Friday, November 28, 2008

I get by with a little help...

The feast in honor of the slaying of Native Americans and the taking of their homeland (though when I put it that way, I'd rather not celebrate).

Angel and I cooked dinner at home and split duties, and everyone else helped out. Mike brought extra stuffing, bread and wine; Sarah brought more wine and dessert; Alex cleaned house and DJ'd; Mitya helped to carve our birds.

Fennel-orange-raspberry salad
Alexis: We started off with some charcuterie I bought at Murray's Cheese & Real Salami at Grand Central Market, venison pate with apricots and hazelnuts, cornichons, humboldt fog cheese and fig jam. I also made a salad with shaved fennel, orange supremes, raspberries and lemon vinaigrette. Normally I hate fennel but when it is cut thinly it is delicious with fruit.

Butternut squash-onion-apple-blue cheese galette
Alexis: I also made this autumn galette with apples, butternut squash, onions and Danish blue cheese. Not bad but the crust could've been better and it needed way more blue cheese. I'd try making this again, it was a bit rushed.

Angel's stuffing & Hank the beer can chicken
Alexis: On the left, Angel's homemade stuffing with sausage and cremini mushrooms and on the right, Hank our beer can chicken. Angel also made a roast duck with orange sauce and yummy, creamy roasted garlic mashed potatoes as well as brussels sprouts with sausage. We were worried about having enough food but there was enough for second helpings AND leftovers. I was thankful for that :)

Alexis: This is Hank, split open in order to get the beer can out (it was Tecate). The beer really does the trick in keeping the chicken moist and flavorful. As for the rub, I used lemon pepper, sea salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and some dried herbs. Really easy and simple.

Green bean casserole top view
Alexis: Last year's green bean casserole was definitely redeemed with this one. I used Emeril's recipe and added some extra BAM by chopping some jalapenos into the mix. The onions are soaked in hot sauce before being fried, adding an extra kick. So good over the mashed potatoes, my two favorite things about this holiday.

OMG Dessert
Alexis: Desserts! From the left - mini cherry cheesecake by Sarah, double layer pumpkin cheesecake by Angel MIT SCHLAG and my sweet potato pie with cranberry sauce and crumbled amaretti cookies. I loved the crust on Sarah's dessert - it was like eating straight brown sugar and butter. Angel's was super creamy and smooth. After eating these two, my dessert seemed lacking in richness but I'm willing to give it another try. And another...and another...

I also made a giblet gravy that called for chopped hardboiled eggs in it. It was delicious until I added the eggs - then it just seemed like some Paula Deen down home recipe gone wrong. It was a bit labor intensive doing everything from scratch (except my pie crust which was frozen) but I had fun doing it.

And now looking forward to our holiday party where I will have 20 mouths to feed oh my!

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