Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stoner Cooking: Thanksgiving 2012 Special

The Veggieducken: A Meatless Dish With Gravitas
November 18, 2012

Vegetarians don't need your sympathy on Thanksgiving, says Dan Pashman, host of a food podcast and blog called The Sporkful. Pashman is an omnivore, but he spoke to vegetarians and found "it actually makes them feel uncomfortable when a host goes to extreme lengths to make something special just for them."

Pashman joins NPR's Rachel Martin to talk about how to keep both meat eaters and vegetarians happy at Thanksgiving — and shares some tips for making a vegetarian-friendly Thanksgiving meal (including a very special meatless centerpiece.)

On how vegetarians feel about Thanksgiving

"They don't feel like they're missing out. I spoke to Laura Anderson — she's the food and drinks editor at Slate, she's a vegetarian, and also happens to be my friend ... She told me that, 'The essence of Thanksgiving is not in the turkey itself, it's in having ... a ton of dishes all together, way more food than you can eat, the promise of leftovers, a plate on which you have probably six or seven dishes all sharing room on the same plate.' ...

"Many vegetarians I interviewed echoed her sentiments that they are quite content with a side dish smorgasbord, assuming the sides are hearty and plentiful enough for them to end up, you know, as full as the rest of us."

On his recipe for the Veggieducken

"Now I'm an avowed omnivore, and I understand that vegetarians don't want or need my sympathy, but I happen to be an especially empathetic person, so they still have it. But to be clear, it's not because you need to eat meat to enjoy Thanksgiving. It's just because, to me, the turkey is such an event. You don't cook a whole turkey very often — it takes a long time; it is a happening in and of itself.

"And while vegetarians can make a very nice meal with all the side dishes, you can eat those sides all the time. They don't have that big centerpiece dish that makes it a special day ... They don't have that, they haven't had that — until now: I give you the Veggieducken. It's inspired by the turducken — that's a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. And instead of the meat, it's yams inside leeks inside a banana squash, with vegetarian stuffing between each layer. And a banana squash is about 2 feet long; it's one of the largest squashes money can buy. So this thing is big. It takes a couple hours to cook — it is an event."

On vegetarians' reaction to the Veggieducken

"They are very impressed. Absolutely. You know, it's funny, because vegetarians do get a little defensive when you suggest they're missing out, but when I explain it to them this way, it's like, yes, I get it, you don't have to eat turkey to have a great Thanksgiving meal, but you guys are missing out on this event."

On other tips for making the Thanksgiving meal vegetarian-friendly

"Watch out for including things like chicken stock in your stuffing. Gelatin is in marshmallows, which ends up in candied yams — that will make that not vegetarian. Gelatin is also in Jell-O, so watch out for that. And those vegetarians out there, if you're going to an omnivore's house, you know, just like they should respect their food choices, you should respect theirs — you know, maybe don't start a fight over the food at Thanksgiving. Bring a Veggieducken — you'll win them over!"

Dan Pashman's Recipe for Veggieducken
Serves 12

6 cloves garlic

1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped

3 red bell pepper, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley, loosely packed

1 cup fresh sage, loosely packed

2 tablespoons fresh thyme

4 cups breadcrumbs

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 yams, peeled and ends cut off to make it 6-inches long

3 medium leeks, rinsed and halved lengthwise

1 banana squash, about 2-feet long or as big as will fit in your oven

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pulse the garlic and onions in a food processor 6 to 8 times. Push everything down from the sides of work bowl using a rubber spatula and pulse 6 to 8 more times. Scrape into a large bowl and set aside.

Pulse the bell pepper in the food processor until finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add to the bowl with the onion mixture.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion mixture (including any liquid in the bottom of the bowl) and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add the parsley, sage and thyme to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. (Can use the same large bowl as before, no cleaning necessary.)
Add the breadcrumbs, broth, onion mixture, salt, black pepper and remaining olive oil, stirring to combine.

Wrap the yams in several layers of damp paper towel and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let set until cool enough to handle.

Trim the ends from the squash, and then slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and any loose fibers using a large metal spoon. Make a stable bottom by slicing about 1/2 inch from one of the halves.

Press about 2 cups of the onion stuffing into the cavity of the bottom squash, making a hollow space in the center.

Line the hollow with 3 leek halves, cut-side up, pressing firmly into the stuffing. Cover the leeks with a thin layer of stuffing, pressing to create a hollow for the yams. Lay the yams into the hollow and cover with a thin layer of stuffing. Arrange the remaining leeks, cut-side down, over the stuffing. Cover the leeks with another layer of stuffing, pressing into a mound about the size to fit into the remaining squash cavity.

Cover the stuffing with the remaining squash half, pressing firmly to set in place. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, covering loosely with foil if it browns too quickly. It's done when a wooden skewer slides easily into the center. Let sit for 10 minutes before transferring to a cutting board. Cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice in half into a semicircle and serve.

