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Old 11-19-2007, 08:17 PM
SamIAm SamIAm is offline
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Default What\'s for Thanksgiving EDF? (planning & trip reports)

For a forum that likes talking about food, there's been very little thanksgiving discussion. We went up to my inlaws' place this weekend, and I cooked a big meal for them. (We're driving up to my parents' place on Tuesday night to cook for the big day.)

I took bunches of pictures of my food because I thought it'd make a neat trip report, but I want to hear what others are making. And ask/answer questions about technique. And insult eachother's traditional family recipes. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] So, What's Cooking EDF?

<font color="brown">Cornbread Dressing</font>

I don't make "stuffing" because it adds mass to the bird, so it adds time to cooking, so it subtracts moisture. "Stuffing" by any other name would taste as sweet. Therefore in the south, we make "Dressing".

First, make cornbread the night before:

4 T Butter (melted)
4 Eggs
1 1/3 C Buttermilk
1 1/3 C Milk
2 C Cornmeal
2 C AP Flour
4 t Baking powder
1 t Baking soda
2 T Sugar
1 t Salt

Preheat to 375. Whisk the wet stuff. Sift the dry.



Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. Pour into a nonstick 9x13 pan.



Bake for 30 minutes, till it's golden, brown, and also delicious.



The morning of, break into pieces and bake at 250 for an hour to dry-out.



1.5 lb Sausage
3 Onions
3 ribs Celery
2 T Fresh Thyme
2 T Fresh Sage
3 cloves Garlic
1 T Salt
2 t Pepper
3 C Chicken Broth
2 C Half&amp;half
2 Eggs
1 stick Butter

Cook the sausage to colored and remove. Mince the onion and celery in the remaining grease and 2 T of butter. Add those to the sausage, and saute the rest of the onion and celery with the rest of the butter. After translucent, add thyme, sage, garlic, salt, &amp; pepper.



Mix all of the above with the cornbread pieces, being careful not to break-up the cornbread too much. Whisk the rest of the liquids and pour over.



Cover and cool for up to four hours, so the flavors can meld. Then bake at 400 till golden brown, about 45 minutes.




<font color="brown">Gravy</font>

2 Carrots
2 ribs Celery
3 Onions
6 T Butter
1/2 C AP Flour
4 C Chicken Broth
4 C Beef Broth
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 t Dried Thyme
10 Peppercorns

Dump the veggies in a food processor and make a mirepoix puree. Heat butter and veggies till brown.



Add flour and cook another 10 minutes.



Add the broth and seasonings and bring to a simmer. Let it reduce till thickened, about half an hour.



Strain. SAVE those solids, because they're pretty awesome. They taste like pure thanksgiving, so put 'em on toast for breakfast.



This can be done well ahead of time. Fridge the gravy and heat it up come dinner time.


<font color="red">Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce</font>

1 Orange
1 lb Cranberries
2 C Orange Juice
3 C Ginger Ale
2 T Maple Syrup
3 T Brown Sugar
1/2 t Salt

Here's how to zest an orange: First, wish you brought your microplane with you to your inlaws' kitchen. Then, use literally the worst peeler you've ever seen, and slice off big slabs of peel. Use the back of your knife to scrape off the bitter pith, and then mince the zest. Easy!



Dump all the above in a pot.



Bring to a simmer. Cook till reduced by half, about 45 minutes.



Puree and pour into a dipping glass for each setting.




<font color="orange">Mashed Potatoes w/ Carrots, Bacon, &amp; Sage</font>

4 Potatoes
2 Carrots
4 strips Bacon
2 T Butter
1/3 C Chicken Broth
3/4 C Half&amp;Half
1 t Fresh Sage

Chop the potatoes and carrots.



Cook the bacon till crisp, and then remove with a slotted spoon. Add butter and carrots to the remaining grease and cook 15 minutes till they start to color.



Add potatoes, broth, salt, &amp; pepper.



Cover over low heat for 30 minutes, till the potatoes start to fall apart. Add sage and bacon.



At dinner time, mash. Heat the half&amp;half and add.




<font color="brown">Turkey</font>

First make a brine:

1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon iced water

Bring all the above to a boil to help mix, and then add the ice to cool it down. Use a huge lobster pot to brine the turkey.



Uh oh, the turkey doesn't fit. Maybe I could add another quart of water, but instead I found a turkey-shaped container.



Let brine for 6 hours.

This is a turkey neck. Don't freak out.



When it's done brining, rinse off and pat dry.

1 Red Apple
1/2 Onion
1 t Cinnamon
1 C Water
5 sprigs Rosemary
8 leaves Sage

Preheat to 500. Microwave the above ingredients for 5 minutes and shove 'em in the turkey. Just because we're making 'dressing' doesn't mean we can't stuff.



Take a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and make a breast plate before you send your bird in for battle.



Roast at 500 for 30 minutes, to let the skin get crisp and awesome.



About this time, remember that you forgot to truss the turkey, so it's spread "eagled". Oh well.

Stick your thermometer probe into the thickest part of the breast and give your white meat a little protection, so the dark meat can catch up. Lower the heat to 350 and return the bird.



Note that in that photo it's almost 3:00. [censored]! That gives you 2 hours to bring a 17 lb bird up to 161 degrees. It's just not going to happen. LUCKILY, any family with a four-year-old shows up half an hour late to everything.





Sorry I don't have more final pretty pics, but we had piles of guests showing up. Here's the final table, all Norman Rockwell and [censored].

