This was the first Thanksgiving in our new house, and we truly overdid it. I had my annual do-we-have-enough-food panic attack, and where I would normally calmed down and trusted my menu-planning skills, I went ahead and decided to add another pan of pumpkin mac and cheese and a risotto (in lieu of a second stuffing). And then Matty found a Maker's Mark sweet potato recipe, and we had to add that as well.
Diagonally from the top left:
1. smoked bacon-wrapped turkey
2. Matty's mom's cranberry sauce
Good, but not my favorite. It seemed to be a hit while we were cooking, though - it was basically our lunch.
4. Brooke's rolls
6 lbs. of Brussels sprouts leaves that I would never have been able to remove without Matty's mom's help. Still completely worth it. My mom hates Brussels sprouts, and she took some home with her. Also can't wait to make pot pies out of the Brussels sprouts nubbins that were left over after the de-leafing.
I just realized that I forgot the maple syrup and the sage in the chestnut topping, but I hardly missed them. I also completely mashed the sweet potatoes and thought the texture contrast was very appealing. This is also one of those great vegetarian, but a meat-eater wouldn't miss any meat, dish - the chestnuts are filling and meaty, but everyone's happy because it's not too creamy and heavy.
7. Jeff's Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese
There's a photo somewhere of all the cream cheese that went into these potatoes. I can't bear to look at it now, but they were so incredibly good yesterday.
8. Jeff's Yams with Bourbon-Caramel Sauce + Bacon
In the very bottom corner. I'm horrified I didn't get a better photo. These were incredible.
9. In the Le Creuset casserole dish - Andouille + Cornbread Stuffing
A Thanksgiving staple. Good as always.
10. In the Le Creuset dutch oven - Sausage + Mushroom Risotto
Not everyone at the dinner eats venison, so I just used plain ol' pork sausage in a tube. I added a couple ounces of dried wood-ear mushrooms since I didn't have enough shiitake. Our friend Greg was obsessed with this - I don't blame him.
11. In the glass casserole dish - Pumpkin Mac + Cheese
I don't use pancetta in this dish anymore, and don't miss it even a little bit. This time, I simmered the cream and pumpkin puree together first, and melted the cheese to make a sauce before adding in the pasta. I think the texture was greatly improved - much less grainy. What you don't see here is the panic attack-induced second pan of mac. That's now living in the freezer in the garage.
12. In the Nambe bowl - Creamless Creamed Corn
I don't suppose we needed to double the recipe, and my arms would have appreciated not grating 10 ears of corn because after all, that whole process still remains a huge pain in the ass, but nothing says happiness like leftover creamed corn.
13. Prime Rib Roast
We had a non-poultry eater in our midst, and I wanted a chance to try a new recipe. Win-win situation. I didn't bother making the au jus, and it was none the worse for wear. I have a big pot full of roasted oxtails and vegetables now, just waiting to be turned into stew. Maybe I'll get crazy and add some of those Brussels sprouts nubbins.
I thought the frangipane was a little too sweet and may halve the amount of sugar called for next time, but it was a big hit. It was much, much prettier pre-baking (photo above) - when it baked, the frangipane bubbled up and over, and the custard looked super grainy in the middle. Tasted great, though.
A Thanksgiving staple at this point. Just purely pumpkin tasting. You don't need to mess with a perfect thing.
Stunning, and I don't even like pecan pie. Dark chocolate chips are the way to go here. Also, it's not necessary to tell anyone how much corn syrup is in this recipe. Thanksgiving only comes once a year, right? And if you can track down some espresso brava sea salt (I got mine on a major bender at Monsieur Marcel), all the better.
Phew. That was it. And I couldn't be happier. Thanksgiving is truly the holiest of holidays in my book, and I'm so glad to be able to be back to hosting in our new home.