Casaubon's Book

So what’s on for Thanksgiving dinner at your place?  Wanna pass on that favorite recipe that you simply can’t get away with not making?

Here’s the (still slightly tentative) menu for us – w e just added a few more guests at the last minute, and I might find myself compelled to add more food, even though it probably already excessive.  But hey, this is my favorite cooking project of the year!

Provided by our friends of Chinese heritage who feel that turkey is a poor substitute for duck:

Chicken bao (chinese style dim sum buns)

Peking duck

My portion:

Turkey roasted with 100 cloves of garlic

Roasted garlic gravy

Cornbread-dried fruit stuffed squash (vegetarian entree)

Cranberry-raspberry sauce

Cranberry-port relish

Cornbread-carmelized onion stuffing with chicken livers (best stuffing on earth)

Herbed mashed potatoes and celery root

Sweet potatoes with coconut milk and lime

Lime-soy marinated  brussels sprouts

Shredded carrot-beet-apple and winter green salad with preserved lemon dressing

Balsamic-glazed roasted onions

Pumpkin rolls

Pumpkin Pie (non-dairy of course, since we’re kosher, but you can’t tell)

Apple-Quince-Almond crisp

Sweet potato and chocolate cake

So what about you?

Comments

  1. #1 Mu
    November 20, 2012

    Hmm, that liver cornbread stuffing sounds interesting, care to post the recipe? We’re doing the traditional menu, so I decided to convert the onions into french onion soup as an appetizer. And my yams are cooked with orange juice and browned with marsh mellows, due to a large influx of kids.

  2. #2 Teresa
    Massachusetts
    November 20, 2012

    Only two of us this year, but due to a CSA mixup, we have a 17-pound turkey. My quest is less for novel Thanksgiving recipes and more for killer leftover recipes. Any suggestions?

  3. #3 Sharon Astyk
    November 20, 2012

    Teresa, we love Laotian Turkey soup (originally chicken). Throw the carcass in a pot and cook until you have yummy stock, with some ginger and white pepper. Then add the shredded extra meat, a lot of chopped onion some more ginger and if you feel like it a couple of cans of pineapple chunks (not necessary but nice) with the juice. Then make it hot, salty, sour and sweet all together – add a balance (to your taste) of lemon or lime juice, soy sauce (or fish sauce is good too), some chopped hot peppers or siracha or chili garlic paste for heat, and some brown sugar for sweet. It should be more salty and sour than sweet and hot, but balance and richness are what you are going for. I like it with rice stirred into the bowls (don’t put it into the pot or it will absorb all the liquid and be soggy on the next round).

  4. #4 Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife
    November 20, 2012

    Our family gathering is always potluck, which makes it bearable, and results in a stupendous amount of food, because there are a lot of us, and everyone brings at least one dish. My contribution has dwindled down to gougeres, which are Frenchy-cheesy-puff things, kinda like popovers, but denser; braised leeks, and cabbage. The cabbage is really the winner and incredibly easy….

    Slice up a heaping helping of cabbage (Savoy preferably, but standard green works too) into fine ribbons. Also slice a commensurate number of onions in fine slices. Two onions to a medium head of cabbage is about right. Start some butter or other fat in a large skillet and when it’s fully melted and no longer foaming, cook the onions over medium heat just until they’re somewhat wilted but not browned at all nor completely soft. Add the cabbage ribbons, a generous pinch of salt, pepper if you want it, and a good shake of whole caraway seeds, about a tablespoon for a whole head of cabbage. Cook gently, agitating often, so that the cabbage wilts down nicely. Tongs are useful to turn the cabbage with in the skillet. It will release some liquid. Let this mostly cook off, then drizzle with some cream. When the cream heats up and starts to simmer, it’s done. I know this dish sounds simple, and it is. But everyone loves it, goes back for seconds, and expects it every year now.

  5. #5 Bill Boyd
    Fredericksburg, VA
    November 20, 2012

    Just finished making it this morning: chana masala. It’ll complement the usual Thanksgiving “suspects” (fortunately, no baked sweet potatoes diminished if not wrecked by marshmallows).

    Enjoy that feed.

  6. #6 Charlotte
    Livingston, MT
    November 20, 2012

    Teresa — my beloved loves turkey much more than chicken, so we cook a turkey-for-two rather frequently. I like to braise-roast it (see Michael Ruhlman at ruhlman.com for more info). We’ll slice off one breast for slices the first night, which is really more than the two of us need, so there’s always leftovers for sandwiches. Then the next day, I slice off the other breast in one piece, and cut off the leg/thigh quarters. I usually freeze each of these separately since they’ve each got more than enough meat for a meal for two. If the legs seem too dried out, I’ll cut them off and add them with the carcass, which goes in a pot for soup and/or stock. This way, one turkey provides at least four sturdy meals with leftovers, plus soup, but not so much at one time that we want to scream.

  7. #7 Lorna
    Southwest Wisconsin
    November 20, 2012

    I have to work the PM shift on Thanksgiving, so our family has decided to have a Thanksgiving brunch. The menu is: pumpkin waffles, cranberry bread, sausage from a nearby farm, roasted Irish and sweet potatoes and cider from a local orchard along with some applesauce, home canned peaches, fresh greens from the local farmer’s market. Delicious and easy. We’ll do our turkey meal at Christmas time.

