Lighter than yams, easily done ahead and good hot or tepid, roasted sweet squash turns almost candy-like in the oven.
Anything you can serve at room temperature is a gift when you’re taking on a big menu. These beans shine at room temperature and could be done a day in advance. They will hold at room temperature about 2 hours; after that, chill them.
There’s a 30-minute or so grace period while the turkey takes its necessary rest after coming out of the oven (this is what makes for juicy eating, believe it or not). Use this grace period to heat up the sides and to simmer the gravy.
My father uses the microwave. Working with about 5 chestnuts at a time, he slits each chestnut almost all the way around its circumference, leaving the shell connected in one spot (there is a black dot on the chestnut that he uses as the hinge). Then he lays the nuts on a plate and microwaves them on high power for 40 seconds. The shells pop open like clams. He wets his fingers in cold water and pulls off the shells before the chestnuts cool. Repeat until all the chestnuts are peeled. The fresh ones really are better than the jarred, and he says it takes him only 15 minutes to do a pound.
Barley is a great substitute for risotto, especially when you don't have a lot of time to spend stirring the pot.
Eaten blindfolded, the mushrooms taste like chicken.
You can use just one of the vegetables or any combination
When roasted, the flesh of winter squashes such as butternut, acorn, and kabocha becomes creamy and dense and caramelizes on the cut surfaces.
Serve each half squash filled with a generous scoop of bean soup.
These potatoes will be the brightest taste on the plate.