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The Post Punk Kitchen Does Thanksgiving Recipes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
I have conflicting feelings about Thanksgiving. As a child, Thanksgiving
week at school was always filled with bizarre arts and crafts projects
and fictitious stories about happy Native Americans sharing their
food with colonists. And while the day itself was always celebrated
at my grandmother’s in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn, “thanks” for
anything was never really given and a football game was always on
One year, I remember very clearly making the connection between the turkey I
traced from my hand and the one lying dead in the middle of the table. I also
wondered where the “Indians” we heard so much about were. As I got
older I started opting out of the festivities. But the truth is, I missed watching
my grandmother cook and the smells of fresh herbs. And it was the one day I could
eat, well, whatever I wanted.
When Thanksgiving rolls around this year, I want to show that even a holiday
riddled with cruelty, strife and general uncomfortableness, can still be enjoyable.
We can create a cruelty-free spread using many ingredients native to North America.
Whether you’re feeding all vegetarians or your omnivorous friends and family,
these recipes are sure to bring a few good memories to this time of year.
Dinner Prep Guide
Following tradition, you can just plop everything
on the table at once and no one will complain. But if you want
to try something really special, start off with the Fresh Autumn
Paper Rolls with Butternut Squash, followed by the Pear and Endive
Salad with Maple Candied Pecans and Wild Rice and Porcini Soup.
Finally, serve the Pumpkin Toasted Tofu with mashed potatoes and
just when they think life can’t get any better, rock their
worlds with the Gingerbread Cupcakes.
Use this handy prep guide to keep things organized and less stressful.
all over, set yourself on fire and loudly proclaim your objections to the current
administration. No, don’t do that. It’ll ruin everything…
1. A few days ahead: Prepare the gravy, cranberry relish, dipping sauce
and candied pecans.
2. One day ahead: Prepare the soup, roast the butternut squash for autumn
rolls, bake the cupcakes and prepare the frosting.
3. Day of, at least 5 hours ahead: Press the tofu, prepare the baked pumpkin
and toast the pumpkin seeds, prepare the autumn rolls and store them.
4. Day of, 2-3 hours ahead: Keep oven warm at 200¾. Prepare pumpkin crusted
tofu, place it in a baking tray covered with tin foil, keep warm in the oven,
prepare the mashed potatoes (keep warm
on the stove top), frost the cupcakes and keep in a cool place, put the cranberry
relish on the counter to bring to room temperature.
5. One hour ahead: Go get dressed.
6. Half an hour ahead: Heat up the soup, prepare the salad, place the Autumn
rolls on the table. The salad and soup can come out first while you place everything
else on a serving tray and do
necessary heating up. Then you can sit down and act passive-aggressively while
saying “Really, it was nothing.”
Fresh Autumn Rice
Paper Rolls with Butternut Squash Rice noodles make the perfect canvas for velvety butternut
squash, crunchy pumpkins and fresh herbs. Don’t be deterred
by the rice paper wrapper, it’s super easy and rolling
fresh spring rolls is a skill that will last a lifetime. If one
rips a bit don’t worry, once it’s rolled you won’t
be able to tell. You can dip these in the cranberry relish (recipe
on p. 30) or use the simple dipping sauce below.
1 lb. Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed into 1/4 inch pieces
2-3 t. Olive Oil
12 8” Round Rice Paper Wrappers
4 Ounces Thin Rice Noodles
1 C. Thai Basil Leaves, Cilantro or Basil, torn into bite sized pieces
1/3 C. Pumpkin Seeds, roasted, salted and coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400¾.
2. Drizzle 2 t. of oil on a baking sheet. Place butternut cubes on the sheet
and rub them all over with the oil, drizzle on another teaspoon if you need
3. Arrange cubes in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes, remove from oven,
toss them and cook for 10 more minutes or until tender.
4. Transfer them to a plate to cool.
1. Boil a large pot of water.
2. Once boiling, turn off heat, add noodles, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring
3. Drain in a colander and run cold water over them to prevent further cooking.
Place them in a bowl until ready to use.
