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Thanksgiving 2023

Thanksgiving 2023
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  • Post #31 - November 23rd, 2023, 9:56 pm
    Post #31 - November 23rd, 2023, 9:56 pm Post #31 - November 23rd, 2023, 9:56 pm
    And what were the general steps in making the pecan slab pie? Were there multiple distinct layers or something like that?

    Thanksgiving here was an all day cooking adventure Wednesday followed by stuffing today. Gurnee Jewel didn't have any bakery bread cubes for stuffing: "We don't have any hands to make them," said the bakery staffer. I did: Image
    Turkey was a 20# Open Nature all-turkey-no-fooling bird, roasted unstuffed according to the Jacques Pepin video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPWEMZwxKjo . I did his "sauce" essentially gravy with tiny diced veg. That was a surprising hit where I thought traditionalists would be scared off. And I baked a pone of corn bread to make a stuffing similar to his with frozen corn kernels and celery but no mushrooms or onions. On a do-over I would bind that stuffing with a bit of egg; it was a little too crumbly. Also 2 bread stuffings: one plain celery/sage, one with breakfast sausage crumbles plus brandy-soaked apples and dried apricots.

    3 pies: French silk, pumpkin according to the Libby's can but ironically with home-roasted pumpkin (because I wanted to use the extra pumpkin pieces to make Palestinian candied pumpkin,) and pecan. I'll post more about the pecan experiment in the Pecan Pies thread, suffice it to say it was a little too bourbon-forward.

    Also made a basic cheese tray to add to our hosts' charcuterie board plus a homemade pressed yogurt cheese. I'll make another one of those for Xmas but it'll be flavored with something, probably herbs.

    3 loads in the dishwasher, got to bed at 3am, I'm truly truly thankful I don't do this for a living.
  • Post #32 - November 23rd, 2023, 11:45 pm
    Post #32 - November 23rd, 2023, 11:45 pm Post #32 - November 23rd, 2023, 11:45 pm
    Evil Ronnie wrote:Looks great, Ron, but people want to know…..how was the tart?

    Thanks. I think it turned out great. Claire Saffitz is a talented baker with a seemingly great palate, a skilled writer and an engaging, effective teacher. I'm a half-decent mimic, so we made a great team . . . :lol:

    Image
    Pecan Slab Pie
    I was very pleased when this slipped, incident-free, out of the quarter sheet pan fully intact, just like Claire's did in her video. I almost never bake, so I thought a result like this was indicative of a well-written recipe.

    Image
    Slice
    Just before I hit it with a dollop of lightly sweetened, loosely whipped cream. Really, just a great recipe. Loved the flavors and textures, as well as the proportions of crust to filling to topping. I also see the recipe as a template for making other, similar desserts (which maybe I'll do in the future).

    tjr wrote:And what were the general steps in making the pecan slab pie? Were there multiple distinct layers or something like that?

    In a nutshell (see what I did there?), it was basically crust, filling and topping, of which the first two can be made in advance. For more detail, you should just get it right from the source.

    tjr wrote:3 loads in the dishwasher, got to bed at 3am, I'm truly truly thankful I don't do this for a living.

    Yep. It's a lot of work but if you did it for a living, you'd almost certainly have better/more equipment and more help. Still, it's a very taxing way to make a living. That's why I admire and respect the pros so damned much.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #33 - November 24th, 2023, 1:45 am
    Post #33 - November 24th, 2023, 1:45 am Post #33 - November 24th, 2023, 1:45 am
    Ron,

    The aluminum foil pan for the turkey, is it very stable? Was there a cookie sheet underneath for stability?

    Years ago, I used a roaster pan. I now use a rimmed half-sheet pan with a v-rack holding the turkey.

    I am curious how well the aluminum pan worked out.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways,
  • Post #34 - November 24th, 2023, 11:50 am
    Post #34 - November 24th, 2023, 11:50 am Post #34 - November 24th, 2023, 11:50 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Ron,

    The aluminum foil pan for the turkey, is it very stable? Was there a cookie sheet underneath for stability?

