Jump to content

Thanksgiving 2010


JPW
 Share

Recommended Posts

Closing up the last of my work and getting ready for the Turkey Day prep list.

1)Turkey

2)Stuffing (now that I've been shamed by xcanuck into preparing some)

3)green beans in a preparation to be determined later

4)biscuits

5)cranberry sauce

6)gravy

The drinks have been purchased (some inexpensive bubbles to start, Riesling, and Beaujolais)

I've got a guest bringing some hors d'ouevres.

Another guest bringing a mystery potato dish.

I'll clean the house this afternoon and start on making stock for gravy. Put the bird in brine before bed and stash it in the beer fridge.

The biscuits are my nemesis. I can never get them as light and airy as I want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cornbread for dressing made two days ago (has to get stale-ish).

Maple-oatmeal scones for tomorrow's breakfast made today.

Cranberry compote (ginger, orange zest and juice, Drambuie, a bit of sugar, some water) made today.

Tomorrow: the real thing! Can't wait.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

T-3: Brine turkey a la Ruhlman/Polcyn with perversions; find appropriate vessel for aforementioned brine. Oh, God. Pack with ice packs and hope for cool weather.

T-2: Corn bread for stuffing, discovering late that I need double for unexpected guests.

T-1: Chop fine 3 lbs fennel, 3 lbs onions (my wrists haven't got such a workout since puberty) and 2 pounds of sausage (yeah, well, OK); break down in inadequate skillet on inadequate stove; make a fucking stuffing.

T: Everything else (I think a turkey is involved) including being reasonably entertaining for 8 people while drunk.

Happy Givthanksing

Link to comment
Share on other sites

T-3: Brine turkey a la Ruhlman/Polcyn with perversions; find appropriate vessel for aforementioned brine. Oh, God. Pack with ice packs and hope for cool weather.

T-2: Corn bread for stuffing, discovering late that I need double for unexpected guests.

T-1: Chop fine 3 lbs fennel, 3 lbs onions (my wrists haven't got such a workout since puberty) and 2 pounds of sausage (yeah, well, OK); break down in inadequate skillet on inadequate stove; make a fucking stuffing.

T: Everything else (I think a turkey is involved) including being reasonably entertaining for 8 people while drunk.

Happy Givthanksing

Given our relative proximity, want to combine 8s and go all-out for 16? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honey, come on: "I don't believe in the no-win scenario." Jeez, young people nowadays.

Line rewritten in ST XI (yes, that's right, ELEVEN, mo-fo). Seriously, JJ rewrote the line -- for absolutely no good reason.

So say we all.*

(We're going to get mocked at 4 a.m. for having an argument about the Kobayashi Maru. And so: Happy Thanksgiving!)

*Yes, that's right, I just interpolated BSG into a new/old Star Trek argument. That's how geeky I am! Live long and prosper, all.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Line rewritten in ST XI (yes, that's right, ELEVEN, mo-fo). Seriously, JJ rewrote the line -- for absolutely no good reason.

So say we all.*

(We're going to get mocked at 4 a.m. for having an argument about the Kobayashi Maru. And so: Happy Thanksgiving!)

*Yes, that's right, I just interpolated BSG into a new/old Star Trek argument. That's how geeky I am! Live long and prosper, all.)

I have conveyed your sentiments to my mother, who is a very nice lady. Is there a DR icon for a raspberry? I was of course referring to ST II, TWOK, which, by now for you, poor misguided girl that you are, is outside your "canon." But of course this is way off topic and I will now retreat to chop my turkey neck and stuff my cavity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not very exciting compared to many meals accounted here, but I do have to say this about mine: the Trader Joe's Pre-Cooked Half Turkey is very, very good. It's probably the best turkey I've ever "made". I don't know how they did it--probably don't want to know--but every piece of meat was moist, both white and dark meat. Sadly, the gravy I attempted wasn't such a success, but, luckily, it wasn't needed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We tried the Trader Joe's pre-brined turkey this year and rubbed it with zaatar. It turned out moist and with no salty taste--I was able to make a non-salty gravy with the pan drippings. I think the ones I've brined myself have been a touch tastier, but the lack of hassle of figuring out where I could stuff the brining pot was probably worth it. Other dishes:

Kabocha squash bisque with masaman curry and coconut milk.

4 kinds of sweet potatoes: 2 US varieties, 1 Korean, 1 purple yam. The Korean sweet potatoes are yellowish and have a chestnut flavor, while the purple ones are extra sweet. We serve them baked plain with butter and cinnamon available.

Spinach salad with mandarin orange, candied pecans, and pomegranate seeds

Beet salad with goat cheese

Chestnut stuffing

Gravy from pan drippings

Pumpkin creme brulee

Cranberry -orange relish

Cooked cranberry sauce

I messed up and left the cranberry sorbet in the freezer. Whoops!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brined a bunch of Bell & Evans turkeys for the staff on Tuesday and snagged two of them for myself. Filling a 55-gallon trashcan (yes, it was new and clean) with turkeys and brine was pretty fun!

Served the birds alongside...

