Monday, November 24, 2008

Our Fowl Play Day

One of the signs that you are settling in as a Domestic Engineer Guy is changing the Thanksgiving menu each season. My Thanksgiving menus have become “one and out” recipes. It is not about “been there, done that” or rendering a recipe into something only the dog would eat – been there, done that. It is hard to resist the annual deluge of Turkey Day temptations from the likes of Food Network, Bon Appetit Magazine, and the LA Times food section.

My bias remains for variations on American traditions, rather than something of foreign origin, or with sprouts, tofu, or couscous, decidedly non-guy foods.

I know that deep-frying a turkey is a guy thing, but I don’t recommend it, unless you have a back forty. Those firefighter folks suggest that if you are chromosome-bound to the dangers of turkey deep fryers, that you do it at least 20 feet from your house. A football field length would be better. If you go that route, check your homeowners insurance. If covered, at least you can dress up like a fireman, which was your career goal in elementary school.

Basically I move into the kitchen, open up a bottle of wine and sip my way through the day.

This year’s menu:
...Roast Salted Turkey. I have been brining the last few years. This recipe received more favorable feedback from LA Times readers than any recipe in their turkey history. Worth a try. I’ll partially stuff it with chopped onions, celery, carrots and a sprig or two of thyme. I’m still thinking about the gravy but leaning towards a recipe with turkey stock, pancetta, shallots, white wine, rosemary and sage.
...Not Your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole. I found this one on Food Network: green beans (I use haricot verts) shallots, two kinds of mushrooms, thyme, sage, sherry, cream, and frizzled leeks. Frizzled leaks? Frizzled is usually reserved for the cook. Frizzing is basically a frying technique. This replaces that canned French onion stuff.
...Bourbon-Walnut Sweet Potato Mash. This one is so sweet it will make your mouth pucker. Consume in small bites.
...Parsley, Sage, and Celery Cornbread Dressing. I was going to pass on the dressing, in an effort to minimize our waists and waste. Then PJ, the family traditionalist, threatened to go buy something in a Stovetop box.
...Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Topping. It is as good as it sounds.

I am still thinking about the wines for our feast, but something red. Hey, I’m a guy.

The common ingredient thread this year is sage. Sage is one of the healthiest herbs in my herb garden. Based on my herb garden, maybe next year I’ll do a rosemary theme. The rosemary bush is on steroids.

Yes, this is a 2-3 pound gain day. It’s a good thing we are only thankful once a year.

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