Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

No pictures in this post; just an update on Thanksgiving, since people have been asking. I'm not doing a real post for two reasons-- one, we basically did the same thing as  last year, since last year's Thanksgiving was so ridiculously good; and two, I didn't have a camera on hand for pictures. Honestly, some of the tastiest things are the least photogenic-- stuffing, for example. So the menu was: (most of the recipes are on last year's post, linked above)

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Brined & BBQ'd Organic Turkey

Gravy (made from turkey stock, which we made the day before)

Wild Mushroom Stuffing (recipe below)

Butternut Squash Gratin

Spicy Cranberry Relish

Jelled Cranberry Sauce (yeah, the Ocean Spray kind. I love the stuff.)

Lemony Brussel Sprout Hash

Sour Cream Cheesecake (my dad's delicious contribution)

The wild mushroom stuffing was really amazing, and can easily be a vegetarian main dish or brunch dish any time of the year. We tweaked last year's recipe a bit. Here goes:

Make cornbread and let it sit out overnight so it dries out a bit.

Cut the cornbread into crouton-sized (1/2inch) cubes. Toss cubes and all crumbs into bowl. Add 2T each chopped thyme & sage; add olive oil and toss until well-coated.

Spread seasoned cornbread cubes and crumbs onto a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until golden. Cubes should be crunchy. It's ok if the crumbs get a little dark.

Clean 2lbs mushrooms. We used 2/3lb shittake, 2/3lb oyster, 2/3lb chanterelle. Reserve the shittake stems.

Add shittake stems to 4c chicken (or veggie) broth and bring to a boil. Lower to a strong simmer and cover. Cook about 20 minutes, until reduced by half. Strain. You should have 2c mushroomy broth.

Slice mushrooms.  Slice 5 large shallots. Saute shallots and mushrooms in about 1T butter and 1T olive oil until golden brown, about 20 minutes (they'll release liquid, and then start drying out and browning). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the cooked mushrooms to the strained broth.

An hour before serving, beat 1c heavy cream with 3 eggs. Combine with mushroom mix and cornbread cubes only. Pour into gratin dish. Sprinkle cornbread crumbs on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until set (a thin knife inserted into the gratin will come out clean).

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