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Surprises with vegetables, hot or frosty.

Glorious fall vegetables can add colorful surprises to Thanksgiving dinner. With the turkey so easy to roast (see page 128), you'll have time to be creative with the vegetables. The fall harvest offers a cornucopia of choices.

While the turkey occupies the oven, use the freezer to make icy-cold vegetable sorbets, and use the barbecue to grill vegetables, giving them a light smoky flavor.

Cold or hot (or in between), these two ways with vegetables provide many dishes you can weave as bright accents through your Thanksgiving dinner and other fall meals. Start off with a cool vegetable sorbet, hot grilled vegetables in soup, or tepid grilled vegetables in a salad.

Surround the turkey with a wreath of hot or room-temperature grilled vegetables and include cups of frosty sorbet; or follow the turkey with a cleansing sorbet to ease the way to dessert.

Recipes for grilled vegetables in soup and salad start on page 204. Directions for beet, carrot, celery, cucumer, and red bell pepper sorbets starts on page 206.

Vegetable sorbets--Cold and frosty

Although sorbets require several hours to freeze, preparation is easy--just combine vegetables and seasonings in a blender.

Freezing sorbets. Pour vegetables puree into an 8- to 9-inch pan. Cover airtight and freeze at 0[deg.] or colder until solid, at least 5 hours; it can then be stored as long as 4 weeks.

To serve, let sorbet stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes to soften slightly, then, with a heavy spoon, break into chunks. Whirl chunks in a food processor or beat with an electric mixer (start slowly, then beat faster as mixture softens) until a thick icy slush forms.

Or you can freeze the vegetable puree in a self-refrigerated ice cream machine, following the manufacturer's directions.

Vegetable sorbets have the best texture when softly frozen--just after they are beaten into slush. At this point, they can be held in the freezer up to 20 minutes until serving. If stored longer, cover; let sorbet stand at room temperature until you can break it up with a spoon. If desired, you can whirl or beat the sorbet again. Because sorbets melt quickly, serve in small cups or in the containers suggested with each recipe.

Tomatillo Salsa Sorbet

First-course options include serving tart and chili-warm tomatillo sorbet in halves of avocados or in small cups to go with hot or cold shrimp. About 1 pound tomatillos, papery husks removed Water 1 fresh or canned jalapeno chili, stem and seeds removed 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves Salt and pepper

If desired, remove skins from the tomatillos: bring about 3 quarts water to a boil in a 4- to 5-quart pan; immerse tomatillos, a few at a time, in boiling water for 15 to 30 seconds; core and pull off skins.

Puree cored tomatillos (peeled or unpeeled) with chili and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Season puree to taste with salt and pepper. Freeze according to preceding directions. Makes 1-1/2 to 2 cups; allow 1/4 to 1/3 cup per serving.

Tomato Cocktail Sorbet

Present in slender glasses garnished with celery stalks; serve as first course or after the turkey. It also goes well with scrambled eggs and sausages for breakfast. Water 1-3/4 to 2 pounds ripe tomatoes (or 2 cups tomato juice) 1-1/2 teasponss Worcestershire 1/i teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon celery salt 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon liquid hot pepper seasoning Salt and pepper

Bring about 4 quarts water to a boil in a 5- to 6-quart pan. Immerse tomatoes, a few at a time, in boiling water for 15 to 30 seconds. Core tomatoes and pull off skins. Cut tomatoes in half horizontally and gently squeeze out seeds; discard seeds. Puree tomatoes in a blender or food processor, adding Worcestershire, cumin, celery salt, and liquid hot pepper. Season puree to taste with salt and pepper. Freeze according to preceding directions. Makes 2-1/2 cups; allow 1/4 to 1/3 cup per serving.

Grilled vegetables--hot and smoky

Heat vegetables on the grill to cover with brown streaks and give them a delicate smoky flavor.

For more succulent, evenly cooked results, blanch the vegetables first (except for the less dense mushrooms and peppers). If you do this ahead, it will shorten grilling time. You can blanch different vegetables in sequence using the same pot of water. If grilling vegetables raw, cook on cooler part of the grill to prevent drying and burning. Raw vegetables take about twice as much time to cook as blanched vegetables and require closer attention and more frequent turning.

Grilled Vegetables 2 pounds vegetables (choices follow; use one or several kinds) Water (optional) 1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme, fresh oregano, fresh rosemary, or fresh tarragon, or 2 teaspoons of the dry herbs Salt and pepper

Choose one or several vegetables and prepare as directed.

If desired, blanch vegetables. Bring about 3 quarts water to boiling in a 6- to 8-quart pan. Add one type of vegetable (up to 1 lb. at at time.) When water returns to boiling, cook until vegetable is barely tender when pierced (see each choice for times). Lift out with tongs and plunge into cold water to cool quickly; lift out and drain in a colander. Repeat with remaining vegetables. (If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to 24 hours.)

To grill, coat raw or blanched vegetables with olive oil and fresh herbs. Place vegetables on a grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of hot coals (raw vegetables do better on slightly lower heat). Cook, turning often and brushing with as much oil as needed to keep moist, until vegetables are hot and covered with brown streaks, 4 to 6 minutes for blanched vegetables, 10 to 15 minutes for raw vegetables.

Serve hot or at room temperature. If made ahead, cover and let stand at room temperature up to 4 hours, or cover and chill up to overnight. To reheat, place cold vegetables in a 10- by 15-inch baking pan; put in 350[deg.] oven until hot, 7 to 10 minutes; season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow 2 or 3 whole vegetables per serving, about 2 pounds for 6 to 8 servings.

Vegetables for grilling. Rinse well, drain, trim, and blanch (optional) as directed.

Bell peppers--red, yellow, and green; fresh pimientos. Cook raw whole peppers and pimientos directly on grill.

Broccoli. Cut off tough ends of stalks and peel skins. Leave heads whole or, if heads are thicker than 2 inches, cut in half lengthwise. Blanch 2 to 3 minutes.

Eggplant. Cut off stem ends of slender Oriental eggplant or regular small eggplant (about 3/4 lb. each). Cut Oriental eggplant in half lengthwise, or regular eggplant lengthwise into 1-1/2-inch-thick wedges. Blanch 2 to 3 minutes.

Leeks. Trim off root ends and dark green tops of leeks; split leeks lengthwise to within 1/2 inch of root ends. Wash well. Blanch 1 to 2 minutes.

Potatoes--Sweat, russet, thin-skinned; yams. Scrub well and cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges. Blanch 4 to 5 minutes.

Onions--red, yellow, white. Cut small unpeeled onions in half lengthwise, large peeled onions in quarters; thread through layers onto slender skewers. Grill onions raw. Or first blanch unpeeled halves 3 to 4 minutes; if large, peel, cut in half again, and skewer.

Mushrooms--button, shiitake, oyster. Place button mushrooms (1- to 1-1/2-in. caps) on skewers, threaded through stem. Cut off tough stems of shiitake. If using dry shiitake, soak in hot water until soft, about 20 minutes. Squeeze out water; trim off stems. Grill raw mushrooms whole, placing shiitake and oyster mushrooms, unskewered, directly on grill.

Summer squash--zucchini, crookneck, pattypan. Trim off stem ends. If thicker than 1 inch, cut in half lengthwise. Blanch 2 to 3 minutes.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 1985
Words:1308
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