    Years ago, I used a roaster pan. I now use a rimmed half-sheet pan with a v-rack holding the turkey.

    I am curious how well the aluminum pan worked out.

    Regards,
    Cathy2


    For the first time, I used the SE method of rack on a sheet pan with the pizza stone on the bottom of the oven instead of my roaster pan. Somehow, my v-rack went missing so I used an insert to another pan that had feet a bit higher than the typical pan rack, with wide mesh bottom and sides—worked perfectly. And the Ferndale Market turkey was wonderful.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #35 - November 24th, 2023, 1:20 pm
    Post #35 - November 24th, 2023, 1:20 pm Post #35 - November 24th, 2023, 1:20 pm
    The GP wrote:We are hosting this year, something we haven't done in a long time. We've ordered a Jake's Country Meats brined turkey through Sauce & Bread Kitchen. Haven't decided on the dressing prep yet. Honestly, haven't decided on much of anything yet. There will be mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, gravy and the turkey. We also ordered brioche cloverleaf rolls, a maple honey pie and a brown butter pumpkin layer cake from SBK. There will be wine. That's enough for me!


    I was in a rush and wasn't paying attention and didn't notice that the turkey was upside down when I put it in the roasting pan. Mr. X and his brother pointed that out when I was trying to temp it. That was one way to ensure the breast meat wasn't dry! We flipped it to finish roasting the normal way. :lol:

    The dressing was an apple cranberry sausage recipe from November 1994 Bon Appetit. Still one of my favorite preps. We also had the crispy sweet potato roast from Smitten Kitchen along with the above mentioned mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts.

    The desserts were lovely.

    Image
    -Mary
  • Post #36 - November 24th, 2023, 1:43 pm
    Post #36 - November 24th, 2023, 1:43 pm Post #36 - November 24th, 2023, 1:43 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Ron,

    The aluminum foil pan for the turkey, is it very stable? Was there a cookie sheet underneath for stability?

    Years ago, I used a roaster pan. I now use a rimmed half-sheet pan with a v-rack holding the turkey.

    I am curious how well the aluminum pan worked out.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    Yeah, doubled up foil pans atop a half sheet pan for additional support. I really try to avoid using disposables but sometimes it's unquestionably the most makes-sense move. And I agree with Jen. The Ferndale Market turkey was very good. I brined mine for ~24 hours, then let it dry for another 24 before seasoning and roasting.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #37 - November 25th, 2023, 11:06 am
    Post #37 - November 25th, 2023, 11:06 am Post #37 - November 25th, 2023, 11:06 am
    I am somewhat anti-turkey (at least for Thanksgiving)--why cook a meal where you're mainly looking forward to the sides?

    We went with crown roast of pork this year and it was glorious!

    Image

    I made a pecan, apple, cornbread stuffing (Silver Palate riff) and the pork and our hosts made the rest. Everything was pretty great.

    Image

    Dessert was a huckleberry ube Basque cake from Kasama and chocolate mousse.
    The cake was very good but suffered a little from my mental comparison to MFK's Basque cake, which is one of my all time favorite desserts.

    Image

    Leftovers: stuffing/mashed potato waffles with pork, pickled onions, mint yogurt dressing

    Image

    Obligatory TG leftover pizza (sweet potato, brussel sprout, pork loin, shitake mushroom, blue cheese)

    Image
  • Post #38 - November 25th, 2023, 12:26 pm
    Post #38 - November 25th, 2023, 12:26 pm Post #38 - November 25th, 2023, 12:26 pm
    thaiobsessed wrote:We went with crown roast of pork this year and it was glorious!

    Agreed, lovely! Happy -Day!

    We went to friends, they ordered a restaurant meal they picked up. Was surprisingly tasty. Turkey sandwich the next day even better.

    Image
    Image

    T-Day, Count me a Fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow

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