Something new for your Thanksgiving meal

eightWest

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. While there is a lot of love for the classics, like stuffing and cranberry sauce, there’s always room on the table for something new!  Chef Jen is here to share a new batch of Thanksgiving classics, with a twist!

Sundried Tomato, Sausage and Fennel Stuffing

Serves 8

All you need:

  • Two (1 pound) loaves sourdough bread, diced
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ pound hot Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup oil packed sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

All you do:

1.       Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 13×9 baking dish and set aside.

2.       Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.

3.       Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until browned and crumbly. Add fennel and cook until tender, about 10 minutes longer. 

4.       In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes, sausage/fennel mixture, chicken stock, sundried tomatoes, balsamic and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. 

5.       Place the stuffing in the prepared baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for 20 minutes longer.

Pumpkin Cranberry Cornbread

Serves 10

All you need:

  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 15 oz. can 100% natural pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Zest of 1 orange

Method:

1. Spray a 13×9 baking pan with cooking spray. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vegetable oil.

3. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients; mix until well blended, adding more buttermilk if needed. (Batter will be thick, but easy to stir by hand.)

4. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Serves 8

All you need:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 sweet apple, diced
  • ½ cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • 2 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 acorn squash, sliced into 1/2-inch slices (seeds removed)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

All you do:

1.       Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray or oil and place squash rings on sheets.

2.       Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook about 10 minutes, or until onion is just beginning to brown. Add apple and cook about 5 minutes more, until apple is softened. Allow to cool slightly.

3.       Combine quinoa, apple and onion mixture, cheese, cranberries, sage, and walnuts in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in egg.

4.       In a small bowl, combine butter and maple syrup. Brush tops and insides of squash rings with butter mixture; season with salt and pepper.

5.       Stuff quinoa filling into the center of each squash ring, pressing down to fit as much stuffing as possible without overflowing. Spray centers of squash rings with oil or cooking spray. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and squash is tender.

Cranberry Walnut Relish

Makes 4 cups

All you need:

  • 1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup toasted walnut halves
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

All you do:

1.       Place half the cranberries, pineapple, apple and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until evenly chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining cranberries, pineapple, apple and walnuts and transfer to the same bowl.

2.       Stir in the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately or keep cold until ready to serve.

Bourbon Bacon Pecan Pie

Serves 8

All you need:

  • 1 (9-inch) pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups pecan halves
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled

All you do:

1.       Preheat oven to 350.

2.       Line a pie plate with the uncooked pie crust. Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom and sides of the crust. Par-bake the crust for 8 minutes. 

3.       In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs and corn syrup together until smooth.

4.       Add butter, bourbon, vanilla and salt and whisk again.

5.       Place half of the pecans on the bottom of the pie crust. Sprinkle ½ of the bacon over the nuts. Repeat with the remaining nuts and bacon. Pour pie filling over. 

6.       Bake for 45 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and cool to room temperature before slicing.

LEARN MORE: chefjen.com

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