I am so excited for Thanksgiving this year. The weather in Southern Ontario is going to be amazing (perfect for fall hikes and festivals) and also the coming together of loved ones is just magical.
Since there is a split down the middle this year of carnivores vs/veg eaters, I have decided to tackle this as diplomatically as possible. Therefore yes-I am cooking a bird ( a small one) and focusing on hearty veg dishes and a classic fall dessert to finish.
Here is a sneak-peek at this year’s menu – Recipes below!
In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, from my home to yours.
2018 Thanksgiving Lunch Menu
- Butternut squash and fennel soup
- Citrus brined, smoked turkey
- Burnt heirloom carrots with maple pear glaze
- Potatoes smashed with grainy mustard
- Cinnamon and clove cranberry sauce
- Selection of rustic tarts (apple/butter/pumpkin)
Butternut squash and fennel soup
- 2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- sm. thumb of ginger, diced
- 1/4 tsp pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 large fennel bulb, core and tough stalks removed, sliced
- 4 cups butternut squash
- 4 cups vegetable stock (homemade preferred)
- salt and pepper
To garnish: creme fraiche and fennel frods
Citrus “brined”, smoked turkey
Warning: This recipe is a hack. Yes, you can brine the bird for 12 hours prior, in a load of water, have a super big mess and then throw it in a smoker. You will thank me for this hack, I promise 😉
For the basting liquid:
- 3 navel oranges, juiced
- 5 tbsp butter, melted
- 3 tbsp lard, melted
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
For the” brine”:
- Salt (1 tbsp salt per 5 pounds turkey)
- Dried herbs of choice (ie: thyme, sage)
1 cedar plank soaked in water and an additional 2 tsp of liquid smoke
Take the rinsed, defrosted and patted-dry bird and salt and season liberally inside and out, and keep in fridge for up to 48 hours. This is a dry rub. Do not rinse! Put in large ziploc bag or wrap tightly in saran wrap.
Place bird on roasting rack and insert the soaked plank under the bird and under the rack (so it is wedged between the rack and base and bird on top of rack). Do not cover!
Roast for 1.5 hours then begin basting with melted butter/lard juice blend every 1/2 hour.
After a few hours, check bird as it will begin to brown up beautifully and give you a nice crispy skin. If not at 165 degrees, very loosely tent with foil to slow browning.
The result is a smoky, citrus-y, beautifully moist bird, without all the work.
Burnt heirloom carrots with maple pear glaze
This recipe is insanely easy to whip up as your turkey is resting. Simply turn on broiler and on a flat roasting pan or baking sheet which is lightly oiled, turn on oven to low broil.
Blanche peeled and trimmed heirloom carrots, dry, then salt and pepper.place in oven and “roast” for 3-5 minutes, turning and glazing with 2 tbsp maple syrup mixed with 1 tbsp pear balsamic and 1 tsp butter, melted. Glaze and turn until little crispy edges begin to appear and serve immediately.
Potatoes smashed with grainy mustard
- 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup half and half, warmed up
- 1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 3-4 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Place potatoes and 1 tablespoon of the salt in a large saucepan; cover potatoes with cold water, about 6 cups. Bring to a boil over high, and reduce heat to medium. Partially cover pan, and simmer until potatoes are just tender enough to pierce with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain well, and return to warm pan. Let stand 5 minutes.
Mash potatoes with a handheld potato masher or a large fork. Stir in warm milk, butter, and mustard. Stir in pepper and remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. Serve immediately.
Cinnamon and clove cranberry sauce
- 1 pkg fresh cranberries
- 1/4 C orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon + half tsp ground clove
Mix together juice, sugar and spices until dissolved over medium heat. Place cranberries in pot and cook until comes to boil then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, stirring gently through process taking care to not puncture the fruit. Serve at room temperature.