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Thanksgiving Menus 2002–2011: The Topic


awbrig
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here's an update:

appetizers will be spiced commice pear wrapped with bacon and marrinated portobello wrapped with bacon, served skewered on toothpicks.

corn chowder with porccini mushrooms

poached and roasted turkey with duck and maitake mushroom brown sauce

french farm style stuffing with apples and raisins

cereriac and fennel puree

cranberry grand marnier sauce

peter reinhart's outrageous cornbread

brussel sprouts with truffle butter

chocolate marquise with pear and ginger sauce

dark pumpkin tart with brown butter cognac ice cream

so far all i've made is the tart dough and truffle butter. time to get to work!

Notes from the underbelly

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Our thanksgiving is traditional by the measure of my family, but not by mainstream American standards! It's definitely a south Louisiana thing, from start to finish. We always start with gumbo, usually chicken/oyster/andouille or sometimes seafood, then move on to crabmeat casserole. The crab casserole is a kind of devilled crab concoction of my father's; mostly just lots and lots of crabmeat, seasoned with garlic, browned onions/celery/bell pepper, green onions, cayenne, all combined with a scant amount of cracker crumbs, topped with butter, and baked until golden.

The entree is usually a pork loin roast, sometimes supplemented with a roasted turkey breast (a sideways nod to Americana, and a sop to my white-bread husband who whined "no turkey?" through his first few family Thanksgivings).

Only, nowadays, we have a big ol' roasted whole bird, as my nephew learned a foolproof high-temp roasting method in his high-school home ec/cooking class--so we've added his turkey to the traditional menu. Side dishes include cornbread dressing (baked in a pan on its own, of course), except that my sister hates cornbread dressing, and she's managed to infect her own daughter with her wrong-headed ideas on dressing. So my mama trots out a pan of scalloped potatoes to accomodate the haters. The first local fresh broccoli & cauliflower of the season also make an appearance, and my sister's sweet potato crunch is inevitable...that time honored mash-up of yams, butter, sugar, and cinnamon--topped with pecans & brown sugar.

Whew--then comes dessert. This year, my 10-year-old nephew is bringing his birthday cake to share with us all, and I think we also have a carrot cake. Plus, my mother always makes brownies if more than 2 people are expected to visit!

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My ex-pat Thanksgiving.

a Mango chutney cheeseball coated in cashews

We're eating later since its not a holiday in Canada. I dont want ppl to eat too many apps and fill up.

Herb/butter turkey

mashed potatoes( I'm making that tonight w/ cream cheese)( bake off tomorrow)

stuffing

apricot/ginger cranberry sauce

freezer green bean casserole( I made it a few days ago and put it in the freezer. It bakes right from the freezer. No CANNED SOUP either!!)

Sweet potato casserole

fluffy dinner rolls

another veg brought by eG member Pookie

pumpkin pie, apple pie

sweet/salty bday cake for spouse.

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Orange Apple Brined and Cherry-Smoked Heirloom Turkey with Spiced Pear Gravy

Bourbon-Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing

Shredded Sweet Potatoes with sage brown butter

Brussels Sprouts with shallots and chestnuts in a butter glaze

Steamed Carrots in butter and maple syrup glaze

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Pumpkin Flan

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I just pulled these from the oven.

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How beautiful. I am at work today, so won't be having Thanksgiving until Saturday. But oh how you've made my day-at-work-on-a-holiday so much better. I think I can actually sense the steam coming off those delicious rolls, (and those wondrous, golden, puffy tops-perfect). Thank you indeed.

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Only four of us today and two are elderly and can't eat alot in one sitting so I toned it down with smaller portions of standards.

To start while we chatted and let turkey rest: Store bought excellent pork/leek dumplings in turkey broth- served in small coffee cups, just 2 per person. I purchase extra turkey wings and necks and make broth/stock ahead, roasting the meat first. Also able to make gravy that way ahead of time for gravy challenged friends who lose sleep starting November 1

The main was one of those 20 pound super cheapo turkey that you get for $7 if you spend $25. Not my choice, but I salted and seasoned it the night before and let it air dry in the fridge. Cavity stuffed with sliced tangerines & lemons, handful of garlic, fresh basil and oregano. Filipino longanisa sausage was slipped under the skin over the breast. It had alot of flavor and a nice texture.