1. Fill a large pie plate with warm water. Place a rice paper wrapper in the
water and let sit for 30 seconds, until it begins to soften. Turn it over and
let it completely soften, about 15 more seconds.
2. Carefully place wrapper on work surface and on the lower third place about
1/4 C. of rice noodles, leaving about an inch and a half of space on either
side. Place a layer of butternut squash above the noodles.
3. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and fresh herbs.
4. Fold the bottom of each wrapper over filling, then fold in the ends and
roll into tight cylinder. Place rolls, seam side down, on a plate and cut in
half when ready to serve.
Makes 12 rolls
3 T. Soy Sauce
2 T. Rice Vinegar
2 t. Asian Hot Chili Oil
2 t. Sesame Oil
1 1⁄2 t. Sugar
Mix ingredients together and stir rigorously. Chill until ready to serve.
Pear and Endive Salad with Maple Candied Pecans This is one of my favorite salads and it’s ready in minutes.
The candied pecans add a flavorful crunch and the sweetness of the
pear rounds out the delicate bitterness of the endive. It’s
a simple recipe but a smorgasbord of flavor and texture. I know grapeseed
oil isn’t a common oil to have around but I insist you get
it because it makes the best dressing for a salad.
1⁄2 C. Pecan Halves
2 t. Vegetable Oil
1/8 t. Salt
1⁄4 C. Pure Maple Syrup
1. Preheat a heavy bottomed pan over low medium heat. Toast the
pecans for about 5 minutes, tossing them frequently after the first
2. Sprinkle with vegetable oil and salt, and toss to coat.
3. Add the maple syrup and toss to coat. Let maple syrup bubble
for about 30 seconds tossing the entire time.
4. Transfer to a flat plate lined with parchment paper and let cool.
Break apart the pieces and serve.
3 Belgian Endives, sliced width wise into 1⁄2 inch slices
1 Very Ripe D’Anjou Pear, thinly sliced into bite sized pieces
3 T. Grapeseed Oil
2 t. White Balsamic Vinegar
1. In a large bowl toss together all of the ingredients, making
sure the endive and pears are coated with the oil and vinegar.
2. Divide among 4 plates and garnish with candied pecans.
Porcini Wild Rice Soup This is a savory earthy soup bursting with
rich mushroom flavor. If you’ve never tried fresh chervil you
should, it has a delicate herby taste that is not quite like anything
else. It’s hard to find though, so if you can’t find
it, use fresh parsley for garnish. You can make this a day in advance,
but it thickens considerably when refrigerated, so have on hand extra
vegetable broth to thin it out when you reheat.
5 Ounces Dried Porcini Mushrooms
2 C. Boiling Water
2 t. Olive Oil
1 Large Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 t. Fresh Thyme
1 t. Salt
Several Dashes Fresh Black Pepper
3 C. Cremini Mushrooms or Baby Bellas, thinly sliced
1 1⁄2 C. Wild Rice
4 C Vegetable Broth
1 Medium Carrot, peeled and grated
Several Sprigs of Fresh Chervil, for garnish
1. Place the porcinis in a bowl. Measure out 2 C. of boiling water
and pour over the porcinis. Cover with a plate and set aside.
2. Preheat a stockpot over medium-high. Add olive oil and sauté onions
for 3 minutes. Add garlic, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until
brown, stirring frequently. Add the sliced creminis; sauté and
for another 3 minutes.
3. In the meantime, remove the porcinis from broth, thinly slice
them and add to the stockpot along with the porcini broth. Cook for
3 more minutes.
4. Add the wild rice and stir for about a minute. Add the vegetable
broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring the heat down
to low and simmer.
5. When rice is tender (about 45 minutes), grate in the carrot, turn
off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. If soup is too thick add
another cup or so of water or
6. Garnish with springs of fresh chervil.
Serves 6 to 8
Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Tofu with Baked Pumpkin and Cranberry Relish This recipe utilizes the whole pumpkin—pulp, seeds and all.