  8. #8 Rebecca
    November 20, 2012

    Sharon,
    Would you mind sharing that recipe for the dairy-free pumpkin pie? We both love pumpkin pie, but my wife developed a life-threatening allergy to both red meat and milk products after a tick bite this summer, and the few dairy-free recipes I’ve tried haven’t measured up.

    Thanks,

    Rebecca

  9. #9 Sharon Astyk
    United States
    November 21, 2012

    Rebecca, it is the easiest thing on earth – just sub vanilla soymilk (homemade or purchased) for the milk and cut back on the vanilla and the sugar by about 20% to compensate. You really can’t tell the difference, I find, as long as you remember to cut back on the sweetness.

  10. #10 Sharon Astyk
    November 21, 2012

    Lorna, I love the idea of a Thanksgiving brunch when things have to happen early. What a great idea!

  11. #11 Lorna
    Southwest Wisconsin
    November 21, 2012

    Your menu looks absolutely fabulous! And ambitious. I’d love to see your recipe for the cornbread-dried fruit stuffed squash. The sweet potato with coconut and lime sounds delicious also. I have a great recipe for pumpkin chocolate cake. I’ll bet it’s similar to the sweet potato chocolate cake on your menu.

  12. #12 Stephanie
    New Jersey
    November 21, 2012

    WOW! I want to come to your house!! I want recipes for everything, or at least the following:

    -Turkey roasted with 100 cloves of garlic
    -Cornbread-carmelized onion stuffing with chicken livers (best stuffing on earth)
    -Herbed mashed potatoes and celery root
    -Sweet potatoes with coconut milk and lime
    -Shredded carrot-beet-apple and winter green salad with preserved lemon dressing
    -Pumpkin rolls
    -Sweet potato and chocolate cake

    Amazing!

    Happy TG,
    Stephanie

  13. #13 Ing
    November 21, 2012

    totally lame this year if judged by the tradition. but i just don’t have the heart for it. we’ll be having Chorizo and Shrimp stir fry with onions, garlic and peas, over rice. Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream for dessert.

  14. #14 dean
    November 21, 2012

    I seem to be the odd one out. I have never liked turkey, yams OR sweet potatoes, pumpkin (nor any squash, actually), and coming from a very traditional (boring menu) family, I was the odd family member out on Thanksgiving. Tomorrow I intend to be in the woods early to get (I hope) some good early morning light photos, and then be home to help my wife finish preparing lunch for our little family. It’ll just be lean eating for me (and no, I am not remotely close to whining, just smilingly stating a fact).

    Best wishes to all.

  15. #15 Glenn
    NE Olympic Peninsula, Marrowstone Island
    November 22, 2012

    No Kosher issues for us, being atheist boat hippie homesteaders.

    Two of each:

    Cauliflower/Cheddar cheese pie with grated potato and onion crust (From Moosewood Cookbook) for our gluten free sister in law (and besides we love it),

    Traditional pumpkin pies, canned condensed milk and our home grown pumpkins; one in a rammeken without a crust for aforementioned sister in law.

    Crab quiche made with crab from the freezer from this summer’s crab season my daughter and I caught.

    It’s family potluck with someone else doing turkey, strada and the gods know what else.

    Glenn

  16. #16 AlysonRR
    November 22, 2012

    Heritage turkey from the co-op prepared with a citrus-herb rub, vegetable-laden gravy (needs no roux due to thickening from pureeing vegies and fruits from the roasting pan), cranberry-horseradish relish, mashed potatoes, stuffing in the crockpot, steamed brussels sprouts (“baby cabbages” to my kids), curried sweet potatoes (so easy, so yum, no sugar!!!), little pig sausages (husband’s English xmas trad – if I do them at t’giving I can skip them at xmas, LOL), pumpkin pie (favored by one child) and pecan pie (favored by other child and hubby).

  17. #17 AlysonRR
    November 22, 2012

    I see people dissing the sweet potato. I think it is underrated (my children disagree – can’t even get a “thank-you” bite of anything with sweet potato in it…

    Anyway, here’s a solution that our entire (grownup) family really enjoy:

    Melt 1/2-1 Tbsp butter in a microwave safe casserole with a lid.
    Add 1-2 Tbsp curry powder (Madras is our favorite).
    Stir in 2-3 peeled, cubed sweet potatoes until covered with curry butter.
    Microwave on vegetable setting and serve.

    Really easy, and really good (unless you hate sweet potatoes like my kids ;-) ).

  18. #18 Michelle
    November 23, 2012

    Sharon – recipe for sweet potato chocolate cake, please? Please?

  19. #19 Sandra Wilson
    November 26, 2012

    I got off easy this year-I usually host Thanksgiving, but the in-laws stayed in town, so they handled the turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and some weird pea and cornflake casserole (apparently a family tradition, but it rates up there with that green bean and canned mushroom soup thing that my sisters make-yuck)
    So, I was in charge of pies :) Pumpkin, cherry, and pecan, and I also made the above-mentioned sweet potato casserole topped with mini marshmallows. I used Kathy Harrison’s bread recipe to make dinner rolls, too. (I also opened a can of cranberry sauce, but I don’t count that as cooking lol)

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