New Castle News

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November 9, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Time to plan Thanksgiving meal

NEW CASTLE — The calendar doesn’t lie. Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away.

Then planning begins for all the other holiday meals. I have already made up a list of what we’re making on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It’s a frenzy of preparation and two days of baking and cooking,  but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

On Thanksgiving, many cooks stick to the traditional. And why not? If it works, why change?

What will you be serving? Culinary Conversation would love to know.

When I was growing up, my relatives were content with the Turkey Day fundamentals when a group of us gathered around the table — the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. My mother dared to be different a few times — making such dishes as Rosalynn Carter’s cream of peanut soup. She and I loved it. The other 10 or 12 did a thumbs down. Same for the zucchini bars I made one year. Mom and I were pleased with the results, and you can guess what the opinion of the rest was.

So we returned to the familiar.

Now, we’re fortunate to have friends who are fabulous cooks and enjoy making the Thanksgiving meal, and we have been part of their celebration for the past 12 years.

As much as I love pumpkin pie, this year I’m going to try a pumpkin cheesecake that I found in a magazine for one of my contributions to the get-together.

Toady’s offerings also include pumpkin cupcakes with spiced mascarpone cream filling that sound incredible and some side dishes to enhance the star of the Thanksgiving show — the turkey.

Remember, Culinary Conversation is all about sharing. Your holiday recipes are a welcome addition.

Corn Pudding Casserole

  • 6 dried tomatoes (not oil-pack)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded zucchini (1 medium)
  • 1, 16-ounce package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1, 15-ounce carton whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

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