Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Final Thanksgiving Recap

Man, I really just need to crank out the rest of the info from Sunday's Apt. Thanksgiving. So here goes...

The rest of the prep work on Saturday consisted of washing and trimming the ends of the green beans, making the topping for the cheesecakes, and making a Chocolate Pecan Pie! I used this recipe that I saw in Gourmet last year. I made it last year as mini pies made in a regular muffin tin (soooo good!), so this year I wanted to switch it up by using my tart pan for a new shape!

Of course I started this around 9:30pm and had a mishap toasting the Pecans!!I had them on the stove, got distracted, and then I smelt them...burning!! Of course I didn't have enough to start over, so roomie and I had to make a late night trip to the 24hour Shaws :)

Crisis averted! I rolled out the last of the pie crust and this time place it into my tart pan.
NOTE: I got a little over zealous and proceeded to poke fork holes in this one...IDIOT! You only do that when your baking the crust without filling...needless to say the crust got a nice little outer layer of the carmaley filling, and was a little resistant to come out of the pan :)

My mom makes an AMAZING pecan pie (can't wait til tomorrow!), but I just like to do this one because it incorporates...Melty dark chocolate!!

You spread the chocolate along the bottom of the crustThen place the pecans on top
I like a pecan-y pie so I added more than called for, then you pour the filling mixture on top.And bake!
I love how gooey and chewy it gets...mmm. I'd have to say this years tasted more chocolatey, which obviously isn't a bad thing, but I think I like it more pecan pie flavor, then chocolate... However, still awesome!

Then it was off to bed. The 22lb Turkey didn't need to go in until 9/9:30am, but I got up earlier to get my butterscotch pie filling made.

I don't have the exact recipe on me right now, but I'll follow up later with that. Basically it's: milk, eggs, butter, flour, brown sugar, vanilla...the end.I know you should first separate 3 eggs...make sure to save the egg whites for later to make the meringue topping!

Get the milk on the stove until it's scalded (bubble forming around the edge and starting to form steam), then pour it into the bowl where you've added your flour, brown sugar, and saltPour this back into the pan and turn the heat back on, I can't remember if you bring this back to a boil...but I know it's hot and time to add the egg YOLKS. First you lightly beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl, and then add like a table spoon or so of the hot milk/sugar mixture into the eggs while beating quickly. Then add a little more...basically what you are doing is adding heat to the eggs so that when you add them back into the pan they don't scramble! So once the eggs are warm, slowly pour them into the pan while whisking quickly, bring to a boil while still mixing continuously until the mixture has thickened.
Once thick, turn off the heat and add the butter (like 3T) and vanilla, stir til butter is melted and combined. Finally pour your filling into the bake pie crust (baked the day before).
I put plastic wrap on this and set it in the porch (the second fridge in the winter!). Later on, after we ate I quickly grabbed the egg whites I saved, tossed them into my Kitchen Aid mixer and made the meringue. Seriously these mixers make Amazing meringue! Beat the egg whites on med/high, when they start getting frothy I added 1/4t of cream of tarter (helps stabilize egg whites), and about 1/3 cup sugar! Beat until just stiff peaks, and spread over pie...I like to form little peaks on my meringue...I LOVE MERINGUE!! Throw in a 400 degree oven for about 10 min, just til meringue starts to get golden brown.This is a family favorite...definitely my favorite pie, was my dads too! It's just amazing, I think the name "butterscotch" is kind of a misnomer, because it doesn't really taste like a butterscotch...I'd say more of a creamy caramel taste, nothing strong just sweet, creamy and delicious.

Turkey time!! So when the Apt Thanksgiving started back in college...I was too grossed out to remove the "things" inside the turkey...I made one of my "helpers" (roommates) do it hehe. I'm over it now and just go in, then give it a shower in the sink, dry it off and plop it into the pan. You add a nice ball o' stuffing in the cavity, and a little stuffing on the other end too. Fold the wings in and down, legs back into the little holder, and rub it with softened butter, salt and pepper!!I don't baste, you just make a loose foil tent which keeps the moisture in, then remove it for the last 45min-hour to brown the skin...moist and delicious!Our guests had a nice cheese platter to hold them over until turkey time...
My roommate and I had a wonderful time at this Cheese Shop in Wellesley...its like heaven. They have every cheese imaginable and they give you big tastes of anything you want. So as we were deciding we got to try two amazing aged Goudas and 2 of the decadent double and triple creams. I haven't the slightest idea what the exact names of the ones we got but they were incredible!

