Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On the Menu this Week

It's a short menu this week - three regular dinners with extended family in town and then the Hootenanny that is Thanksgiving. Last night we had Italian Beef on Sourdough and Spicy Green Beans; tomorrow will be Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad and Chanterelle Pizza; Wednesday, with even more family coming in, will feature Flank Steak Fajitas with Spanish Rice, Salsa Verde (pictured left) and Guacamole.

And then, of course, there's Thanksgiving. I'm reconsidering the starters. Last year I did a seared scallop on a smidgen of butternut squash puree with a sage leave garnish. It was lovely but I want something new. Was considering a little Tenderloin Crosini topped with Gorgonzola cream...or a pumpkin soup served in sake cups, but I don't know. Maybe I'll do the antipasti. Will probably decide on Wednesday morning at the chilly farmer's market.

2009 Thanksgiving Menu

To Start
Antipasti Platter of Roast Vegetables, Salumi, Olives and Crostini...maybe
Seasonal Mixed Greens with Gorgonzola, Candied Pecans and Pear

The Dinner
Salted Roast Turkey with Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
Green Beans with Shallots and Pancetta

The Dessert
Pumpkin Pie
Cinnamon Ice Cream and Apple Pie

Here's some background on method...I'm a turkey-rinser (and, yes, I scour afterwards). Turkey prep begins Wednesday. After rinsing I rub it down with kosher salt and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap overnite. I hate doing it, but I did it once a few years ago and the turkey is so good every year that I have to continue. I'm honestly dreading the process already. It's so, so gross. The salt is rinsed off on Thursday prior to roasting.

The vegetarian stuffing really is amazing, and that's coming from a someone who loves a traditional sausage stuffing. Buy a nice loaf of bread to use - I get a cranberry pecan one from Whole Foods, which I had them slice for me this year. You could, of course, use a nice sourdough, but I like the deeper flavors in the denser bread.

The Golden Pillow Rolls are positively divine. They are like warm clouds. And you can make the dough on Wednesday and do the rest on Thursday, which is nice.

For the green beans, I just saute the shallots and pancetta in a big skillet for a few minutes, then add the beans and season with salt and pepper. The potatoes I often leave up to someone else since I can't bear to use the requisite butter. I just look the other way. The sweet potato fries, which i think i'll do again this year, were the frozen ones from WF - but so good, especially when doctored up with some spices.

As for dessert...Jan's recipe request got me thinking about cinnamon ice cream alongside apple pie. And Gingerbread, which is so good I can't even stand it. Pumpkin Pie just gets made and eaten as obligation. For that recipe, I just follow whatever it says on the Libby's can, but substitute half and half for the condensed milk or whatever nonsense they call for.

Have a happy Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

Katie Fairbank said...


Didn't make the antipasti - tho I did bring home gorgeous beets and carrots from the FM. No, there just wasn't time or need. I served some lovely cheeses (Pierre Robert, Humbolt Fog and a Lincoln Log), olives and salame at the coffee table. We sat down to everything at once. An extra salad plate allowed everyone to decide when they'd eat their salad. Also skipped the sweet potato fries - again, no time or need. Did just three pies - leaving me with a hankering for Gingerbread, which will go into the oven in short order this week.