Thanksgiving goodies!

8 12 2008

I absolutely love Thanksgiving.  I started doing TG on my own with friends instead of visiting my awesome family when I was 18.  No idea why, but it’s stuck.  Maybe it was being a vegetarian for a bunch of years in there…

Anyway.  We do a potluck TG every year.  I make a turkey, traditional bread/sage stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and peas.  Everyone else brings something they can’t celebrate without; this year, that included mashed potatoes, cheesey potatoes, cornbread & sausage stuffing, beets, bacon & cheese stuffed rolls, mac’n’cheese, rice & fruit salad, coleslaw, cake, pies galore, cheese, olives, and lots and lots of wine.  My friend Moonpie was the best and made a second turkey for us because we had so many people.  J even made a pumpkin pie.  So much fun!

I also tried a new dish of brussel sprout and cauliflower gratin from the TG Bon Appetit:

1 1/2 lbs brussels, quartered (look at these beauts from the farmer’s market):

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and 1 1/2 lbs cauliflower, both quick boiled and shocked, then layered with parmigiano in a 9″ x 13″ dish; pour a reduced cream, shallot, and pepper sauce over it and top with bread crumbs and pine nuts before baking.

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It was so good I’m making it for my family’s Christmas Eve dinner celebration.  Mom is going to love it.  And it’s almost completely make ahead – total bonus.

One of my favorite parts of TG is the creativity to be had with the leftovers.  Moonpie and I made some amazing stock the night of, there were turkey sandwiches, open face turkey gravy toast, and other heated up goodness, but my two favorites are these creations: turkey and stuffing ravioli and a turkey shepards pie.

For both, I pulsed some of the leftover turkey in my (shiney new) food processor:

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I made Lidia Bastianich’s “Poor Man’s Pasta” recipe for the ravioli (the little scraps of pasta above got tossed into some of the stock with carrots, celery & onion and that was, by far, the best turkey noodle soup I’ve ever eaten.)

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Put spoonfuls of chopped turkey, stuffing, peas and a little stock on the pasta sheets; wet the joining areas; folded over the pasta, and cut:

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Then I froze them all and plan on having them in brown butter & sage sauce.

For the shepards pie, I cooked carrots, celery, & onion in some bacon fat, added flour, then some stock, sage & thyme, and made a gravy/soup base.  To this I added about 4 cups of chopped turkey.  I made more mashed potatoes (those always seem to go first at TG) and put those on top:

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This is frozen as well.  We were leaving for our Boston trip and I wanted to be sure to use everything up.  Now I have these lovely things, plus 6 more cups of stock, waiting for me in the freezer.

Mmmmmm…

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