Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Beginning and an End to a Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving! Yay!

So, if I ignore the injustices we as a nation have heaped on the Native Americans that helped our early settlers make it through the early lean years, then Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No gift obligations, just good food, loved ones, and taking times to be grateful for all the good in our lives.

This year is my first year spending Thanksgiving at my cousins’ house on Long Island. I’ve decided to bring an appetizer. If I know my family, chances are we will not be eating on time. I figure if I bring something to snack on, I know I won’t starve while waiting for the main event. I’m making this for the first time tomorrow morning, and will post a photo when they’re done.

I’m also doing a dessert. Now, I’m sure they will have plenty of sweets, but I just can’t resist making a pumpkin cheesecake – seasonal and delicious. This has been a hit since I started baking it when I was 15. The one annoying thing about this recipe is the 16 ounces of pumpkin. The small can is 15 ounces, but the big can is too much. I end up buying the large can, then doing something with the leftover. I think in the morning I will make the pumpkin pancake recipe on the label.

Potato Goat Cheese Mini Tarts
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup thinly sliced shallot
¼ cup chopped drained roasted red peppers (from a jar)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
Salt to taste
3 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons milk
6 ounces goat cheese
30 mini phyllo cups (found in freezer section)

1) Boil potato in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes, then drain, mash with milk, and set aside
2) Heat olive oil in skillet, add shallots and sauté until nearly translucent.
3) Add red peppers to skillet, cook for another 3 minutes.
4) Mix peppers and shallots with potatoes. Add cumin, cilantro, and salt to taste.
5) Fill phyllo cups about 2/3 full with potato mixture.
6) Top each cup with a dollop of cheese.
7) Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 ½ cup Graham cracker crumbs (you can crush these yourself, or just buy a box of crumbs)
½ cup chopped toasted pecans
1/3 cup melted butter

Mix all ingredients together, and press into bottom and sides of 12 inch springform pan. Can't get much easier.

16 oz. cream cheese (get the full fat kind)
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup Amaretto
4 extra large eggs
16 oz. canned pumpkin

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Mix cheese, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
3) Add amaretto and eggs.
4) Add pumpkin. Make sure you mix really well, otherwise you may end up with a slightly streaky appearance. It will still taste good, though!
5) Bake about 55 minutes.
6) Cool completely before serving – try for overnight if possible.

1 comment:

  1. Hear you about the can of pumpkin. I had a recipe that also called for a 16-oz can of it, but I've actually never seen one in the stores.