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Ahem, we don't mean to state the obvious, but Thanksgiving is just two days away. Which means, everything we cook, do, and even think is Turkey Day-oriented. Dinners that are laborious? No way! We're saving our energy for the bird (and stuffing and pie and 1412939128 side dishes).
The good news: You can make Tuscan Onion Confit, use it in dinners throughout the week, and still have enough for a Thanksgiving appetizer (on good crusty bread with a swoop of ricotta) or a sweet, pleasantly acidic side to the turkey. And the even better news: While the confit can be eaten right away, it's best after the flavors have had a chance to develop for a day or two in the fridge, meaning the confit will be at its prime come Thursday—and for days after.
First thing's first: Make a double (or triple, depending on how many people you'll be serving for Thanksgiving) batch of the confit at the beginning of the week...
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 12 ounces small cipollini onions or one 10-ounce bag of frozen pearl onions, thawed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup medium sherry
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup raisins
...then use it in the dinners below! You should have plenty leftover for Thanksgiving, with more for the next few days as well.
Here are some ideas that will be as happy with this confit as your turkey will be:
Baked pasta with pizazz. Pick your favorite pasta shape (or, as this baked pasta guide suggests, "use up all of the three-quarter-empty boxes in the pantry") and soak it in hot, salted water for 30 minutes until al dente. This might seem strange, but it saves you from having to boil pasta. Make a pesto-inspired sauce by blitzing herbs, greens, olive oil, nuts, and cheese together, and add a spoonful or two of Greek yogurt or crème fraîche to make it creamy. Stir together the pasta and sauce, add some confit, pour into in baking dish, top it off with some cheese, and bake until bubbly.
Farro (or any grain!) salad. Substitute your already-made confit for the onion confit in this recipe. You can use any grain you like for the farro (although its nuttiness stands up well to confit); any fruit (or roasted vegetable!) in place of the persimmons; any toasted, chopped nut instead of the almond; and any hard cheese for the goat Gouda. It's a crazy week! Adapt at will.
Put it into pot pie. Do you have lots of Thanksgiving leftovers by now? Yes? Make a pot pie. Add the confit to an easy turkey pot pie, simplified thanks to a puff pastry crust. Feel free to throw in any leftover roasted vegetables you have, too!
Twice-baked potatoes. If you have any leftover baked potatoes (or just pop some new ones in the oven and let them do their thing), slice them in half and hollow them out. Mash the potatoes' insides, then add sour cream, sautéed kale, grated cheese, and chopped onion confit and season with salt and pepper. Stuff the mixture back into the potato skins (you can add a bit more grated cheese on top, if you like!) and bake until the filling's warmed through and browning a bit on top.
Strata. You can fill your strata with whatever you like. This recipe uses sausage, sautéed mushrooms, kale, Swiss cheese, and goat cheese. Just combine the confit with the bread, along with the other fillings, before adding the egg-milk mixture.
Have another idea for how to use this confit? Tell us in the comments!