FOOF: A Road Trip Thanksgiving
January 2007

Appetizers and Cocktails

The cheese selection included our new local favorite, Humbolt Fog. THTM went to a German grocery store in Orange Country to find the giant pretzels and import beer.

Main Courses and Side Dishes

  • Baked Virginia Ham
  • 5 kg (11 lb.) boneless precooked smoked ham
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) grainy Dijon mustard
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
  • 750 ml (3 cups) apple cider
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Cut off the rind and make diagonal slashes across the top surfaces of the ham to make a diamond pattern. Insert whole cloves where the lines intersect. Place the ham in a large non-stick roasting pan. Spread mustard evenly over the ham and top with a layer of brown sugar. Pour the apple cider in the bottom of the roasting pan with the cinnamon sticks. Place in a preheated 180° C (350° F) oven and bake for 1 hour, basting frequently with the cider.

  • Macaroni and Cheese (aka Food Porn)

8 oz elbow macaroni
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 egg
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups whole milk (lowfat milk alters the texture!) paprika Prepare macaroni
as directed on box. Do not overcook.
Drain macaroni and put back into pot it was boiled in (saves on cleanup!)
Add all ingredients EXCEPT MILK. Pour mixture into casserole dish. Add
enough milk to cover mixture.
Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake at 400 for 45 mins or until bubbly.

  • Autumn Root Vegetable Puree

Epicurious, excerpted from Frank Stitt's Southern Table

  • This puree is a wonderful vegetable side dish for any cool-weather braise or stew.
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 medium rutabaga, peeled, trimmed, and cut into small chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine the turnips, carrots, parsnip, sweet potato, and rutabaga, add a good pinch of salt, and cover by 2 inches with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Drain the vegetables and then return them to the saucepan to dry out over medium heat for 2 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a food mill and puree. Add the butter and salt and pepper to taste, and reheat if necessary before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

  • Iowa Baked Corn Casserole

6 ears of corn or 1 (12-oz.) can corn kernels, drained
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour  
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish. If fresh corn is used, remove husk and silk, and cut kernels from cob.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter or margarine. Add onion and bell pepper and saute until tender; stir in flour and then add milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened and is smooth. Remove from heat; add corn, cheddar cheese, eggs, sugar, salt, and pepper.

Pour into prepared casserole dish and top with bread crumbs. Set into a shallow pan of hot water and bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

  • Southern Ratatouille

From one of Melinda Lee’s shows. (Note: I halved the amount of peppers in this recipe. I hate peppers!)

Ratatouille (pronounced "ra-tuh-TOO-ee") may be served hot or at room temperature. It is a lovely side dish (especially nice with grilled or roasted meats or poultry) and even can be served as a vegetable course of its own.

It is great stirred into scrambled eggs, enclosed in a crepe, or served with crackers as an hors d'oeuvre. With cheese melted over the top, or crunchy toasted breadcrumbs, ratatouille may be served as a vegetarian main course, perhaps with a salad and warm country bread alongside.

When prepared without rushing, so flavors can develop fully, it is truly delicious and so useful that ratatouille surely should be part of every cook's repertoire. Don't hesitate to add or subtract vegetables as you choose - this is simply my version. And it's best made in advance (if you can wait!)


2 cups, fruity olive oil (approximate measure)
4 small eggplants (about 4 pounds) - cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons, kosher salt (approximately)
plus salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste, as described below
1 1/2 pounds, onions (about 6 medium-size onions) - peeled and coarsely chopped
6 medium-size zucchini - quartered lengthwise, cut into 2-inch strips
2 medium-size red bell peppers - stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/2 –inch strips
2 medium-size green bell peppers - stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/2 –inch strips
1 medium-size yellow bell pepper - stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/2 –inch strips
2 tablespoons, minced garlic (or more, to taste)
3 cans (16-ounce size), Italian plum tomatoes – drained
1 can (6 ounce size), tomato paste
1/4 cup, chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons, dried thyme
2 tablespoons, dried basil
2 tablespoons, dried oregano
1/2 cup, pitted black olives (or more, to taste)
lemon wedges (optional)
fresh basil for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cubed eggplant with the kosher salt and about 1 cup of the olive oil. Spread the oiled and salted eggplant over the bottom of a shallow roasting pan, and cover the pan tightly with foil. Bake the eggplant in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, remove the foil covering, return the uncovered pan to the oven, and continue cooking the eggplant for about 15 minutes more, or until tender. Stir the eggplant often (and gently) during this cooking time. When the eggplant pieces are tender, remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil. Saute the onions until they become tender but not brown, add the zucchini and continue cooking until zucchini is tender – stirring often, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add the bell peppers, and the garlic and cook for about 10 minutes or until the peppers begin to become soft. Add the tomatoes (you may wish to tear the tomatoes into pieces using your fingers) and the tomato paste, then add the parsley and the dried herbs. Add freshly ground pepper to taste (you may or may not need to add salt at this time – taste, then taste again later to adjust seasonings).

Simmer this mixture for about 10 minutes, then add the cooked eggplant and continue simmering for another 10 minutes or longer, depending on the texture you prefer. [Cook’s Note: The best flavor will result from a long, slow cooking – until the liquid around the vegetables is thickened and syrupy. If you prefer crisper vegetables, you may stop cooking sooner – but the liquid will be more watery, and the flavor less deep.]

Taste the completed ratatouille, and correct seasonings. Stir in the olives (if using). This dish may be served hot or at room temperature, with (optional) lemon wedges to squeeze over, and fresh basil leaves for garnish.

[Cook’s Notes: The flavor of ratatouille mellows over a day or two. It must be refrigerated for storage, but return the dish to room temperature (or heat it) before serving. If very cold, the flavors will recede. A few spoonsful of olive oil may be stirred through at serving time, if desired.]

  • Boston Baked Beans in Bean Pot

Exported from MasterCook

Recipe By : Durgin-Park Restaurant, Boston, MA

  • 1 2 1/2-quart bean pot or covered casserole
  • 1 pound beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 pound salt pork
  • 1/2 medium onion -- peeled and uncut
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

*Use California pea beans, York State beans or small white beans.

Soak beans overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to 325° F. Place the baking soda in a Dutch oven and fill half way with water. Bring to a boil and add the beans. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain beans in a colander and run cold water through them. Set aside.

Dice the salt pork (available in the bacon section of the grocery store) into 1-inch squares. Put half of the salt pork on the bottom of the bean pot, along with the onion. Put beans in the pot. Put the remaining salt pork on top of the beans.

Mix the sugar, molasses, mustard, salt and pepper with 3 cups of hot water and pour over the beans. Cover pot with lid and place the pot into the preheated oven. Bake for 6 hours. Check pot periodically to check the amount of liquid. Add water to the beans slowly as needed to keep them moist; do not flood them. Remove the pot from the oven and serve. Makes about 7 cups.

NOTE: The Durgin-Park, a Boston restaurant whose origins date back to the American Revolution, is famous for its Boston baked beans, baked Indian pudding and apple pan dowdy. Durgin-Park cook Tommy Ryan has prepared this recipe at the restaurant for the past 37 years.


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