*Brussels spouts with pancetta and pomegranate seeds

*Cranberry, leek and sausage dressing (or stuffing...whatever)

*Roasted orange cauliflower and yams

*Sauteed haricot verts and porcini mushrooms

*Honeycrisp applesauce

*Cheap-ass jellied cranberry sauce that I have to serve "normal" or my mom would kill me

*Canned corn that I have to serve "normal" or my mom would kill me

*Bread wreath that my MIL brought. It was damn good, but I forget the name of bakery where she bought it. My bad.

*Red wine gravy that I made with the juices from the birds, oregano, garlic, Malbec, veal stock and roux

Everything came out as planned and was tasty. Thank God, because I hadn't made T-Day dinner in over 10 years and had to cook today for my fam AND the in-laws! Serious pressure there...

ETA: My MIL made an apple pie and a pumpkin pie. My wife's grandmother (my GIL?) made a great lemon cake too. They were all great...and I am thankful that I didn't have to make dessert.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I butterflied my turkey today as shown in the current issue of Cooks Illustrated. I didn't even brine the bird and it turned out nice and juicy. It's a good option if your family doesn't care about the whole bird presentation. Mine actually prefers it sliced and passed on a platter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brined a Polyface turkey for two days with Rulhman/Polcyn's herb brine; used a stuffing from epicurious or somewhere, with cornbread, fennel and Pernod; two side dishes came from the NYT: roasted butternut squash disks with glazed pecans and currants, and "fatty BBQ" Brussels sprouts with lardons, chilies and maple syrup. I hadn't done a whole turkey in years and it turned out beautifully, the side dishes were also quite nice, but a turkey is an unwieldy and unforgiving fowl, and in future I think I'll stick to a breast roulade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love fried turkey, especially a turkey that is fried in someone else's yard! It was a touch overdone, which was great for me, because that's how I prefer my meat (remnant of my mom's cooking), with lots of dryer and crispy bits. We had the yellow and purple yams as well, and my mushrooms were made better than usual with a (generous) splash of cream. Rolls, Stovetop, cranberry-pomegranate sauce, TJ's cornbread, canned corn, mashed potatoes, and asparagus blanched and then sauteed with garlic. Pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, assorted cookies, and a chocolate fountain. And too much wine :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oven died :) so no corn pudding or cake, but the grill had gas and the butterflied leg of lamb with Indian spicing (Gary Danko recipe) came out perfectly. I have declared that recipe to be the new Thanksgiving tradition :) .

If so, try Monica Bhide's wonderful Brussels sprouts w leeks and curry leaves.

**********

Since Thanksgiving spent beside the Potomac, across from Mt. Vernon, near woods, all I had to do was make Brussels sprouts (tesa, red onion & cider reduction) and bring wine.

Craving a pumpkin pie of my own, I set out to turn this into a day of cooking, though am mostly piddling and sipping coffee. There's a list beside me, a rolling pin and two cooling halves of a large butternut squash just out of the oven.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had Thanksgiving dinner at the Ashby Inn in Paris, VA. Wow! First visit and it definitely won't be our last. Tarver King has created a truly special dining experience out there. You don't expect stellar food on a holiday, and yet the food was stellar and the wine pairings were heavenly, thanks to Neal Wavra, GM and Sommelier. The ambiance of the Inn's dining rooms was absolutely perfect for this holiday and the service was excellent. We're already thinking about booking for next year!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was so much deliciousness last night that I am still recovering but I have to give a huge huge huge shoutout to Arcturus' lovely wife who made this ungodly good spiced-almond brittle that I'm pretty sure has crack in it, it's so addictive. And I have like four pounds of it left. Seriously, Caitlin, sell this stuff. Nom. Nom nom. Nom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A friend hosted so I only had to show up with cake and alcohol. The cake, pumpkin brown butter from the Oct/Nov issue of Fine Cooking was delicious. I am not a baker, but the cake was moist, the icing was really tasty, but not overly sweet, and the buttery nutty gingery crispy goodness that goes in b/w layers and on top was getting scarfed down by the handful (I made and took extra with me). Will definitely make again.

The dinner was fantastic. My favorite side this year was a new one - a rutabaga gratin with homemade pancetta. Brined turkey, his mom's stuffing (traditional stuff, just the way I like it), Ramsay's creamed onions, peas, mashed potatoes, gravy, a really nice salad with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes, and these biscuits that were to die for. Orange cranberry relish and the kind out of the can, which I must also have. We had oysters to start, raw and cooked as well as a cheese plate.

Oh how I wish I could have it all all over.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ovens at the beach hotel we have our family reunion at every year in Ft. Lauderdale are too small to roast turkeys, so we do the sides ourselves but have the turkey prepared by a local restaurant.

