Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Feast…Eating It Straight Out Of The Oven

I was inspired to make some new recipes this year for Thanksgiving – with the exception of my stuffing which always turns out fantastic with a mix of sausage,fresh herbs and white wine. In fact it is so good I am always digging in with a fork the minute it comes out of the oven.

I bought a fresh turkey (, brined it overnight then washed it off the next morning. I rubbed Williams Sonoma Turkey Paste on the outside and baked it. I also took Chef Tom Colicchi of Craft restaurants in NYC and Las Vegas advice and basted the bird every 15 minutes.

MAGIC – that’s what it was. This was the best turkey I’ve ever cooked and the meat was so moist.

My favorite leftover? I love a mix of white and dark meat slathered with plenty of Mayo. In that sense, I am very traditional.

I threw a salad together with ingredients I had in the refrigerator. I never measure them. I eyeball for the number of guests that I am having. Try it. It will come easy with practice.

I topped this tasty salad with Litehouse’s Pear Gorgonzola dressing which only has 1.25 grams of fat per tablespoon and is DELICIOUS!

Cauliflower, Pear and Pomegranate Salad

Head of Lettuce, chopped
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh Cauliflower, chopped
1 Pear, thinly diced
Sprinkle with Pomegranate seeds
Sprinkle with Candied Pecans
2 slices Bacon, fried and crumbled

Apple and Cranberry Galette

I made this in our pie class last Sunday. This free form pie with cranberries and apple slices is a stunning finale for a holiday meal. You can also use pears and pears do not require precooking.

I really loved this recipe because it does not have much sugar so you really get the true taste of the fruit.

This recipe makes 2 galettes.

For the pastry:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbs. white cornmeal
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
6 Tbs. sour cream
1/2 cup ice-cold water

For the filling:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 Tbs. honey
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
8 large Granny Smith apples, about 4 lb. total, peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
Sugar for dusting (optional)
Crème fraîche for serving (optional)

To make the pastry, in a food processor, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt. Scatter the chunks of butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds until the butter pieces are the size of small peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and ice water. Drizzle the mixture over the dough and pulse until the dough is smooth and clings together. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, in a large fry pan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the apple slices and simmer until the apples begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apple slices to a bowl.

Add the cranberries to the liquid in the fry pan and simmer until they start to pop, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to the bowl with the apples. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil the liquid until reduced slightly, then spoon over the fruit.

Position 2 racks in the middle of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each half into a round about 12 inches in diameter and transfer to separate baking sheets. Divide the fruit filling equally between the pastry rounds and spread it in an even layer, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border uncovered. Fold the border over the fruit, pleating the edges to form a rim. Lay the butter slices over the exposed fruit. Dust the pastry rims with sugar.

Bake the galettes, rotating them 180 degrees 
at the midway point, until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the galettes cool completely on the pans. Serve with crème fraîche. 

Makes two 9-inch galettes; serves 10 to 12.

Speaking of pie recipes, look at the one our instructor did last weekend and look at my sister's pie the left. 

Does that tell you who I should be taking a pie lesson from?

Bon Appetit!