Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Dinner from the Market

October 6th, 2010

Sausage and three veg

For Thanksgiving dinner, my mom still makes the turkey, stuffing and pie. I’m in charge of the side dishes, which usually means potatoes and veg. I like to try out different things with the veggies each year – but this usually requires a test-run to see if my chosen dishes are holiday dinner-worthy. One of this year’s tests was a recipe from Susie Middleton‘s Fast, Fresh, and Green, a great new vegetable cookbook I found at the library. Her recipes teach you some basic foundation methods for preparing veggies: braising, roasting, sauteing, etc. Everything is very clearly laid out, and the book itself is completely gorgeous – lovely photos, print and design. Below is a sans bacon version of her brussels sprout dish.

The photo above is tonight’s “market dinner”.  All the veggies (apart from the mushrooms) were bought at my local farmers’ market.  The sausage is from a great new company in town, the Great British Sausage Company.  The ones I cooked up tonight were a batch of West Country Cider Apple sausages, and they’re definitely my favourites so far.  I’ve also tried the Lincolnshire and the Pork and Leek.  I love the way they cook up – they’re quite large, but soft in texture.  Great mouthfeel, and the flavours come through clearly without overpowering the pork.  I’ll be stocking up on more before winter hits, since our market only lasts until the end of October.

2 handfuls of small brussels sprouts
2 handfuls of small brown mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
juice of half a small lemon
salt & pepper

Slice the bottoms off the brussels sprouts and then cut them and the mushrooms in halves.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large flat-bottomed frying pan.
When the oil is nice and hot, dump in the veggies and arrange in as close to a single layer as possible. The more space between the veg, the better they will brown.
Cook the veggies for 10-15 minutes, stirring only when absolutely necessary.
Once the mushrooms and sprouts have become golden brown on their flat sides, turn off the heat, add the butter, lemon juice and seasonings and stir until everything is coated in the newly formed sauce.

Pumpkin Pie

October 7th, 2007

1 large can pure pumpkin (796ml)
1 small can sweetened condensed milk (300ml)
3 eggs
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter
7-8 tbsp icy cold water

Whisk together the first set of ingredients to form the pie filling. Set aside.
Cut the shortening and butter into the flour and salt until the chunks are small than peas.
Toss in the ice water with a fork until you can form a soft ball of pastry.
Roll out the dough to form a single pie crust, and place in a pie pan.
Form the edges extra high, as this is a large amount of pie filling.
Pour in the pumpkin filling.
Bake at 400ºF for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350ºF, and bake the pie for another 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre of the pie comes out clean.

Note:
This amount of pastry will be more than enough for one pie, even this larger pie. When I have leftover pastry bits, I toss them on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them with sugar/cinnamon, and bake for 15 minutes alongside the pie. Makes a nice little treat for the chef.

Potluck Thanksgiving

October 6th, 2007

There’s something very satisfying about a graduate school Thanksgiving dinner. We went the potluck route, with one person bringing the turkey/stuffing/gravy, and everyone else making sides. I provided the apartment and dishes, as well as a few of my holiday standards. The complete menu was as follows:

Appetizers:
- squash soup
- garden salad
- Caesar salad
- zucchini/flax bread

Main course:
- turkey with stuffing and gravy
- cranberry chutney (simplified from the linked version)
- roasted root vegetables
- roasted or mashed potatoes
- brussel sprouts with bacon and lemon butter

Dessert:
- pumpkin pie
- apple pie
- double chocolate cookies

We also had quite the selection of wines – two white, and at least three reds. Despite finishing off most of the Yellowtail, I managed to get the dishes done and the place cleaned up before midnight. Good times.

Two of them were just sparkling water...

Brown Bread Stuffing

October 9th, 2005

I love my mom’s Thanksgiving stuffing. I had her write down the recipe as she made it this year, so I would have an idea of what to do if I ever have to be the one to make it. One of our local bakeries sells big bags of dry bread chunks before every major holiday; this year we were able to get a bag full of rye, oat and whole wheat pieces, which makes the stuffing taste much richer than if we were to use white bread.

1/4 cup butter or margerine
1 cup chopped parsley
1/2 head celery stalks with leaves, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
1 can chopped mushrooms
1 can sliced water chestnuts
6 cups dry bread cubes
1 tbsp poultry seasoning
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp dry basil
1/4 cup sherry

Melt the butter in a large frying pan.
Add parsley, celery, onions, mushrooms and water chestnuts.
Stir over medium heat until just barely soft, about 4 minutes.
Dump bread cubes into a very large mixing bowl, and pour butter and vegetables over top.
Add spices to bowl, and stir everything to combine.
Taste. (This is the most important step!) The spices tend to need some adjusting, depending on your bread and whether you used margerine or butter.
Let stuffing sit overnight in the fridge (or a cold garage).
The stuffing can either be cooked inside the turkey, or in a large oven-proof casserole with a lid. Either way, the sherry should be added immediately before baking. If you’re using the casserole method, the stuffing should be baked for about an hour at 325ºF.

Cranberry-Pear Chutney

October 7th, 2005

This is a recipe from The Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan. It’s a recipe I make every Thanksgiving because it’s so much tastier than plain cranberry sauce. It’s also very good paired with a slice of Brie on a bit of toasted French bread – an appetizer I’ll be serving at my dinner on Sunday.

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (or 2 tsp ground cinnamon)
1 tsp salt
4 pears, peeled and diced
1/2 onion, diced
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup cristallized ginger
1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, skins removed (optional)

In a heavy saucepan, combine cranberries, water, sugar and spices.
Stir over medium heat until cranberries begin to burst – about 10 minutes.
Stir in pears, onion, raisins and ginger, cooking for another 10 minutes, or until thick.
Remove from heat, discard cinnamon sticks, and add hazelnuts if desired.

Notes:
I have canned this chutney before, and it kept for two years. The flavours mellow a bit, but it’s still very good.
Usually, I keep the sauce in a sealed container in the fridge, and it keeps very nicely until Christmas, when we tend to finish it off.

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