Thanksgiving Traditions – Make Them, Don’t Break Them!

Thanksgiving Traditions – Make Them, Don’t Break Them!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down. My family is lucky enough to have two chefs in it, so we are always treated to some delicious fare this time of year. Thanksgiving traditions are important, though, and sometimes the creativity gets a little out of hand. One year, my younger brother volunteered to make the dinner rolls for our Thanksgiving feast, so Mom didn’t whip up her usual fluffy white rolls. Well, little bro’s rolls were delicious, but they were weird! We don’t eat whole wheat on Thanksgiving! What was this sacrilege? This simple Thanksgiving tradition is one we didn’t realize we hold so dearly, but let me tell you, this will NOT be happening again.

We have pretty gourmet taste in this family, but Thanksgiving is sacred. Over the years our mom has announced on various occasions that she will not be making cranberry-marshmallow salad or candied yams, and we predictably throw mini fits until she agrees to do the whole spread. Hopefully things are a little easier on Mom now that we are all grown and capable of helping out with these demands. We’re all fine with having some super-gourmet non-traditional treats on Thanksgiving, we just plead with you, dear creative chef brothers, make them in addition to our traditional Thanksgiving dishes, not as replacements.

So, if you are not looking forward to bringing just the same boring mashed potatoes this year, Chef J has an easy and delicious dish that you can bring as well. You’re going to be in trouble if you don’t bring the potatoes, but this is simple enough that you can make both. And it’s tasty enough that it might become a new Thanksgiving tradition.

This year, let’s focus on making new Thanksgiving traditions without breaking the old ones.

Chef J, show the people how it’s done!

Fall is in full swing! The leaves are turning yellow and the noses are running so it’s time to start planning what will be on the table for that big meal before the onslaught of Christmas shopping. To brave the swell of holiday shoppers that you will have to wade through next Friday (unless you’re going with the highly-recommended trend of online shopping), you will need the strength and stamina that only a hearty meal of turkey and pie can provide. This Thanksgiving, or “Gray Thursday” as I like to call it, will surely host the reliable classics: mashed potatoes, canned cranberry sauce, stuffing, and of course, the bird of honor. With that in mind, I decided to bring something new for my contribution to the family feast this season; a simple but delicious side that can be made in advance. Mind you, this won’t be replacing any of the family’s traditional Thanksgiving flavors, but will complement them beautifully.

Caramelized Onion and Apple Tart Thanksgiving Tradition

  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 green apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 10 x 10” sheet of puff pastry

Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and throw in the onions. Cook over low heat until they begin to brown.
Add the apples and herbs and stir to coat everything with butter.
Season with a bit of salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Spread out the puff pastry and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Pile the apples and onion onto the pastry, leaving about 1 inch of space around the edges.
Fold the edges up over the apples and onion, pinching the pastry together as you go.
Sprinkle the whole thing with the pecans and cheese.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow the tart to cool a bit before slicing.

If you want to save time, you can get everything made and assembled the day before and bake it when you need it.

Printer friendly recipe: Onion and Apple Tart

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