Cranberry-Lime Chutney

November 23rd, 2009

While searching for a good cranberry dish to serve for Thanksgiving dinner, I found Anna Pump’s The Loaves and Fishes Party Cookbook in the library. I have found that I like most everything that she prepares and have blogged about her recipes in the past. This sweet and tart chutney appealed to me on many levels. It is tart enough to give a tang to bland turkey and just barely sweet. We had it last night with pork roast and it was just right. My husband said it was a keeper. The beauty of the dish is that it will keep up to three months in the refrigerator. I don’t think it will last that long, but it is good to know that I have a great side dish for Thanksgiving.


1 lime, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup peeled and coarsely chopped tart apple
1/2 cup dark raisins ( I used dried cranberries)
4 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans ( I added this ingredient )

In a saucepan, bring to a boil the lime slices, onion, garlic, sugar, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, spices, and salt. Cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Add the apples and raisins. Return to a boil and simmer another 10 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook, covered, for 10 minutes more. Add the pecans. Cool mixture.

To store the chutney, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Thanksgiving Tried and True Side Dishes

November 16th, 2015


With Thanksgiving approaching, I wanted to share a few dishes that have been on my table and on my blog in the past years.  These are recipes that have worked well for me and I am sure they will add a special punch to your usual menu.  Notice that I am not including a recipe for turkey.  I would not presume to tell you how to cook your turkey.  Everyone has their personal idea of the best way to do that.  Let’s start with appetizers.  Because there is a huge meal waiting in the kitchen, appetizers should be light.  These Candied Spiced Almonds require a little attention upfront, but can be made way in advance.


I always love homemade savory shortbread crackers and the addition of dried cranberries to these appetizer rounds make them perfect for the holidays.  The recipe for these Chipotle Cheddar Cranberry Nut Wafers can be found here.


If you prefer your sweet potatoes as a first course, this Creamy Sweet Potato Soup is sure to be a hit. It is easy too.  The sweet potatoes are cooked in the microwave and the mixture comes together smoothly with an immersion blender, although you could puree it in a blender or food processor.


Leek and Artichoke Bread Pudding makes a great dressing if you do not stuff your bird.  It is an Ina Garten recipe and you can make it ahead of time.  Bacon can be substituted for the pancetta or you can leave it out all together if you have vegetarians at the table.

Cranberry-Lime ChutneyThis Cranberry-Lime Chutney is definitely a new take on cranberry sauce.  It is a combination of fresh cranberries, lime, apples, onion, raisins, pecans, and lots of spices.  It is best made ahead of time.


Instead of a green bean casserole, try these Green Beans Gremolata.  This dish is best made with the thin French Haricot Vert.  They have been readily available in several supermarkets that I visit.  They are usually found in a cellophane bag. The beans are cooked quickly and then tossed in a mixture of garlic, parsley, parmesan and pine nuts.


This Maple Glazed Acorn Squash with Sausage, Apple and Sage could almost be a meal on its own.  But it would certainly look pretty on the Thanksgiving table.


Instead of an apple pie you could make an Apple Bundt Cake.  This spice cake with a caramel frosting is a snap to make and there is a good tip on how to turn your cake out of the bundt pan easily.


If you are in a hurry you could make this Pumpkin Dump Cake.  For a while this cake was on my DIL’s family Thanksgiving table every year.  I first made it for Kristen for her birthday and she loved it so much that she shared it with her family.  They adopted it for Thanksgiving.

Apple Crostada 2

Instead of that apple pie you could make this free form Apple Crostata.  This is one of my favorite desserts.

Enjoy the preparations and fun of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Turkey With Leek and Artichoke Bread Pudding for Thanksgiving

November 24th, 2014

Leek Bread Pudding 1

It is the start of the holiday season.  With the approach of Thanksgiving our kitchens will become steamy, aromatic and warm until we sprawl exhausted on our sofas on New Years Day vowing never to eat again.  But for foodies it is the best of times.  The Thanksgiving feast is just the warm up.  We have done something a little different this year.  We have already had our Thanksgiving dinner.  We will not be with family and friends this year so we decided to travel on the Thanksgiving weekend.  We are going to Savannah to take in the historic downtown area.  So David and I cooked a simple Thanksgiving meal for the two of us this weekend.  David was in charge of the turkey.  He smoked it on the grill and I will let him tell you about it at the end of this post.  I did all of the side dishes.  A new one for me this year was this Leek and Artichoke Bread Pudding from Ina Garten’s new cookbook, Make it Ahead.  How perfect is that?

