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TeakettleSlim

Thanksgiving 2014

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What? No thanksgiving menu topic yet? Surely it hasn't all been said already.

We're having about 10 people over. Some are insisting in bringing dishes I would rather make myself. We order a smoked turkey from a local BBQ place. The menu is pretty standard, the exciting part is the pie extravaganza afterward. Inspired by an account I read somewhere a few years ago, we are making n + 1 pies (where n= number of guests). Then we invite everyone we can think of to help us eat them.

Proposed pies (subject to revision):

1. Pumpkin

2. Maple pecan

3. Apple

4. Biscoff

5. Bacon rosemary pecan

6. Blackberry

7. Cranberry sage

8. Mincemeat

9. Masala pear

10. Lemon sponge

11. Peach custard

I'm also trying unsuccessfully to track down a dinner roll recipe I found here on eGullet last year-- it was a no-knead recipe, had a bit of lemon zest in it. If that rings any bells, I'd be grateful for someone to point me the way to it.

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16 guests this year.  And just realized this will be my 25th year cooking T-Day (aka my High Holy Day) dinner!

 

- Hot spiced apple cider (with bourbon or rum, at each guest's discretion) and the sweet/spicy mixed nuts recipe from Gramercy Tavern to keep people busy while dinner is at least an hour later than I'd planned.

 

- pumpkin bread

- corn muffins

- parker house rolls

- Turkey (brined, spatchcocked, thyme, sage)

- Gravy (homemade turkey stock, the usual aromatics, roux, white wine, drippings)

- Stuffing (pecan, granny smith apple & wild boar sausage)

- Mashed taters (butter, cream & a little creme fraiche for pow)

- Honey & chipotle-glazed roasted sweet potatoes

- roasted brussels sprouts with garlic & parmesan

- sauteed green beans with shallots, almonds & lemon

- pasta with roast parsnips, pancetta, leeks & cream sauce

- glazed carrots with dill

- maybe mushroom/herb spaetzle - depends on my energy level

- cranberry sauce (both fresh AND a can of Ocean Spray, a childhood fave of mine)

- lots and LOTS of wine

- apple pie

- carrot cake

- pumpkin pie

- tawny port

 

Happy eating!

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We usually have 30 or 40 people at my family's Thanksgiving, which can feel more like a potluck than a holiday meal. This year we're only having 6. Which means I get to cook everything. Keeping it mostly traditional but with some modern twists.

 

To start:

Butternut squash soup with hard cider gelee and candied pumpkin seeds

Crostini with carotene butter

 

The main event:

Turkey two ways (traditional oven roast on the white meat; deep fried sous vide roulade of the dark meat)

Pommes puree from MC@H

Brioche stuffing

SV Carrots in carotene butter

Deep fried brussel sprouts with bacon

Cranberry/apple relish

Gravy made from turkey demi glace + MSG and herbs

 

Well that's what I'm making, anyway. My parents have a couple casseroles that they can't live without and insist on making. I think my wife's going to do a pumpkin pie with a ginger snap crust. Turkey wings went on sale last month so I made a boatload of super-rich pressure cooked turkey stock and froze it, so everything's going to be swimming in bird juice. Also duck fat. And I'm going to be swimming in hard cider, bourbon, and wine.

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I'm also trying unsuccessfully to track down a dinner roll recipe I found here on eGullet last year-- it was a no-knead recipe, had a bit of lemon zest in it. If that rings any bells, I'd be grateful for someone to point me the way to it.

 

Is this the roll recipe?  I saw it today and thought it looked interesting!

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What? No thanksgiving menu topic yet? Surely it hasn't all been said already.

We're having about 10 people over. Some are insisting in bringing dishes I would rather make myself. We order a smoked turkey from a local BBQ place. The menu is pretty standard, the exciting part is the pie extravaganza afterward. Inspired by an account I read somewhere a few years ago, we are making n + 1 pies (where n= number of guests). Then we invite everyone we can think of to help us eat them.

Proposed pies (subject to revision):

1. Pumpkin

2. Maple pecan

3. Apple

4. Biscoff

5. Bacon rosemary pecan

6. Blackberry

7. Cranberry sage

8. Mincemeat

9. Masala pear

10. Lemon sponge

11. Peach custard

I'm also trying unsuccessfully to track down a dinner roll recipe I found here on eGullet last year-- it was a no-knead recipe, had a bit of lemon zest in it. If that rings any bells, I'd be grateful for someone to point me the way to it.

