A Traditional New England "California" Thanksgiving - Menu Idears... ;)
This year is going to be my BEST thanksgiving EVER!!!! SO has to work on the Thursday and Friday...
So we aren't going to do the family thing and stay home. Which means NO TURKEY!! *DANCES!!*
Instead I've sold him on the idea of doing California Lobsters on the BBQ grill because it would honor his roots (I think the pilgrims ate lobsters for thanksgiving!) and mine (BBQ!!!) This is the recipe we're going to use:
The thing, what other twists on 'traditions' will I go with with the Lobster? The only thing I can think of is a Wild Rice and Cranberry Pilaf, but anyone else got any good ideas? All Side, Veggie and Dessert recs welcome! :)
I've been giving it some thought and I tend to be a purist on lobster and don't want much to interfere with the lobster flavor. Some really good potato chips and maybe a slaw of some sort. Blueberries, I know it is Nov. but you may be able to find some good frozen berries. That recipe at Epicurious for the Buttermilk Blueberry Tart with lemon is hard to beat.
Another thought is to make a bearnaise sauce to go with the lobster, maybe shelled and sandwiched between puff pastry squares, sort of a lobster pie. Bearnaise made with fresh tarragon is a wonderful flavor pairing with lobster then a simple green salad and maybe a fruity dessert and not too creamy because of the bearnaise.
You could do Mac and Cheese with VERMONT Cheddar... BOSTON Style Baked Beans... Tossed salad with MAPLE vinegarette.
Lobster eggs benedict....
* * *
Anyway, lobster is the centerpiece of the New England clambake. Properly done at the beach, taking all day, eating at sunset. Preferably without greenhead flies (late July, early August, the great stretch of marshes between Gloucester, MA and Cape Elizabeth, ME...)
Instead of chowder, try kale soup with linguica. Lobster, other shellfish, corn, potatoes, drawn butter, et cet. Pies for dessert: apple, pumpkin/squash (I prefer sweet potato, but that's more southern), mincemeat, et cet.
The virtue of apple pie is that you eat with the cheddar for breakfast the next morning. That's New England.
This is going to be like spam since I've recommended it a few times the past couple of days but Durgin Park has some good recipes: corn bread (or you can make blueberry cake with the recipe, too), indian pudding, baked Boston beans. Here's their site:
When it comes to lobster, I think it summer so it might be hard to get some of the other things I associate with it, like corn on the cob, blueberries/strawberries (shortcake).
The love of Durgin Park food MUST be a New England thing. People ket on pestering me to eat there when I was up for business. I finally gave in. The food reminded me of the stuff they serve my grannie in the old folks home. The bright side, or maybe odd thing about the place, is that people were telling me that the serving staff was gruff and rude. I found them to be ever so attentive, perfectly friendly and the highlight of the visit.
What is the draw????
re: Wanda Fuca
I used to go years ago when I worked in downtown Boston. For $3.95 (at the time), you got corn bread, pot roast, veggies or same sides only w/ chicken pot pie. What a deal! I don't think the food was particularly chow-worthy, at least not the cheap lunch I got, but I did love the corn bread! When the serving staff was rude, it was on purpose, in a joking manner. One waitress berated my friend on how he was cutting his pot roast, scooted him over and showed him how it was supposed to be cut. That type aside, the service was fine.
I have been to Durgan Park many a time and in fact I had one of the last meals with my Dad there, along with Jake Worth's His favorites in Boston.
I have made their Indian Pudding with great success and am contemplating making it for Dommy!'s Family when we make Prime rib that weekend. As for Baked beans, My one attempt using Alton Browns's recipe was over cooked Once again I might save it for the Prime Rib, along with Steamed brown bread or Popovers.
I hope this is not posting twice, as I just had a computer glitch. Dommy, I always look forward to your posts! We love and adore the classic Baja lobster dinner...grilled California lobsters with beans/rice/tortillas and fabulous salsas. I know you are thinking of sides with a twist...but what beats the classic? It's always our New Year's Eve meal! Perhaps oysters/clams/mussels to start? Hey, the Pilgrims foraged for these. Black beans instead of pintos? Seek out the most fab fresh hand made tortillas. The greatest, most interesting salsas! I think this is a fabulous idea! I may (sure) be in the minority, but it's not the meal, it is the company, and the spirit! While the traditional 'Thanksgiving' meal is long established, truth is..it isn't based on any accuracy. Your wild rice with cranberries seems like a nice addition. Something with corn, not on a cob? SPilgrims foraged for wild berries. Perhaps a berry type dessert. What unusual berries are at the farmer's markets these days? Yummmmmmmmmmm!