This year, I decided to make two different dressings at Thanksgiving: next to the Roasted Jalapeno & Cheddar Cornbread dressing will sit this beauty. Because nothing says “I am thankful” to your loved ones like pushing multiple vats of carbs on them like it’s meth.
When my daughter came home from a weekend away at Gram’s house with two bags of pecans from their trees, I decided our favorite dressing would go ahead and make an appearance at Thanksgiving, but not before getting a Texas makeover.
Out with the roasted chestnuts and sausage, in with roasted Texas pecans and chorizo.
Chorizo is a Mexican sausage that’s spiced with cumin, chile powder, garlic, and oregano among other things. It’s a staple around here for breakfast tacos and it adds a delicious twist to what is already The World’s Greatest Thanksgiving Dressing.
If we don’t speak before Thursday, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! And don’t forget to enter this week’s My Favorite Things Holiday giveaway. I’ll be back next week with my contributions to a progressive holiday dinner. SO much fun!
I should really go clean now. Because nobody judges dusty baseboards and a missed splatter on a kitchen floor tile quite like family.
Roasted Pecan and Chorizo Dressing
A Texas twist on the classic holiday dressing with chorizo and roasted pecans.
1 cup chopped pecans
1 medium carrot, peeled and rough chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 green onions, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 bunch sage leaves
1 handful flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic
1 lb chorizo, removed from casing and crumbled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
~1.5 lb loaf bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (enough to fill a 9x13 dish; I used a mixture of sourdough and multigrain)
1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 375.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spread pecans on top; cook for ~7 minutes until browned and fragrant.
Butter or spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Place the pecans and bread cubes into a very large bowl (or 2 not-so-large bowls - you need room to toss the bread with the other ingredients).
In a food processor puree the carrot, onions, celery, sage, parsley, bell pepper, and garlic until you have a fine pulp.
Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausage to the pan, cooking through about 5-7 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage and place in the bowl with the bread
Add the vegetable pulp to the pan and saute until most of the moisture has evaporated.
Season liberally with salt and pepper and transfer to the bread bowl.
Whisk together chicken stock, cream, and eggs. Pour over the bread and toss to mix and coat well.
Transfer dressing into the prepared dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown on the top.
The onset of hatch chile season means that the pot of beans I make for the 2-3 TexMex nights that are always on the menu get a green chile makeover.
Where I come from, you usually have three options for beans on taco night: refried beans, charro beans, and borracho beans.
Refried beans are easy, especially when your two-ingredient recipe calls for a can opener and a can. Charro beans take a little bit of planning and a whole lot of bacon.
Borracho beans? They also need a little bit of planning. But most of all? They need beer.
In addition to being spiked with beer, these beans are also spiked with green chile salsa verde and a hatch chile pico de gallo.
Here in Texas, Shiner has always been the popular choice for borracho beans. There are very few rules, but there is one thing to remember: Pick out an amber-or-darker brew from your fridge because, just like in all other aspects of real life, light beer won’t do much for you.
Hatch Chile Borracho Beans
Your favorite taco night side infused with green chiles and beer.
For the beans:
1 lb dry pinto beans, rinsed and soaked*
12 oz beer (medium/amber is best; I used a locally brewed jalapeno ale this time)
“You’re going to get me kicked off the internet for this.”
Not the first time I’ve said those words to Jason… probably won’t be the last, either.
But he has a point. There is no such thing as too much queso. Nor is there any shortage of things to do with the leftovers. Especially if you have no shame and even less regard for cholesterol levels. Hi, I’m Shawnda
On Cinco Eve, when you’re trying to decide whether you should double or triple your favorite queso recipe between sips of margarita (of course) – go with the little tequila bottle whispering in your ear.
Because if your friends disappoint you and don’t lick the bowl clean, you have options.
There’s Eggs Benedict. And not that you really need anymore options after that because [swoon]…
And then there’s scooping the leftovers over a pan of oven-baked fries (because frying anything destined to be covered in cheese is kind of irresponsible). And then top it with a mound of pico de gallo (vegetables!) and avocado (avocado!) and a few squeezes of lime juice (expensive!).
Loaded Queso Fries
The ultimate Cinco de Mayo hangover cure: baked french fries topped with leftover queso, pico de gallo, and avocado.