Cook's Note: The ends of the squash won't be very pretty when sliced since the stuffing doesn't go all the way to the end, so we didn't count the ends in the number of portions. Slice the ends off and discard.


Impress Your Guests With A Tasty White Castle Turkey Stuffing Recipe
White Castle’s Original Slider® is the main ingredient for the stuffing
Friday, November 16th, 2012

Columbus, OH  (  Give thanks this holiday season for White Castle’s tasty twist on a traditional recipe for turkey stuffing that is sure to impress your guests. For all fans of White Castle this recipe is a must as it calls for 10 Sliders and has satisfied Cravers for more than 20 years.

“Surprise your guests and their taste buds with this mouthwatering stuffing that is sure to be a hit this holiday season,” said White Castle Chef Phillip Bach. “This turkey stuffing uses all the traditional ingredients, but adds a new kick of flavor with White Castle’s 100 percent all-beef Sliders and savory grilled onions.”

This signature recipe was created by a White Castle team member who got creative and substituted crumbled Sliders for the breadcrumbs. The balance of the bread and beef – combined with full-flavored grilled onions makes a perfect blend of textures and tastes. It’s the ultimate in an exotic, tasty treat for this holiday season. This gourmet recipe is quick and easy-to-make, even for those cooks responsible for preparing all the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner.

The Original White Castle Turkey Stuffing ingredients:

10 White Castle hamburgers, pickles removed
1½ cups diced celery
1 ¼ teaspoon each ground thyme and ground sage
1 ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
¼ cup chicken broth

Tear burgers into small pieces into a large mixing bowl with the celery, thyme, sage and black pepper; toss to combine. Add chicken broth and toss again. Stuff the mixture into the turkey cavity just before roasting. The recipe makes about nine cups, enough for a 10 to 12 pound turkey or a casserole dish.

Note: Allow one White Castle hamburger for each pound of turkey, which will be the equivalent of ¾ cup of stuffing per pound.

“As a family-owned and operated company, we consider the holidays an important time for families to come together and share their traditions with each other,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle. “We’re excited that this unique recipe allows our Cravers to share their love for White Castle with their families this Thanksgiving and for us to become part of their annual tradition.”

White Castle restaurants are now distributing coupon books featuring a coupon for $1 off a sack of any 10 Sliders for cooks wanting to make the Turkey Stuffing recipe. Coupons are good until December 31, 2012. Coupon books offer more than $33 in savings and are available while supplies last.

About White Castle

White Castle is a family-owned business based in Columbus, Ohio that owns and operates more than 400 restaurants in 12 states. The company was founded in Wichita, Kansas in 1921 and is America’s first fast-food hamburger chain. All White Castle Sliders are made from 100 percent USDA inspected beef. White Castle’s commitment to maintaining the highest quality products extends to the company owning and operating its own meat processing plants and bakeries. White Castle’s new loyalty program, Craver Nation, launched this past May. For more information on White Castle and Craver Nation, visit and


Grover Cleveland Parsnip Fritters
November 14, 2012

These fritters were on the White House Thanksgiving menu during Grover Cleveland's first term, 1885-1889. There's no word on whether they reappeared four years later for his historical non-consecutive second term, 1893–1897.

The recipe description written in 1887 says these fritters "resemble very nearly the taste of the salsify or oyster plant, and will generally be preferred."

We've added nutmeg for a bit of extra flavor, but if you're a stickler for authenticity, you should omit it.

MAKE AHEAD: The fritters can be made a few hours in advance and held at room temperature or made a day in advance, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a lightly greased skillet over medium-high heat to re-crisp.

Makes about 14 two-inch fritters

16 ounces parsnips, peeled, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths, thick rounds cut in half lengthwise
2 teaspoons flour
1 large egg, beaten
A couple pinches of freshly grated nutmeg (see headnote)
2 tablespoons lard, turkey fat (from pan drippings) or unsalted butter, or more as needed

Place the parsnips in a medium saucepan with salted water to cover, bring to a boil and cook until the parsnips are tender, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Transfer the parsnips to a large mixing bowl. Use a fork or potato masher to press the parsnips into a coarse mash, discarding any sections that are tough and woody. The yield is about 2 cups.

Stir in the flour, egg, salt to taste and the nutmeg, if using, and stir to combine well.

Line a large plate with several layers of paper towels.

Heat the lard, turkey fat or butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the parsnip mixture 1 spoonful at a time, pressing down on it to form a round patty about 2 inches in diameter. Work in batches so as not to crowd the skillet. Cook until the patties are golden brown, about 2 minutes, then turn them over and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the cooked fritters to the paper towels to drain. Repeat to fry all of the batter, adding fat as needed. Serve the fritters warm.

Recipe Source:
Adapted from "The White House Cookbook," 1887.

Tested by Jane Touzalin for The Washington Post.


Not Your Mama's Green Bean Casserole
Alton Brown, 2007


For the topping:
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Nonstick spray

For beans:
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1 gallon water
2 tablespoons kosher salt

For sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Bake in the oven until golden brown, tossing every 10 minutes, for approximately 30 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use.

Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.

While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Add the half-and-half and cook until the mixture thickens, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.


Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. Beef Tenderloin Tips
1 onion thinly sliced
3 tbsp. butter, divided
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2/3 cup sour cream
noodles cooked and hot

Thaw meat in refrigerator and thinly slice while partially frozen. Heat heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp. butter and quickly sauté Beef Tenderloin Tips until well browned. Remove meat and keep warm. Add remaining 2 tbsp. butter to skillet. Sauté onions until very tender, 6-7 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in flour, blending until completely mixed into butter. Stir in beef broth, wine and seasonings. Heat to simmer. Stir in browned meat. Reduce heat to low. Blend in sour cream. Stir until sauce is heated and smooth. Serve over hot noodles.

Serves 4
Source: KC Steak Company


Organic Sunday Bacon

At Applegate, we know that no food is as tempting as good old-fashioned country bacon. (With the possible exception of other foods wrapped in bacon.) That’s what led us to create our Organic Sunday Bacon in the first place. We’ve taken the same classic recipe, which the New York Times hails as “Superb ...” and have brought organic bacon to a whole new level of health and sustainability.


Apple, Cheddar & Walnut Toasts with Cabot Cheddar Cheese

24 thin slices narrow loaf French Bread
2 tart apples, cored and thinly sliced
8 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, Extra Sharp Cheddar or Horseradish Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
1 cup walnut pieces

1. Preheat broiler. Arrange bread on baking sheet and toast lightly on both sides under broiler.

2. Remove from broiler and place about two apple slices on each toast. Mound cheese on top. Press walnut pieces into cheese. Return to broiler until cheese and walnuts are lightly colored.

For instant drama, sandwich fresh bay or sage leaves between two identical clear glass plates, available inexpensively from a home store. Set the toasts on top, and add votive candles set into cored red and green apples to the table.


Bummed out about the possible liquidation of Hostess?  Here, courtesy of Todd Wilbur of, is a DIY version of Twinkies:

Non-stick spray
4 egg whites
One 16-ounce box golden pound cake mix
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons very hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups marshmallow creme (one 7-ounce jar)
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

You will need a spice bottle, approximately the size of a Twinkie, ten 12 x 14 -inch pieces of aluminum foil, a cake decorator or pastry bag, and a chopstick.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Fold each piece of aluminum foil in half twice. Wrap the folded foil around the spice bottle to create a mold. Leave the top of the mold open for pouring in the batter. Make 10 of these molds and arrange them on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan. Grease the inside of each mold with a light coating of non-stick spray.

Disregard the directions on the box of cake mix. Instead, beat the egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl combine cake mix with water and beat until thoroughly blended (about 2 minutes). Fold egg whites into the cake batter and slowly combine until completely mixed.

Pour the batter into the molds, filling each one about 3/4 of an inch. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

For the filling, combine salt with the hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Let this mixture cool.

Combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy.

Add the salt solution to the filling mixture and combine.

When the cakes are done and cooled, use a skewer or chopstick to make three holes in the bottom of each one. Move the stick around inside of each cake to create space for the filling.

Using a cake decorator or pastry bag, inject each cake with filling through all three holes.

Serves 10


Curd Fritters

Curds are a soft cheese like cottage cheese or ricotta. These fritters are a lot like thin pancakes or crepes.

5 eggs
curds (ricotta, cottage or other soft cheese)
wheat or corn flour
cooking oil or butter

Make a thin batter with the eggs and equal amounts of curds and flour. Season with salt. Heat a small amount of cooking oil in your frying pan. When the oil is hot, pour in the batter and tip the pan to make the batter spread very thin (that’s what “let it run as small as you can” in the recipe means). They should be like crepes. When brown on one side, use your knife to flip them over or slide them onto a plate and flip them over into the pan. Add more oil to the pan when needed. Serve with sugar sprinkled on the top if you wish.


Peppermint Crunch Sugar Cookies

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies
1 1/2 cups white vanilla baking chips or semisweet chocolate chips
8 round hard peppermint candies, crushed (1/4 cup)

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour until well blended. Shape dough into 36 (1-inch) balls. Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 5 minutes.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave vanilla chips and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil uncovered on Medium (50%) 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once halfway through microwaving, until melted. Stir until smooth.

Dip half of each cookie into melted chips mixture, allowing excess to drip off; place on waxed or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle each with about 1/2 teaspoon crushed candy. Let stand until set.

Substitute crushed candy canes for the crushed peppermint candies if desired.


Source: Woodford Reserve

1 oz Woodford Reserve
1 oz Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz Coffee Liqueur
Heavy shake of cayenne
Heavy shake of cinnamon
Heavy splash of half and half
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with graham cracker crumbs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


Red Russian
Source: Uncle Fats

One part vodka, one part creme de strawberry, one part half-and-half.

A quick shaken drink: it tastes like a strawberry Dreamsicle...

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