Sides:

- canned corn (they love it)

- brussel sprouts halved and cooked with turkey broth, Dijon mustard, buckwheat honey- reduce to a syrup

- coleslaw with cucumber, apple and onion in a sesame/soy/ginger dressing smoothed out with a little mayo and lime juice

- dressing baked separately with cubed pre-cooked potato to satisfy both camps

- gravy and cranberry sauce

- marinated cucumbers

- small sort of sweet Hawaiian rolls (King's)

Nobody ate dessert but the chocolate chip cookies with pumpkin pie spice were road tested and approved by the teenagers the night before. Grandma brought lemon bars.

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Woof. I can barely fit behind the desk to type this. Good thing the chair is on wheels... :rolleyes:

I had Thanksgiving with my dear friends, their kids and various and sundry siblings of theirs, cousins and spouses and their kids. Before dinner I made cocktails of spiced rum, pear schnapps, cognac, apple cider, spiced simple syrup and fresh lemon. I flamed the cocktail glasses with a misting of overproof rum and orange bitters from an aerosol sprayer and allowed the bitters to carmelize inside the glasses before pouring in the cocktails. There ought to be some photos of the pyrotechnics coming to me at some point that I'll likely post in the Spirits and Cocktails thread when I have a chance.

Dinner was comprised of:

1 smoked turkey

1 deep fried turkey

1 smoked side of salmon

Oyster cornbread stuffing

Sausage cornbread stuffing

String beans

Brussel sprouts

Cranberry-Jalapeno sauce with tequila

Cranberry, pearl onion and Asian pear compote

Mashed potatoes

Rolls

Gravy

2 Pecan pies (one homemade one store bought)

Cheesecake

Cupcakes

Store bought chocolate mosaic cake

Loads of food and all was delicious. The smoked turkey was particularly tasty and very moist. I snuck a small doggie bag of leftovers of that for lunch tomorrow. I also took a little nap during the second quarter of the Eagles game that was quite refreshing. I still think I shouldn't have any trouble sleeping well tonight after

all that eating, even having had the nap.

I love Thanksgiving. A holiday spent with good friends and family and eating and drinking well. What could be bad about that?

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Paul, can you stand one more poaching question? Our Thanksgiving will be on Sunday, so I still have time (in fact, we're picking up the turkey this morning, so that will be its moment of truth with the size of the stockpot). I want to poach it unstuffed, and it's supposed to be about 7 kilos. Do you have a sense of poaching time sans stuffing?

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Paul, can you stand one more poaching question?  Our Thanksgiving will be on Sunday, so I still have time (in fact, we're picking up the turkey this morning, so that will be its moment of truth with the size of the stockpot).  I want to poach it unstuffed, and it's supposed to be about 7 kilos.  Do you have a sense of poaching time sans stuffing?

I did a 14lb bird tonight without stuffing and poached for 90 minutes ... didn't change the time at all.

I find it easiest to time the poach (even if your chosen time is a bit arbitrary) and then worry about getting the bird cooked perfectly during the roasting stage.

Tonight's bird was the best i've ever done. part of it was starting with a much nicer bird, but i also think i've been able to tweak the technique over the years.

I dry salted the bird and let it sit covered in the fridge overnight (about 18 hours).

I used a probe thermometer to keep the poaching liquid low and steady ... between 160 and 165 degrees. After poaching I dried the bird, and infused garlic into some melted butter. I painted the liquid butter over the surface of the bird, and rubbed the garlic into the breast under the skin.

I covered the the breast with diagonally criss-crossing strips of bacon, and covered that with a tripple layer of foil. After 20 minutes I pulled off the foil and bacon. After 30 minutes, i rotated the pan so the legs faced teh front. At 45 minutes a probe between the breast and thigh read just over 150. i pulled the bird out and rested for 45 minutes.

Notes from the underbelly

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Thanks so much, Paul, I'm on it! The bird arrived with hugely long legs, a total Rockette of a bird. The French farm turkeys aren't at all standardized for size, nor are they bred for breast meat. But I can get most of it in my stockpot, with part of the back and ankles out of the court bouillon. I don't think that will hurt anything, so poach it is. Sunday's the day, and after, I'll report back. Thanks again for your advice.

