by Sharlene Irete
Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are comfort foods that we associate with Thanksgiving dinner. And the reason these foods are "comforting" is because they are basic and unsophisticated " Mom and Grandma prepare these foods every Thanksgiving.
Something my mother served every Thanksgiving was baked canned yams. I don't remember that anyone ever ate that concoction of brown mushy stuff with burned marshmallows and wilted orange slices, but there it was on every holiday table.
When I found a recipe for a sweet potato casserole that retained the color and taste of those fresh tubers, I installed it as one of my holiday comfort dishes. Not everyone likes sweet potatoes as much as I do, but my dinner guests are open to tasting this bright orange food that smells like maple syrup.
Ruhenstroth resident Carol Hill makes a delicious cranberry salsa that she serves as an appetizer with cream cheese and crackers. She adopted this recipe from P. Allen Smith about 10 years ago and substituted canned cranberries for fresh.
I decided to use my friend's cranberry salsa recipe to complement my holiday menu. And it's great on turkey sandwiches.
I mostly stick with the traditional turkey dinner and all the trimmings, but I'm always looking for new comfort food candidates.
Do you have recipes where you've used a traditional holiday ingredient in an untraditional way? If you would like to share recipes to be printed in The Record-Courier on Nov. 21, send them by noon Wednesday, to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at 782-6152. Include your name and a phone number, and if you have a story to share about your recipe, all the better.
A 16-ounce can of whole berry cranberry sauce
1⁄3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons grated onion
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
Optional: 1 clove garlic, grated
Stir all ingredients together or process in blender. Refrigerate until cold. Serve as an appetizer with cream cheese and crackers or use cranberry salsa as a substitute for
traditional cranberry sauce.
Sweet potato casserole
1⁄2 cup evaporated milk
3 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes or yams (4 medium)
Saute for 2 minutes:
2 tablespoons butter
1⁄2 cup chopped dates
Slice sweet potatoes into 2-inch pieces and boil or steam until easily pierced with a fork. Remove skins and mash.
Mix ingredients together and put in a greased 11⁄2 quart casserole.
Pour on top:
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees
n Contact People Editor Sharlene Irete at email@example.com or 782-5121, ext. 210.