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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Candied Okinawan Purple Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow Topping

Candied Okinawan Purple Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow Topping 1

Four years after making Mashed Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato, it finally occurred to me to use the Okinawan purple sweet potatoes in a more traditional Thanksgiving recipe -- Candied Okinawan Purple Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow Topping. Actually, it came about when Gourmet Pigs requested candied yams, which I dismissed as too pedestrian.

What if I made them with purple sweet potatoes, she suggested.


Apologies for the less than stellar photos. Poor evening lighting and no leftovers the next day to photograph. That ought to tell you how popular this dish was at the Thanksgiving table!

I boiled the sweet potatoes with some sugar and spices -- cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice -- and then baked them until the marshmallows on top turned golden. Easy. I kept the sugar content low, figuring the natural sweetness of the Okinawan purple sweet potatoes and the marshmallows would provide plenty. The only caveat is that the sweet potatoes took a lot longer to soften than I expected and didn't further soften in the oven. I was afraid boiling too long would make them mushy, but the Okinawan sweet potatoes were still a bit firm. So, I would suggest boiling them for 45 minutes, instead of half that time like I did.

A colorful twist on this traditional Thanksgiving treat.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Brussels Sprouts Sauteed with Bacon

Brussels Sprouts Sauteed with Bacon 1

Every Thanksgiving table needs a little bit of green. Although, these pictures actually date back to March 2010. I just hadn't blogged the recipe yet, and since I was making Brussels Sprouts Sauteed with Bacon again for Thanksgiving, might as well finally get this out of the queue.

While I usually leave Brussels sprouts whole, or just halve them, when I roast them in the oven, I use a different method for sauteing. I like to tear off the leaves of Brussels sprouts as far as I can until I reach the point where the leaves are too tight. Then I thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. The resulting loose leaves and slivers soften quickly and are much lighter to eat.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Corn Sauteed with Bacon and Green Onions

Corn Sauteed with Bacon and Green Onions 1

Corn is always a popular side dish at my family's Thanksgiving table. Sometimes it's fresh, more often than not, it's canned.

Canned corn, drained, and dumped into a bowl.

Easiest side dish ever.

But surely sauteed with some onions and crispy bacon would make the corn just that much better?

Use fresh corn if you have it, which during Thanksgiving is pretty much out of season. So use frozen or canned if you wish. Or wait until the summer, when the corn is fresh and sweet, and make this dish then.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gan Xay Ga Tay (Vietnamese Turkey Liver Pate)

Gan Xay Ga Tay (Vietnamese Turkey Liver Pate) 1

My basic Turkey Liver Pate is one of my most popular Thanksgiving recipes. I've even made a variation of Turkey Liver Pate with Bacon and Capers, so what's there left to do?

I mean, I guess I could have chopped up the liver and added it to the gravy, but it seems surprising that I've never made a Vietnamese pate recipe.

What makes it Vietnamese?

Adding fish sauce, of course!

Also, after making pate so many times, I decided not to add the butter layer on top. After all, since my cousins like pate, they obviously don't mind the grayish color. Makes it easier to spread on sandwiches too.

Friday, November 23, 2012

South African Turkey Rub with Basil, Garlic, and Smoked Paprika

South African Turkey Rub with Basil, Garlic, and Smoked Paprika 1

With two turkeys to prepare for Thanksgiving, I knew one of them would be my standby Salt Rub and Butter Turkey so that meant I could be a little more adventurous with the second turkey.

I found a South African spice blend from Trader Joe's that I liked and decided to pick out the seasonings to add to the usual salt rub. I mean, I could have just used a few spoonfuls of the packaged seasoning, but this way I could control the amount of each spice. Besides, what if you wanted to make this recipe and there's no Trader Joe's near you?

The South African spiced turkey was quite a hit! Actually, my turkeys always are since I discovered the salt rub, but the spiced turkey was particularly so. Mainly I think because the garlic powder and smoked paprika were the standout flavors.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving 1

Happy Thanksgiving!

With about 20 guests to feed this year, I made two big turkeys, my usual salt rub and a South African spiced turkey. I extended my table and added a portable one and ran out of enough chairs for everyone. I invited some friends, my brother invited some friends, and it just grew into a full house. Not a bad first Thanksgiving to welcome the new house.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Italian Baked Ziti with Ground Turkey, Sausage, and Zucchini

Italian Baked Ziti with Ground Turkey, Sausage, and Zucchini 1

Now that several of my cousins are married, they've split off to have Thanksgiving dinner with their significant others' sides of the family. So a couple of years ago and this year, cousin Q's older brother hosted a pre-Thanksgiving for the cousins. Since I was also hosting Thanksgiving at my house, I decided to make Italian Baked Ziti with Ground Turkey, Sausage, and Zucchini to serve at both dinners.

With the oven running constantly on Thanksgiving day, this baked ziti is easy enough to make ahead of time and simply reheated on the day of. The zucchini is my attempt to add some more vegetables into this dish since being smothered in tomato sauce and cheese makes anything taste good. It's not that different from my Italian Lasagna with Meat Sauce recipe, substituting out the wide noodles for penne or other short, round pasta.