Unfortunately, when we cut into the turkey, we found that though the breast was perfectly cooked and juicy, the dark meat was, not rare, but raw. :) :)

The breast wasn't enough for everyone to have more than a few bites of turkey, so it was a good thing that we'd gone overboard on apps and sides.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the first time I can remember, I didn't cook this year. :) We had two Thanksgivings, the first a post-turkey-trot brunch with both meat and fruit strudels, fruit, coffee cake, cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake (the first purchased cupcake I've ever eaten that made me think I would buy another), banana bread, and lots of juice and water. The second was dinner at a friend's who insisted we only bring wine. I was a little apprehensive, but it turns out she may just be as crazy a cook as I am. Turkey, an amazing corn pudding, roasted butternut squash, roasted brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, shiitake gravy, green beans, rolls, and things I'm probably forgetting. Then there were pies: pumpkin, buttermilk, and buttermilk pecan, plus shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate. There were appetizers before all this - little broiled ham and cheese sandwiches on potato rolls, asparagus and cream cheese wrapped in pastry, some with prosciutto. Yikes. More than ever I am thankful for the abundance in my life. Family, food, and friends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just three.

God, I miss the insanity of the old days -- intimate dinners for 25. One year it got so rowdy that the neighbors mailed an angry letter.

This year, even my son own was MIA, not to mention the others who've moved to San Diego or Fiji, reconciled with the ex to the extent that they share Thanksgiving with the kids, or, sadly, passed on.

At least we continued the tradition of not eating that foul bird. Lamb with Indian spices was quite delightful and tradition was observed in the form of squash soup to start and pumpkin ice cream to conclude. I wonder if the pilgrims had a cheese course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thankful to be with family, and celebrating my FIL's 80th birthday. However, the food is another story. We ate a lackluster meal at Il Fornaio. (Gotta go with the birthday boy's choice) I'm hoping for some Turkey and stuffing for xmas, if not sooner. At least you had some good apps and sides, DanielK!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A smaller group than usual at my sil and bil's in NYC--about a dozen people in a friend's fifth floor apartment (walk-up) in their building, rather than in the Clinton Street restaurant that is owned by others in the building who had gone to Long Island instead. I was asked to do some appetizers to the extent that my much-reduced stamina would allow. I went around the corner to the Essex Street Market for ingredients and took into consideration the vegetarians who would be there.

I made:

roasted red peppers and eggplant, marinated overnight in garlic, herbs and olive oil and served rolled around chevre, topped with basil chiffonade

crispy lacinato kale chips

Rancho Gordo cannelini beans cooked for 4 hours with lots of aromatics and served at room temp with vinaigrette, capers, chopped parsley and rosemary, roasted pepper, ground fennel seed and lemon zest.

fresh ricotta from Brooklyn mixed with capers, olives, herbs, lemon zest and garlic to be spread on kalamata olive bread from the fabulous bread place in the market

roasted golden beets (brought with me from home) with escarole and small balls of chevre rolled in dried lavender and thyme, dressed with olive oil and lemon

a platter of sliced chorizo, fresh fennel, small tomatoes, slices of P'tit Basque and a variety of olives

sil and bil made brined and roasted turkey, vegetarian bread stuffing with porcini, decidedly non-veg gravy thickened with liver paté, potatoes roasted in duck fat, a salad made of cooked brussels sprouts and raw curly kale, zucchini cooked in a coconut milk curry, and sweet potatoes with an orange marmalade glaze.

dessert was pies made by the piemaker for their friends' restaurant: pumpkin and chocolate pecan, and a guest brought an apple pie she'd made.

lotsa fun and lotsa wine: a cremant de Bourgogne with the apps, Morgon with the meal, and an amazing single barrel Irish whiskey with dessert.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nordic Opus. Salute to the original seafaring pilgrims.

5197003168_60074d4239.jpg

Pear-wine glögg, salt cured salmon, pickled herring, liver & anchovy pâté, pickles, rye bread, akvavit, cod’s head soup, Jansson’s Temptation, turkey frikadeller with Brussels sprouts, golden beets and cranberries, roasted breast with prunes and apples, barley stuffing, cheese, æbleskiver and rice pudding.

Heritage Bird

5210566655_29f3f9aedd.jpg

Pickled radishes, pickled herring, aquavit, liver & anchovy pâté, 1 and 2 day salt cured sockeye salmon

5211136029_f52940cfa7.jpg

Higher latitude study of getting pickled:

Purple cauliflower, cheddar broccoli, romanesco, Krogstad Aquavit (Portland, Oregon) in ice with clippings of neighbor’s shrubbery.

5210567089_b1c6ef5c26.jpg

Turkey leg frikadeller with golden beets and cranberries. B-sprouts to follow.

5210566193_4711b5ebbc.jpg

Roasted breast with prunes and apples

5210537437_c265d821d8.jpg

Æbleskiver (to be dipped in chestnut honey and/or quince jelly)

5211167430_4ec50b3fc3.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our menu was--

Apple-Cheddar Soup

Roast Duck (made three of them!) brined first and then just simply roasted served with a cherry port sauce

Potatoes Lyonnaise

fennel stuffing

creamed onions (a smitten kitchen recipe)

homemade dinner rolls (wow!) with decadent butter to go with

brussel sprouts with bacon and figs (a Mark Bittman/minimalist recipe)

And sticky toffee steamed 'pudding'

And plenty of good wine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...