Happy December! How was your Thanksgiving/Hanukkah weekend? We had one Thanksgiving dinner at home, another with friends, and a fantastically successful breakfast of leftover stuffing pressed into a waffle iron. It was a good holiday.
Last year we discovered how great a pork roast can be instead of a turkey. It goes with all the traditional sides, but cooks relatively quickly and and is very little fuss. I used David Tanis’ porchetta recipe, coating the pork with loads of garlic, fennel and fresh rosemary, and it worked perfectly once again.
I had another go at making Aunt Mary’s creamed spinach, but left out the cream of mushroom soup. It didn’t seem to matter at all, I just had to add some extra salt to the mixture. I also pre-cooked the onions, which I think improves the texture. My father made his famous buttermilk mashed potatoes, because you just have to have mashed potatoes. And we also made a simple salad of raw, thinly-sliced fennel in lemon juice and olive oil, as a foil for all the other gooey, dairy-rich foods.
We made cranberry-orange relish, and got out all of our goofiest silver flatware.
Finally, I made two pies: pumpkin for my mother and myself, and pecan for Jon because for him it isn’t Thanksgiving without pecan pie. We were all very full and very happy.
Breakfast was inspired by this Serious Eats post. My parents brought their old Swedish waffle iron, and we spooned stuffing in and cooked it until crispy, then ate it with fried eggs and cranberry sauce. It worked best with stuffing that had leftover gravy mixed into it – later waffles didn’t hold together as well, although they were just as delicious. Next time I’ll add either broth or gravy to the leftover stuffing to make sure it’s properly squishy before waffling.
That night we had our second Thanksgiving with our friends who own a backyard pizza oven. I brought the leftover creamed spinach, which I had mixed with some sour cream to loosen it up and spread into a gratin dish. We popped it into the oven to bring it to a good bubble, then scooped it up with potato chips. It was awesome.
The first course was pasta sauced with long-simmered elk ragu…
…followed by a spatchcocked turkey cooked in the pizza oven with vegetables and lemon.
It was all really great. And there were spectacular wines alongside.
What was on your table this year?