Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving Reviews

Every year, cousin Bill enters his notes on how the most recent Thanksgiving went, which ideas to keep for next year and which to chuck into the trash can of Thanksgivings past. I've got some comments on last night's dinner. Today my lunch consists of the most perishable leftovers from last night: the antipasti.

Antipasti: The Endive leaves with gorgonzola and walnut are (and were) delicious! An incredible combination. This is a keeper! The persimmons were yummy last night, I'd say they're a keeper, but I'd make fewer of them next year. Why? The next day, if there are any left over, they taste acrid. When I warned you about underripe Hachiya persimmons, that if they're not completely mushy, they taste terrible, well today as I eat my lunch, they have a little bit of that taste. Last night they were really good. I served these appetizers in the living room as finger food along with dishes of olives and nuts. Next time, they'll be served at the dinner table as a formal "primo piatto" first dish. No leftovers.

Wild Rice Soup: I wouldn't change a thing! This was great!

Turkey Roulade: This turned out to be VERY tender. The pancetta all around and the basting and surely the short cooking time really made this turn out great.

Crimini, Porcini, Pancetta Stuffing: Hmmm...kinda boring. A lot more boring than I'd expected. Then again, I've never been a big fan of stuffing. Maybe some Italian sausage in the mix could replace half of the bread? We'll see next year.

Mashed Potatoes: Very good! Gabriel always does a good job on these. In the heat of the moment I forgot to cut some chives from the balcony garden to garnish them. Oh well, nobody noticed.

Sauteed Fennel With Pernod: Blech! Here's an example of times when you can't double or triple a recipe. I tested this dish last week adjusting the amounts to serve 2 rather than 6. With 1 fennel bulb, 1 tbsp Pernod and a bit of water, it was great! Tripled, the fennel came out way too soft.

The chutneys: I really like them and would serve the pear and cranberry chutneys with this turkey again. The tamarind chutney was too aggressive and out of place with this meal. I'm looking forward to having it with some Indian food this week, though.

Zingy Pumpkin Pie: This pie was delicious and the addition of the candied citrus was brilliant, if I do say so myself. I've never been a fan of pumpkin pie, so this is really saying something. But zingy? I didn't get "zingy" from this pie except from the candied citrus peel on top. If I had it all to do over, I'd put double the crystallized ginger the original recipe called for, double the ground ginger I suggested AND add in a tsp of finely minced fresh ginger. Maybe that would give this a boost.


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