With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Rania Harris stopped by to show off two more recipes that you can try out with your family at this year’s feast!

Corn and Potato Chowder

4 bacon slices, chopped
2 small onion, chopped
2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cups whole milk
2 15- ounces cans creamed corn
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Chopped fresh thyme


Cook bacon in heavy large saucepan over med. Heat until fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes and bell pepper and sauté 1 minute. Add 4 cups milk and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender and soup thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add creamed corn, corn kernels and 2 teaspoons thyme to soup and simmer till heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thyme and serve.

Serves: 8 as a first course

Apple Strudel

¼ cup bourbon or apple juice
½ cup golden raisins
4 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, halved, and sliced)
½ lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup crushed shortbread cookies
½ cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
8 sheets phyllo dough from 1-pound package of frozen dough
½ cup melted clarified unsalted butter – or more if needed
Plain breadcrumbs
Granulated sugar
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting ~ optional

For the Strudel:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, pour the bourbon or apple juice over the raisins and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Combine the raisins, apples, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, brown sugar, cookie crumbs, pecans, and butter in a large bowl.

Remove the phyllo dough from the box, unfold, and cover with a plastic bag. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on the work surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Sprinkle lightly with plain breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining sheets, brushing each with melted butter and dusting with breadcrumbs, stacking when done, being sure to keep the unbuttered phyllo covered.

Place the apple mixture on the nearest third of the phyllo stack, being sure to leave a 2-inch border. Gently lift the bottom edge of the phyllo stack to cover the filling and fold the side edges over. Continue to roll the stack away from you until the filling is completely sealed in and the seam is on the bottom. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving. You may dust the strudel with confectioner’s sugar, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

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