Leek Bread Pudding 2V


Instead of my standard dressing, this savory bread pudding hit all of the marks in my book.  I have an affinity for leeks and artichokes and the fact that it can be made ahead of time is a real timesaver at Thanksgiving.  You will love the combination of flavors with the salty pancetta on the top and the creamy base.  We found it to be a great alternative.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014 1

Here is our intimate Thanksgiving table.  David laughed at me for the care that I took dressing the table.  It is a bit over the top, but I enjoyed having the leisure to make it special.  I have to say that everything was delicious.  The meal included David’s moist smoked turkey, his special gravy, mashed potatoes, my Mother’s cheesy green beans with bacon,  Ina’s leek and artichoke bread pudding and Sam’s (My Carolina Kitchen) French cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014 2

I am turning it over to David so that he can tell you about his turkey and gravy.

I (David) have been wanting to smoke a turkey for a long time, but Penny would never let me do it for Thanksgiving when we would normally have guests for dinner, fearing that I might muck it up and she would not have a decent bird to serve to company.  (Penny here, plus no gravy).  I told her about a week ago that I planned to smoke a turkey for myself for the fun of it and she could eat some if she liked it….or not.  My plan was simple, to have smoked turkey and a couple of appropriate sides for a normal Saturday night supper, but my simple plan somehow morphed into the table that you see above.  That’s what being married to a food blogger will do for you.  I did get a good chuckle out of the elaborate table setting for a two-person, not-quite-Thanksgiving meal. Anyway, I got to smoke my turkey.

As some of you know, I have a Kamado ceramic egg style grill back in Lake Lure, but not down here in Florida, so I was faced with cooking it on the gas grill that I have here.  After Googling “smoked turkey recipe” and reading about several candidate techniques, I zeroed in on Meathead Goldwyn’s  method as spelled out in excruciating detail on his most excellent website Amazing Ribs.  He’s the go-to guy for all things barbecue.  You can take a look at his website for the gory details, all 42 printed pages of it, but suffice it to say that his techniques are based on the science of cooking meat, including the underlying thermodynamic and heat transfer principles, which greatly appeals to me, this retired thermodynamics professor.

In short, you coat the bird with his “Simon and Garfunkel” rub (I bet you can guess the main ingredients) both under and over the skin.  Then you set up your grill for indirect cooking with the bird on one side over an aluminum roasting pan filled with chopped-up onions, carrots, and celery, along with the turkey neck, heart, gizzards, wing tips, and “Pope’s Nose”, some herbs and spices, and about three quarts of liquid.  I used two quarts of water, a bottle of white wine, and a cup of apple juice.  The liquid left in this pan at the end of cooking, and after straining out all the solids, is the “gravy” you can serve with the meat without the bother of thickening it with flour.  Use the burners on the other side of the gas grill for supplying the heat to produce smoke from a couple of chunks of foil-wrapped wood (I used cherry) and to keep the turkey side of the grill at around 325F as measured with a digital thermometer at rack height. Our ten-pound bird took about 2 hours to reach the target temperature of 160F in the thickest part of the breast, at which time the temperature of the thighs was 170F….perfect.  During a 15 minute rest period the temperature at both locations will increase about 5 degrees.  The result is a juicy bird with crisp skin and a nice mellow smokey flavor and some delicious broth to go with it.  If you decide to try this, you should definitely take a look at the Amazing Ribs website for details.

That is all from the two of us.  We wish everyone a bountiful Thanksgiving.  We are thankful for all of you.

LEEK AND ARTICHOKE BREAD PUDDING ( Make it Ahead by Ina Garten )

8 cups ( 1-inch-diced ) day-old bakery white bread, crusts removed
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
6 cups ( 1/2-inch-diced ) leeks, white and light green parts ( 5 Leeks )
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
4 extra-large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup good chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups grated Emmentaler Swiss cheese (8 ounces)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread cubes on a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes, tossing once, until lightly browned.  Place the pancetta in on layer on another sheet pan and bake in the same oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.  Place the pancetta on a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

Meanwhile, soak the leeks in water until they’re clean, and spin them dry in a salad spinner.  Heat the butter in an 11-inch pot over medium heat, add the leeks, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the wine, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook for 5 minutes, until the wine almost evaporates and the leeks are tender.  Of the heat, mix in the artichokes, toasted bread cubs, chives, and tarragon.

