from Jude’s Kitchen: harvest thanks

There's a plethora of fresh, autumn vegetables available for us to enjoy with the Thanksgiving bird, so pick local.

Corn Fritters

Vegetables play a starring role in the Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey being a fairly bland meat, you can kick up the flavour a notch in the side dishes you serve with it, including the dressing, which is delicious with a little pork sausage and apple added to it.

It’s the time of year when veggies are the star. There are a huge variety of them calling out from fields and gardens all over town to “pick me!”

If you’re serving a big crowd, this is the chance to serve a wide variety of fresh, local produce alongside. Make sure you include some vegetable dishes which can be assembled earlier, ready to just be put on the table at the last minute; or at least just cooked before being served.

That way, you’re not running around wishing you had four hands and an extra oven just as everyone’s filing into the dining room.

There are tomatoes, turnips, onions, potatoes, peppers, beets, beans, broccoli, cabbage, corn, cauliflower, cucumbers, carrots, rutabagas and squash—all ready to harvest now—so there’s no shortage of choices to serve with the bird.

For more ideas of dishes to serve with turkey, pick up a copy of Jude’s Kitchen wherever books are sold. You’ll even find a terrific recipe for my favourite dressing in it.

The 32nd annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival is in full swing this week, so make an effort to get out and learn more about pairing a variety of foods with some of the many excellent B.C. VQA wines made from grapes grown in this valley.

It’s a perfect opportunity to get caught up in the excitement of the grape harvest and to drop by some of your neighbourhood wineries to taste some of their offerings.

For full details of the hundreds of events planned for the 10-day festival, go to: www.thewinefestivals.com or pick up a brochure at your local wine shop or liquor store.

 

Corn Fritter Cakes

Try making these with corn scraped fresh off the cob instead of using a tin of creamed corn. Just mash the kernels once you’ve removed them from the cob. The flavour is fantastic.

I’m afraid the recipe for corn fritters is not what I’d advise you make if you’re serving a big bunch because they should be made at the last minute, and there are too many other things to be done then. They’re perfect when you’re serving just a few. However, you can prepare the wet and dry mixtures ahead of time, then combine and cook them at the last minute.

They could be made into cakes the size of a quarter and served as a snack or an appetizer too.

14 oz. (398 ml) creamed corn

2 green onions

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

2 eggs

1/2 c. (125 ml) flour

1 tbsp. (15 ml) cornmeal

1/2 tsp. (2 ml) baking powder

1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt

1/8 tsp. (.5 ml) freshly-ground black pepper

butter, for frying

Beat up a couple of eggs and open a can of creamed corn, or use fresh. Mince green onions and jalapeno pepper. Use just the outside, not the seeds of the pepper.

Combine the eggs, corn, green onions and jalapeno.

Mix the dry ingredients and add to the corn and eggs, when you’re ready to cook them.

Immediately butter a non-stick or cast-iron frypan over medium-high heat and when it’s bubbly, put spoonfuls of batter on the pan.

Brown on one side, then turn, as for breakfast pancakes.

Serves 4.

 

Zucchini Tidbits

This is a delicate, crunchy way to serve zucchini as an appetizer that will have everyone eating their veggies. They’re not deep-fried, so are lighter-tasting and less fatty. These are crisp outside and creamy inside. Zucchini is so mild flavoured, there’s lots of different things you can do with it to turn it into something extraordinary, including these little snack/appetizers.

zucchini

freshly-ground black pepper

sea salt

chilli powder

flour

1 egg

1 tbsp. (15 ml) water

1/2 c. (125 ml) bread crumbs

1/2 c. (125 ml) toasted sesame seeds

spray of cooking oil

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.

Cut zucchini into bite-sized pieces.

Sprinkle with a mix of spices of your choice. Pepper, salt and something spicy are the best choice.

Beat egg with a little water in a shallow bowl.

Sprinkle zucchini with flour, then dip each piece in egg mixture, then into the fine, dry bread crumbs mixed with toasted sesame seeds and put on a rack over a cookie sheet.

Lightly spray with cooking oil.

These can be kept in the refrigerator for a few hours, until ready to bake, or baked right away, for about 15 or 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Serve with a creamy salad dressing as a dip, or create your own yogurt or sour cream-based dip.

Serves 4.