The turkey was awesome, but Thanksgiving isn’t really Thanksgiving without a whole bunch of sides. I tried to do mix some traditional things with some not-so-traditional, and I think they were all a success.
1. Rolls – I used this recipe. I was very, very afraid during the “rising” steps – the dough is unlike anything I’ve ever made before. I did follow the recipe exactly, and they looked just like the picture on the recipe.
Sadly, I have no photographs of either the process or the finished product. Bad blogger.
2. Carrots - I glazed the carrots with about 2 TB butter, 0.5 cup orange juice, and a pinch each of fennel and red pepper flakes over medium heat in a covered Dutch oven for about 20 minutes. They were really, really yummy. I highly recommend this method.
3. Mashed potatoes – Yukon gold potatoes, milk, half and half, butter, salt, and pepper. That’s it. You know how to make mashed potatoes.
4. Brussels sprouts – about 1 pound of brussels sprouts (frozen, picked from the garden in mid-October. I roasted them in about 2 to 3 TB of duck fat (seasoned with salt & pepper) in a 350F oven for about 45 minutes, shaking every 15 minutes to move them around.
5. Gravy – While the turkey was roasting, I boiled the neck and heart in water to make a light stock. Once cooked for about an hour, strain and set aside – you will want about 7 cups of stock.
When we were about 30 minutes from eating, I put one stick of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter was foamy, I added about 0.5 cup of flour and whisked to make a roux. Once the roux was a dark blonde (lighter than peanut butter but not completely white), I started adding the stock I made earlier. Add the stock gradually, in about 1 cup batches, and whisk the whole time. Have someone else chop 2 shallots and the turkey heart, and add to the gravy. When Curt took the turkey out of the roasting pan to carve, I added some of the pan juices to the gravy too. It really helped round out the flavor and make it more turkey-ish.
6. Cranberries – I used one bag of cranberries, one cup of sugar, and two cups of orange juice, some dried ginger, and a bit of salt. Cooked overnight in the slow cooker, and then blenderized them.
We have a ton left. Anyone want some cranberry sauce?
7. Root vegetable gratin – I peeled and thinly sliced about 2 lbs. each of celeraic and turnips, and layered them in a buttered casserole dish.
I seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, and then poured .33 cup of half and half and .33 cup of milk into the bottom of the dish. Topped it with grated gouda, and then I baked it for about an hour at 350F.
The finished dish is at the back of the photo here.
8. Dressing – Ah, dressing. This is my favorite side – I used 2 lbs. of cubed bread, and made a mirepoix of chopped carrots, celery and onions. I sweat the vegetables in butter and salt & pepper until soft, and added about a pound of chopped mushrooms (a mix of cremini and chanterelle).
I mixed with a few cups of stock, and then baked it for about half an hour just before serving. I would have liked the dressing to be a bit more crisp on top, but you can’t have everything. I think I used too much stock. Oh well.
And that, as they say, was that.
Can’t wait until next year!