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  #2  
Old 11-19-2007, 08:37 PM
stabn stabn is offline
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Default Re: What\'s for Thanksgiving EDF? (planning & trip reports)

I am a little weirded out by the carrots in your potatoes. Otherwise that looks like a pretty good spread.
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  #3  
Old 11-19-2007, 09:37 PM
SamIAm SamIAm is offline
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Default Re: What\'s for Thanksgiving EDF? (planning & trip reports)

[ QUOTE ]
I am a little weirded out by the carrots in your potatoes. Otherwise that looks like a pretty good spread.

[/ QUOTE ]
Yeah, it was Cook's Illustrated's idea; most of the above came from either CI or GoodEats.

I forgot to mention, for dessert we had cran-raspberry jam on ice cream and cranberry truffles and cranberry taffy. But that's a story for a different thread.

Anyway, what are you guys making? What's being made for you? Are you one of those freaks that eats at noon, or do you wait till a decent hour and eat at 7:30?
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Old 11-19-2007, 09:51 PM
stabn stabn is offline
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Default Re: What\'s for Thanksgiving EDF? (planning & trip reports)

[ QUOTE ]
or do you wait till a decent hour and eat at 7:30?

[/ QUOTE ]

This kind of thinking doesn't really make sense to me. It severely limits the option to drive to/from your thanksgiving gathering in one day from anyone that travels more than like two hours.

Anywhere 12-4 is best.
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  #5  
Old 11-19-2007, 11:53 PM
Howard Treesong Howard Treesong is offline
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Default Re: What\'s for Thanksgiving EDF? (planning & trip reports)

Clan Treesong is heading back to LA tomorrow. I have a Commerce pass for Wednesday and will write a trip report, just to keep EDF ever-so-slightly poker related. We'll be in Malibu Thursday and Friday, then leave the Little Ts at my mom's house while Mrs. T and I head to Palm Springs for a couple of sans-kid days. Sorry, EDF, no trip report on that.

Our cooking should be pretty pedestrian, not worth recounting here.
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2007, 10:10 AM
ElSapo ElSapo is offline
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Default Re: What\'s for Thanksgiving EDF? (planning & trip reports)

Awesome.... And thanks for the frozen penis story-link. Hadn't seen that.

You brined in vegetable stock? I've never heard of that - sounds awesome. Had you done this before?

"Turkey shaped container." Excellent...
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2007, 11:09 AM
PokrLikeItsProse PokrLikeItsProse is offline
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Default Re: What\'s for Thanksgiving EDF? (planning & trip reports)

Travel plan changes and time constraints may force me to abandon my plans, but I was thinking about of creating something with mashed sweet potatoes using coconut milk. The target audience is a gathering of Asians who don't care for turkey and regular mashed potatoes.

This seems like a good place to ask if anyone has seen a similar dish in some sort of Asian fusion restaurant.
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2007, 12:21 PM
Mermade Mermade is offline
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Default Re: What\'s for Thanksgiving EDF? (planning & trip reports)

I did a similar turkey last year. I posted it in the Iron Chef OOT Thanksgiving thread. I'll copy it here for you all. I'm cooking and only for the three of us, which will allow me to be creative. No plans so far.

[ QUOTE ]
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I started out my cooking the day before like P Chippa making an Alton Brown inspired brine for the turkey. I started though by making my own vegetable stock.



Then I added salt, brown sugar, and some other things. It was just three of us this year so rather than plunging the turkey in a bucket and ensuring proper refrigeration with ice I just plopped the bird into the stock pot and threw on the lid. I took out a shelf in the refrigerator and refrigerated it overnight. It worked out very well for a small 10lb turkey.

That night I also made a couple of pumpkin pies. My son is stirring in the sugar/spice mixture here.



The next day I filled the cavity of the turkey with apples, a cinnamon stick, and fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme) from the garden.

Here's the business end of the bird.



Another shot from the side.



This was the first time I didn't stuff the bird and instead baked the stuffing separately. I was happy with how quickly the turkey roasted. I make a wild rice stuffing varying only slightly from a family recipe. Here is a shot after combining ingredients and before putting the stuffing in the dish to go in the oven.



I then made mashed sweet potatoes with chopped pecans, bacon, and a little bit (not too much) brown sugar and maple syrup. I agree that candied sweet potatoes are too sweet, but a little bit of sugar I think compliments the natural sweetness and makes a nice contrast to the saltiness of the bacon. The pecans make for a nice texture contrast. I also made asparagus, and garlic mashed red potatoes.

It's hard to make Thanksgiving dinner for 3. We had enough food for at least 12.

[/ QUOTE ]
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2007, 12:30 PM
SamIAm SamIAm is offline
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Default Re: What\'s for Thanksgiving EDF? (planning & trip reports)

[ QUOTE ]
You brined in vegetable stock? I've never heard of that - sounds awesome. Had you done this before?

[/ QUOTE ]
I hadn't done this before, but as you can see in Mermade's link, it's a Good Eats recipe. Even the chefs I've talked to who hate Alton Brown seem to like his turkey if they've tried it. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

[ QUOTE ]
I was thinking about of creating something with mashed sweet potatoes using coconut milk. The target audience is a gathering of Asians who don't care for turkey and regular mashed potatoes.

This seems like a good place to ask if anyone has seen a similar dish in some sort of Asian fusion restaurant.

[/ QUOTE ]
I know nothing about the site, but there's a recipe here.


Does anybody have any tips on carving a turkey? I used my awesome $15 electric knife, but I still felt like I was making it up as I went along. The white meat was pretty easy, but I was lost wrt the dark meat.

After the meal, every male in my wife's family took me aside and gave me contradictory carving advice. [img]/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2007, 01:23 PM
PITTM PITTM is offline
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Default Re: What\'s for Thanksgiving EDF? (planning & trip reports)

I'm kind of peeved we're eating at noon this year when we have to drive an hour to get there.
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