November 28, 2010
This Thanksgiving I made almost everything, except for the turkey and a side dish or two. While for some people that might be a stressful or nightmare-ish task, I actually enjoyed it. Here's a rundown of what I made, if you're interested:
Arugula Salad with Dried Figs, Walnuts, and Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter:
My dad liked this cornbread a lot, and it was good in the stuffing but, I think a 1:1 ratio of cornmeal to flour may have been more my taste because I found it a little dense. I also used butter instead of shortening and I think 1 tablespoon to grease the skillet (as opposed to the 2 called for) is more than sufficient.
Made with half the Skillet Cornbread and half a whole wheat baguette. Stuffing is always good.
Sauteed Mushrooms with Sun-dried Tomato and Onion:
Ok, ok, I think I really like mushrooms now. Sauteed with chopped oil packed sun-dried tomatoes and lightly caramelized onion, these make me forget I used to be a mushroom hater. I'm working on having a more detailed recipe up soon but I keep forgetting to take pictures...
I liked this gravy WAY more than the one my parents bought from a local market. It's definitely got a strong, bold flavor but I really enjoyed that. I've been eating it on crostini spread with goat cheese (yes, this totally defeats the purpose of it being vegan), using it as a sauce for mushrooms, and having a few licks off the spoon. I bet it'd also be good on mashed potatoes, but I forgot to pick those up at the supermarket.
Cranberry Sauce with Dried Fruit:
A standard cranberry sauce made with less sugar with about ~1/3 cup dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, blueberries) mixed in near the end for a nice textural element.
Sauteed Green Beans with Leeks
Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette:
Yum, yum, yum. This tart was wonderful, but definitely on the heavy side so take note of that when cutting your piece. We all agreed that we could feel ourselves getting more and more full with each delicious bite. Edited to add: I used Gruyere cheese in lieu of Fontina for the filling and I wouldn't change a thing.
I did have A LOT of problems with the crust, but it's probably because I'm not a seasoned tart-crust-maker. I also subbed in Greek yogurt for sour cream, but I don't think that was the problem. Basically, it started out too soft even after an hour in the fridge. Then, I stuck in the freezer and proceeded to forget about it. When I finally remembered it was in there, it was hard as a rock and I didn't have time to wait for it to defrost, so I threw it in the microwave for a bit, and then back in the freezer to have it set up again. Then, FINALLY, it was time to roll it out. Luckily, that part was easy and it ended up tasting great.
Libby's Pumpkin Pie:
The classic. My younger sister mentioned she'd never had pumpkin pie and was interested in trying it (at 2:30pm on Thanksgiving day, mind you), so my mom and I quickly whipped this up and it was a hit. I'm not the biggest pumpkin pie fan but if I am going to eat it, I prefer it served cold, perhaps with a gingersnap crust.
Gingerbread Pear Upside-Down Cake:
I love the texture of this cake and the rich molasses flavor. I added about 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger to the batter and subbed in bosc pears for apples (originally it was a Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake). Although the recipe suggests serving it whipped cream, which I did on Thanksgiving, I actually prefer it without, so I can get the full intensity of the gingerbread flavor.