Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Another holiday come and gone, and a good one it was. I volunteered to do the cooking this year as there was a chance I wasn’t going to have a turkey dinner otherwise, and I just couldn’t let that happen! Only problem with doing all the cooking, was that I was also running a 10K Thanksgiving morning…my first….and I wasn’t sure I’d survive considering I haven’t run that far since early high school, which was – let’s just say a bagillion years ago…
Anyway, despite the cold rainy weather, the race turned out fine and the dinner was even better! Here’s what was on the menu:
Rolls (cheated and bought these)
For the turkey, I combined a couple recipes. I don’t have a proper bucket or pot to brine the bird, so I opted for an overnight salt rub which I found in November’s Bon Appetit. It combines kosher salt, oregano, garlic, lemon zest and black pepper. You coat the turkey and rub some inside the cavity then let it sit in an oven bag in the fridge for 18-24 hours. The next day you rinse off the rub and go from there. I then moved on to a recipe from a Bon Appetit from 1994 for an herb rub. Basically you combine rosemary, thyme and tarragon and rub it all over the bird. Then you pour melted butter over the whole thing and roast. I’m not sure if it was the salt rub, the herb rub, the fact that we had a fresh free range turkey or the combination of all three that made it so tasty, but I would definitely repeat this method!
Green beans are easy – just boil long enough to keep a little bit of bite and not lose the green color. Salt and pepper if desired.
The creamed corn is a new favorite recipe. I know I know, you hear creamed corn and you think “gross!” but I promise, that is not the case with this. Its called “Better Than Grannie’s Creamed Corn” and the recipe is by the one and only Alton Brown. It is a MUST try!! http://tinyurl.com/2emuyhu
The carrot tart is a show stopper for its looks alone. Its gorgeous! Its pretty tasty too. In fact, my guests liked it so much, one of them has commissioned me to make one for her Christmas party in a couple weeks. I hope that one turns out as well as this one! (Recipe from the cookbook Big Night In by Domenica Marchetti)
A guest provided the mashed potatoes (thanks again!). As simple as mashed potatoes may be, they are labor intensive and time consuming, so having someone else handle them took a load off my mind! They were delicious, and they made a great topper for the Turkey Shepard’s Pie I made on Saturday. Yum.
For the cranberry sauce I used a recipe I found on The Bitten Word (http://thebittenword.typepad.com/). I am (only slightly) ashamed to admit that I kind of like that perfectly molded tube of what-may-not-actually-be-cranberry sauce. Of course I couldn’t serve that though. My parents make a cranberry-orange relish every year – complete with clamping the grinder onto the counter and churning out the berries. That happens to be a flavor combination I just can’t get into, so when I saw this recipe that included pomegranate juice I knew I should give it a try. It was the perfect complement to the turkey and had a wonderful bright fresh flavor.
Finally, dessert. I have had lots of pumpkin pie over the years and I have to say, this is one of the most delicious ones I have ever had. And where else would the recipe come from but my good friends at King Arthur Flour! They give the tip to make the filling the day before and let it refrigerate overnight so the flavors can meld. It must have worked because this was definitely sweet, spicy, perfect pumpkin pie.
On to the next holiday and more delicious food…..but only after a trip to J&G Steakhouse at the W Hotel tomorrow night…review coming soon.