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T-day dinner scorecard

was there any new recipe or technique you tried for the first time that turned out to be a smashing success...or a total flop?

this was the first Thanksgiving in a long time that i wasn't hosting, so i only had to make a few things. a couple of them were standard dishes that i make for various occasions [spicy black bean dip & roasted carrot purée]...but i have to say, i was *thrilled* with the new ones i made for the first time - a brussels sprouts dish, a triple-ginger molasses cake with lemon curd, and a dark chocolate cranberry tart.

what were the biggest hits & misses at everyone's tables this year?

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  1. I did the high heat roast w/ my 12 lb turkey and I turned the turkey upside down half way through the cook time. The turkey turned out perfect - juicy and flavorful, and the stuffing was off the hook (just the basic bread, onion, celery, butter, sage, stock).

    My gravy was way too salty. I made the mistake of seasoning it before I tasted it (no lectures please). I used an organic chicken stock to supplement the drippings and, after realizing the gravy was over-salted, I read the nutrional information and the stock was high in sodium - ugh! Live and learn.

    Grammy's Fred Waring Chocolate Pie was a big hit as always, as were the dark rum spiked sweet potatoes. :)

    I just finished my first plate of leftovers and I feel like a$%. A walk would be good, but I think I'll put on elastic and climb into bed.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lynnlato

      lynnlato...did you brine your turkey ? our hostess over-brined ours so much that it was practically inedible from the saltiness...and my entire body is swollen from it today! i didn't have any gravy because i can't eat the flour in the roux, but she added the drippings to it, and apparently it tasted like a mouthful of seawater...

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Nope, didn't brine the turkey. I'm pretty sure it was the chix stock I used to make the gravy. Pacific Natural Foods organic free range chix stock (570mg sodium in 1 cup).

        Yep, I'm feeling swollen too, not that you mention it. Ugh.

    2. My big disappointment was the sweet potato dish. I tried the sliced sweets baked with cream and chipotles, as described in these boards. When I took it out of the oven, it looked beautiful and tasted dreamy. My mistake was to re-heat it after the turkey came out of the oven. The cream curdled, and it looked awful, although the flavor was still great. Only a few guests were brave enough to try it.

      On the plus side, I made the mushroom and leek stuffing from Epicurious. and that was a unanimous hit. It will become my standard stuffing.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Missyme

        This is my second year with that stuffing - agreed - it is wonderful. Funny, I was introduced to it last year when my sister's fiance (now husband) came to our place for T-day. First time apparently away from his mama. So mama sent me the recipe :)

        1. re: sasha1

          is it the Leek and Wild Mushroom Stuffing from the Nov '02 Bon Appetit?

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I found a Leek and Wild Mushroom at Epicurious.com that looks delicious. This I shall make this coming Sunday....
            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            1. re: Gio

              that's the one i was wondering if Missyme & sasha1 both used.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Yes, Gio and goodhealthgourmet, that's the recipe. it's really yummy and comes together easily. I have to admit that I used dried shiitakes and used some of the soaking liquid from them in addition to the soaking liquid from the porcinis. Enjoy!
                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I made the Mush/Fennel Breadpudding - very similar. It was a huge hit and easy, make a day before.
                  http://www.chow.com/recipes/11145

                  1. re: lexpatti

                    I'm going to make this this week. Did you find it was overly custardy, as one commenter mentioned? I'm thinking our crowd might be expecting traditional stuffing texture.

        2. I was charged with making dessert and the mac & cheese. I made Paula Deen's Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding
          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

          I whipped cream instead of using Kewl Whip. I was a little nervous about doing that but it came out grat. I just weighed the cream then added sugar and whipped it. I also made cherry cheese cake. That came out well as well as the mac & cheese. I come from a family of cooks so there was much food left over. We wont need to cook again for a week. :-)

          1 Reply
          1. re: amethiste

            Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding is sooooo good! i brought it to a potluck a few years ago. really want to try a chocolate version of it.

          2. Completely out of the blue, I decided to try rotisserie cooking my 19 lb. fresh bird on the weber kettle using hardwood lump charcoal. I rubbed it first with butter & spices, including under the skin and in the cavity. It cooked up to an even 165 (thighs and breasts) in a little less than 2 hours - the hardwood lump starts out very hot, but then cools down as it burns up. It created a very tasty bird with a smoke ring, not as moist as some, but not dry. The skin was nice and crispy - especially on the wings - I ate the long pieces like chicarones from a smoked pig.

            Now I've got the chassis and some skin with a mirapoix and spices in the pot. Some beans soaking in another. Can't wait for the smokey bean soup tomorrow.

            1. Well, I want the recipe for the cranberry tart-and the brussel sprouts!!