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Nov 23, 2011 03:30 PM

What's for dinner? SPECIAL TURKEY DAY EDITION! #117 [old]

I know, I know. At this point, while you are slaving away in your respective kitchens for tomorrow, this is probably the last thing you want to talk about.

Or maybe you can't wait to share the bounty?

We've been invited to spend Thanksgiving with Costa Rican friends, so I am hoping for some non-traditional stuff. Oh, there will be turkey (otherwise I'd be rather disappointed), but apart from that -- pork roast, and lots and lots of huge question marks! Mmmmmm question marks....

I'm bringing over a Brussels sprouts gratin sorta based on my potato gratin, my man is making chocolate pie. Guess I'm the bad cop in this scenario.

And yinzes?

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  1. Mmmm. I envy your Costa Rican Thanksgiving. I've been told that the folks coming to the dinner tomorrow are expecting pretty traditional fare. I just finished making a walnut tart for dessert (fast becoming my go-to dessert, but seems especially appropriate for this autumn holiday). I also prepped the sausages in puff pastry, to be baked tomorrow for an appetizer, along with phyllo triangles stuffed with pumpkin and topped with toasted hazelnuts. I'm planning a fig, ginger, and mustard dip for the sausage appetizer. At the last minute I'll be making green beans with shallots and pancetta, and Brussels sprouts with lemon and almonds. Mr. NS is making potatoes and helping with the turkey. Can't wait to hear what everyone else is doing!

    11 Replies
    1. re: L.Nightshade

      Nightshade, you absolutely MUST post the recipe for the fig, ginger, and mustard dip - THREE of my favorites all in one dip? ::::Saying "lawsy mercy" as I'm fanning myself::::

      1. re: LindaWhit

        It's just a bit of a cheating thing... no fresh figs around...
        So I mixed fig jam, a plop of whole grain mustard, some finely grated ginger, and a shot of balsamic vinegar. Heated it briefly for the flavors to blend, and cooled. It worked nicely with the sausage in pastry

        1. re: L.Nightshade

          THIS is brilliant. I have fig jam as well, sounds like a great appetizer - thanks!

      2. re: L.Nightshade

        +1 on the dip and please-please post a recipe or a link to that walnut tart!

        1. re: herby

          Yeah, the walnut tart... I wants it, too.

          1. re: herby

            Don't have a link for the tart, but I'll write it up after work today. It's a wonderful dessert to have in one's repertoire.

            1. re: herby

              Walnut Tart Recipe, as requested:

              This recipe was given to me by a woman who learned it in a class she took from Madeleine Kamman. It's very easy, and it is always a big hit.
              The glaze makes for an icing type topping, that people seem to like. I made it once with a very thin version of the glaze, just enough to stick the pastry leaves on. I think I like it that way better. Photo of thinly glazed tart is in this link:
              The photo below is the one I made yesterday with the glaze as called for. It suffered a bit in transporting across town.

              1 cup flour
              ½ t salt
              6 T butter
              3 T cold water
              Mix flour, salt, butter in FP for 6 seconds or until butter is crumbly. While machine running add 3 T cold water. Process until held together in ball. Flatten into small round, chill for at least 30 minutes.

              1 stick sweet butter
              1 1/3 c walnuts
              ¾ c sugar
              2 large eggs
              1/3 t salt
              3 T strong coffee (or scant t instant espresso in 3 T water
              )Completely cream butter. Add walnuts, sugar, eggs, salt, and coffee. Process until completely smooth

              1 cup conf sugar
              1 t vanilla
              2 T strong coffee or espresso as above
              Mix conf sugar, vanilla, coffee (adding more sugar as necessary for thick glaze).

              Walnut halves or
              Pastry leaves to garnish

              Roll pastry to fit tart tin with removable bottom, making sides a bit thicker than bottom. Cut off excess by rolling pin over top. Chill. Prick bottom with fork.
              Fill tart with walnut mixture. Bake at 375 for 25 – 30 minutes. Turn for even browning. Puncture bubbles if needed. Cool completely before glazing.
              Garnish with walnuts and/or pastry leaves.

          2. Traditional fare, mostly here as well. We have been brining 2 turkeys since yesterday, and they will be roasted. Mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, broccoli casserole, sweet potatoes, scalloped oysters, my husband's home made bead, homemade cranberry sauce, and my sister-in-law, who is from Macedonia is bringing a few of her homemade dishes as well, cabbage rolls, baked beans, and baklava. I also made crumb topped apple pies and a pumpkin cheesecake for desserts.

            1. Tonight was linguafood's heavenly steamed tofu with spicy oyster-sesame sauce and scallions, and a chopped soba noodle salad with green bell pepper, carrots, lettuce, jalapeno, shredded red cabbage, roasted peanuts, scallions, and peanut dressing. A nice, fresh contrast of textures and flavors---and very quick, too. Tomorrow (really today!) is the big cooking day!

              2 Replies
              1. re: ChristinaMason

                Whatcha think of the tofu? Did it please your.... palettes? bwaahahahaahaha.

                1. re: linguafood

                  Giggle. It was great. We dug it, despite my initial skepticism (I trust you lingua, I trust you).

