Building up to Thanksgiving day is such a battle with anticipation. I dont know if I should starve myself or if I should gorge myself to increase the size of my belly. I want to make mini turkeys so that I can test the brine and then since I am making a scaled down version I start thinking how I can miniaturize everything. Miniature Thanksgiving is a ridiculous idea so I am back to planning and anticipation. When "the big day" finally does get here I want to slow down the clock so that I can savor every single moment.
We started with Cynthia's bacon wrapped plantains, the sweet caramel goodness of the baked plantain went so beautifully together with the salty crispy bacon.
Roasted butternut squash and lobster bisque, dont knock it till you've tried it. I roasted the squash whole and I also slow roasted some cubed pieces turning them into butternut squash "raisins" - chewy, squashy delights. The seeds were covered in a little olive oil and sea salt and roasted till crispy then put in a coffee grinder to make "pepita dust" to be used as a garnish with the "raisins" and a dollop of creme fraiche - repeat after me - MMMMMMMMMM.
Not everyone likes sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows - I know it seems like its the "traditional" thing to do but damn its sweet. My solution - individual sweet potatoes in their jackets with browned marshmallows - these were a HUGE hit!
Whats a Thanksgiving dinner without lobster mac & cheese? Yeah right! Well this exciting dish was worked into the fray with astonishing results. Mezzemaniche pasta are as big as your thumb and they are the perfect foil for large chunks of lobster and creamy white cheddar - try it you will definitely not be disappointed.
You know, I have been making Thanksgiving dinner for me and my friends since I was 25 years old - that is a lot of turkey under my belt but truth be told I have made cornish hen, duck, and goose for some of those meals. I think I say this every year - this turkey was by far the most succulent and juicy bird - I think I am getting good at this, 40 hours in a brine of dried mandarin, juniper berries, rosemary and a pound of salt resulted in THE most juicy and flavorful turkey ever - I should have recorded the oohs and ahhs.
Dessert - lets see there was coconut panna cotta that vanished before a photo opportunity and pumpkin pie - we all know what that looks like but the star of the show was the creamy coconut cheesecake with a chocolate brownie crust served with toasted coconut and shaved chocolate and for a little added sassiness - a drizzle of raspberry sauce. Take that to yo' mamas house!
What it all comes down to in the end - a turkey sandwich - the whole reason I love Thanksgiving is the leftovers. Nothing beats a reheated plate of all the goodness except a sandwich, sure there were truffled mashed potatoes and gravy and sweet and salty cornbread dressing with italian sausage and tart and tangy cranberry relish with ginger but I want a sandwich.
This an entry for Denny's and Foodbuzz Baconalia.