my kitchen

thanksgiving 2013 recap!

November 30, 2013
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Welp. Another Thanksgiving successfully executed. I don’t know what it is about Thanksgiving that I love so much… there’s just something about preparing a ridiculous feast for friends and family. Actually, it’s been a very long time since I’ve shared Thanksgiving with relatives; I guess I’m what you would call an orphan (not really, but maybe by this definition).

This year was a group effort; unlike the year I prepared a six-course dinner service with a specific beverage pairing for each course. (I need to blog about this… it was, absurd.) This Thanksgiving was a collective outing with guests supplying some amazing side dishes; sweet potatoes (a must); potatoes au gratin; matzo-ball soup, home-made ginger-pumpkin pie; and a green bean casserole (also a must).

I was responsible for the Turkey, stuffing, cranberries and the gravy (duh). Since we had a vegetarian in the house I made two stuffings (a gluten-free brussels sprouts version along with a bleu cheese portobello mushroom stuffing). Since I’ve been on a gluten-free diet I also made a green bean casserole from scratch (with gluten free fried onions). Last, I made some parsnip-potato latkes as an appetizer (I think my favorite dish–they were amazing.)

Below are a few photos from some dishes that I prepared (shown in sequential order). If you have any question please let me know!

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Getting started… I think every dish I made contained onions. And black cracked pepper.

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Beautiful brussels sprouts–the star ingredient of my stuffing.

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OK, so, I used Udi’s gluten-free bread as the stuffing that filled the turkey cavity. The end result tasted amazing, but honestly, as you can imagine, the gluten-free bread did not end up like moist dumplings. It ended up like… mealy grits. I do not recommend gluten free bread for stuffing. To anyone. Gluten free bread sucks and is useless for anything.

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Sage, thyme, onion and brussels sprouts… #foodporn.

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Here is our turkey awaiting it’s destiny in the oven. This bird came from Misty Knoll Farm in Vermont and had a very happy life strutting around in a wide-open pasture–at least up until a few days ago. (Sorry Morrissey.)

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Baby portobello mushrooms for the vegetarian stuffing.

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Grating Trader Joe’s Peppercorn Toscano cheese for the green bean casserole (for the sauce in lieu of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup).

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I used a baguette for the bleu cheese portobello stuffing… interesting end result, really savory and not as chewy as I thought it might end up.

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So, this turned out really amazing… unfortunately, just a wee too rich. I think I could of cut the bleu cheese by 75% as the flavor was so strong it dominated the rest of the flavors of the sage, thyme and mushrooms.

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I started the green bean casserole by trimming the green beans and then slicing them in my food processor to emulate the “french style” canned green beans my mom used to use. I sautéd the sliced green beans with shallots so they would cook down a bit before mixing in with the other ingredients.

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I then battered onions in gluten free flour and fried them in olive oil. (This is the essential topping!) And then of course, finished my toscano mushroom sauce.

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After everything was in the oven I made some parsnip and potato latkes, and they were heavenly! It was nice to have a little snack while we waited for everything to finish cooking.

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My side dishes: bleu cheese portobello stuffing, gluten free green bean casserole.

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And last! Cranberries! No Thanksgiving is complete without them… (my recipe here!)

It was  great day to eat, drink and spend time with friends–and for this I am extremely grateful and thankful.

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