Are you the type of Thanksgiving cook (and/or eater) who expects to sit down to the same lineup of food from year to year or do you like to get a little bit crazy and try something completely new every time?
I’ve learned that there are definitely two distinct – and very personal – approaches to getting the holiday menu together. I recognize one, the tried-and-trues, as the keepers of family traditions; rational, organized, intelligent souls who keep things simple (doable) and predictable (foolproof). Which makes a lot of sense. How else to organize 10, 20 or more people around a dining table and keep the peace?
I count myself in the other, open-to-experiment camp. While I’ve never ditched the turkey altogether and made fish instead (as Debra did to much disappointment in one episode of Everybody Loves Raymond) I like to play with vegetables and entertain ideas on how to handle the turkey (shall we bone it, brine it, spice it, tie it up and smoke it?).
I’ll be sharing a few of my ideas for vegetable side dishes over the next week, nothing too wild and crazy. But maybe something to mix up the usual suspects.
In the meantime, leave me a note and share your family favorites, old or new.
Cauliflower Mascarpone Gratin
Yield 6 servings
- 1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
- 1 tablespoon softened butter
- 1 8-ounce container Wisconsin Mascarpone cheese
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup Wisconsin grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly grated black pepper
- Blanch the cauliflower in a pot of boiling salted water 5 minutes; drain.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 7 x 11 gratin dish with butter; arrange cauliflower in dish.
- Stir together Mascarpone, cream, ¼ cup Parmesan,sage, garlic, salt and black pepper to taste until smooth; pour over cauliflower. Sprinkle top with remaining Parmesan.
- Bake 30 minutes, or until top is browned and sauce is bubbling. Rest 15 minutes, loosely covered, before serving.