Happy Thanksgiving Fellow Foodies!
If ever there was a holiday for the epicureans, it was Thanksgiving. I thought I'd post the menu at our home, which, I am proud to say, is almost exclusively being prepared by me, myself, and I, Mrs. E being nine months pregnant.
Roasted Turkey Tenderloins Stuffed with Goat Cheese & Spinach
Turkey is generally a staple in the Epicurus household; low(er) in fat, nice texture, extremely versatile, goes well with red and white wines, depending on the preparation. We do not have a huge number of guests arriving, so a full bird would be too much food and take too long (though convection cooking can really cut down on the roasting time). Accordingly, we are preparing some lovely tenderloins instead, crusted with fresh ground sage (sage is the ultimate turkey herb), and filled with a goat cheese-spinach mixture. Yes, we like Mediterranean-style food.
Sweet Pepper Cornbread Stuffing
This recipe uses a slow cooker, which helps by freeing up oven space. We love slow cooking, but one absolutely must remember that liquids do not evaporate in a slow cooker, so plan accordingly. This recipe uses sweet red peppers, jalapeno cornbread, croutons, and pine nuts. FYI, one thing I am thankful for today is living in Texas, and as a transplant, I realized Texas was going to be a nice home for me when I discovered jalapeno cornbread. I have always loved cornbread -- cake or bread style, it matters not -- and had long thought it was impossible to improve upon. I was disabused of my error when I moved to Houston and discovered jalapeno cornbread.
Sweet Potato Casserole
I made this last night. It's a pretty easy recipe. One trick Mrs. E taught me with potatoes of any kind is to skin and quarter them, and then use a microwave to cook them. It works amazingly well, and because microwaves are so consistent, it always works. Just place them on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap, and cook for 8-12 minutes, depending on the quantity. The potatoes will be soft and "mashable." This recipe eschews cinnamon, which is one spice that is over-used in Thanksgiving recipes, IMO. The casserole is topped with a mixture of brown sugar, flour, and chopped pecans.
Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
A nice, easy, refreshing salad. Fennel is wonderful anytime, of course, but seems to capture autmun flavors in particular. Served over spinach.
These are made using fresh cranberries, and are baked in individual portions using tartlet pans. The Epicurus family has a major sweet tooth, so hopefully this will fit the bill.
Depending on the preparation, I find turkey goes nicely with a number of different red wines. I personally love zinfandels, though a nice pinot noir or, even better, a Burgundy or Bourgogne-style wine. We have, for today, a bottle of Goat Roti 2005 and a Les Mugues Balandran 2005, which is a southern French wine from Nimes. Though I generally prefer lighter, sweeter white wines (Rieslings, Gewurtztraminers, etc.) I think a robust Chardonnay or Chablis would probably complement many turkey preparations nicely.
A choice of port or eiswein is available to go with the dessert, along with some kona coffee, which I am lucky enough to receive from family that frequents Hawaii.
In any case, Happy Thanksgiving, and good eating.