This was, without a doubt, the tackiest GIF I could find

I think it's ironic that the sound the turkey makes (in American English, anyway) is a synonym for the act that is perpetrated upon his lovely cooked carcass.

I know. I'm weird.

Anyway... Happy Thanksgiving to all our U.S. readers! And, to those who do not partake of the annual display of gluttony, Happy Regular Week!

Normally, my Thanksgiving is spent with friend and/or my son and his girlfriend. Last year, we began what I had hoped with be a wonderful annual tradition - Pajama Thanksgiving. This particular incarnation was one where my son and his girlfriend came to my house (with dog in tow), in their pajamas, around noon. I (also in my pajamas) completed the cooking and laid out a buffet - upon which we grazed for the entire day in between movies and naps. It was pretty blissful.

This year, my nuclear family decided to get together so we're all piling on planes and in cars and converging on my mother's house (and the satellite condo) in Naples, Florida. We'll be expected to "dress" for Thanksgiving dinner and, I guarantee, we will not be watching movies or napping. While not as lazy and blissful as Pajama Thanksgiving, I expect it will be nice to spend the week with my siblings and their respective families.

So, in honor of the holiday, I'd like to share a couple of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving recipes with you. Note that they both have booze in them - because that's how I roll, baby.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday (or plain old week). Eat lots and be grateful.

- Alex

Jim Beam Sweet Potatoes (with buttered pecan crust)

6 large sweet potatoes
1/4 C Jim Beam (or some other bourbon)
1 stick of softened butter
2 C pecans - halved are best but you could do a very coarse chop on whole
1 tsp kosher or sea salt (something coarse)
2 Tbl brown sugar (I use light but either will do)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and then bake them on a heavy cookie sheet or baking pan until tender - about one hour. Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle them.

Peel potatoes and put in a bowl big enough to mash them in. Add the Jim Beam and 6 Tbl of the butter and mash until smooth. If you like your potatoes pureed or whipped, go for it. Adjust the bourbon (I usually end up adding a bit more) to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the potatoes to a 2 quart baking dish (or appropriate sized casserole dish that will allow for you to put a layer of buttered pecans on top.)

Reduce the oven temp to 325 F. On a cookie sheet, toast the pecan until fragrant - about 10 minutes. Toss the hot pecans with the remaining butter and the coarse salt.

Arrange the buttered pecans on top of the sweet potatoes and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake the dish until the potatoes are heated through and the pecans are slightly browned - about 30 minutes.

Hot Cranberry Compote

2 Tbl butter
2 green onions - chopped fine
1/4 C  Courvoisier (or other cognac)
2 C fresh cranberries (you can use frozen but I find fresh to have a better flavor)
1/2 C water
1/2 C sugar

Saute the green onions in butter until they're soft - about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the cognac. Add the cranberries, water, and sugar. Stir well. Bring to a boil and keep it at a boil until the cranberries pop and the mixture starts to get thick - about 5 minutes. Stir in a little salt (just a pinch really - maybe as much as an 1/8 of a teaspoon). Serve warm. Compote can be reheated gently before serving if it cools too much.

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