It’s fun to pull together and has a bit of a homespun feel.
It’s also really crunchy and flavorful, especially topped off
with the cranberry relish.
3 1⁄2 Pound Sugar Pumpkin
2 t. Canola Oil, plus extra for deep frying
1⁄2 C. Cornstarch
1⁄4 C. Fresh Oregano, chopped
1⁄4 t. Salt
1 Pound Extra Firm Tofu, drained and pressed, sliced length-wise
1 C. Water
1. Preheat oven to 300¾.
2. Carve out the top of the pumpkin and slice in half. Set pumpkin aside.
3. Remove seeds and clean them in a strainer under running water.
4. Dry seeds thoroughly removing any moisture.
5. Measure 3⁄4 C. of seeds and transfer them onto a rimmed baking sheet.
6. Sprinkle with 2 t. of oil, toss to coat. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping occasionally.
They should be toasted a golden brown to a deep golden brown. Transfer to a bowl
7. When cooled, transfer them to a food processor and pulse until crumbly; the
texture should range from ground to coarse and chunky.
8. In a shallow bowl mix the seeds with cornstarch, oregano and salt. Place
the flour in another bowl, the water in another, and line up your three bowls:
flour, water and seed mixture.
1. Adjust the oven temperature to 350¾.
2. Cut the pumpkin into slices that are about 2 inches wide at the widest point.
3. Lightly oil the slices and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
4. Bake for about 45 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.
1. Heat 1⁄4 inch of oil over moderate heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet,
preferably cast iron. The heat should be between 320¾ and 350¾; if you
don’t have a thermometer, test the oil by dropping a pinch of the seed
mixture in; if bubbles form rapidly around the seeds, the oil is ready.
2. Dip tofu on both sides into the flour, then into the water, then into the
seed mixture until the tofu is well coated with seeds.
3. Lower tofu pieces into the oil. Fry for 3 minutes on one side and about 2
1⁄2 minutes on the second side.
4. Remove from the oil and transfer to paper towels to drain excess oil.
2 C. Fresh Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 C. Pure Maple Syrup
1⁄2 C. Water
1⁄4 C. Fresh Orange Juice
1 t. Orange Zest, finely grated
1. Mix together all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, uncover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Bring to room temperature and serve over pumpkin and tofu. Sprinkle with
Gingerbread Cupcakes Recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero Nothing says waiting for the holiday season to end like these moist, fluffy gingerbread
cupcakes. Bring them to your next familial bash and eat them as you grit your
teeth and marvel at your family.
1 1⁄4 C. All-Purpose Flour
1 t. Baking Powder
1⁄2 t. Baking Soda
3 t. Ginger, ground
1 t. Cinnamon, ground
1⁄4 t. Cloves, ground
1⁄4 t. Salt
1⁄2 C. Vegetable Oil
1/3 C. Light Molasses
1⁄2 C. Maple Syrup
1⁄4 C. SoyMilk
2 T. Soy Yogurt
1 1⁄2 t. Lemon Zest, finely grated
1⁄4 C. Crystallized Ginger, finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350¾. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt
in a bowl and mix.
3. Whisk oil, molasses, maple syrup, soy milk, yogurt and lemon zest in a separate
large bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until smooth.
Fold in the chopped crystallized
4. Fill liners 2/3 full. Bake for 19 or 22 minutes, until a knife or toothpick
inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Let cool completely before icing.
Lemony Buttercream Frosting
1⁄2 C. Nonhydrogenated Shortening
1⁄2 C. Nonhydrogenated Margarine
31⁄2 C. Confectioners’ Sugar
11⁄2 t. Vanilla Extract
1⁄4 C. Plain Soy Milk or Soy Creamer
1 T. Lemon Zest, finely grated
1. Beat shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add
sugar and beat for about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and soymilk, beat for another
5 to 7 minutes or until fluffy.