Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Post-Mortem Pictorial

Since I hate letting food get cold, I confess that my attempt to capture our Thanksgiving dinner in pictures was more than a bit hasty. Nevertheless, here's how it all turned out:

The Farm & Sparrow bread was perfectly crunchy on the outside and moist inside. The loaf was so big that it took the place of carving a turkey for testing our knife skills.

The main event, the mushroom lentil pot pies topped with a gouda biscuit, were out of this world. The porcinis and lentils gave the dish a ridiculously meat-like taste and the Yukon Gold potatoes did an heroic job of keeping their shape while soaking up the flavors. The biscuit was fun but we probably didn't need that as well as bread. We'll definitely be having this one again with or without the biscuit.

The root vegetable mash and sweet potatoes in sage brown butter gave us the thrill of traditional side dishes while remaining remarkably easy to make and awfully darn healthy.

And let's not neglect the fennel gratin. Our first foray into using panko breadcrumbs has turned us into converts. I don't think we've had such crunchy goodness since we crumbled potato chips on a long-forgotten dish many, many years ago. The fennel's retained structure made a nice counterpoint to the mushier potato sides though I didn't think the flavor was a strong as I would have liked. 

Here's a plate of sides (isn't that what everyone really wants at Thanksgiving?) with the cranberry compote for color and textural contrast:

And last but not least, the pie. The photo definitely doesn't do it justice. The pepita/ginger/pecan/almond topping was a nice crunchy and spicy addition to the traditional pumpkin pie. I think the recipe made twice as much topping as was strictly necessary, so next time I'll reduce it--or better yet--save the extra for snacking. The topping had the added benefit of holding down the filling while cooking so there were no near-overflow scares in the early stages of baking.

A bottle of our best cider and a 7 Deadly Zins for wine topped it all off. We really couldn't have been more pleased with the way it all turned out. Happy Thanksgiving, indeed!

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