Thank You!

Hi everyone, so we’re getting to that time of year where family comes to visit and we become thankful for those months when they stay home…I’m kidding, of course having family over is the best. This year I found out my parents might not be around for Thanksgiving due to some international business, while that does make me a bit sad I do have a ton of family around so I will not be all alone. With that being said I thought I would list some of the amazing things in my life that I am thankful for. First my family, one of my biggest support systems and cheerleaders. I am thankful for my wonderful friends even if now they’re scattered all over the country. I’m thankful for the opportunity to write this blog with one of my best friends, we don’t do it for the fame or glory but just to keep in touch when life gets in the way. I’m thankful for becoming unemployed, now I have a clear idea of what I want in life and am on my very way to achieving it. I am thankful for all the wonderful people I have met this year especially one which I am still getting to know :). And lastly, I want to say a great THANKS! to people who take the time to read this blog. During Thanksgiving we make the traditional turkey, mash potatoes, etc… So I thought I would do 2 very easy and different dishes you can add to your rotation, one of them is my mom’s favorite pumpkin pie, crust and all, and the second is a variation on Daphne Oz’s Turkey Sweet Potato Hash (click on the link for the original recipe) I usually use this as a side dish but its a great thing to make with leftovers.

 

My Mom’s Favorite Pumpkin Pie

(from Dorie Greenspan)

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For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 2Tbsp of Sugar
  • 3/4 tsp of Salt
  • 1 1/4 Sticks (10Tbsp) Very Cold (frozen is fine) Unsalted Butter, Cut Into Tbsp-Sized Pieces
  • 2 1/2Tbsp Very Cold (frozen is even better) Vegetable Shortening, Cut Into 2 Pieces
  • About 1/4 Cup Ice Water
  1. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don’t overdo the mixing-what you’re aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 3Tbsp of water-add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the work bowl and onto the work surface.
  2. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten to a disk and wrap it. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling (If your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly enough you might be able to roll your dough right away, if you’re like me and have super hot hands refrigerate)
  3. Have a buttered 9-in pie plate at hand. Roll out dough on floured surface or between 2 sheets of wax paper. (If working on a counter, turn the dough frequently)IMG_2576
  4. Fit the dough into the pie plate and, and using a pair of scissors, cut the excess dough to 1/4 to 1/2-in of overhang. Fold the dough under itself, so that it hangs over the edge just a tad, and flute or pinch the crust to make a decorative edge. Alternatively, you can finish the crust by pressing it with the tines of a fork.IMG_2577
  5. Refrigerate the crust while you pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil, fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust and fill with dried beans or rice or pie weights. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights and, it the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Return pie to plate to oven and bake for about 8 minutes more, or until crust is lightly browned. Transfer the pie plate to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.IMG_2578

    IMG_2579
    For the first time my crinkles actually stayed, I think it was because I froze the dough before actually baking.

For the Pie: (FINALLY!)

  • 1 9-in Single Crust Partially Baked (you can make it from scratch see recipe above or buy a shell)
  • 2 Cups Caned Unsweetened Pumpkin Puree
  • 3 Large Eggs at Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup (packed) Light Brown Sugar (I only had dark, works just as well, you just get a darker pie)
  • 2Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Melted and Cooled
  • 1 1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 1 1/2tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2tsp Ground Ginger (sometimes I don’t have ginger and it tastes alright)
  • Pinch of Ground Cloves
  • Pinch of Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3Tbsp of Dark Rum
  • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Lightly sweetened Lightly Whipped Cream For Topping
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat and put the pie plate on it.
  2. Put all the filling ingredients in the food processor and process for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Alternatively, you can whisk the ingredients together vigorously in a mixing bowl. Rap the the work bowl or mixing bowl against the counter to burst any surface bubbles, and pour the filing into the crust.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and continue to bake for 35 to 45 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted close to the center comes out clean. If you don’t want to create a slash in your masterpiece, tap the pan gently-if the custard doesn’t jiggle, or only jiggles a teensy bit in the very center it is done. Transfer pie to rack and cool to room temperature.

    IMG_2584
    My pie dish is tapered so I always have left over which makes for little individual pies just for me 🙂

 

Sweet Potato Hash

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Ingredients

  • 3Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 2Tbsp of Butter
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes (1/2-in. cubes)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1lb. of Smoked Sausage (this is the curveball: also 1/2-in. cubes)
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion (1/2-in. diced)
  • 3 Scallions (sliced, separating the white and green)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Apples (1/2-in. cubes)

 

Directions

  1. In a large sauce pan or skillet, heat up 1Tbsp of your EVOO and add the cubed smoked sausage, saute until browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels, set aside.
  2. Add the remaining of the EVOO and the butter to pan allow to heat up and add the cubed sweet potato and salt. Saute 6 t0 8 minutes just until the potato turns golden brown. Add the already cooked sausage back to your pan.20151119_1520462015111995152922
  3. Toss in onion, scallion whites, and garlic, season with salt and continue to cook. Once onion is soft and garlic is fragrant about 3 min. add apples and saute. Cook until apples are soft. Garnish with scallion greens, salt and pepper to taste.

 

I am working on both dishes like I would during a regular Thanksgiving day, except I would be working on about 5 things at once. I started by chilling or the butter and shortening while I chopped all the ingredients for the hash. Once everything was chopped I went ahead and started working on the pie crust which needs about 1 hour to chill after coming together, since I have super exothermic hands I definitely need to follow this step. As soon as I’ve got my crust into a nice little disk I can go ahead and work on anything that goes on the stove. Now if you’re a good planner you will get all your pie doughs prepped by Tuesday and ready to fill and bake either Wednesday night or Thursday morning if you’re not making your turkey in the oven.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

-S

***Special thanks to my sister Alfredo for taking the majority of the pictures because she’s always in the kitchen when I cook and sometimes I forget to.***

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