I'm going to share some of the AWESOME DELICIOUSNESS that we enjoyed this Thanksgiving weekend. :D
Appetizer: Baby spinach salad with za'atar vinaigrette (olive oil, toasted sesame oil, ume plum vinegar, za'atar)
This is really a simple marinade: chopped fresh rosemary (or ground dried rosemary), chopped garlic (I use the Polaner brand that comes in a jar, but fresh works fine too), ground black pepper, and olive oil. Sometimes I add a little poultry seasoning too, or just some dried sage.
Rub the mixture all over the chicken, inside and out -- work some under the skin for best results -- and let the chicken sit for at least ten minutes before putting it in the oven. I usually roast it at 400° if I'm cooking the chicken whole.
After about fifteen or twenty minutes, baste the chicken with some white wine (I find Zinfandel works best) and a little lemon juice. Roast until the skin is nicely browning and the chicken oozes clear juices when poked with a fork. Save those juices, and any other pan drippings -- you'll need them later.
This recipe owes a lot to this one and this one.
Take about equal amounts of small purple-and-white turnips and small red potatoes -- the smaller the better, in both cases. Peel the turnips and cut them in one-inch cubes. Put them in a pot with enough water to cover; stir a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar or some other sweetener (I used granulated xylitol) into the water, and bring to a boil. Keep testing with a fork; as soon as the turnips are soft enough to break with a fork, take them off the heat and immediately drain them. Dump them into a food processor, puree them thoroughly, and then remove the puree to a mixing bowl.
Cut the potatoes into one-inch chunks; you can peel them first, but I prefer leaving the peel on. Put into a pot with enough water to cover, and boil until fork tender. Drain and either mash or puree -- fair warning; pureed red potatoes can become glutinous. Blend with the pureed turnips, along with a hefty spoonful or two of cream cheese (I used Tofutti's fake cream cheese) and either butter or olive oil to taste. Serve warm.
Optional: Roast about half a head of garlic in advance. Put the roasted garlic in at the point where you puree the turnips.
I got this from the Gourmet's Best Desserts cookbook, under the name of "Indian Pudding". Ooh look, this one has actual measurements!
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses (I cut this to more like 1/3 cup, with raw agave nectar making up the rest)
1/4 cup sugar (I used granulated xylitol)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter (I used margarine), cut into bits
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
6 cups milk (I used almond milk)
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground (I used whole grain stone-ground cornmeal from Bob's Red Mill, for the higher fiber content)
Grease the baking dish and preheat the oven to 275° F.
In a heavy saucepan, combine the eggs, molasses, sugar, butter, salt, and baking powder. Beat in 2 cups of the milk and bring the mixture to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring. In a bowl, combine the cornmeal and 1 cup of the milk. Add the cornmeal mixture to the saucepan in a stream, beating, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened.
In another saucepan, heat the remaining 3 cups milk. Add the hot milk to the cornmeal mixture in a stream, stirring, and combine well. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake the pudding in the middle of the oven for 4 hours, or until it is firm and pulls away slightly from the sides of the dish. Serve hot.
Sourdough bread stuffing
This one starts with about ten cups (loosely packed) of bread cubes. I used a combination of homemade whole-wheat challah and a whole-wheat sourdough bread that I only found after visiting five different supermarkets. Pour your bread cubes into a broad flat roasting pan or cookie sheet and toast until nicely browned.
Sautee about two cups of chopped onions in either butter/margarine or olive oil until translucent and just turning golden. Pour off onions into a mixing bowl. Using the same frying pan, sautee about a cup of chopped celery until fragrant and translucent; pour the onions back in, cook together for a minute or two, and pour the mixture back off into the bowl. Still using the same frying pan, sautee about eight ounces of sliced or quartered mushrooms until darkened and starting to emit juices. Repeat the combine-and-pour-back steps. Deglaze the pan with either water or chicken broth, and add the liquid to the mixing bowl.
Take about a cup of coarsely chopped turkey kabanos (apparently the real thing is made with pork? I learn something new every day). Sautee briefly, just long enough to heat through, and add to the onion-and-mushroom mixture. Deglaze the pan again.
Add to the mixture a handful or two of dried blueberries (alternately: coarsely chopped green apple), the reserved pan juices from the chicken, and the following seasonings to taste: dried parsley, dried sage, dried thyme, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. Add two eggs, lightly beaten, and mix well. Add the bread cubes, tossing until thoroughly moistened; if the mixture seems too dry, add more chicken broth. You want the mixture to be moist but not soggy.
Pour the stuffing into a large, shallow baking dish -- I used the same roasting pan in which the chicken cooked. Bake at 350°F until the top has formed a crust and the stuffing is heated through, 25 to 40 minutes.
Steamed string beans
Cranberry-raspberry relish, brought by my mother-in-law
Dessert: Apple pie made with this almond-flour pie crust, served with whipped coconut cream
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