For the past week I have been busy eating and drinking with my family in NY. All our celebrations revolve around the meal and begin with menu planning. This year there were two teams: mom and brother on Team Add On versus dad and me on Team Progress. Team Progress felt the traditional Thanksgiving menu had too many starches and lacked innovation. Team Add On felt none of the traditional starches could be sacrificed but we were willing to add new dishes to the spread. Because dad is foreign his opinion on this American meal did not hold much weight; Team Add On won. There were two of everything: traditional stuffing and cornbread stuffing, roast turkey and smoked turkey, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, Beth’s cranberries and Pam’s cranberries. The meal was an overall success and no one wanted for starch. I look forward to a creative Christmas menu which we have already begun planning with Google docs.
The Feast Beast
Note: All recipes served fourteen persons with leftovers.
Preparation: Mix to taste and drink all day in the kitchen.
Parsnip and Apple Soup:
small parsnips (one per person)
few honeycrisp apples (1/4 per person)
salt & pepper
cheddar crisp (recipe follows)
Preparation: Heat oil in large pot. Cut parsnips, apple, and onions in large chunks and saute with salt & pepper. Cover with combination of stock and water. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cool and puree. Taste to adjust seasoning. Can be made ahead of time and re-heated. Garnish with cheddar crisp.
Grate cheddar by hand or with food processor. Sprinkle thin layer on sheet pan covered with parchment. Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes and let cool. Can be made ahead.
Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage, Fennel and Port Soaked Currants:
2 batches cornbread
2 cups corn kernals
1 cup currants
1/4 cup port
5 tbsp fennel seeds
1 sausage (I used Ndjua, spreadable salame, from Boccalone)
Preparation: Make two batches cornbread and let cool. Roast corn kernals with whole chiles, salt and pepper in 450 degree oven until blistery; remove chiles and set corn aside. Heat port and currants in microwave or saucepan and set aside. In a skillet saute sausage with fennel until browned. Add currants to sausage and fennel and set mixture aside. Cube cooled cornbread and place in the biggest bowl you have. To the cornbread add corn kernals and sausage mixture. Toss with beef stock until wet and spongey. Place in baking dish. Bake in 350 oven about one hour. Can be made ahead.
Preparation: cook kale until crispy in 450 degree oven. Salt. Eat.
Dad’s smoked turkey wrapped in bacon.
They sat outside in the rain all day and it still needed to be finished in the oven.
It was delicious- like anything that’s wrapped in bacon.
Auntie B’s cranberry sauce. Made annually and enjoyed long after.
A vat of Mom’s mashed potatoes with bacon and scallions.
Smoked elephant garlic spread.
The whole plate with lots of other delicious stuff I didn’t mention. I was too full and liquored up to care about taking pictures of dessert. Dan made fried ice cream and it was awesome.