Christmas is a-coming, but for those across the Atlantic, first it’s Thanksgiving – which this year falls on Thursday 28th November. The ultimate American celebration and national holiday, it’s a time for family, friends, decorating the house with all manner of squashes, and eating – a whole lot of eating.
Fancy your own Thanksgiving extravaganza? These recipes will leave you full, happy and feeling festive…
Coca-Cola glazed ham
It’s not all about having turkey (save the big bird for Christmas). Try this Coca-Cola glazed ham instead.
Coca-Cola glazed ham
- 4.5-5.4 kg bone-in cured ham
- 95 g packed light brown sugar
- 80 ml Dijon mustard
- 1 large orange washed and cut into 8 wedges
- 355 ml Coca-Cola
- Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 160°C/Gas Mark 3.
- Trim any excess skin and/or fat from the ham. Using a sharp knife, score the ham in a diamond pattern, making 6mm deep cuts spaced 2.5cm apart. Place on the rack of a roasting pan
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and mustard. Rub the mixture all over the ham. Place the orange wedges on the roasting rack, around the edges of the ham. Pour the Coca-Cola into the bottom of the roasting pan (not over the ham). Cover the pan tightly with foil, wrapping it around the edges of the pan to seal. Using a small, sharp knife, make three small slits in the top of the foil.
- Roast until the internal temperature reads 74°C, should take three to three and a half hours; after the first hour, baste with the pan juices every 30 minutes.
- Cover the ham with foil and let the ham rest in the pan for 30 minutes. Baste once more with the Coke mixture at the bottom of the roasting pan, then transfer to a carving board and slice.
Braised butternut squash
Sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows too sickly for you? Braised butternut squash will fill the gap.
Braised butternut squash
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 910 g butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) cubes
- 120 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp butter diced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a large casserole dish or heavy-bottomed pot over a medium heat. Add the oil and garlic and cook just until the garlic turns light golden, one to two minutes.
- Add the squash and stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the squash is tender, for about 15 minutes.
- Uncover, stir, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the squash is golden brown, for eight to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with the butter and parsley.
For pudding it has to be a slice of pie with a dollop of cream, preferably pumpkin pie.
For the 20-23cm pie case:
- 163 g plain flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 115 g cold unsalted butter cubed
- 3 - 4 tbsp ice water
For the filling:
- 425 g pumpkin puree
- 355 ml whipping cream
- 3 eggs beaten
- 95 g light brown sugar
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Pinch each of salt and finely ground black pepper
- Make the pastry case. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add just enough ice water to bring the dough together.
- Form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and flatten slightly. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until 6mm and 25–28cm in diameter. Drape the pastry over the rolling pin and place it in your pie dish. Press the bottom and sides down firmly.
- Crimp the edges using the side of your forefinger and thumb. Freeze the pastry for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 7.
- Remove the pastry case from the freezer and prick it all over with a fork. Place a sheet of baking paper in it and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and take out the baking paper and weights.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/Gas Mark 5.
- In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, cream, eggs, both sugars, and spices. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake until the centre is just set, or 35–40 minutes. Let the pie cool completely before slicing.
Recipes extracted from America: The Cookbook by Gabrielle Langholtz, published by Phaidon, priced £29.95. Photography Danielle Acken.
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