Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

This year (after the usual apple, fig compote, and goat cheese accompaniment for the start-to-the-evening champagne toast, and some herb pesto-stuffed mushroom hors d'oeuvres), we had:

Tuscan kale salad
Miso-glazed cod
French lentils
Apple-leek stuffing and cranberry chutney
Gingered yams and mustard greens
Brussels sprouts by way of Beirut
Apple cake

Marinating the cod was the first thing I did yesterday, since it needs to soak up the marinade for 2-6 hours. I mixed 2/3 cup sake, 2/3 cup mirin, 2/3 cup mild white miso, 3/8 C (packed) brown sugar, and 1/4 C nama shoyu, and turned seven 6-oz cod filets (about 3/4" thick) in that marinade over a few times to coat them. Throughout the course of the afternoon I turned them a few more times. Six minutes before dinner, I broiled the fish six inches from the broiler until just opaque in the center. The top gets nicely caramelized. I garnished each filet with one long chive.

For the lentils, I soaked 2 C French lentils for a while, while I was doing other things, then drained them. I heated about a tablespoon of clarified butter on medium-low heat and sauteed three minced garlic cloves and one finely chopped yellow onion as well as a few fresh bay leaves until the onion was translucent. Then I added the lentils, salt, and pepper, and stirred to coat the lentils with the onion-garlic-butter. Then I added 5 C water, brought the mixture to a boil, and then simmered it about 12-15 minutes. I drained most of the water once the lentils were cooked, since I'd be using the lentils as a bed for the fish filets. I garnished the lentils with some finely chopped fresh chives.

Warm Brussels sprouts by way of Beirut

I've been refining this since last year. This year, I caramelized the Brussels sprouts in a hot wok, with olive oil, salt, and crushed red chilli pepper, then tossed them with halved green grapes, yogurt, and za'atar, and drizzled the whole thing with balsamic syrup and a few pomegranate seeds for garnish. I served this warm right after I made it.

Light Apple Cake

I saw a recipe for baked apple cider doughnuts on thekitchn when I was trawling the web for dessert ideas for Thanksgiving. I made one cake with it instead of eight doughnuts, and garnished it with some persimmon rings. We had it with spiked mulled apple cider.

Tuscan Kale Salad

I made this salad for Thanksgiving 2011. I rinsed and removed the ribs from two bunches of organic Tuscan kale (also known as lacinato kale or dinosaur kale) and tore the leaves into bite-sized pieces and let them dry for a bit while I made a vinaigrette. The vinaigrette: 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 4 teaspoons honey, 4 teaspoons mustard, and a ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil. The key here was to let the kale marinate in the vinaigrette for several hours (in yesterday's case, three or four hours) to soften. I tossed it a few times over the course of the afternoon while I was cooking other dishes, and tossed in about two cups of pomegranate seeds before serving it.