Whisk the eggs, cream chicken stock, nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl.  Spoon half of the bread mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with half the Emmentaler and add the remaining bread mixture.  Pour on the cream mixture, sprinkle with the remaining Emmentaler, and press lightly to help the bread absorb the liquid.  Dice or crumble the pancetta, scatter on top, and sprinkle lightly with pepper.  Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the cream mixture.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. until the pudding is puffed and golden.

Make it Ahead:  Assemble the bread pudding and refrigerate for up to 2 days.  Bake before serving.

Printable Recipe

Polynesian Meatballs

April 26th, 2014

Polynesian Meatballs 3

Sometimes I have to  admit to myself, that when given a choice of meat to enjoy, I would invariably choose ground beef.  As a child my favorite meal was hamburgers and french fries.  Ground beef is so versatile.  It can be used in casseroles with a southwestern flavor or turn Italian in spaghetti.  I remember my Aunt Pat making hundreds of meatballs for my cousin’s wedding.  They were cooked in a combination of chili sauce and jellied cranberry sauce.  I’m sure you remember that combination.  That’s why this combination with a Polynesian spin caught my eye.

Polynesian Meatballs 2V

Sweet and sour dishes are always popular in our house.  There are interesting components to this recipe.  The coconut milk in the meatballs is a nice touch.  If you buy a can of coconut milk for this, you will have leftover milk.  You can freeze the rest for future uses. The pineapple, ginger and garlic give just the right flavor to the whole dish.  The only caveat that I have is that I think there is too much sugar.  You can cut it down if you prefer.

Polynesian Meatballs 1


The sauce can be made ahead of time and the meatballs are easy because they are browned in the oven. This makes a colorful and complete meal on a plate with a scoop of rice.  Enjoy!  I know we did.  I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm and Tasty Tuesday at The Comforts of Home.

POLYNESIAN MEATBALLS ( The Fresh Market and Friends Cookbook )

Polynesian Sauce:
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar or Demerara sugar
1 1/4 cups pineapple juice
1 (8 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch long thin strips
1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 pound ground beef
2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 onion, minced
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  In a small sauce pan over high heat, bring jalapeno and cider vinegar to a boil.  Remove from heat, let stand 30 minutes, strain to remove jalapenos and set aside.

In a large saucepan over high heat, combine jalapeno vinegar, sugar, pineapple juice and crushed pineapple; bring to a boil until sugar has dissolve.  In a mixing bowl, combine water, cornstarch and soy sauce until smooth; pour into sauce and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add onions, bell pepper, mint and cilantro; set aside and keep warm.

In a medium bowl, gently fold together all meatball ingredients.  Roll into 1-inch meatballs and place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake 20 minutes.

Transfer meatballs to a shallow bowl.  Pour sauce over top and toss to coat.

Printable recipe

Turkey Tetrazzini

November 26th, 2012

Welcome to my new Word Press website.  I still have some technical issues to work out, but I am happy with the design and look of my updated blog.  Thanks to my talented Son and Daughter-in-Law for their expertise.  If you encounter any problems in leaving comments or with any other issue please email me at

Thanksgiving is an excuse for wonderful leftovers in my opinion.  Every year I make an extra pumpkin pie just so I can have it for breakfast for a week.  But turkey tetrazzini has always been my reason for roasting a turkey.  It is just as much a tradition as the Thanksgiving dinner itself.



I have been using the same recipe for years and it will be difficult for me to be specific about proportions because everything is now done by rote.  But one thing I have learned over the years is to use less pasta than you think you will need because the pasta absorbs a lot of the sauce while it bakes.



Enjoy this simple dish made from leftovers.  It goes well with that leftover cranberry sauce too.



4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup white wine or dry sherry
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
4 cups cubed cooked turkey
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup Panko crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 pound (8 ounces) Spaghetti cooked according to directions on box

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large skillet melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk flour and butter together until it turns a light brown.  Mix together wine and chicken broth.  Add to skillet.  Continue whisking until sauce thickens.  Add 1/2 and 1/2 and turkey.  Cook until heated through.  Mix in cooked spaghetti.  Add a little pasta water if it is dry.

Pour contents of skillet into a greased casserole.  Sprinkle top with almonds, panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Bake casserole until bubbly and cheese and breadcrumbs are browned. (About 20 minutes).


Printable recipe




© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.