The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching and things will be a little different this year. With family members being out of town or attending other dinners, and no Thanksgiving “orphans” to invite, we two will be joined by our cousin for a party of three but, somehow, that seems about right this year. As much as I love cooking for a crowd I am looking forward to a smaller, quieter dinner this year. And due to some dietary restrictions this will be an egg-free, gluten-lite meal.
Here’s what I have on the menu so far:
Turkey: I’ve ordered a 10 – 12 pound fresh bird from New Seasons to be picked up on Monday, the 25th.
Stuffing: I’ll make my usual, baked outside of the bird, recipe with sweet sausage, mushrooms, and apple. My dish uses a little of this and a little of that – it’s never exactly the same but I have written down my general guidelines: Turkey stuffing. My mother and grandmother always stuffed their birds and tended to add copious amounts of poultry seasoning and salt to the mixture. Their stuffing tended to steam inside of the bird rather than bake so it came out briny, spongy, and reeking of sage. As a child I could not understand how people could eat the stuff. Both women were wonderful cooks but “dressing”, as they called it, was not their finest dish. Properly seasoned, and baked stuffing was a revelation for me. It is now one of my favorite parts of the holiday meal.
Gravy: I have some nice turkey necks and will make some rich stock to reduce down in the next day or two. Turkey Gravy – Update: I added a frozen turkey back to the necks, threw in some onion, carrots and celery, along with eighteen cups of water and simmered the stock for about three hours. Then I removed the turkey parts and vegetables and reduced the liquid to a savory four cups. The house smelled of turkey stock for two days.
Mashed potatoes: I have five pounds of russets at the ready. I’ll use my spiffy new potato ricer and stir in lots of butter, cream and a bit of salt.
Green beans: This is an update on the old green bean, mushroom soup, and canned onion rings dish. I’ll use fresh haricort verts, mushrooms, and crispy shallot rings in place of the onions. The recipe is courtesy of Fine Cooking Magazine, Issue #125
Roasted Beets with White Balsamic and Citrus Dressing: I wanted to make my favorite creamed corn but that would tilt the dinner toward overly starchy, and too much gluten so we will have beets. We all love beets. I think I will use golden beets for the nice color they will add to the table. This dish is made ahead of time and is served at room temperature. Another Fine Cooking recipe to treasure.
Desert: Pumpkin panna cotta with apple cider sauce. This is a yummy recipe from Fine Cooking magazine, Issue #125.
Bread: I may not bake bread this year. We will see.