Now for some sides!
One of my FAVS!! The green beans! In the past we've always done the traditional green bean casserole...which is delish, BUT last year my aunt made these Green Beans with Pancetta and Sage, and it was love at first bite!
The crispy salty pancetta and the wonder flavor of sage make these SO insanely good!

The Carrots! Remember the HUGE yellow and orange carrots, well these were simply sliced, boiled, then tossed with some butter and maple syrup. However, its important to drain the carrots and SAVE THE CARROT WATER!! It's used to make the gravy.Another side dish that was switched up this year...the squash!

Usually I just bake, mash, and mix in some butter and brown sugar...but I knew I just had to make my aunts Squash Souffle! (btw I have many aunts, so if I reference "aunt" its not always the same one haha).

This stuff is frikin incredible and probably could be a dessert, but for now its just a creamy rich side dish. Again, don't have the exact recipe at the moment...but I think it was...

2 sticks of butter...yeah...I cut it down to about 1.6 sticks, but I think 1 stick would of been fine (this is a doubled recipe btw).

2 boxes frozen winter squash
1/2 cup (?) sugar
1/2 cup (?) flour
6 eggs
4 cups milk

Since its a souffle you have to mix, pour into pan, and bake right away so I waited until the turkey was out, then quickly mixed and into the oven!

Melt butter, add to squash in mixer, blend, add flour, sugar, then 1 EGG AT A TIME, while beating on medium. I'd beat this for a min or want to get some air incorporated in there...then slowly add the milk. This is a lot for the mixer so don't turn it up or it will splatter everywhere.

Pour into pan...bake at 350 for 1 hour.Then there were the Mashed potatoes...and I can't believe I have NO PICTURE!! Again, I changed it up a little...normally it's just the peel, boil, mash, butter, milk, S&P...not this year...I cranked it up a notch with Caramelized Shallot and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes! The recipe is for sage, which I'm sure would be awesome, but since we had sage with the beans, I went with Rosemary. The flavors are very subtle but so so good. My base potato recipe was not the one listed in the recipe, but I used a Cooks Illustrated version. Basically peel, and STEAM the potatoes in a big pot with the strainer insert that you would use for pasta! I've learned that this method, or boiling the potatoes WITH the skin, then peeling is better as to not get too much water into your potatoes.

Lets see what else... Gravy,

Take the Turkey pan with its drippings, put it over 2 burners on medium, add the carrot juice, and 3 bullion cubes, get it simmering, dissolving the bullion. While whisking briskly, as a flour/water mixture slowly until slightly thickened, let it come to a boil stiring here and there until its thicker.

Ok I think Thats it!! Man that was long. I love doing this every year, and yeah it's a FULL weekend of work but so worth it :)

I leave you with thisThe roomies pumpkin pie is in the upper left :)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!


  1. AMAZING, first, Thanksgiving dinner!

  2. Ahh, so sorry about the "pecan roasting mishap" - but HELL FREAKING YES for a BEYOND incredible Thanksgiving spread of fooooood.

  3. WOW!!!!!!!!!! That pecan pie looks outstanding!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. ah! this looks so good! I have never made meringue but have always wanted to! Yours looks gorgeous!

  5. holy cow, what a spread!!! gorgous!!! i need to make a meringue-toped pie now :) have a great thanksgiving!!! (sorry for all the !, i just got wicked excited reading this)

  6. Wow! Everything looks amazing!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  7. Wow you really did a great job putting all of those treats together. Seriously I am DYING for Thanksgiving tomorrow!!

  8. This post is soooo amazingly detailed and full of delicious eats! That pecan pie looks absolutely divine.

  9. The pecan pie looks incredible! You did a super job! Enjoy the "fruits" of your labor. :D

  10. Wow. You seem like a great cook :-) I love all the food and I'm soo impressed by the 22 lb turkey. Holey moley! Haha. Happy early Thanksgiving!!!

  11. Oh my goodness! You're quite the cook! Everything looks wonderful!!!

  12. I am so amazed! This is an incredible post. I really love the process pictures. :)

  13. That pecan pie looks absolutely incredible... I've never had chocolate pecan pie but it sounds amazing! I love square/rectangular tart pans too :D