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gulfporter

Thanksgiving 2015....One thing old, one thing new

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Menu planning is upon us.  Some families never vary the menu, but we like to play with our food. 

 

Name one thing you'll make that's traditional; and one new item you're adding to the table this year. 

I'll start: 

 

Old: Mincemeat pie with vanilla ice cream 

New: I will spatchcock and grill the turkey this year (wish me luck, I've never done this before)!

 

 

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I am going to a potluck group gathering, bringing three items:

 

Old: bread stuffing (made with my own bread), lime cheesecake

New: stuffed cabbage rolls as the vegan entree

 

 

I am still worrying about the filling for the cabbage rolls. Yeah, I am making something I've never really made before. Why this item? I wanted something with a harvest feeling that did not involve squash and could be made vegan without fake meat. Sauce will be the sweet/sour Pennsylvania classic tomato juice with vinegar and a little sugar. Filling might wind up being cooked a day or two in advance: brown rice and lentils together, 2/1 ratio, in vegetable stock spiked with lemon juice and grated lemon peel. Then, after cooking and cooling, tossed with brunoise celery and white onion and maybe some bread crumbs as a binder and rolled into cabbage leaves to heat through. Sauce added at the last minute in an effort to preserve cabbage color. I am nervous about making the filling lemony, with the sweet/sour sauce. Might make the filling more earthy by adding chopped mushrooms and spicing with allspice, nutmeg and sumac. -Can't decide!

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I cooked a spatchcock turkey for our Canadian Thanksgiving, also my first time with a turkey. It was around 15 lbs and the thighs were done before the breast meat! It did not take as long as I thought, so my advice is to check it often. I brined it first. Comments around the table: "this is the best turkey I have ever eaten"

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Old: Brussels sprouts, browned

New: Challah, sausage, and chestnut dressing

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Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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My sister has always had dinner at her house and resisted any suggestions to have it anywhere else.  Last Thanksgiving, right after dinner, she asked if we were open to rotating the event.  i said I'd do it this year but figured it was out of being very tired and expected her to forget or try to waffle out of having it somewhere else.  Last month she was having dinner at my DIL's restaurant and my DIL reminded her that we were having it at out house this year.  She did try to waffle out of it but my DIL said I'd already mede out the menu and bought extra chairs. She made up some of that but it's at my house for sure this year.  I have not made the menu for sure but one thing I plan to add is Heritage ham as well as turkey.  i am going to add a cranberry relish with apples and pears that we have never had before.  I am still working on the rest of the menu and would take any suggestions.


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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old: butternut squash ("intact", not mashed and made into a casserole)

 

new: roasted cauliflower in melted extra sharp white cheddar cheese

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My sister has always had dinner at her house and resisted any suggestions to have it anywhere else.  Last Thanksgiving, right after dinner, she asked if we were open to rotating the event.  i said I'd do it this year but figured it was out of being very tired and expected her to forget or try to waffle out of having it somewhere else.  Last month she was having dinner at my DIL's restaurant and my DIL reminded her that we were having it at out house this year.  She did try to waffle out of it but my DIL said I'd already mede out the menu and bought extra chairs. She made up some of that but it's at my house for sure this year.  I have not made the menu for sure but one thing I plan to add is Heritage ham as well as turkey.  i am going to add a cranberry relish with apples and pears that we have never had before.  I am still working on the rest of the menu and would take any suggestions.

 

Norm, you might want to try this Brussels Sprouts recipe. I have made it for several gatherings of different people and everyone seems to really like it.

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I have not made the menu for sure but one thing I plan to add is Heritage ham as well as turkey.  

My mom makes a ham (she bakes it off the day before...then reheats on the day of) for Thanksgiving.  Though her hams are never as nice as a Heritage.

Years ago she realized some people just didn't like turkey and so the ham was a good compromise. You'd be surprised at how many guests opt for the ham. Or both.  :rolleyes:  :laugh:

 

edited to add: Old for T-Day: My mom always makes her giblet rice (which includes other body parts, too  :blink: )

New: My brother is always trying something new. This year he wants to put a spin on the classic green bean casserole (which has never been a tradition with our family). Not sure how it will turn out...depends on his definition of "spin" I guess!


Edited by Toliver (log)
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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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My sister has always had dinner at her house and resisted any suggestions to have it anywhere else.  Last Thanksgiving, right after dinner, she asked if we were open to rotating the event.  i said I'd do it this year but figured it was out of being very tired and expected her to forget or try to waffle out of having it somewhere else.  Last month she was having dinner at my DIL's restaurant and my DIL reminded her that we were having it at out house this year.  She did try to waffle out of it but my DIL said I'd already mede out the menu and bought extra chairs. She made up some of that but it's at my house for sure this year.  I have not made the menu for sure but one thing I plan to add is Heritage ham as well as turkey.  i am going to add a cranberry relish with apples and pears that we have never had before.  I am still working on the rest of the menu and would take any suggestions.

 

Norm,

 

I love your DIL's little white lie to get your sister to relinquish her hold on hosting the TG family meal (which she'd already agreed to).  :laugh:

 

I always like a light, but delicious option to break up a heavy holiday meal.

 

Asparagus is considered special by many, and it's very delicious grilled or roasted or even boiled. I also like a salad with light, but festive ingredients. Boston/butter/Bibb lettuce is expensive, but an excellent candidate for the holiday table.

 

I know it isn't the time of year for it, and the weather may prohibit, but if you have someone in your party who likes to and is competent to grill (you can't do it as the host), and the weather permits, I have an idea for you. Grilled veggies: like asparagus, onion, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, or mushrooms. Just tossed with a little olive oil before grilling, sprinkled with a bit of kosher salt after cooking, I think they might make a delightful and light addition to your holiday table.


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I cooked a spatchcock turkey for our Canadian Thanksgiving, also my first time with a turkey. It was around 15 lbs and the thighs were done before the breast meat! It did not take as long as I thought, so my advice is to check it often. I brined it first. Comments around the table: "this is the best turkey I have ever eaten"

We are a small group this year.  I will buy a 10# turkey (marketed as Lil Butterballs) and dry brine it.

 

I'm hoping this gas grill (4 burner) will give me some leeway in moderating temperatures.  And that this small turkey will allow me to flip the bird more often (he he he).  Though I'm willing to sacrifice presentation and remove body parts that are done sooner than others.  I bought a Thermoworks Thermopen to keep me abreast of this (another bad pun, soory!).


Edited by gulfporter (log)
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We are Deep frying a Turkey again.  This never gets old.  I will brine it and then inject it with a butter/garlic.  

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I'm in the gradual process of scaling back some things in Thanksgiving dinner, which I have used in the past to experiment with multiple course tasting menu concepts. Going in very different directions from what I have done previously with the meat courses (I do separate courses of white and dark meat).

Old: starter of salmon three ways -- tartare, gravlax and mi cuit.

New: small white meat slices with cornbread dressing späetzle, Brussels sprout petals and herb-infused butter; shredded dark meat confit with mushrooms, roasted potato gnocchi and jus gras.

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--

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We are Deep frying a Turkey again.  This never gets old.  I will brine it and then inject it with a butter/garlic.  

We've fried turnkeys in the past (this year, I'm grilling the bird).  

 

We found that injecting before frying makes for a lot of splatter.  We also discovered that when frying, the cheap store-brand turkey is just as good as a higher end bird and there's no need to brine.  I didn't believe it at first, but an old-timer gave me that tip and one year we fried two turkeys (30+ guests) and the cheap, unbrined, non-injected turkey came out on top by the vast majority of attendees (blind test).  Live and learn.

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Old: Mashed Potatoes (although we might do scalloped)

 

New: No turkey this year.  Either a standing rib roast or maybe a roast pork loin.  

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Old:  pretty much everything -- roast turkey, Betty Crocker stuffing with raisins and pecans, mashed taters, gravy, cranberry chutney, spinach salad with oranges and sweet onions, buttered peas, pumpkin pie, maple pecan pie

 

New:  maybe those brussels sprouts?  And I really need a good recipe for sweet potatoes.  I made them once with cinnamon and onion and no one liked them except me.  Have tried candied with brown sugar and butter but they never come out like my mom's did, with a nice really candied edge.  Any ideas? No marshmallows, please!

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Hey folks, we've got some great winter squash dishes in our Cook-Off topic here https://forums.egullet.org/topic/152196-eg-cook-off-71-winter-squash/page-4. Might be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving table.

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My mom makes a ham (she bakes it off the day before...then reheats on the day of) for Thanksgiving.  Though her hams are never as nice as a Heritage.

Years ago she realized some people just didn't like turkey and so the ham was a good compromise. You'd be surprised at how many guests opt for the ham. Or both.  :rolleyes:  :laugh:

 

edited to add: Old for T-Day: My mom always makes her giblet rice (which includes other body parts, too  :blink: )

New: My brother is always trying something new. This year he wants to put a spin on the classic green bean casserole (which has never been a tradition with our family). Not sure how it will turn out...depends on his definition of "spin" I guess!

 

The ham from Heritage Foods arrived today.  I'll slice it up and freeze most of it until Thanksgiving. We'll probably have some for dinner in a day or two too.  My sister reminded me that when we had it at my aunt and uncle's house every year when we were kids, she always served ham because Uncle Don never ate poultry.  I never knew why.  But bringing back old things, I inherited moms silver plate and aunt and uncle's porcelain which will be on the table.

 

Thanks for the Crepes, I'll ask my son if he will be up for grilling.

 

This salad is good and I may do it for Thanksgiving.  That will be a new one for TGday.

    1/2 cup raisins 

    3 T. bourbon 

    1 cup pecan pieces 

    1 T. packed brown sugar 

    1/2 tsp. ground cumin 

    1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper 

    3/4 cup olive oil 

    1/4 cup red wine vinegar 

    1 T. Dijon mustard 

    Salt and coarse ground pepper to taste 

    2 small heads radicchio, coarsely shredded 

    2 heads endive, leaves separated 

    1 medium red onion, thinly sliced 

    2 medium Granny Smith apples, cubed 

    2 cups coarsely chopped celery 

    feta cheese 

 

    Soak raisins in bourbon for at least 3 hours, until plump. 

 

    Heat pecans, sugar, cumin and cayenne over medium heat in large skillet,

    stirring until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside. 

 

    Blend oil, vinegar, and mustard in bowl with wire whisk, add salt and pepper to

    taste, refrigerate until serving time. 

 

    Toss radicchio, endive, onion, apple and celery with prepared dressing in large

    bowl; serves 8. 

 

    Top each salad with raisins, pecans and feta cheese. 


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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Old: Cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole with a pecan streusel topping, cranberry salad.

 

New: I've ordered a farm-raised turkey from the local co-op where I buy my chicken. Picking it up fresh on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I expect I'll brine it and then roast it with my standard apple, orange, stick of butter and handful of sage in the cavity. Also on the "new" list, green beans cooked with brown sugar, bacon and soy sauce instead of the canonical green bean casserole.

 

I love Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. Menu will also include a corn pudding, and homemade yeast rolls.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Norm - is the pie this one from David Lebovitz? - saw it this morning and drooled a bit. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2015/11/bourbon-ginger-pecan-pie-recipe-thanksgiving/#more-21615   Balanced with a big dollop of Nancy Silverton's whipped cream with creme fraiche :)    http://food52.com/recipes/14500-nancy-silverton-s-whipped-cream

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We are a small group this year.  I will buy a 10# turkey (marketed as Lil Butterballs) and dry brine it.

 

I'll be making a Travel-Size Butterball.

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Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Norm - is the pie this one from David Lebovitz? - saw it this morning and drooled a bit. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2015/11/bourbon-ginger-pecan-pie-recipe-thanksgiving/#more-21615   Balanced with a big dollop of Nancy Silverton's whipped cream with creme fraiche :)    http://food52.com/recipes/14500-nancy-silverton-s-whipped-cream

 

I did not see any attribution to the cook (or baker) on the recipe I have,  but most of the ingredients are the same.  The differences are the recipe i have just says to use a classic single pie crust and 1 1/2 C. pecans to 2 C. and 3/4 C. brown sugar to 1 C.  I do have some Knob Creek whiskey that I was planning to use.

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