 

You could add Rhubarb pie to the list? That's always been a favourite of mine from way back! Is it true that the Pilgrim Fathers got the idea of Thanksgiving from their time in Leiden (Netherlands) before making the journey on the Mayflower?  We certainly don't have a thanksgiving tradition in the UK but if i were to make a thanksgiving dinner it would have to have lots of pumpkin and i recon a deep fried turkey!!

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I'm going to be doing courses per usual.  I'm still deciding on some details, but this is what I have thus far:

 

1. Amuse bouche:  cold salmon loin mi cuit with watercress puree, horseradish cream and pickled onions (from ChefSteps)

 

2. Starter:  seared sea scallop (using the twice-cooked technique from Ideas in Food) with French lentils and cauliflower foam

 

3. Soup:  puree of sunchoke soup with arugula pudding (from Thomas Keller's Under Pressure)

 

4. Main 1:  turkey breast cooked sous vide with sous vide root vegetables, butter poached Brussels sprouts petals and black truffle vinaigrette

 

5. Main 2:  shredded turkey thigh confit with cornbread dressing waffle points (inspired by Serious Eats), modernist potato cakes (from the Modernist Cuisine Cooking Lab via Saveur), hen of the woods mushrooms and jus gras (from Modernist Cuisine at Home)

 

6. Dessert:  Bread pudding with Luxardo cherries and Calbeaut dark chocolate chips

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Turkey two ways (traditional oven roast on the white meat; deep fried sous vide roulade of the dark meat)

 

For what it's worth, I have found sous vide treatment to be FAR more valuable with turkey white meat than dark meat.  It is much more difficult to nail "perfectly done" with turkey white meat compared to dark.  More to the point, after having cooked plenty of turkey dark meat using sous vide techniques in my day, I am not convinced that it offers many advantages over conventional techniques.  This is to say that a dark meat roulade cooked in the oven is likely to be just as good, if not actually better than one cooked sous vide.  If you really want to use SV techniques for the dark meat, I would encourage you to do cook-chill with the dark meat roulade, then re-therm it in the same water bath you are using for the white meat (or in the oven to dry out and crisp the skin, or whatever).  Also, I have also found it nearly impossible to truly crisp the skin on poultry cooked sous vide.  There is just too much moisture in there.

 

So, I guess what I'm suggesting is that if you plan to use the oven for one kind of turkey meat and sous vide for the other, I would suggest that you switch your strategy to do the dark meat in the oven and the white meat sous vide.  That's my two cents anyway.

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Agreed. I find SV better for white meat.

 

I have done a white meat roulade SV with the skin on and then chilled it and then briefly pan fried it to crisp up the skin. Meat stayed tender and juicy.

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My turkey plan is to basically follow the ChefSteps playbook and cook the white meat in a low oven while doing an Activa bonded roulade in the water bath.

 

 

It'll be easier to control the temperatures at which the dark and light meat cook if I cook them independently. I agree that the advantages of sous vide are more apparent on white meat, but they can deliver on dark meat too depending on the temp/time (think confit). I haven't had problems getting crispy skin from SV poultry when deep frying (wings can be especially good) though there are challenges when doing something like a breast. Even then, if you sear it off in cast iron, keep it lubricated, and press down while searing you can get good results.

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I'll be doing the Turkey and sauce and stuffing at my girlfriend's family's place. It's a few hours away, so dinner will depend on my not forgetting anything important back in Brooklyn.

 

The turkey will be poached and roasted, with a sauce made from a duck coulis, and stuffing made with wild mushrooms.

 

Blog bost with turkey theory and recipe here.

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Notes from the underbelly

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What? No thanksgiving menu topic yet? Surely it hasn't all been said already.

We're having about 10 people over. Some are insisting in bringing dishes I would rather make myself. We order a smoked turkey from a local BBQ place. The menu is pretty standard, the exciting part is the pie extravaganza afterward. Inspired by an account I read somewhere a few years ago, we are making n + 1 pies (where n= number of guests). Then we invite everyone we can think of to help us eat them.

