Monday, December 10, 2012

The Best Dish of Thanksgiving

It had to be the cauliflower.

Stephanie Izard, of Girl & the Goat, is a talented and generous cook. When I decided to add cauliflower to my Thanksgiving menu but wanted to put a twist on it, I went trolling for some hints as to how she does her roasted cauliflower. Besides the Pig Face (best name ever), the Roasted Cauliflower and Grilled Broccoli were the most memorable dishes I've had at Girl & the Goat. I didn't have to search long for the cauliflower recipe: just a click over to Izard's site lead to a detailed recipe. The dish was a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving menu, though I think only my husband and I enjoyed it. We both had seconds but I'm not sure anyone else had firsts.

The rest of the menu was fairly standard. I salted the turkey overnight, made the usual Vegetarian Stuffing I love so much, and those awesome Golden Pillow Dinner Rolls. I steam-sauteed some of those long market carrots, the ones that are sold with the fronds attached. Those were great. I don't use butter the way I was taught in cooking school, but if you follow the real French cooking method, you end up with glistening carrots. What else? Mixed Greens with Candied Pecans and Pear, Cranberry Sauce...the usual suspects.

The mashed potatoes came out perfectly this year, with only a splash of lowfat milk. I used Yukons, mostly peeled and fully boiled them, then returned them to the pot to dry and wait. As everything was ready to go to the table, I mashed them with my trusty thick, wooden masher-muddler (which should go into the stocking of everyone not already in possession of same, save that of small children and - I can't even believe I'm saying this: dogs*). I can't advise you on where to buy one, though. I don't recall where mine came from, but it's our second one. The first muddler was more traditional and likely fine for cocktails. The new one (more than twice as thick at the mashing end) mostly gets used for guacamole. And mashed potatoes, once a year when we have them.

Oh, and Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, and a Chocolate Bundt Cake. My daughters had recently watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and so there was much heralding of the Bundt! all day.

Next up: adventures in the kitchen with pheasant. My husband came home (long story) with a whole bird, boneless breasts, and a smoked bird. Cassoulet is in the offing!

The reason I can't believe I'm said dogs is it sadly won't be long before the creation of  a line of bar-keeping dog toys because many people think that sort of thing is cute. Added to the list of things I don't want to trip on: a squeaky plush cocktail shaker.  That said, I did purchase a stuffed banana for my dog for his stocking for three reasons: 1. He loves bananas, 2. This one has a squeaker, 3. I am an idiot.

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