Thanksgiving 2016

This year has been seeing itself out with quite the bang. Lots of traditions that had time to establish themselves, 2017 is rushing out. 

With such theme and spirit in mind, this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is following suit. 

Earlier this year I read a couple of books which influenced me to eat as much pastured meat as I could afford and find. 

I had a frozen duck from a local farm in my freezer. I really did not want to buy more meat when I already had high-quality poultry available. So…

In typical fashion, I also had a ton of vegetables laying around in my refrigerator from the excruciating week prior; Savoy cabbage, red beets, cauliflower and Swiss chard. This hellish week prevented me from finding time to cook weeknights. 

So here I went to planning  my Thanksgiving menu this year. Heavy on the flavor, the vegetables and low, low on the carbs. Was this low-carb theme-a-ma-bob deliberate? Heck no. I love mashed potatoes, mac ‘n’ cheese, rolls, bread, etc., but my veg is what I had to work with and what I did not want to waste!

Here’s my menu:

  • OJ-brined duck following Alton Brown’s mighty duck recipe. This was the same duck recipe I followed last year for a hearty experimentation dinner. I subbed out the pineapple OJ juice for straight OJ. 
  • Duck fat and shallot Swiss chard from the same AB duck recipe. 
  • Roasted red beet salad with feta and a lemon vinaigrette from “White on Rice Couple” blog. I used a blend of pignolia and chopped hazelnuts instead of slivered almonds. In the dressing I used cilantro instead of parsley. 
  • Savoy cabbage lime and cilantro slaw to which I added shredded carrots and double the dressing. The slaw dressing was incredible! 
  • Pan-fried and steamed cauliflower mash with Dubliner 2-year cheddar, heavy cream and butter. This recipe from “I breathe, I’m hungry” blog didn’t call for pan-frying or steaming, just zapping in the microwave so I improvised that. I food processed the cauliflower, but not to atomic level, just to cooked quinoa sized bits level. It actually came out tasting like quinoa or grain because of the texture and because I did not cook it to sog, think “al dente”. 

I served two very special — of course to me — wines; a sparkling Pinot Noir from Mumm Napa, and a 2012 Rustica from Bellangelo Winery in the Fingerlakes. I bought and brought home both of these wines from the wineries and for that they are very near and dear to me. I was happy to crack them open on a special occasion with my parents.

I had rave reviews from my parents on the entire menu. They loved all of it. I would definitely make all of it again especially the slaw! Wam bam..!
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

By the way, here TG2015 if you’d like to check out how I traditionally do Thanksgiving.