudinally, core, slice crosswise). Toss with 1 Tbs salt and let sit at least 6 hours, tossing occasionally. Rinse in two changes of water (add water to the bowl and drain in colander twice, don't just rinse in colander) and thoroughly dry (a salad spinner in several batches works well). Combine with about 1/6 onion, thinly sliced, 3-4 Tbs cider vinegar to taste, 2 Tbs dried dill, maybe more salt.
Red cabbage behaves like litmus paper, changing color dramatically depending on acid/alkali. With the cider vinegar, it's very red/purple.
This is new to my Thanksgiving menu; I happened to have some leftovers. But it's certainly seasonal, and its refreshingness works well with this menu.

Variation: cumin instead of dill plus a little garlic is good too.
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