Make Ahead Gravy with Onions and Sage

From the wonderful Ina Garten, this is such an easy recipe to make a day or two ahead of needing gravy for your turkey. It makes about 4 cups.

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
1 large red onion, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
10 large fresh sage leaves
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio


Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onion becomes browned and starts to caramelize. Sprinkle on the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1½ minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, Cognac, sage leaves, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour and strain, pressing the solids lightly and then discarding them. Refrigerate until ready to use.

After the turkey is cooked, remove it to a carving board to rest while you finish the gravy. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat and add the wine. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring and scraping up all the bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Slowly whisk the gravy base into the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the gravy is smooth and slightly thickened. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

Peanut Butter Miso Cookie

From The NY Times. An interesting combination! I made the dough and let it sit for a few days in my refrigerator. I made the cookies and rolled them in the sugar and they went straight into the oven. The technique of hitting the pan on the counter is interesting to me and my niece Joanie told me that she learned that in a kitchen! I had never heard of it!

1 ¾ cups/225 grams all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 cup/220 grams light brown sugar
½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar
⅓ cup/80 milliliters white miso paste
¼ cup/60 milliliters chunky peanut butter
1 large egg
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup/105 grams Demerara sugar, plus more as needed

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and baking powder, and whisk until incorporated. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter, light brown sugar and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add miso and peanut butter to the mixing bowl, and continue to mix at medium speed, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated, and mix a bit more if needed. Add egg and vanilla extract, and mix until just combined.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, and mix on low speed until flour mixture is incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour mixture in two batches until all of it is incorporated.
Place 1/2 cup Demerara sugar into a small bowl. Working with one piece at a time, scoop out about 2 heaping tablespoons of dough (about 50 grams per cookie), and roll each portion between your hands until it is nice and round. (If the dough is too soft to roll, you can pop the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes to firm the dough up slightly.) Drop the piece of dough into the bowl of Demerara sugar and turn to coat. Transfer each ball to a parchment-lined baking sheet, arranging them about 3 inches apart. Repeat with all of the dough.
Refrigerate for 2 hours and up to overnight. (Even 15 minutes of refrigerator time will help the dough firm up, and the flavors meld. The longer the dough is refrigerated, the more mellow the flavors will be.)
When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cookies for about 15 minutes, until crisp at the edges and slightly puffed in the middle. They should still be a bit underdone in the center. Pull out the baking sheet and hit it against a counter. Place back into the oven to finish for about 3 to 4 minutes. When cookies are firm at the edges and slightly puffed in the center, pull them out and again hit the baking sheet against the counter. The cookies should appear flat and crinkly at the center.
Let the cookies cool on a baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store fully cooled cookies in an airtight container; they should retain their chewy texture for a few days.

Posole or Pozole

A wonderful winter soup/stew. I get my white corn posole (hominy) from Rancho Gordo, my favorite resource for beans and grains. I prefer to use my leftover pork shoulder which I always seem to have in my freezer. There are so many fun garnishes for this soup-shaved cabbage, cilantro, avocado, radish slices, tortilla chips, sour cream or grated cheese. I have a ristra of New Mexican dried red chiles and I made a paste of 4 chiles by toasting them in a cast iron pan, covering with boiling water for 30 minutes and then puréeing and straining the paste. It adds a lot of flavor to the soup. We like to eat the soup with fresh tortillas, warmed, either corn or flour.

1 1/2 c. dried posole (or substitute canned)
1/2 onion, sliced
2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 small multi colored peppers, diced
5 serranos, sliced (or jalapeños-seeded or not, depending on your taste)
1 can of green chiles, dice
Mexican oregano
Cumin, ground
6 c. chicken stock
Leftover cooked pork shoulder or butt, diced

Soak 1 1/2 c. dried posole overnight in water. Drain and add fresh water. Bring to a boil with 1/2 onion, sliced for one hour. Drain.
Saute onion for 5-10 minutes until soft. Add minced garlic and diced fresh peppers. Add green chiles, spices and stock. Bring to a simmer. Add pork and cooked posole. Simmer 30 minutes. Serve with your choice of garnishes.