From the book
Green Beans with Portobello Mushrooms and Bacon
Green beans and bacon go together like, well, turkey and gravy. Portobello mushrooms, full of meaty flavor, are a fine addition to the classic dish. However, sautéed portobellos often give off a lot of dark liquid, which some cooks feel ruins the look of a dish. Scraping the dark gills out of each cap with a spoon solves the problem.
Make Ahead: The green beans can be blanched up to 1 day ahead. The mushrooms and bacon can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead.
1½ pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
4 large portobello mushrooms (about 1 pound)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
4 ounces sliced smoked bacon (usually 1 slice equals 1 ounce)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and return to the boil. Cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. (The green beans can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead. Pat the green beans dry with paper towels. Roll them up in a double thickness of paper towels and place in a large self-sealing plastic bag and refrigerate.)
Cut off the stem from each mushroom, and slice crosswise into ½-inch rounds. Using a teaspoon, scrape out the tender, dark brown gills from the underside of each mushroom cap and cut into ¼-inch-thick strips.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the mushroom stems and caps, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until the shallots soften, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. (The mushrooms can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead, loosely covered, and kept at room temperature.)
In the same skillet, place the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and tilt to coat the skillet. Add the bacon and place over medium heat. Cook, occasionally turning the bacon, until the bacon is crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep the bacon drippings in the skillet. Cool the bacon, chop coarsely, and set aside. (The bacon and its drippings can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead, covered, and kept at room temperature.)
Place the skillet over medium heat and heat until the bacon drippings sizzle. Add the green beans and mushrooms, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon and season with the salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.
Serves 8 to 12
For a pumpkin dessert when pie isn't in the picture, here's an easy spice cake packed with holiday flavors. Substitute dried cranberries for the currants, if you wish. I always hope that there are leftovers of this cake for my Day-After-Thanksgiving breakfast.
Make Ahead: The cake can be baked up to 2 days ahead.
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground cloves
¾ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
One 15-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin (1¾ cups)
¾ cup dried currants
¾ cup toasted, coarsely chopped pecans
Confectioners' sugar, for sifting
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven...