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Thanksgiving USA 2020


Kim Shook
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We did a Lexington style BBQ take on Thanksgiving this year. Pulled smoked turkey BBQ with a spicy cranberry bbq sauce and red Brussels slaw. Served with Alton Brown’s mac and cheese, fried okra, and deviled eggs.

 

Cold smoked SV turkey thighs

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Okra and turkey

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A messy but tasty plate of food

 

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Perhaps the biggest star of the show was my wife’s pumpkin apple pie cake inspired by some Milk Bar recipes. Brown butter cake, spiced apples, pumpkin ganache, apple cider soak, and pie crumb. I’m not a big dessert person, but this was goood. 
 

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Thanks! Yep, there wasn't really a finishing step apart from the pre-sear. Of course, I would have done something extra if I was planning on serving the skin. The thighs finished cooking the night before and I cooled them down in an ice bath. Then in the morning I unbagged them, patted them dry, and threw them in a 225F oven with convection until they were warmed through and the skin was de-sogged. The meat is easier to pull if it's warm. I had planned to make cracklins by crisping up the skin between silpats in a hot oven, but ran out of time. I still have the skin, so if I get bored over the weekend I may try making a skin snack. 

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There are some gorgeous poultry photos in this topic! We haven't done a bird for Thanksgiving for, oh, a long time but I always appreciate seeing what others do. Wouldn't mind eating it, either.

 

Our menu was prime rib cooked along with potatoes that roasted in the meat fat; scalloped corn; green beans cooked slowly with bacon; rolls made that day.

 

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(I had no idea how poor that photo was! Too late to improve it now.)

 

A lush Arabella Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was the perfect accompaniment.

 

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We didn't get to dessert that night: the classic salad made of cranberries, orange and walnuts, ground together in a food processor and sweetened with a bit of raw sugar. It's been breakfast a couple of mornings in a row since then.

 

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Yes, that's whipped cream on it. For breakfast. So shoot me. He adds Cheerios to his, along with the whipped cream! :D 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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So much fun reading along with everyone’s prep and serving of dinner and your menus.  Thank you to everyone who posted them.  Sorry for the seemingly never ending post.  Scroll on by if you begin to get sleepy😊!

 

@gulfporter – that cranberry cake looks great.  I’ve bookmarked the recipe that smithy found.  And thank you so much for showing your notes.  I love seeing stuff like that. 

 

@kayb – bless you for your kindness in taking a dinner to those folks.  Jessica took one to a friend whose family had been exposed by a drop-in family member who thought they were safe a week after being exposed themselves🙄.  Jessica’s friend ended up spending the holiday alone, so we piled her plate up and Jess took it by.  I was hoping to make your cranberry salad this year – maybe Christmas.  Nice looking plate of food.  I was interested to hear about your response to dry brining.  Mr. Kim found a really inexpensive whole turkey at Kroger and put it in the freezer.  I’m planning to cook it at Xmas and have been thinking about doing a dry brine.  It is fairly small, so I think I’ll spatchcock it, too. 

 

@Shelby – I loved it all, from the gorgeous charcuterie and cheese board through the hilarious and delicious looking Piecaken!  I am sorry about your eggs – that is such a PITA.  I was going to try them again this week, but someone mixed up my new eggs and the ones I was “aging”, so I have no idea what is what.  Your green bean tart looks lovely – I’d pick the mushrooms off and get at it!  You mentioned frozen pearl onions – they work great and I get them if I can.  I’ve used the parboiling method, but you loose a lot of onion that way, I think.  Your dinner plate looks great – nice, thick gravy and gorgeous turkey.

 

@liamsaunt – I loved seeing your stuffed turkey.  I still think that method makes the best tasting stuffing ever.  If that had been my turkey, there would have been some picked off places where I pinched the crispy crust of the stuffing off!

 

I had to laugh seeing everyone who is bored with this once a year meal.  We SO look forward to it and usually have some form of it twice – Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We always wonder why we don’t make it more often.  As a matter of fact, Jessica has asked if I would SV a turkey breast every couple of weeks for sandwiches.  Despite trying all kinds, we detest deli turkey, so making my own is the only way we get a turkey sandwich. 

 

The day before Thanksgiving – I didn’t take a lot of pictures this year with my knees being in such bad shape and spending most of the time on the couch.  This was the beginning of the dressing:

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Torn bread (yeast rolls, Hawaiian, and cornbread – all leftover and sale bread that I had in the freezer), sautéed onions and celery, pepper, salt, and Bell’s seasoning.  This sat out overnight before adding the butter, stock, and oysters on The Day.

 

Thanksgiving Day menu (only got a few pictures):

Butternut squash soup – Jessica:

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SV Turkey

This turkey was the best I’ve ever cooked.  I described my method in the SV thread, but I’ll put it here, too.  I got two bone-in breast halves and 4 drumsticks at Wegmans.  I sealed each of the breast halves and 2 each of the drumsticks in bags with butter, black pepper, and Bell's seasoning (poultry seasoning).  I set the temperature for 148F and put the bags with the legs in them for 12 to 15 hours. With about 6 hours to go, I put the breasts in. I took them out of the water and let cool slightly.  It was all supposed to be seared in ghee in an iron skillet at high heat – after pouring off the liquid from the bag.  This was one of the few slip ups of the meal.  I didn’t make that clear to Mr. Kim and I wasn’t in the kitchen when he put them in the skillet.  When I went in, the drumsticks were merrily boiling away in the juices from the bag😖.  It turned out fine.  The skin was flabby, but the meat was delectable.  

 

Relish tray 

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Gravy

My gravy tasted good, but was too thin this year.

 

Oyster dressing

I managed to get some wonderful Rappahannock oysters at our favorite produce stand before they closed for the season and they were lovely.

 

Cheese potatoes

 

Sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows

 

Watergate Salad – Jessica

 

Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts w/ Saba

 

Corn Pudding – Jessica

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Cranberry sauce

 

Yeast rolls – my MIL

These are her award-winning (VA State Fair – multiple times) cloverleaf rolls that she’s made for years.  I was not trusted with the recipe until she’d tasted my (Julia’s) brioche rolls and then years later I found the exact recipe in a BH&G or Betty Crocker cookbook😄

 

Pecan pie and pumpkin pie – my MIL

They were both delicious – she is an incredible home baker.  She used pie pumpkins and processed her own pumpkin filling using the IP we gave her! I love getting confirmation that we chose the right gift.

 

Assorted things from the relish assortment, including pimento cheese, Jessica’s Watergate salad, and my cranberry sauce:

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We love all kinds of interesting pickly things, but on Thanksgiving tradition rules and I want exactly what was on my grandmothers’ tables – pimento stuffed giant green olives, California black olives, sweet midget pickles, and Mr. Kim's grandmother's (then his mom's and now Jessica’s) sweet pickled green tomatoes. 

 

Dinner plate:

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Between the three of us, and what my MIL brought, we managed a delicious and properly temped meal.  It was all a bit fraught at times, but that’s us. 

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Kim it all looks GREAT!  Your meals always remind me of our family meals--and you can NEVER have too long of a post.  I love reading every word.  

 

I never would have thought about adding the Hawaiian bread to stuffing.  Someday, I need to branch out and make my own.  We just really like Stove Top, salt and all lol.

 

And your SV turkey post is what encouraged me to leave the skin on the breast during the SV and then brown it so thank you!

 

Now I kinda want turkey dinner again......

 

Oh and someone needs to start a Christmas Eve/Day thread :) 

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My Thanksgiving dinner (purchased from a local restaurant) was mediocre at best. But there's always next year when we've had the vaccines and can gather with the usual family and friends.

One great thing I did was to buy a Patti La Belle Sweet Potato Pie from Walmart (they sell them year round). They cost about $4.00US.

It tastes exactly like a regular pumpkin pie (same texture...which can't be said about all sweet potato pies) except...that they've doubled the spices.

It's like a pumpkin pie on steroids.xD It's a mouthful of O.M.G.

I told my brother his wife can't eat it because she takes a sip of coffee and gets heartburn. This pie would cause her to keel over.:wink: xD

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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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18 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

I was interested to hear about your response to dry brining.  Mr. Kim found a really inexpensive whole turkey at Kroger and put it in the freezer.  I’m planning to cook it at Xmas and have been thinking about doing a dry brine.  It is fairly small, so I think I’ll spatchcock it, too. 

 

This is my second year to dry-brine. After I spatchcocked the bird (he was a 15-pounder), I sprinkled about 2 tbsp of salt inside, then flipped him over, loosened the skin on the breast and thigh, and rubbed in about 2 tbsp more salt per side, so six tbsp all told? That's an estimate. That was Tuesday night. I folded him back up, put him in a bucket covered with foil, and stuck him in the fridge until Thursday morning. Took him out, rubbed him down with olive oil, laid him on a bed of sage and roasted. He was luscious.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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On 11/30/2020 at 5:53 PM, Shelby said:

Kim it all looks GREAT!  Your meals always remind me of our family meals--and you can NEVER have too long of a post.  I love reading every word.  

 

I never would have thought about adding the Hawaiian bread to stuffing.  Someday, I need to branch out and make my own.  We just really like Stove Top, salt and all lol.

 

And your SV turkey post is what encouraged me to leave the skin on the breast during the SV and then brown it so thank you!

 

Now I kinda want turkey dinner again......

 

Oh and someone needs to start a Christmas Eve/Day thread :) 

LOL – I know exactly what you mean by “Now I kinda want turkey dinner again…”  I thought I was sick of all of it until I saw everyone else’s plates and then I wandered right into the kitchen and nuked a bowl of dressing and gravy. 

 

And I honestly don’t believe that it matters much what kind of bread you use for dressing.  I just grab the clearance stuff off the cart and then toss in stuff that is a little too old to eat from my breadbasket.  I store it up in the freezer and then grab what I need when I’m ready to make dressing.  My mom used regular old grocery store white bread (probably Wonder) and added oysters and oyster liquor AND stuffed it in a turkey and it was STILL delicious.  I've used the Pepperidge Farm bagged crouton-like things, too.  All good!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My husband fried up a turkey a few days after Thanksgiving. I gave it a dry brine and injected it with some spices (per an old Emeril recipe). Turned out very well. DH used to make these every Thanksgiving. Gave half the turkey to one of his colleagues who had never had fried turkey. Enjoyed a few turkey sandwiches and one turkey dinner.

 

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