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Thanksgiving 2012


Blogging your Thanksgiving menu is an excellent way to leave a trail back to your favorite recipes.  From last year we repeated the DIY dry-aged prime rib and the mashed potatoes with goat cheese, sage and brown butter.  My mother-in-law made her legendary apple pie, and I found some new recipes for sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and green beans.  Cranberry sauce was from a can, just the way we like it.

Around the table this year were Mala, Maddy, Shirley, Euclid, Ian, Sophie and I.  Maddy, Sophie, Ian and I ran a few miles on the C&O towpath that morning to offset the conspicuous consumption.  The meat took a lot longer to cook than anticipated, and I pulled it out of the oven to rest when the internal temperature was ~115-120F.  We had a range of medium rare to rare within after carving.  We made the mashed potatoes in the pressure cooker--no boil-over with starchy potato water and no cold potatoes thanks to the "keep warm setting." Here are recipes and links:

How to dry-age your own meat; then use the high heat (450F x 15-20 minutes) initially followed by roasting until desired temperature at 350F.  Mark Bittman has  directions in "How to Cook Everything."

Sweet potato casserole with meringue topping: my father-in-law thought this was an apple pie when he saw it on the counter.  Now known as "square pie" in the Lee family lexicon.  Conveniently uses the egg yolks in the filling. The meringue topping was fantastic and by no means just guilding the lily.

Uchi/Uchiko brussels sprouts: sorry Food & Wine, when I saw that this was available on the interwebs I abandoned your recipe from the November issue.  Bonus: the sauce recipe makes enough for more than one batch.  I roasted the brussels sprouts instead of frying (~400F for 30 minutes)

Sage and Scallion Foccacia: from the Casa Yellow blog, an easy overnight rise.  Bake it while you are roasting your brussels sprouts.  Maddy broke a 2 hour juice fast with this bread.

Slow Roasted Green Beans with Garlic: because I couldn't face the amount of dishes created by making a white sauce and frying onion topping.  Roasting at a slightly higher or lower temp is fine depending on what you have in the oven.

Traditional Stuffing: Saute a pound of bacon (diced) until fat is rendered but bacon is not crisp.  Add 2 cups sliced leek, 3 cups chopped celery and 2 cups chopped onion.  Cook until vegetables are soft but not browned.  Add 1/2 stick of butter to mixture and 1 quart of chicken stock, 2 TBS chopped fresh sage, 1 TBS chopped fresh thyme and 1 TBS chopped fresh rosemary.  When butter has melted, pour mixture over 8 cups of cubed stale bread.  Mix well and turn into pan.  Bake at 350-375 F until heated through and the top is browned.

Pumpkin cheesecake: I omitted the sugar in the crust and didn't use anything organic.  Bake in a water bath--cracking won't happen and the inside will be smooth and creamy.  Make this the day before so it can chill overnight.

We made chocolate cookie ice cream sandwiches (peppermint ice cream).  The cookie recipe is here

We have a little bit of mashed potato left, and Sophie ate the last of the apple pie and cranberry jelly for breakfast today.  I loved having stuffing for every meal, but it's time to stop drinking eggnog in my coffee every morning and eat a salad.

Persimmon Butter

You Want Fries With That?