we had another delicious thanksgiving this year. there was a ton of food and leftovers, but i LOVE thanksgiving leftovers. it means i can eat ham for breakfast, lunch, and dinner :D

here’s the big feast:

thanksgiving feast

mr. taketa made the turkey, mrs. taketa made mashed potatoes, aunt ivy made potato egg salad, marci and craig made vietnamese rolls and spinach cream rolls, grandma made stuffing, aunt gwen brought rum cake, and we made roasted red pepper dip, green beans, ham, and cranberry apple pie. everything was great!

roasted red pepper dip
from eggs on sunday

roasted red pepper dip

Adapted from Vegetarian Classics by Jeanne Lemlin
1 can white beans (Great Northern, cannellini, navy, etc.) — drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers (homemade or from a jar, patted dry)
1/2 tsp coarse salt
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Variation: omit the cumin and add in 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Place the drained beans, red peppers, salt, cumin (or basil), paprika, garlic cloves, olive oil, and vinegar in a food processor. Blitz until smooth. Serve as is, or refrigerate until later.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

comments: roasted red peppers are so good. we bought a bag of red peppers at costco, so we roasted 3 of them for this recipe. we also bought broccoli and carrots from costco. dude, costco is so dangerous. i want to buy everything there. THE MORE I BUY, THE MORE I SAVE. anyway, the dip was good, kinda similar to hummus, next time we might add something to make it a little spicy.

spicy parmesan green beans and kale
from everyday italian (giada de laurentiis)

green beans

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1/4 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered (about 14 mushrooms)
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and slice into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons salt (TOO MUCH)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch kale (1/2 pound), rinsed, stemmed, and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, green beans, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking until the green beans are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and the kale and continue cooking until the kale has wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and the Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

comments: ok first of all, i gotta say in general, i don’t really trust giada. i guess the thing that gets me is she doesn’t eat regular portions of her food. she said she just eats really small portions. small portions are fine for her, but if it’s different for me if i’m going to eat her food as a regular meal, esp all those really rich recipes where she puts in tons of cheese, fries a lot of stuff, etc. i’m not mrs. healthy, but i have my limits… plus food tastes different depending on how much you eat of it. like one time i had this asian spaghetti with seaweed, pickles, and a soy sauce based sauce. it was really good for the first few bites, but it was really unpleasant by the end of the meal because it was too salty and i got tired of the taste.

anyway, despite my mistrust, i actually really liked this recipe. maybe we can trust her when she doesn’t go insane with the cheese/cream/butter. all the elements work well together, nice flavors. i am starting to like kale a lot. oh, one thing is she calls for too much salt. the first time we made this, it was way too salty. this time we added about 1 tsp and that was perfect. just add to taste. nice beans from costco.

the love of my life

heavenly ham

mr. ham (pineapple mango maple syrup glaze)

cranberry apple pie
from atk (don’t know how long this video link will be up)

pie assembly

i saw this in the atk newsletter, and it sounded really good. i used tyler florence’s crust recipe (the one for the peach/nectarine pies) because i like that crust a lot. maybe i should have made a thicker crust though. next time i’ll try the atk pie recipe. the pie was delicious! there was only one piece left at the end of the night. the cranberry part was really yummy by itself actually. i’d just eat that stuff straight. you could probably use it as cranberry sauce too.

cranberry apple pie

r.i.p. mr. potholder

here’s the exciting start to the big thanksgiving feast we had:

r.i.p. mr. potholder

this is even better because this is the third potholder i’ve killed in a year. i think mrs. taketa is going to hide them from me soon.

#1: nobody told me the potholders were stored in the oven… small black burned areas when it came out.

#2: i forgot that the potholders were in the oven… it had small little flames when we took it out.

#3: i totally remembered to take out the potholders this time. then i smelled a really strong burning odor. i looked in the oven, and the potholder was stuck to the hot metal at the top of the oven, completely aflame!!! i ran into the other room and was like, “something’s burning!!!” mrs. taketa grabbed some tongs and threw the flaming potholder into the sink and put it out with cold water. the potholder must have been stuck to the metal so i didn’t see it. what the heck???

r.i.p. mr. potholder.

garlic roast chicken

we got our hands on some old cook’s country and cook’s illustrated magazines. both are really good reads, but i like cook’s illustrated better because it has nice color photos, more reader stories, and reader competitions. maybe after we move i’ll get a one year subscription. that’ll probably last a few years since there are so many recipes.

anyway, the “ultimate garlic roasted chicken” sounded and looked really good.

garlic roast chicken

50 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 (3.5-4) whole chicken
salt and pepper
1.75 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp water
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon

1. adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. combine garlic and oil in small saucepan. cook, covered, over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened and straw-colored, 10 to 15 minutes. reserve 1 tbsp oil and transfer remaining garlic mixture to food processor; puree until smooth. let cool.

garlic puree

2. pat chicken dry inside and out with paper towels. combine 1/4 cup garlic puree, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in small bowl. tuck wings behind back, spread garlic mixture under skin of chicken and rub reserved oil over outside of chicken. tie legs together with kitchen twine. season chicken with salt and pepper and arrange, breast side down, on v-rack set inside roasting pan. roast until just golden, about 35 minutes.


3. remove chicken from oven and, using wad of paper towels, flip chicken breast side up. raise oven temperature to 450 degrees. whisk broth, wine, 1/2 cup water, and remaining garlic puree in measuring cup. then pour into roasting pan. return chicken to oven and roast until thigh meat registered 170-175 degrees, 30-40 minutes. transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest 20 minutes.

4. meanwhile, transfer pan juices and any accumulated chicken juices to saucepan; skim fat. whisk remaining water and corn starch in small bowl, then add to sauce pan. simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. whisk in butter, then strain into serving bowl. stir in tarragon and season with salt and pepper. carve chicken and serve, passing sauce at table.

garlic chicken

comments: the chicken was really delicious. it had a nice crispy skin, the right kind and amount of garlic flavor, and great juiciness. i think it was one of the juiciest, most flavorful chickens i’ve had! i guess all that garlic under the skin helped lock in the moisture. it looked really good too! almost like the picture in the magazine. the sauce was good too. nice and light, didn’t overpower the chicken’s flavors.

in the magazine they talk about how some other methods of getting garlic flavor (like using powdered garlic, garlic butter, straight garlic cloves) either had an overpowering taste or a nonexistant one. they found out roasted garlic was really good, but takes kind of a long time. anyway, this method they found seems to work really well, and not take too long.

they also had a tip for peeling large amounts of garlic: put all the cloves in a zip lock bag and beat with a rolling pin. that worked really well. i think you could just put a big piece of plastic wrap over the garlic and do the same. then you don’t have to waste a zip lock bag. cuz you’re asian like that :D

oh and i had a really hard time flipping the chicken! mine was maybe 5.5 pounds, and the paper towel thing totally did not work for me. i tried using various spatulas and finally managed to kind of roll it over. next time i gotta find an easier way of doing that. besides that, everything was easy i think.