’Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…except for me, because I had to don my trusty hospital scrubs and start another week of graveyard shifts.
But don’t feel badly for me. I have so much to be thankful for, including:
- Date nights! This week, Henry and I took a much-needed breather over dinner at Ad Hoc in Yountville. There, we tucked into a platter of Ad Hoc’s famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken for the first time in several years (!). Unlike our pre-Paleo forays to Ad Hoc, we ordered the gluten-free version this time. No, it’s not Paleo, but I’m happy to report that the crispy, tender chicken was just as mind-blowingly delicious as before.
Even better: our new friend Ruben at Ad Hoc decided that a copy of our book had to be displayed above the bar.
After a few of the staffers spotted it and flipped through it, one came over to ask me: “So what exactly is Paleo?”
Okay, gang: Thanksgiving’s just one week away, so here’s Part 5 of my Nomtastic Thanksgiving series! Just tuning in? I’ve already got you covered for turkey, Brussels sprouts, cran-cherry sauce, and mash—and today, I present to you: a flavor-packed, make-ahead Umami Gravy!
Yep, this is a rich, thick gravy that you can pour on EVERYTHING. I love my Easy Paleo Herb Gravy and my Slow Cooker Roast Chicken & Gravy, but this recipe’s the one you break out for company.
Traditionalists may scoff because there are no turkey pan drippings in this gravy, but by using bone broth or rich chicken stock, you can minimize your game-time kitchen chaos by making this gravy a couple of days before Thanksgiving. You simply reheat it just before you go into Feast Mode. (I don’t know about you, but this lady hates frantically cooking against the clock.)
Plus, this gravy is packed with carefully selected ingredients that boost umami: savory bone broth, tomato paste, dried and fresh mushrooms, and fish sauce. Once all these flavorful ingredients have simmered, simply purée everything together and voila! Thick gravy!
Umami Gravy keeps in the fridge for several days, and is a great item to keep in the freezer for everyday meals. Just cook up your favorite quick-cooking protein and simmer it in this fantastic gravy.
Ready for the recipe?
It’s Part 4 of my Nomtastic Thanksgiving series! (If you’re just tuning in, go check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3!)
Thanksgiving dinner just wouldn’t be complete without a generous serving of mashed root vegetables. And while mashed potatoes will always have a special place in my heart, I’ve come to prefer this Autumn Mash as a comforting, colorful alternative because: (A) it tastes better, and (B) it’s so much prettier. (After all, we eat with our eyes first, right?)
Longtime readers of my blog might recognize this recipe as an adaptation of an old favorite—but the secret ingredient in this new version is buttery, mellow roasted garlic, which adds warmth and richness to this mildly sweet vegetable side. Best of all, this dish doesn’t just taste fab, it also keeps fantastically. Make a batch a couple of days ahead of time, and reheat it when you’re ready to feast. Minimizing the muss ‘n fuss (or is it fuss ‘n muss?) on Turkey Day is always a good thing.
It’s Part 3 of my Nomtastic Thanksgiving series! (Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you’ve just joined the cooking party!)
Sweet and sour is one of my favorite flavor combinations. It perfectly describes my personality. And although I never tried cranberry sauce until I began attending the annual Thanksgiving potluck at my in-laws’, I fell hard for it right away. It didn’t matter if I got a dry piece of turkey breast; a dollop of tangy cranberry sauce would make it all better. But sadly, once I started eating Paleo, I had to skip the cranberry sauce altogether. After all, I knew that most recipes are sweetened with LOADS of white sugar.
But this year, I was determined to come up with a Paleo-friendly version of cranberry sauce—one inspired by the cranberry-cherry-apple juice blends from my childhood. By themselves, cranberries can be unpalatably bitter and sour. But by adding an equal amount of cherries and simmering the fruit in apple juice, I was able to counter the mouth-puckering tartness of the cranberries with some natural sweetness. Prefer a sweeter sauce? Just a touch of honey will do the trick. And if you make this Cran-Cherry Sauce a day ahead and allow the flavors to meld further, it tastes even better.