Creamed Pearl Onions

Creamed Pearl OnionsCreamed pearl onions is one of those holiday dishes that seems so unnecessary… until one year you don’t make it and everyone gets mad and you realize it’s a tradition for a reason, damn it. There’s something about that soft (but not too soft) texture and that simple, pale sauce that just works.

It’s a little smoky from the bacon. A little boozy from the sherry. Pure holiday delight.

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Sesame Roasted Pears

Sesame Roasted Pears

Roasted pears become even more delicious with a drizzle of sesame oil and sesame seeds. Perfect as a side for pork belly and rice!

It’s pear season! I love pears but I find it impossible to catch them at their perfect ripeness. They go from being hard as a rock to mush in what seems like minutes, don’t they? I also get an itchy mouth from most raw fruit (such a bummer during peach season) but pop these in the oven for 20 minutes and problem solved!

I first made these with duck breasts (using a Tyler Florence recipe) but thought it would be delicious with my newabsolutemostfavorite thing ever, Crispy Pork Belly with Soy Honey Glaze.

This recipe would also be a really great addition to a Thanksgiving table. The sesame flavor is very mellow, almost a little nutty and would complement traditional Thanksgiving flavors well. You could scatter some toasted walnuts and Bleu cheese over them … oh my god, that would be so good. (I must resist the thought of leaving work to go and make this right now.)

It’s better to use slightly under than over-ripe pears but it’s a pretty forgiving recipe.

 

Pears

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Mashed Butternut Squash with Thyme and Mascarpone

Mashed Butternut Squash with Thyme and Mascarpone

This dish is basically autumn in a pot. It’s orange, it’s delicious, it’s healthy, and you can serve it for Thanksgiving or as a side for any meal.

Now that I live in the boonies and have to drive to the grocery store like a normal, I have a bad habit of buying way too many vegetables at once. I have such optimism in the produce aisle, thinking of all the tasty things I’ll make, but time gets away from me and eventually, with great shame in my heart, I end up with a bin full of bendable carrots and fuzzy broccoli rabe.

But I never, ever regret buying too much winter squash (like acorn, delicata, kabocha and butternut). Those things last for-fricking-ever. I mean, I don’t just adore them because of shelf-life. That would be silly. “Hey, you lazy bastards. Wanna make something that won’t rot?” Damn, I should have gone into advertising. I think I have a knack.

Anyway, I’ve had this butternut squash sitting on my counter for at least 3 weeks (lie, 5 weeks) and look; still perfect! Butternut squash is packed with fiber, vitamins A and C so it’s a great, healthy alternative to mashed potatoes and look at that color. It’s like being punched in the face by fall!

We had it with Baked Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Garlic. It’s a great combination.

Mashed Butternut Squash with Thyme and Mascarpone

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