LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE (CBS) — Cherie Twohy, who offers cooking classes and corporate culinary team building programs, shared some of her favorite Thanksgiving recipes on CBS 2 News Tuesday morning.

Cherie has authored “The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook” and “The I Love Trader Joe’s Party Cookbook.”

For more information visit Chez Cherie and check out these recipes:

Chevre Sweet Potatoes

2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (or 2 bags from Trader Joe’s)
2-3 oz goat cheese (chevre)
1-1½ tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons pureed chipotle in adobo
salt and pepper

Place the sweet potato cubes in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, 12-15 minutes. Drain and return to pan. Mash, mixing in the goat cheese, honey and chipotle puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cornbread and Apple Sausage Dressing

6 cups cornbread (day old is good)
½ lb. chicken apple sausage (or any other sausage you like)
4 oz butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
½ cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped (about 2 oz.)
½ cup dried cherries (about 2 ½ oz)
1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, a little fresh sage, a little fresh rosemary)
1 cup chicken or turkey stock

Crumble the cornbread into 1 ½ inch cubes (general size guideline-no rulers, please). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place on a sheet pan and place in oven until they have dried out slightly. The cubes should not be crispy, but just dry enough to be able to absorb the flavors of the other ingredients. This will take 10-15 minutes, depending on the moistness of the cornbread. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a large sauté pan, crumble the sausage and cook until no longer pink. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon, reserving the drippings in the sauté pan. Add the sausage to the cornbread and set aside.

In the same sauté pan, melt the butter with the drippings (if the sausage was quite high in fat, you may want to reduce the amount of butter), and when it is sizzling, sauté the onion and celery until aromatic and slightly translucent. Add the chopped fruits and pecans, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Place this mixture in with the bread cubes, and allow to cool to room temperature. Toss the ingredients to mix them evenly, adding the herbs as you toss. Add as much chicken stock as you need to make a moist consistency, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (You may not need all the stock, depending on the amount of moisture in the bread and the amount of fat in the sausage.)

Place in an ovenproof casserole, and bake, covered, until warmed through. Uncover, and bake another 15 minutes or so, until top is a crispy as you like it. (If you like it very crispy, don’t cover the stuffing at all while it is in the oven.)

Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
2 cups cranberries
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 cups Pinot Noir
1 ½ cups sugar
2 tablespoons candied ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
salt and pepper

Melt butter in medium sauté pan. Saute shallots until they soften, about 6 minutes. Add cranberries and grated ginger, and sauté until the berries have mostly popped, about 3 minutes. Add wine and sugar and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced by half. This will take about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add candied ginger and curry powder (if using). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Green Beans with Mushroom Brie

1 lb. green beans, trimmed (good with asparagus, in addition to the beans, or as a substitute)
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
3 oz. sliced mushrooms
¼ cup. cream or crème fraiche
6 oz. Champignon Brie, cubed
salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Cook the green beans in rapidly boiling, salted water until crisp-tender. Heat the butter or olive oil in a medium saute pan, and saute the mushrooms until softened, about 6 minutes. Toss mushrooms with green beans. Warm the cream in a small saucepan, and stir in the Brie, stirring until melted. Pour over green beans and mushrooms and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and white pepper.

Chocolate Pumpkin Tart

1 round of pie dough, defrosted but kept cold
1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1 jar pumpkin butter
1 container mascarpone
1-2 tablespoons Bourbon, optional
Whipped cream or crème fraiche, optional

To blind bake tart shell:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pie dough, and fit into a 8 or 9 inch pie pan or removable bottom tart pan. Cover the pastry with parchment (crinkled, as shown in class) and weight it down with pie weights, raw rice or beans. Place in oven for 12 minutes. Carefully remove parchment with weights inside, and return pan to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until pastry is dry and golden. When pastry is baked, remove from oven and scatter chocolate over the surface. Let stand a few minutes, then spread evenly over the crust.

Stir together the pumpkin butter and mascarpone, adding some Bourbon if desired. Spoon into baked tart shell and chill 1 hour before serving. Garnish with whipped cream or crème fraiche, if desired.

Cranberry-Pecan Torta

This is one of the most popular holiday appetizers from my cooking school. It looks gorgeous, holiday-ready, and like you’ve gone to more trouble than you actually have. Who doesn’t appreciate that in an appetizer?

1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz mascarpone, room temperature
1 shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped chives
salt and pepper
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup cranberry sauce

Line a 4-cup bowl or mold with plastic wrap. Combine the cream cheese, mascarpone, chopped shallot and chives, and season with salt and pepper. Place half the pecans in the bottom of the bowl, and top with half the cream cheese mixture, spreading evenly. Place the cranberry sauce on top of the cream cheese, then add the remaining pecans. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before unmolding.
Serve with crackers, sliced apples, pears or Fuyu persimmons.


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