The Thanksgiving day stress is going to hit any second. I’m hoping it’s going to be dumbed down since I will be with my boyfriends family, but another part of me thinks it could potentially be worse. With my family, I could totally screw up and it wouldn’t matter, but this time I actually need to bring my A game. Like it’s an inside joke that my family tells me no tears before I cut into my apple pie. I’ve been making that thing for years and something always seems to go wrong for some reason. Maybe I’ll try it in a stress free environment. That’s gotta be the reason. Definitely not me…But anyway, if I make a mistake, of course they wouldn’t care, but I would be SO embarrassed.
Being in culinary school also means there is so much pressure to perform on Thanksgiving. Even successful chefs have this problem, apparently. Or at least so i’ve read in Food & Wine (eh em, my dream job – to the employment wizard out there…) This year I’m making my favorite oyster stuffing that we make every year at my Dad’s house (even though I would actually have to pay Troy to eat it) and pecan pie.
Apparently Troy’s mom makes the oyster stuffing every year also, so it’s a super lucky coincidence that I won’t be missing out on my favorite dish this year. (Not sure if it will be photographed though. Not exactly a glamorous looking thing by any means) We might make corn pudding too, but that’s a no brainer. and it’s dope. It’s nice to have salad too. My sister usually makes one, and the one that I made for this post is very similar to the one she made for Thanksgiving a few years back, and I liked the plate it was so delicious.
- Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1 Tbs maple syrup
- 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil (or 1½ depending on how acidic you like you vinaigrette)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Maple Roasted Butternut Squash
- Fresh or frozen butternut squash, cubed
- 1 Tbs. maple syrup
- 1 Tbs. brown sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Candied Walnuts
- ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1 Tbs brown sugar
- The Salad
- Baby Arugula
- ¼ cup dried cranberries (or wild dried blueberries)
- ¼ crumbled honey goat choose
- 14 cup candied walnuts
- ¼ granny smith apple, cut into matchsticks
- Coat the cubes in syrup, sugar, salt and pepper and spread out onto a non stick baking matt or parchment paper (do NOT use aluminum foil. It will stick)
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden and slightly browned on the edges.
- Melt the butter in a saute pan and add the sugar. Let it melt briefly and then toss in the chopped walnuts. Stir constantly until they are completely coated. Pour out of the pan and let cool.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, toss the arugula with the vinaigrette. Don't add all at once. Add gradually until the leaves are just coated. Scoop the leaves and gently place onto each plate or bowl.
- Sprinkle a little bit of each garnish on top of the salad.
- In the salad bowl, there should be a small remainder of vinaigrette at the bottom. Toss the apples lightly to coat (which also helps prevent browning) and gently place a cluster on top of each salad.