Home Cooking 19

Creative Starch Recipes for Thanksgiving/Holidays

opinionatedchef | Oct 28, 201105:53 PM

I have wanted to share these for a long time. Now I finally have them edited.

I used them for many years in my catering co. Please add yours too!


adapted from a 1980’s Chocolatier magazine recipe

X1 X2

2 lbs // 4 lbs Peeled and seeded Butternut Squash

1 ½ C // 3 C Heavy Cream

½ C // 1 C Half & Half

2 // 4 Bay Leaves

3 sprigs // 6 sprigs Fresh Thyme


1/8 tsp // 1/4 tsp Dry Thyme

1/8 ts // 1/4 tsp Ground Mace

1 3/4 tsp // 2 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt

½ tsp // 1 tsp Pepper

3 T // 6 T Butter

1 med // 2 med Yellow Onions

1 tsp // 2 tsp Minced Garlic

1/4 C // ½ C Parmesan Cheese

Slice squash in 1/4" slices. In large heavy- bottomed sauce pan combine the squash, cream, half and half, bay leaves, thyme, mace and 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of the pepper. Simmer over moderate heat until squash is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid , stirring occasionally, approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile slice the onions 3/8" thick. Melt half the butter in Large skillet and saute onions until they caramelize and turn deep golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute . Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Spread some of the onions on the bottom of a medium gratin dish or other shallow oven proof dish. Fill the gratin dish with squash, sprinkle with onions and parmesan cheese and dot with the remaining butter. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until browned lightly and bubbling.

* For advance prep, can be prepared up until topping; cooled, wrapped and refrig for 3-4 days. Bring to room temp, sprinkle w/parm and dot w/butter and bake.

* Aso can chop onions and layer w/ squash if preferred.

NOTE: doing X4 and above use less liquid as will get too soupy.

X5 uses approximately 2 cups less liquid

** Freezes well. Also, leftovers can be used as a pasta sauce, optionally adding toasted hazelnuts, sliced cooked duck sausage and crumbled fried sage leaves.



X1 X2

1/3 C // 2/3 C Raw Wild Rice

2 // 4 Scallions minced

3 T // 6 T Pecans finely chopped

2 // 4 Peeled Anjou Pears in 1/4" dice

½ tsp // 1 tsp Crushed Dried Rosemary

1 T // 2 T Flat Parsley , minced

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

3 T // 6 T Unsalted Butter

1/3 C // 2/3 C AP Flour ,mix of whole wheat and white

1/3 C // 2/3 C Fine Cornmeal

1T // 2 T Baking Powder

2 T // 4 T Dark Brown Sugar

1 // 2 Large Eggs beaten

½ C // 1 C Milk or Half & Half

X1= approx. 16 3” entree size or 50 hors d’oeuvre size

Bring salted water to a boil; add rice and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Melt butter to sizzling but not burning, add pears and rosemary, cook over med. high heat until tender but not mushy. Add parsley and scallions and let cool. Mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, dark brown sugar. Add milk or half & half and beaten egg; add cooled pear mixture. For entree portions, form 3" mounds in skillet. For hor d'oeuvre, drop by teaspoonfuls on hot griddle. Cook on one side then flip and cook until golden brown and cooked through.

Best with sweet butter and drizzle of maple syrup, but can be garnished w/ chevre, creme fraiche, or sliced roast duck.

**If pears are ripe, saute first to remove excess liquid before adding other ingredients.



The chewy moist texture of this rice is so unique.

1 Medium Onion chopped fine

6 T unsalted butter or veg. oil

1 Bay leaf; kosher salt and pepper

3 C Basmati Rice

2 C plain yogurt

2 ½ C orange juice (frozen is fine)

Saute onion and bay leaf for 5+ minutes til golden brown. Season and add rice and saute til nutty and lightly browned . Transfer to 3 qt. oven proof dish. Meanwhile, in another sauce pan, combine yoghurt and OJ; bring to just a simmer- Do not boil. Add to rice and stir to combine. Immediately cover tightly with saran and then foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes til liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and serve.

makes 18 servings of 1/2 c.@

* depending on the dimensions of the dish used (wider is better), the rice might cook more on the edges and still be a bit soupy in the middle. If this happens, stir rice well and return to oven to finish as needed.



1 box Cous Cous Plain or wheat (I use Tr,Joe’s)

2C + Chix stock or water

½ C Scallions Minced

½ C Pistachios chopped, raw or roasted

2 tsp Orange Zest

1/4 C Dried Cranberries Chopped

Soften cranberries in hot water for a few minutes before you chop.

Make cous cous with water or chicken stock, according to directions on package. Add the pistachios, orange zest, cranberries and scallions. Mix in enough couscous vinaigrette until robustly flavored and right consistency(you don’t want pool of unabsorbed oil. I use 1- 1 1/2 c. vinaigrette) May need to season with more salt and pepper. (Couscous is really pasta; pasta and potatoes always absorb so much salt! if made way in advance, be sure to taste and adjust seasonings before serving.)

Cous Cous Vinaigrette 2 c.:

1 ½ C Vegetable Oil

6 T + Lemon juice

1 T ground toasted cumin

2 tsp Cinnamon

2 Tsps @ Kosher Salt and Pepper

Whisk all together.

For a special presentation- timbales:

Pack couscous down into large muffin tins(or other form). Cover tin with saran and place another muffin tin on top with about 6-10 lb + of canned items on top (this presses down on the couscous mixture and compresses it into a shape.)Refrigerate 3 hours to a week. Remove saran from muffin tin;place tray or platter on top of tin and flip over onto platter,holding muffin tin down while tapping platter flat on counter so timbales will slide out cleanly. For extra insurance, tap down on each tin before lifting tin off. Serve room temp. ,with spatula.

X1 makes 16 timbales of about 1/3 c. each.


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