Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Meat Eating/Vegetarian/Vegan Thanksviging Part II

Since I work for an investment company, we are open the day after Thanksgiving, which means no travel to Northern California for turkey this year for Dave and bet! Most of my family is coming to Newport Beach this year and we are having ten people for a feast in my 800 square foot beach cottage. Being the obsessive planner that I am, and trying to please the (newly vegan or vegetarian) palates of all family members, I started early on the menu planning this year and assigned everyone a dish according to their expertise. Here's what we are making:

*Turkey- I will be roasting a turkey filled with fresh herbs, lemon, seasonings...luckily I have done this before and there will be plenty of help
*Gravy- Dad's specialty
*Michael Mathews' famous sausage and cognac stuffing- again, Dad's specialty
*Natalie's vegan version of Mathews' stuffing
*Buttermilk and chive mashed potatoes- me..I prefer to use buttermilk because I like them tangy and you can use nonfat buttermilk, which has lots of flavor, but eliminates the fat
*Sauteed green beans with apple wood smoked bacon and shallots- Dave my husband loves these so he will be making them this year
*Vegan sweet potatoes au gratin- Nat
*Shaved brussel sprout salad- Nat
*Rolls- Aunt Kathy
*Cranberry Chutney- Aunt Kathy
*Pumpkin pie- mom's specialty

In honor of it being turkey day this week, I thought I'd post two recipes in order to help those of you who are still menu planning...stay tuned for the results of our Thanksgiving feast! (and wish us luck!)

Dad's Famous Gravy

3/4 cup dry white vermouth
2 tablespoons Cognac
1/3 cup all purpose flour
About 5 ½ cups of broth – turkey, veal stock, and/or chicken
About 4 tablespoons of fat – reserved from Turkey or use butter
All the browned bits from the bottom of the turkey pan

Pour pan juices from roasting pan into large measuring cup. Spoon fat from surface. Transfer 4 tablespoons fat to medium saucepan (if needed, use some of reserved fat from turkey broth to measure 4 tablespoons total). Discard any excess fat.

Place roasting pan over 2 burners set at medium-high heat. Add vermouth and Cognac to pan and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add degreased pan juices and 1 cup broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.

Heat reserved 4 tablespoons fat in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour, whisking until smooth. Whisk constantly until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in pan-juice mixture and 3 cups of broth. Simmer until gravy is thick enough to coat spoon, whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Carmel Apple Pie
I made this this weekend for the Marshall Thanksgiving and it turned out pretty good. It came from the holiday issue of Cooking Light.


1/4 c flour
1/4 c packed brown sugar
2 T chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/4 c flour
1/4 t salt
3 T chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 T chilled vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
3 T ice water
cooking spray

1/4 c white sugar
2 T cornstarch
4 c thinly sliced granny smith apples
3 c thinly sliced fuji apples

Carmel Sauce-
1/2 c store bought fat free caramel sauce
1/8 t sea salt


Topping- combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse ten times, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.

Crust- combine flour and salt in food processor. Add 3 T butter and shortening. Pulse 4 times or until mixture looks crumbly. With processor on, add ice water until mixture combines. Remove from food processor and press into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Overlap two pieces of plastic wrap on a smooth surface. Place dough in center and cover with an additional two sheets of plastic wrap. Roll evenly into an 11 inch circle. Freeze circle of dough about 5 minutes, until it can be easily removed from the plastic wrap. Press into pie pan.

Preheat oven to 375.

Filling- whisk together cornstarch and sugar. Add apples. Toss to combine. Add apple mixture to pie pan, mounding slightly in the center.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Remove pie and top evenly with topping. Bake an additional 25 minutes until golden. Top with caramel sauce and whipped cream, if desired.

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