God, she’s beautiful.
As far as opening lines in movies go, this is one of my favorites. At a crowded Thanksgiving party in an apartment, Michael Caine’s London accent narrates the scene:
She’s got the prettiest eyes, and she looks so sexy in that sweater. I just want to be alone with her and hold her and kiss her and tell her how much I love her and take care of her. Stop it, you idiot. She’s your wife’s sister. But I can’t help it.
This complicated set up is what leads to one of Woody Allen’s classic romantic comedies. Everybody seems to love the wrong person, but, it mostly works out in the end. The screen time is balanced between the love stories of each of Hannah’s sisters, plus Hannah herself, leading to a jazzy staccato rhythm, cutting between relationships and scenes. There’s never a flat moment.
Inspired by the opening scene, I made a little Thanksgiving appetizer spread. These are my all time favorite party appetizers: devils on horseback, mini shepherd’s pie, and of course – pumpkin pie turnovers. Happy Thanksgiving!
DEVILS ON HORSEBACK
10 ounces chorizo, chopped into 1/2 in slices
10 bacon strips, halved
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Poke your finger in the pitted dates, creating a little hole. Take a small junk of chorizo, about a teaspoon, and push it into the date. Don’t overfill them, otherwise you’ll get a mess in the oven. Wrap each filled date in one half-slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet (I put mine on top of a silicone pad or wrap in aluminum and top with parchment) and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the bacon is fully crisped. There will be some grease on the pan, so before plating, pat the dates on a paper towel. Plate and serve after they’ve cooled for a few minutes. They’re hot!
MINI SHERPARD’S PIE
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
1/2 cup flour, for rolling
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 ounces unsalted butter
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and diced small
3/4 cup celery stalk, peeled and diced small
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb or beef
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen english peas
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat up the half and half and butter in a sauce pan until steaming. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then press through a ricer or food mill into the saucepan. Add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper to taste and continue to stir until smooth. Cover with lid while you get the rest
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the butter into a 12-inch sauté pan and set over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté just until they begin to take on color, approximately 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and stir to combine. Add the meat, sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, broth, Worcestershire, parsley, rosemary, thyme and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly for 10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
Roll out the puff pastry to 1/8 inch thick, and cut out 4 inch circles. Press the circles into a mini muffin tray (or a regular muffin tin for larger pies).
Add the peas to the meat mixture and evenly fill each mini muffin depression.. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes and broil for 5, just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
1/3 cup of white granulated sugar
1/3 cup of brown sugar
2 cups of canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
pinch of kosher salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup half and half
1 17.25-ounce package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 tablespoon cream
1 tablespoon raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Beat the eggs and both sugars together until light in color and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes if using an electric mixer). Lightly beat in the pumpkin puree and then the spices. Stir in cream and half and half. Take off heat to cool slightly.
Unfold puff pastry sheets, and repair any cracks by pressing them back together. Trim each sheet into a square. Then cut each sheet into 4 smaller squares. Spoon pumpkin spread onto the center of each square. Fold over from corner to corner into a triangle shape, and press edges together to seal. Place turnovers on a baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between them.
Whisk together the egg and cream to make an egg wash and brush on the tops of the turnovers. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes, until turnovers are puffed and lightly browned.