25 November 2010 – Turkey with gravy and five side dishes

We mined Gourmet again for Thanksgiving dinner. We’ve had some really spectacular Gourmet feasts in the past, and wanted to try a different menu this time. This one ranged from superb to so-so – all good, of course, but some of the dishes didn’t have the mind-blowingly fascinating tastes we usually expect from Gourmet. Everything but the pie is from the November 2007 issue, and I will link the recipes below somewhere…

Here’s a closeup:

OK, from the obvious carrots (glazed in cider), clockwise, we have gratineed pearl onions, maple-glazed turkey with gravy, mushroom and hazelnut dressing, haricots verts in herb butter with lemon (except D didn’t hear the ‘haricots’ part and just got regular green beans), and mashed potatoes with caramelized garlic and parsnips. At this point there wasn’t room for the cranberry sauce (made with port instead of water!), but you can have a peek at this little picture from right before it was cooked.

Here are the bowls of (from the top) stuffing, which is actually cooked outside the turkey; cranberry sauce, which tends to be called “crabanerry sauce” around here for some reason; gravy, made from the pan drippings, and therefore sweetened with maple syrup; pearl onions, boiled, peeled, and then reheated in a white sauce made with dijon mustards and sherry; green beans with shallots, lemon and tarragon. [The china is Lenox Springdale. It’s extinct.]

Then here is the turkey – 14 pounds – with a glaze made of maple syrup heated with cracked peppercorns, steeped, and strained; and very complicated mashed potatoes, which are wrapped in foil, poked with a fork, roasted, and put through a ricer, a head of garlic similarly roasted, then cloves squeezed out and mashed, parsnips cut to 1/3 inch, tossed in salt and oil and roasted, and everything mixed together with milk.

Reviews:

Glazed turkey – excellent; gravy – also excellent. Beans: terrific! Onions – could have been more interesting, but may have suffered from being moved out of their gratinee pan with the result that the browned parmaggiano was less prominent. Potatoes – fascinating taste, possibly even worth the trouble. Carrots glazed with cider – didn’t glaze up all that well and were perfectly good, but not especially interesting. Hazelnut/sage/mushroom dressing – excellent blend of flavors, but we used hazelnuts that were too old. Never again!Ā  Cranberry sauce with port and tangerine – terrific variant!

Had an excellent Brouilly from Eric Stauffenegger that went very well with the meal – always a challenge for meals with sweet stuff in them.

Now, the Gourmet feast had two more recipes (not including the two desserts) and I already thought this was a bit much (the guys were convinced, but only after the fact šŸ˜‰ ) so I proposed having the soup and salad for lunch, and they were great.

The soup was based on parsley root. Only had the slightest hesitation about that before realizing that DUH, of course the Bowl would have parsley root. The picture shows parsley roots both peeled and unpeeled, since I caught D in the middle of cleaning them up.

The salad was just red leaf lettuce, celery slices and center celery leaves, tossed in a caraway seed dressing. In the picture it’s not dressed yet. The glass bowl is from IKEA. It sure sets off a salad nicely.

Here’s lunch. The soup is pureed and roasted chestnuts are Benrinnered over the top. Not clear they are necessary, but they’re kinda cute.

Last but certainly not least, dessert after dinner (waaaaay after dinner) was an intriguing pumpkin pie, made from a recipe provided by our friend E, which had orange, rum, and molasses in it, as well as a galette crust by R.

It was terrific! We had espresso made with Blue Bottle Decaf Noir, the only decaf coffee D actually likes.

I really can’t resist putting up this picture showing a respectable fraction – though not all – of the dinner ingredients šŸ™‚ (We built this lowered counter for kneading and rolling out dough, and it is really excellent.)

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