Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap

Another fantastic Thanksgiving, another batch of photos documenting food that's already been devoured. I didn't do a lick of cooking on Thanksgiving Day so I was free to eat and drink at will.

We started off with an easy antipasto of prosciutto-wrapped bread sticks, peppers stuffed with prosciutto and provolone, and olives. This was picked at for a couple of hours while we waited for everything else.

In anticipation of the main event, we sat down for a quick salad of mixed greens, walnuts, blue cheese, dried cranberries, and a vinaigrette. While this might look like an overstuffed plate, I actually had forgotten to photograph the initial setting. This was my uncle going back for seconds.

We opened a bottle of inexpensive champagne for a toast. Champagne makes everything better.

With dinner, we had both an excellent Montrachet and a 2000 Bordeaux.

A shot of the bird pre-carving. Like last year, my stepmom brined the turkey for a couple of days before roasting it. Last year we only had one night, but this year the turkey was in the brine bag for more than two days. The result? Well, I'll comment on that later. Looks good, though, doesn't it?

We didn't go nuts with sides this year, but there were a few. Mashed potatoes are required, and we had a great batch of mashed Yukon gold potatoes.

The stuffing was actually a batch of no-knead bread that had been baked a few days before. Once it was done, it was cubed and then put back in the oven for a bit to dry out. Then it was left out to get stale for a day before being turned into stuffing. Really good stuff.

Pan-roasted brussel sprouts and roasted prosciutto-wrapped slices of sweet potato. There was a lot of prosciutto for us, now that I think about it.

And of course we have the carved turkey. The brining made the meat as tender and tasty as any turkey I've ever had. I'm of the opinion that there are two ways to end up with a transcendent turkey - brining or deep frying. We talked openly of deep frying next year, but we'll see.

And the finished plate. I ended up eating too much, but such is the way of Thanksgiving. of course, I had to save a bit of room for dessert, the pumpkin cheesecake I baked the other day.

First, we needed a batch of whipped cream, of course. Neat little trick here is to freeze the bowl and whisk for a few hours so they're nice and cold before you start.

And the cheesecake itself. This turned out to be one of the better ones I've made. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and if you're traveling home today? Good luck.

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