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Recipes for an Adirondack Thanksgiving

Local, seasonal ingredients add Adirondack flavor to your holiday feast in these dishes from Northern Comfort: Fall and Winter Recipes from Adirondack Life, available at www.adirondacklifestore.com or at our headquarters in the brick church on the Jay village green. The store’s normally open Monday through Thursday, but this Saturday, November 22, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., we’re having our annual Adirondack Life sale.

Maple-Cranberry Relish
Nikki Norman, Casselberry, Florida

This take on the traditional cranberry relish will be a welcome addition to your holiday repertoire. Shallots and black pepper add a sophisticated spin. Serves 8.

2 cups raw cranberries, rinsed
2 cups water
1 cup maple syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan combine cranberries and water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until all the cranberries have burst, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add maple syrup, salt, shallots and black pepper. Return to heat and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve as a condiment with turkey, grilled chicken or baked ham. Keeps well for 2 to 3 weeks in refrigerator. —April 2002

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Poppy Seeds
Patsy Jamieson, Burlington, Vermont

When hearty brussels sprouts are shredded (simplified in a food processor) and quickly sautéed, they bear little resemblance to the strongly flavored ones you might remember from cafeteria steam tables. A finish of lemon zest and poppy seeds brightens the flavors. Serves 8.

6 cups (approximately 1½ pounds) brussels sprouts, trimmed and cored
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, peeled and chopped (1½ cups)
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Thinly slice brussels sprouts with a sharp knife or in a food processor fitted with a slicing disc. Heat oil and butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add brussels sprouts and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add broth, cover and cook until sprouts are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. Serve hot. —December 2007

Butternut Squash and Leek Gratin
Patsy Jamieson, Burlington, Vermont

Instead of the standard mashed squash, try this crusty gratin as a great accompaniment to a Thanksgiving or holiday meal. It’s also a lovely vegetarian entrée for fall. To make squash easier to peel, pierce it in several places, then microwave at high power for one to two minutes to soften skin. Serves 8.

½ cup Japanese-style panko bread crumbs or fresh bread crumbs, divided
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), cleaned (see tip) and thinly sliced (1¾ cups)
3 pounds butternut squash (1 large or 2 small), peeled, seeded and cut into 3⁄8-inch-thick slices (8 cups)
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1½ cups grated Swiss cheese (5 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400º. Grease an 11-by-7-inch or 12-by-8¼-inch shallow baking dish or gratin dish (2- to 2½-quart capacity). Sprinkle bottom with ¼ cup bread crumbs.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. (Add a little water if leeks start to scorch.) Set aside. Spread half of the squash slices in prepared baking dish. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.

Spread leek mixture over squash. Top with remaining squash. Gently pour broth over squash. Season with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Cover baking dish with a greased sheet of aluminum foil. Bake until squash is almost tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Sprinkle cheese over top of gratin. Mix remaining ¼ cup bread crumbs and butter in small bowl; sprinkle over cheese. Bake gratin, uncovered, until squash is tender and top is golden, 10 to 20 minutes.

Tip: Leeks often harbor dirt between layers so it’s important to clean them thoroughly. Trim fuzzy root end and green stems. Use only the white and pale green portions. With a sharp knife, make several incisions at the stem end of leek to open it up like a fan. Soak leeks in a large bowl of water several minutes, then swish to dislodge dirt. Repeat until water runs clear and no trace of grit remains. —December 2007

Ta-ha-wus Turkey Stuffing
Former Adirondack Life editors

Tahawus, also known as Adirondac, is now a ghost town near the trailhead to Henderson Lake. The community was originally a mining settlement founded in the 1820s. Serves 8.

Giblets, cooked in water in saucepan for 20–30 minutes
1 cup butter
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup diced celery
3 cups ¼-inch cubes day-old bread
3 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
1 cup browned, crumbled sausage
1½ cups walnut meats, chopped
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sage
2 teaspoons summer savory
2 teaspoons minced parsley ½ cup dry white wine Sauté cooked, drained and chopped giblets with onion and celery in butter gently for 5 to 10 minutes. Add bread, cornbread, sausage, walnuts and seasonings and mix lightly but thoroughly. Gradually add enough wine to moisten dressing nicely. Makes dressing to stuff a 10-pound bird.

Note: If you prefer to cook the dressing separately from the turkey (a good idea if your bird is roasting in a Dutch oven piled with coals), place in a lightly greased casserole dish and cover. Bake at 350º for 1½ hours. Remove cover for final 30 minutes of cooking. —Winter 1971

Maple-Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Annette Nielsen, Salem, New York

This classic dessert with a twist is easily prepared with leftover pumpkin puree. Serves 8.

8 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup sugar (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350º. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cream, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, ¼ cup sugar, vanilla and spices until very smooth. Divide the mixture among 8 6-ounce ramekins or ovenproof cups.

Place cups in shallow baking pan; pour in enough boiling water to rise halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the edges look set and the center of the custard still moves slightly, about 35 minutes. Remove the ramekins from water and refrigerate until cold, 2 to 3 hours. Bring to room temperature; sprinkle the tops with sugar and broil 6 inches from broiler or use a pastry torch until caramelized, about 2 minutes; refrigerate again until chilled, about 1 hour. Can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated until serving. —Inspired by “Sweetening the Pot,” April 2002

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