Monday, November 26, 2007


might be my favorite holiday. I don't think I have to explain why. This is the first year I've done the bulk of the planning and cooking, though I couldn't have done the latter without my mom's help (and without her, we wouldn't have had dessert, which I conveniently neglected from my menu). Please excuse the late posting; it's my sister's fault (though she is responsible for the cranberry bean shelling and brussel sprout cleaning-- step one in her path to culinary greatness).

Chestnut Soup
tasty but light enough to start off the meal

I didn't follow the recipe in this link very closely-- I doubled the veggie base and spices-- but it's a good start.

Brined and Barbecued Turkey
might have been the best turkey ever

This was a compromise between my brining plans and my dad's insistence on barbecuing, with fantastic results, thanks to Traci Des Jardins. We followed this excellent recipe but didn't strain the brine. Yay women chefs!

Giblet Gravy
lots of roux-browning, a mirepoix, giblets,
and turkey necks went into this delicious gravy

Cranberry Sauce Trio

Canned Jellied Cranberry Sauce (bottom)-- my personal favorite

Earl Gray Cardamom Cranberry Sauce (top)-- thanks to my fellow foodie Katie

Spicy Orange Cranberry Relish (right)-- modified from Jacques Pepin's recipe in this lovely book

Cornbread Pudding Stuffing

The "pudding" part is the cream & eggs that make this the best stuffing ever. An homage to my sister, the self-professed stuffing hater, who made sure there was none left before going back to college.

Recipe, in a few steps:

Cornbread: Make easy cornbread and let sit, covered, overnight (reserve the rest of the can of creamed corn). The next morning (yes, cooking is a two-day affair), cut into small cubes (the size of croutons) and toss with good olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh thyme & sage. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy. Refrain from snacking while you make the mushrooms.

Mushrooms: Stem about 2lbs of shiitake mushrooms, reserving the stems. Chop stems finely and bring to a boil with 4c chicken broth. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until reduced by half. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and reserve mushroomy broth.

Thickly slice mushroom caps and thinly slice shallots. Saute in butter and olive oil until mushrooms are browned and delicious. Toss with broth.

An hour before serving, whisk together 1/2c cream and 2 eggs. Mix with mushrooms and cornbread croutons and spread mixture in a gratin dish. Sprinkle cornbread crumbs (that gathered in a delicious mess of herbs and oil at the bottom of your baking pan) on top of stuffing and bake until set at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Butternut Squash Gratin with Fried Sage
you saw this here but without the sage, which is delicious fried in butter

Fresh Cranberry Beans

Cooked with a quartered onion and a few garlic cloves, then drained and tossed with thyme and olive oil, these are simply delicious, and only available a few weeks a year. They have beautiful speckled pods that unfortunately get thrown away. Do let me know if you know of a way to use them.

Lemony Brussel Sprouts
roughly this recipe-- we used it last year and had no leftovers.

And, of course...

yes, this is a magnum of 1988 Chateau Duhart-Milon

And the dessert I would have forgotten...

My Mom's Absolutely Delicious Tarte Tatin

You might think that all this food was enough for a dozen people. It was. We were only five.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i was waiting to see what you folks had for thanksgiving. I wish i was invited. it looks so good! didn't you have any desert wine with that lovely tarte your momma made?



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