              2. Seriously? You all cooked last night? It was all I could do to stop for Chines take-out before I left the city and headed North. Which, by the way, is my newly imposed tradition for the night before Tday. We are anticipating an entire long weekend of cooking, so last night I had no interest.
                Today I'll bring the gravy to my folks, along with whole wheat rolls, an apple pie and a Meyer lemon tart. A bottle of wine or two and maybe some Mt. Tam will round out our contribution.
                Tomorrow is another story, not my idea, but I will be a faithful prep cook. A 13 lb. turkey will dry brine overnight, and be roasted for our three day, food-eating extravaganza. Some rosemary focaccia is being turned into stuffing, sweet potatoes AND mashed potatoes will be on offer (have I mentioned there are only two of us?) and green beans or brussel sprouts will keep us regular. Thank goodness the gravy is already made -used legs, wings and backs this year, came out pretty good!
                A pumpkin pie has been promised and I have plenty of fresh cream and eggnog. I think a sparkling wine will be popped somewhere along the way. Oh, and the pigs in a blanket I was going to trek to the East Bay will likely stay home today and sustain us tomorrow while we watch movies, listen to carols and perhaps, go through some boxes of holiday decorations.
                Hair will be pulled back, the fireplace will be lit and thank goodness the boy likes me in my soft pants.
                Happy Thanksgiving All!
                Gobble, gobble.

                5 Replies
                1. re: rabaja

                  "Hair will be pulled back, the fireplace will be lit and thank goodness the boy likes me in my soft pants."

                  Isn't that the BEST, rabaja? My beau also doesn't mind when I wear my "comfy clothes". Gotta love him. :-)

                    1. re: twodales

                      It really is. Cowgirl Creamery rocks. Too bad that cheese is a little on the $$ side for my budget.

                      1. re: twodales

                        Ditto on that--love the Cowgirl cheeses, but as Christina notes, they cost a small fortune--even more down here.

                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                          Yes, I only pony-up for it occasionally. In this case it was a gift from a fridge clean-out at work. Super score! Sharing it with others helps me to enjoy it even more, it being on the rich side and all.

                    2. LOL! on the "Mmmm....question marks..." linguafood! :-)

                      Well, at my place, the party's over and the family has been fed and sent on their way about an hour ago with care packages of roast turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, maple butternut squash, glazed carrots, green beans with almonds, and cranberry-orange relish (I didn't make the roasted Brussels sprouts as I just didn't have time!). And PIE. Apple and Pumpkin PIE. *Really* good PIE. Per my BIL: "That was DAMN fine pie!" (I love my granite countertops to roll out the pie crust dough!)

                      Sister got to play interior decorator as I had hoped she would, with pictures as yet unhung. Some suggestions are spot on, some will be taken under advisement, and some were dismissed out of hand. But she had more hits than misses. BIL got a chance to chat with me and Mom and relaxed to ward off an impending cluster headache, which I think went away. And after dinner, he was the Dishwasher Extraordinaire since his SIL has a wrapped forefinger she can't fit in a rubber glove to keep dry due to the Thanksgiving Knife Incident of 2011.

                      What is the Thanksgiving Knife Incident of 2011, you ask? Well, it is the first injury of the holiday season...I was chopping herbs for the birdy's butter rub early this morning and I chopped down on half of my left forefinger. OWWW! Bled like a stuck pig (but we weren't *having* pork!) but like any professional chef would do, I managed to bandage it well enough to get the bird in the oven. Showered with a Ziploc bag rubberbanded around my wrist. And I called in for reinforcements...Mom showed up early to help prep veggies. And boy, am I glad I called her!

                      When I went to take off the jury-rigged bandage to re-bandage it, it had stuck to the fingernail. I ended up sitting on my desk chair in the bathroom to try and soak it off in barely lukewarm water...until I broke into a cold sweat and had to ask her to MOVE FAST so I could get to my bed and lie down with my head hanging over the edge. Finally recovered enough to get the old Band-aids off and a new cotton bandage on with lots of Neosporin on the nail bed and then wrapped with a paper towel that is masking-taped to my finger. :-) A huge *thank you* to my Mom!

                      Close call, but THERE'S NO FAINTING ON THANKSGIVING!!! I feel so Top Chef-like. :-)

                      And do you know how hard it is to type without a forefinger when you're a fast touch typist? Gah. This nail is a goner, and it's going to be painful for awhile. Not the first time I've sliced into it and won't be the last, I'm sure. But this is most definitely the WORST I've ever done...half of it is gone. :-(

                      Logan the Big Black Dog got to schnuffle in all corners of a new house, got tossed some turkey bits during the humans' dinner, and chose to remove one of the "inside-the-birdie" nummies from his food bowl that Auntie Linda had cooked *especially* for him and drop it on the tan carpeting vs. the hardwood floor his bowl was sitting on. :-/ Dumb but lovable dog.

                      All in all, a great day. Except for the Thanksgiving Knife Incident of 2011. ;-)

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        I'm feeling a little light headed with you knife injury description. Sounds like a great night otherwise.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Yikes, LW, that is some oweee you did to yourself! You came through like a trooper!

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            A little blood makes every family holiday better :-)

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              oh no LW! sorry to hear that! sounds painful, but kudos to you for soldiering on, unlike that TC chic last year that went to the hospital mid-episode! you're made of heartier stuff!

                              your table looks wonderful, by the way....
                              have the beau kiss that finger for you - make it aaallll better.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Your dinner sounds lovely, but your injury sounds somewhat harrowing. But don't call it the Thanksgiving Knife Incident of 2011! That suggests you have to distinguish it from the one in 2012, or future incidents. Let this be the last!

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Ow! Glad to hear you survived, and dinner looks wonderful.

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    Beautiful spread--sorry about the bloodletting, but it looks like it was worth it. :)