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):


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.



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:


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.)


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:


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:


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.





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