Proposed pies (subject to revision):

1. Pumpkin

2. Maple pecan

3. Apple

4. Biscoff

5. Bacon rosemary pecan

6. Blackberry

7. Cranberry sage

8. Mincemeat

9. Masala pear

10. Lemon sponge

11. Peach custard

I'm also trying unsuccessfully to track down a dinner roll recipe I found here on eGullet last year-- it was a no-knead recipe, had a bit of lemon zest in it. If that rings any bells, I'd be grateful for someone to point me the way to it.

I know it is a stretch but I wondered if this was the recipe you remembered.

http://www.thekitchn.com/thanksgiving-recipe-potato-dough-rolls-16086


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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My turkey plan is to basically follow the ChefSteps playbook and cook the white meat in a low oven while doing an Activa bonded roulade in the water bath.

 

 

It'll be easier to control the temperatures at which the dark and light meat cook if I cook them independently. I agree that the advantages of sous vide are more apparent on white meat, but they can deliver on dark meat too depending on the temp/time (think confit). I haven't had problems getting crispy skin from SV poultry when deep frying (wings can be especially good) though there are challenges when doing something like a breast. Even then, if you sear it off in cast iron, keep it lubricated, and press down while searing you can get good results.

 

I've done the roulade many times in the SV thing. Beautiful result.  When I've done it I didn't use transglutaminase, just rolled it tight in the Ziploc.  It holds together well.

 

I've also tied skin onto the roulade pre SV and then carefully pan-fried it after chilling the SVd log in the fridge.  Skin browns up and meat stays nicely done.

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Chelseabun, my mother suggested rhubarb too...but I've never been a fan, really. I guess because it wasn't available where I grew up. More importantly, I have not seen it frozen (but admittedly have not sought it out). Will have to add it to the long list for years when we have more guests. I hear many people are fans. :)

AnnaN: YES. That is it! Thank you thank you thank you!

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Chelseabun, my mother suggested rhubarb too...but I've never been a fan, really. I guess because it wasn't available where I grew up. More importantly, I have not seen it frozen (but admittedly have not sought it out). Will have to add it to the long list for years when we have more guests. I hear many people are fans. :)

AnnaN: YES. That is it! Thank you thank you thank you!

 

I have rhubarb growing in the garden so make it from fresh during the summer months. However, it needs to be sweetened well to make it palatable LoL.  I only mentioned deep fried turkey as it would give me an opportunity to build an Alton Brown style 'turkey derrick' LoL complete with flashing warning light on top! 

 

With regard to the Pilgrim Fathers - is that what thanksgiving is about or is it about other things? You are being thankful for the harvest or thankful that you have food or thankful that you are American?  I'm guessing partially patriotic and partially religious? Or is it about family and friends or community and sharing food? I'm from the UK so only hear about it through the media.

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I went to a church Thanksgiving dinner at my nephews invitation last night.  Thanksgiving day will be at my sister's house.  My daughter in law (first time I have called her that) has to work on both of those days so I am making a turkey dinner for her on Sat.  It will not be a big dinner but of course there will be roast turkey.  I am also planning on 

 

gravy

cornbread dressing- not stuffing

thinking about making wilted lettuce instead of any other salad (any thoughts about that?)

cranberry chutney with apples, pears, onion, cinnamon and cloves

green bean casserole but NOT made with mushroom soup and canned onion rings ( special request or I wouldn't do it)

Sweet potatoes

Mashed potatoes

dinner rolls

pumpkin pie with a pecan praline topping.

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I have rhubarb growing in the garden so make it from fresh during the summer months. However, it needs to be sweetened well to make it palatable LoL.  I only mentioned deep fried turkey as it would give me an opportunity to build an Alton Brown style 'turkey derrick' LoL complete with flashing warning light on top! 

 

With regard to the Pilgrim Fathers - is that what thanksgiving is about or is it about other things? You are being thankful for the harvest or thankful that you have food or thankful that you are American?  I'm guessing partially patriotic and partially religious? Or is it about family and friends or community and sharing food? I'm from the UK so only hear about it through the media.

For our family it is not religious, not patriotic (although some books my children have been given do talk about that mythical First Thanksgiving). Many of my friends have gratitude-focused practices they undertake for the month of November, and while I don't do anything public like 30 Days of Gratitude on Facebook or somesuch, I would say that is more

my focus too. And as you say, family, friends, and sharing food. We always try to find people to invite who might not have anywhere to go for the day, and my mother tells about my grandmother giving plates of food to people in need out the back door during the Depression. Celebrating abundance and sharing it to some extent.

