Make Ahead Thanksgiving Feast : Green Bean Casserole:

by Melody Kettle

The original Green Bean Casserole recipe was created by an employee of the Campbell Soup Company called Dorcas Reilly in 1955. The recipe consisted of Canned Green Beans, Canned Cream of Mushroom Soup, and Canned Fried Onions.

What foodies like me often forget is that the era of the New Frontier celebrated convenience and new technology;

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Purslane and Parsley Salad

by Melody Kettle

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes (preferably assorted heirloom varieties), halved or quartered if large
  • 6 cups packed tender purslane sprigs and leaves (from a 1-pound bunch)
  • 4 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves (from 2 large bunches)

Cucumber-purslane-yogurt salad

by Melody Kettle

  • 5 large Cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into quarter-round slices
  • 1/4 pound Purslane, large stems removed, washed and drained well
  • 2 tablespoons each, Fresh chopped mint, cilantro and chervil
  • 4 cups Whole milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, puréed with the blade of a knife
  • 2 teaspoon ground Coriander
  • kosher Salt and ground Black Pepper

Place the cucumber, purslane and herbs into a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together the yogurt, olive oil and garlic, coriander and season to taste with salt. Add the yogurt mixture to the vegetables and mix well. Add a pinch of ground black pepper. Taste the dressed cucumber-purslane salad for seasoning, adding a little more salt if needed. Serve chilled.

Peekytoe Crab Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

by Melody Kettle

*Recipe Courtesy of Ryan DePersio owner of Fascino in Montclair, NJ

1 lb peekytoe crab meat

1 tb of sour cream

2 tb of lemon juice

1tb chopped tomato confit (Substitute Sun Dried Tomatoes)

5 leaves of basil julienned

salt and pepper to taste

10 zucchini flowers

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Grandma's Recipe Box: #6 Peach Dumplings!

by Melody Kettle

Here's one of Grandma's more interesting staples - Peach Dumplings!  What is a peach dumpling? It's not dessert; it's actually dinner. 

In my experience, people either love them or hate them.  I've been at the table with quite a few people who simply could not accept the sweetness of the peach for dinner. 

Personnaly, I love peach dumplings and would gladly devour them as either breakfast, lunch or dinner.  The warm peach, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar bread crumbs, and drizzled with butter is just heavenly.

Executing the dough takes a little bit of practice.  If you attempt these, you must make sure to rice and not mash the potatoes, as the dough will become too "gummy."  Also, do not attempt a short cut by using a stand mixer. 

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Christmas Peppers

by Melody Kettle

Recipe courtesy of Lou Palma - straight from Sant’ Agata via Montclair! 

There are no quantities in this recipe. But because there’s no meat or eggs, you can taste until you’ve got the mixture to you’re liking. According to Lou, "you’re going for the right color."


Stuffed Christmas Peppers
Cheese peppers, brined in vinegar
Old Italian bread, soaked and drained
Cured black olives, pitted
Capers, rinsed and chopped
Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper to taste
Vinegar peppers, chopped

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Sweet Potato Wedges with Pomegranite Ketchup

by Melody Kettle

Recipe courtesy of Chef Tre Ghoshal at Market in Montclair, NJ.
Chef suggests to pair this vegetable dish with Malabar Crab Cakes.
5 lbs garnet yams or other sweet potato
3 tbsp light olive oil
1 tsp. smoked paprika 
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. each salt and pepper, or to taste
Pomegranite Ketchup
2 cups pomegranite molasses
2 cups tomato ketchup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
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Sweet Potato Pancakes

by Melody Kettle

Recipe courtesy of Chef Michael Couso at Richie Cecere's in Montclair, NJ. Chef suggests pairing this vegetable with Grilled Pork Chop with Apple Bacon Demi Glaze.

Yield: 4 servings

1 large Sweet Potato (Grated)

1 medium Idaho Potato (Grated)

1 small onion (finely grated)

1 large egg

Pinch of salt and white pepper

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