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November 22, 2015

Food Thread: It's Crunch Time! Turkey? Or Something That Tastes Good? [CBD]

What? No turkey? Subvert the dominant paradigm!

Unfortunately I have been overruled by precedent, tradition, guests with no imagination, and whiny little brats who swear they love turkey.


But there will also be a wine-brined pork roast spinning merrily on the rotisserie while the boring turkey cooks in the oven, taking up valuable space that could be better used for good stuff, like baked macaroni & cheese with a buttered breadcrumb topping.

or you could go with an ahead-of-the-curve dish for when the burning times come.....

lecter paste.png


That Mac & Cheese is just a Béchamel sauce with tons of cheese melted into it. My local supermarket deli sells its scraps of cheese, so I have been buying that. I add some Parmesan for extra flavor, then pour it over corkscrew shaped pasta (I use rotini), which seems to hold onto the cheese sauce very nicely. For a touch of crunch and color I chill the stuff and then press it into a ring mold as tightly as I can manage. Then I sauté it to get a nice crisp top and bottom to the molded Mac & Cheese. It's great, and looks good on the plate!

Everyone has their plans in place for the Thanksgiving meal, so my advice is as worthless as ever. That won't stop me of course.

This should be mandatory at every Thanksgiving gathering:

The Manhattan

  • 3 ounces Rye Whiskey
  • 1 ounce red vermouth (Use Carpano Antica. It's a fortune, and worth it)
  • 1 bar spoon of maple syrup
  • 3 shakes of Angostura bitters

    Stir with lots of ice for about 30 seconds.
    Strain into a low ball glass.
    Garnish with a lemon twist (twist the lemon over the glass to express the oils).

    The classic recipe calls for a maraschino cherry. But it is difficult and expensive to get good ones, and the typical supermarket version is sort of gross. They are a color not found in nature, and their texture is reminiscent of a meal worm that you eat by mistake in that bowl of old cereal from the back of the cupboard.

    (Courtesy of Andrew McIntosh of Park West Tavern)



    This is my simple stuffing recipe that I have been making for years. I always make far too much, which is appreciated by everyone, because stuffing is universal! And I have discovered that mixing it with a whipped egg and cooking it in a waffle iron is close to the Platonic ideal of a Thanksgiving weekend snack.

    Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing


    • 2 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage (The stuff with fennel) casings removed
    • 2 cups Yellow Onions, rough chopped
    • 2 stalks of Celery, rough chopped
    • 1/3 cup Chopped Parsley
    • Chopped Sage to taste (about 1-2 tablespoons)
    • Cornbread, and lots of it (probably 2 pounds of the stuff) Buy it or bake it; I don't care. Then break it up into chunks and toast it.
    • 1-2 cups Chicken Stock
    • Salt and Pepper to taste.

    Break up the sausage into nice chunks and brown it in a bit of oil. Once the sausage is nicely browned, add the celery and onions and saute until they get a bit of color. Dump into your biggest bowl and correct the seasoning, add the sage and parsley and mix a bit. Then add as much cornbread as you feel like. My guess is that a 1:1 ratio of cornbread to everything else will work well. Mix it gently and then moisten the mixture with the chicken stock until it is looks appetizing, but not dripping wet and disgusting looking. Spoon into greased baking dishes, cover with foil and bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

    For any NY/NJ Morons who are interested: there is a Moron Meet-up scheduled for December 18th, 6:00pm-9:00pm in the West Village. For more information: nynjmeet at optimum dot net

    Addendum: Carol, I use the recipe from The Balthazar Cook Book. Here it is, but really, I just use it for the Béchamel sauce.

    digg this
    posted by Open Blogger at 04:00 PM

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