Finally doing my own Thanksgiving for 2 - menu comments?
After many, many years of visiting family, I finally get to do my own Thanksgiving dinner this year since mrbuffer and I both have to work the day before and on Black Friday (we run a self-storage in Maryland and we're six hours away from family in New York).
Mrbuffer will be in hog heaven since there is football all day after the traditional watching of the Macy's Parade.
Here's the issue - I am lactose intolerant. So I can't cook with or eat anything with dairy otherwise it will not be, shall we say, a good day.
I've planned a tentative menu for the two of us with appys at noon and the turkey around 5:30 to coincide with halftime of the second game...
Appys: Stuffed mushrooms with crabmeat, shrimp/cocktail sauce, small antipasto plate, veggies and dip made with tofutti sour cream
Main Meal: Turkey (small, probably kosher), stuffing with sausage and slivered almonds, mashed Yukon Gold potatoes made with Earth Balance and Lactaid 2% milk, pan gravy, fresh green beans. Mrbuffer doesn't eat sweet potatoes.
Has anyone ever experimented with or used the Lactaid milk in making a pumpkin pie? I figure I would have to adjust the recipe accordingly. Mrbuffer also likes pumpkin cheesecake and I'm trying to figure out what I could use to replace the cream cheese. I use the tofu cream cheese substitute on my bagels but can I use it in cooking?
Green Valley Organics (available at my Whole Foods) now makes - be still my heart - lactose free sour cream and kefir. The sour cream makes wicked dips and mashed potatoes. I'm planning to experiment with the kefir in pie, but I hear that coconut milk is the way to go. You may also want to get your hands on some mimicreme.
The Couldn't Be Parve blog is great, and has lots of dairy free desserts. She makes cheesecake, I am pretty sure.
The pumpkin pie part always gets me. Lacaid or soy milk seem thin. I have never seen Lactaid cream -- does it exist? If anyone's tried using the silky tofu in a recipe, do you just use the same amount as cream, or ??
As to potatoes, I've simplified our menu routine by eliminating mashed potatoes, just do roasted. (You can easily cook for a gang that way too, by roasting cut up sweet and regular potatoes.) I don't miss the mashed, and it slightly lightens up the big meal. But if you really had to have them, guess you could mash them wit just butter (or "butter") or oil?
Diane in Bexley started a thread last year when she was hosting TG that included both vegan and kosher guests, which included a lot of suggestions for dairy-free versions of traditional TG dishes. Here it is: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/744194 It may give you some alterate ideas.
As to preparing TG for a small group, in recent years it's just been 3 of us. We tend to do a very traditional meal. I buy a 12-14 lb turkey because we love turkey leftovers (in past years, when we had 6-8 guests, we bought 22-24 lb birds) and it would not be Thanksgiving if we did not have turkey soup on Sunday night. For sides we have sausage stuffing, rutabagas ('cause we love em), mashed potatoes, a green vegetable (usually asparagus), and home-made cranberry sauce. For dessert we have both apple and pumpkin pie because my pumpkin-pie loving husband really doesn't like apple pie, and I'm the reverse.
I would go with a large roasting chicken, capon, or turkey breast rather than a small turkey, because with the last, you're paying for a lot of bone. I roast a breast on a rack, skin side down, with stuffing mounded in the upturned cavity. Start it out with foil over the stuffing, remove it halfway through. When the meat is close to done, I remove the stuffing, up the heat to at least 400, turn the breast skin side up, and return to roast at high heat until the skin crisps. Last year I did this with the ultra-low heat method pioneered by Adele Davis. Keeps the meat very moist though many people fear the idea.
I cook with lactose free dairy all the time. With milk and cream I have never had any negative effects. Pancakes and quickbreads are a bit fluffier, which is good by me. I have added the lactase drops to cream cheese, but it makes it runny. But your pumpkin pie will be just fine.
You can use lactaid in cooking but you can also use almond, soy, rice or coconut milk. I love coconut milk with pumpkin. There are also pie recipes which use silken tofu, which might be more like pumpkin cheesecake. I'd look on vegan sites where there are lots of baking ideas, like using soaked and pureed cashews instead of cheese.
Here is one: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/11/...