Mmm… Food

Thanksgiving Feast!
December 1, 2008, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Cooking

We hosted a Thanksgiving feast for our families on Saturday.  I have to say.  Doing the big meal on Saturday instead of Thursday was sooooo… much more relaxing than trying to get everything accomplished for Thursday.  Our menu consisted of…

Cheese Plate – Brie, Grass-Fed Sharp Cheddar, Goat Cheese, with crackers, honey and apple slices

busy making everything below and didn’t get this pic 😦

Blue Cheese Popovers ala Martha Stewart (recipe available in her Hor’s Oeuvres book only) and Farmhouse Stuffing ala Bon Appetit thanksgiving-022We made the popovers last year to bring to one of 3 thanxgiving events we attended.  I don’t know what’s more effort, A) making your own thanksgiving or B) eating three others. 🙂  But the popovers are just fantastic.  They’re so poofy when they first come out of the oven, so cute.  Of course the time schedule did not allow for them to be poofy when served, but this does not matter at all.  I think I’ll make them again this week, as I still have blue cheese left.  We made our stuffing in muffin trays with the hope that each person could have their own individual helping.  No go! The stuffing muffins fell apart as they were lifted out of their molds.  Some adjustments need to be made if we plan on having success, more broth is my guess. It’s a tough balance on how much broth to add to achieve a sticky, not gluey stuffing. 

Roasted, Brined Turkey ala Alton Brown – made with Whole Foods Organic, Free-Range Turkeythanksgiving-015

 April was in charge of the bird from start to finish and she made the most delicious turkey I’ve had.  The brine was made the nite before so the bird could soak overnite in the salty goodness.  Note: April brined the turkey in a paint bucket, one of those big econo-size ones that you can buy at the hardware store.  It is super large of course it needs to hold the turkey and all that brine, so the catch is finding a place to keep it cold overnite.  Luckily we live in our Chicago.  As our fridge was stuffed to the gills with all the other items waiting to go there was no room for an econo size paint bucket and turkey.  Which means, put it on the front porch, use the pizza stone as a cover, weigh it down with the last pumpkins we didn’t carve from Halloween and hope the temperature doesn’t fall below freezing.  It worked spectacularly and gave us this amazing looking bird!!! 

Brussel Sprout Hash ala Bon Appetitthanksgiving-023This stuff is delicious.  And bonus for Thanksgiving it’s made on the stovetop, so you’re not disrupting the cooking of the bird, nor trying to schedule oven time for it.  A mix of brussel sprouts and shallots this stuff is the bomb!!!  You do have to do a lot of slicing to chop up all the brussel sprouts and shallots, but it’s well worth the effort for this final result. 

Porcini Mushroom Potato Gratin ala Bon Appetit – using a purple potato which was part of our food share.

thanksgiving-011        thanksgiving-013

Just had to snap an assembly photo to show off those purple potatoes.  Not sure what kind they really are.  A re-check onto the food share handout is needed, but aren’t they pretty?  They did make the dish a little darker in color than we had remembered eating them the first time around, but it didn’t do anything to disturb the brilliant taste!!!  Porcini mushrooms are to die for!!  They were so super tasty, and they better be, because boy are they pricey!!  1OZ dried porcini mushrooms cost $4.99 and the recipe called for 4OZ.  Yowza!!!  But well worth it, especially for such a wonderful holiday feast.  My favourite dish of the evening.

Pumpkin pie ala Cooks Illustrated – using roasted pumpkin and sweet potatoes from our food share

thanksgiving-028 We read about this pumpkin pie in Cooks Illustrated which uses the “secret” ingredients sweet potato, fresh ginger and maple syrup to enhance the flavor and wow our tastebuds.  As when I first learned about cooks Illustrated, I was impressed with all the work that is done to figure out the best recipe in a very scientific way.  They made several hundred pies while coming up with this recipe.  Some of the tips that they offer that I fully believe in are 1) cooking the filling on the stovetop to decrease the moisture content helps the pie solidify and prevent the crust from becoming moisture soaked.  Cooking at a high temp and then reducing to a lower degree you can keep the pie creamy and prevent the filling from curdling and becoming grainy. 

and Apple Pie ala Martha Stewart (yes that apple pie!!!) – check the first one out!

Overall a decadent elegant affair I hope to repeat in the future 🙂