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How are there not more posts here?!

 

I am hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever! Last year, I told my now husband, when we get married and have a place together, I want to host! Now it is happening :) Since I only have a smallish galley kitchen and the challenge will be to get all this food ready at the same time , I'm keeping it on the simple and traditional side:

-Turkey (salt and herb 'dry brine', and spatchcocked)

-mashed potatoes

-gravy

-cranberry sauce w/ some lemon zest/juice

-sausage, pecan, and sage cornbread 'stuffing' (technically will be dressing)

-sweet potato rolls and dinner rolls

-corn

-string beans <--with fried shallots probably ?

-brussels <--pan seared with some romano?

-pumpkin, pecan, apple pies

 

@TeaKettleSlim, the pie list looks great! That is such a cool idea :D I am "only" making three pies. Can you share you biscoff pie recipe?

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How are there not more posts here?!

 

I am hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever! Last year, I told my now husband, when we get married and have a place together, I want to host! Now it is happening :) Since I only have a smallish galley kitchen and the challenge will be to get all this food ready at the same time , I'm keeping it on the simple and traditional side:

-Turkey (salt and herb 'dry brine', and spatchcocked)

-mashed potatoes

-gravy

-cranberry sauce w/ some lemon zest/juice

-sausage, pecan, and sage cornbread 'stuffing' (technically will be dressing)

-sweet potato rolls and dinner rolls

-corn

-string beans <--with fried shallots probably ?

-brussels <--pan seared with some romano?

-pumpkin, pecan, apple pies

 

@TeaKettleSlim, the pie list looks great! That is such a cool idea :D I am "only" making three pies. Can you share you biscoff pie recipe?

I said that too in my younger years.....now I put my foot down and I will NOT host  :biggrin:

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I took over cooking Thanksgiving while in College.  Not always a lot of people, but I figured Id Eat Better.

 

"Control the Plate" was the idea.

 

My sister made fresh cranberry sauce.  I made the rest.  and this was way before I discovered the Deconstructed Turkey on Stuffing

 

via JuliaChild and JPepin.  If we went somewhere, I always brought the stuffing.

 

that way not a piece of celery to be seen in it, ever

 

and the Apple Crisp.  Thats all you really need if the rest is a disaster.  Oh yes, and the gravy.   I let those other people buy the

 

vanilla ice cream.  for the Crisp.  usually worked out.   once there was Diet Vanilla.  that didnt work out.


Edited by rotuts (log)
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Not cooking for TG. Traveling to the In Laws. Will try to do some make shift cooking in my MIL's kitchen which is small, poorly lit and with little equipment. Always a challenge.

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Birmingham Alabama

My plane was seriously delayed yesterday. I had to talk my wife through what could be done with a bunch of BSCB, Jared spaghetti sauce, # of spaghetti and fresh string beans

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I think things are ready around here. At my house, the main course is the dressing. Sure, I also make mashed potatoes, and glazed onions, and usually some turkey. But those are all side dishes. I smoked the turkey last week when I was smoking some bacon anyway, so it's just reheating sous vide now. The gravy is from Modernist Cuisine at Home (more or less). The dressing in my grandmother's recipe, with the base flavor provided by a sage pork sausage. 

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Dressing is my favorite dish too and I like mine with chorizo and cornbread, dried fruit, mushrooms peppers chili peppers and some toasted walnut for texture.

Made my turkey this year by flavor brining it and hanging it from the grate in a 22 WSM by the neck hole directly over coals with no heat shield. Came out great and a 15 lb turkey coked FAST in about 100 minutes.

Roasted garlic mashed potatoes, savory sweet potatoes sourdough bread and wondra flour gravy rounded it out. Freezer is very stocked already tonight and that's not including the stock currently cooking on my pressure cooker. Now where did I put that wine?

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For me, Thanksgiving is like Christmas without the consumerist elements… Xmas was great as a child, but for an adult, Thanksgiving is a better holiday. All about food and extended family (many of whom I only see at this time of year), without the pressure of exchanging presents, and a really welcome 2 1/2-day break in the middle of the highly stressful fall.

 

Here are some photos from today. Dry-brined 18-pound turkey about to be loosely sealed in aluminum foil rubbed with paprika butter. Then some serving and plate shots.

 

turkey_foil.jpg

 

turkey_serving.jpg

 

turkey_plate.jpg

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