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Can you say more about the shredded sweet potatoes? How are they prepared?

The recipe is on the NY Times webpages as Stir-Fried Sweet Potatoes with Brown Butter and Sage. I found it by doing a "Google search".

Looks really fast and simple and is going on our Saturday menu.

Hope that helps.

Kay

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This Thanksgiving we had the pleasure to have our daughter and her friend J.P. home from Boston. Great to have family home for Thanksgiving. Also joining us was our friend Reggie.

For Dinner:

Crème of Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce (garnished with a gooseberry)

Roast Turkey brined over night,

Turkey roasted using Marta Stuart’s method draped with cheesecloth and basted in white wine and butter.

Roasted winter vegetables (beets and parsnips)

Baby Carrots in orange glaze

Mashed Sweet Potatos prepared with coconut milk and brown sugar.

Cranberry Relish

Craig Claiborne giblet gravy

Home baked Challah

To drink a spectacular Two Paddocks Picnic Pinot Noir 2006 from New Zealand

Dessert

A Stracciatella Tortoni with chocolate fudge sauce

and a Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Accompanied with Water’s Crest Night Watch 2005 – from Long Island (very nice), coffee, espresso and tea

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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Turkey and gravy

Grilled Halibut

Cornbread stuffing (one vegetarian and one with turkey sausage)

Potato gallette with both potatoes and sweet potatoes

Roasted brussels sprouts

Sweet potato casserole

Fresh cranberry sauce with poached pears

Arugula salad with parmesan and cherry tomatoes

Corn pudding

Pumpkin pie and Apple pie

Cupcakes with candy corn turkeys

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Green salad (with radish greens from my garden)

Two boneless, stuffed chickens (one shrimp/rice dressing and one crawfish/rice dressing)

broccoli, rice and cheese casserole

steamed asparagus

purplehull peas

creamed corn

sweet potatoes (with marshmallows)

yeast rolls

sourdough bread

radish/pickled okra relish tray (I grew the radishes)

pecan pie

apple pie

German chocolate cake with pecan/coconut frosting

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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Some great ideas here for the next Thanksgiving. I ended up posting this on the Dinner thread since I had not seen this thread revived.

This year we had a small gathering of 6 at my Aunt's house. My Aunt made the Turkey along with other sides like mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, gravy, coleslaw, broccoli, etc.

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and I made Prime Rib

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For dessert we had Pecan, Pumpkin and Apple Caramel Nut pies

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We were soooo full we could not eat for days....OK, maybe for a few hours. Lunch the next day was a sandwich out of the leftover cranberry relish, casserole, stuffing and turkey

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Paul, I'm going to do your turkey recipe, if I can get a turkey here that will fit into my stockpot.  It's a beautiful recipe.  That said, let me suggest that you stay in the French tradition for a before-dinner bite. 

I have not found Pauls' recipe. Would you please advise where it can be located? Thanks.

The most normal drink to serve with that menu (here in France, that is) would be a glass of Champagne or a kir, either royale or still.  And to nibble, just a couple of bites per person.  To limit how much people nibble, it's easier to have little composed appetizers.  A chilled marinated shrimp on a skewer, a little toast with foie gras and fig jam, maybe a few olives. 

Last year was our first Thanksgiving in France.  This year will be a bit different, as our guests will be the members and spouses of the French rock group my husband plays with.  I think none of them has ever done Thanksgiving, and there will be more people than we can have seated at the table, and it'll be all music and confusion.  I only have one small oven and not much fridge space for make-aheads, so I'm working on a pared down but still perfectly representative American menu.  Luckily I get a few extra days, as we'll go to an American friend's house on actual Thanksgiving, then have the gang here on the Sunday after.

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I could not find the recipe for poached roasted Amish turkey. Could someone please direct me to it? Thanks.

latest version is here. There's nothing especially amish about the recipe ... I just happened to get a turkey from an Amish farm this year. But you could always wear a black hat while roasting.

Notes from the underbelly

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I could not find the recipe for poached roasted Amish turkey. Could someone please direct me to it? Thanks.

latest version is here. There's nothing especially amish about the recipe ... I just happened to get a turkey from an Amish farm this year. But you could always wear a black hat while roasting.

Thanks, Paul. I'll invite some Friends over to share.

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