Posts tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

November 26, 2014

Spiced Cranberry Sangria

Spiced Cranberry Sangria 2

Do you want to know a secret?

The best place for cranberries at your Thanksgiving table isn’t in a sauce or baked into an overly sweetened dessert – it’s in your wine glass.

Cranberries are the feature ingredient in this festive sangria, bestowing some of their signature tartness to compliment to the warm, sugary notes of brandy. In turn, they absorb some of the sweetness from the other ingredients, making them palatable – dare I say enjoyable even – to eat themselves once you’ve finished your drink.

Set against a backdrop of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and orange, this sangria blends classic Spanish influences with holiday flavors for an unique, belly-warming beverage. And while cranberries are a Thanksgiving mainstay, this recipe would be equally suited for any wintertime holiday. Cheers!

p.s. When it comes to the cranberries, I have to put a plug in for Starvation Alley Farms. In addition to being locally owned by the wonderful Oakes family down in Long Beach, WA, they’re easily the best-tasting cranberries I’ve ever had.

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December 4, 2011

SliderPalooza Preview: Mashed Potato Slider with Apple-Fennel Slaw

Last week I finally got together with my old partner in culinary mischief, Patrick. Patrick is the Chef de Cuisine at the Crepe Cafe and Wine Bar, the same spot that I did my one and only stint in a restaurant. We’ve always had a knack for cooking together – before, during and after my time at the cafe – but we were long overdue for a little collaboration.

So we put our heads together to answer the most fundamental question of our joint cooking styles – “how can we take some creative license, create a variety of different dishes under a common theme and still leave our guests feeling satisfied?”

Our answer:  sliders.

The night was such a success that we have since  dubbed it SliderPalooza. We will be posting the full recap of the event – complete with pictures and, of course, recipes – in the coming week. In the mean time, here is a preview of one of five sliders that we put together: the Mashed Potato Slider with Apple-Fennel Slaw.

We love Thanksgiving and all of its leftovers, but eating plain mashed potatoes for a week straight becomes supremely boring about three days in, if not sooner. This recipe repurposes this holiday standby into a new and delicious package by flash-frying it and using as the ‘patty’ in this rustic, vegetarian slider.

The crispy-creamy mashed potato patty is topped with a perfectly balanced apple and fennel slaw. The sweetness of the apple plays off the earthy, licorice notes of the fennel and its fronds, while the light searing brings out the flavors while maintain the perfect amount of crunch in both ingredients.

The end result is a dish that plays jump rope with the line between sweet and savory. It can be a filling bite that makes a great starter for a protein heavy meal, or the perfect vegetarian dinner when plating four or five together. No matter how you serve it, it’s an easy way to do something exciting with one of the most common Thanksgiving leftovers.

Be sure to stay tuned for the SliderPalooza main post!

Mashed Potato Slider with Apple-Fennel Slaw

  • 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes, chilled
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium apple, cored, skinned and diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 6-9 slider buns


  1. Form the mashed potato into slider sized patties. Combine the flour and salt and dust each side of the patty with the mixture.
  2. Heat a pan to medium-high heat. Add the butter and coat evenly. Quickly sear the mashed potato patties, approximately 1 minute on each side. Be sure not to overcook or the patties will fall apart.
  3. Heat a different pan to high heat. Add the apple, fennel, fronds and pepper to the pan and toss rapidly to evenly distribute the heat. Continue to cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the apple and fennel just begin to get tender.
  4. Toast the slider buns in an over or toaster oven. To assemble, place a potato patty on each bun bottom half, add a heaping pile of apple-fennel slaw (remember, all sliders should be messy), and place the other half on top.
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