From Flats To Lofts

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Thanksgiving Monday

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It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is Thursday. I love Thanksgiving. I love turkey and mashed potatoes and everything pumpkin, so it is really the perfect holiday for me. Evan and I were talking about it last night, but this will be the first Thanksgiving we have spent at home (our two Thanksgivings in India aren’t included in this since the first year we merely ate mashed potatoes and corn while skyping Mom and Dad and the second year I can’t for the life of me remember what we ate, but am pretty sure even chicken wasn’t on the menu due to local strikes). So, in honor of our first official Thanksgiving at home where we will be cooking our own turkey on the day I thought it might be helpful to give you some ideas if you are scrounging for what to do to make this Thanksgiving a little tastier.

Here’s our menu (recipes listed at the end of the post):

TURKEY: we opt for a turkey breast instead of the whole turkey since, (1) I don’t like bones and (2) there are only two of us. We traditionally bought our turkey breast from Fresh Market in the States, but this year we will be venturing into the world of Costco since the turkey breast at the local butcher is out of our price range. What makes a good turkey is the prep work. Sarabeth and I stumbled upon Ina Garten’s recipe a few years back and it will be gracing my turkey again this year.

MASHED POTATOES: this is again an Ina Garten recipe, but can you really mess up potatoes and butter. Any variety is sure to be delicious in my book!

VEGGIES: I’m basic. We go for corn and peas and carrots roasted with our turkey. No fuss there and no additional casserole dishes to clean!

We often have our Thanksgiving meal as a late lunch/early dinner, which always leaves me starving all morning long. So, we are going to make a sort of brunch this year to help keep my hunger at bay.

We’ll be having eggs benedict with spinach in the place of Canadian bacon and deep fried donuts. I’ve baked donuts on several occasions in the past and absolutely love my donut pan, but I kept coming across fried donuts. We will be joining up with some fellow Americans for dessert so figured my frying attempts in the morning can be shared with all in the evening and then I’m not tempted to eat all 30 donuts by myself on Friday!

TURKEY RUB:

2 tbsp good olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup dry white wine

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture evenly all over the skin of the turkey breast. (You can also loosen the skin and smear half of the paste underneath, directly on the meat.) Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

MASHED POTATOES:

3 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled
Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with cold water and add enough salt so the water tastes quite salty. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan, making sure it doesn’t boil. Set aside until the potatoes are done.

As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander. Place a food mill fitted with a small disc/blade over a glass bowl. Process the potatoes through the food mill, turning the handle back and forth to force the potatoes through the disc. As soon as the potatoes are mashed, slowly whisk in enough of the hot milk/butter mixture to make the potatoes very creamy. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and the sour cream and pepper and whisk to combine. Taste for seasoning and serve hot.

PUMPKIN DONUTS:

  • 1 cup of apple cider
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp butter {melted}
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree
  • over medium heat, reduce the apple cider to 1/4 cup {this will take about 10 minutes}
  • combine the flour, spice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda
  • cream together the eggs,sugar, butter, and pumpkin
  • stir in the cider, and the buttermilk, alternating with the flour
  • – you may need to add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more flour if the dough is too sticky
  • heat oil for frying {make sure you have 2 – 3 inches of oil n the pot}
  • until it reaches 350 {I always test by dropping a small ball of dough into the oil, when the oil is ready for frying, the dough will brown quickly, and float to the top}
  • roll dough on a WELL floured surface {1/2 inch thick}
  • cut into doughnuts
  • fry only 2 or 3 at a time {about 60 seconds per side}
  • drain on brown paper bags
  • toss with cinnamon sugar

APPLE CIDER DONUTS:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Canola oil for deep-frying
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

In a small saucepan, bring the cider to a boil over high heat. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. In a bowl, sift together the 3 1/4 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the butter. Using a handheld mixer on low speed, beat until the mixture forms fine crumbs. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, 1/4 cup of the reduced cider and the vanilla until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute, adding up to 1/4 cup more flour if needed. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and pat it out to a layer 1/2 inch thick. Freeze until slightly firm, 15 minutes.

Heat a deep-fryer to 350°F or pour oil to a depth of at least 3 inches into a heavy, deep saucepan and heat over high heat to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Set a large wire rack on another rimmed baking sheet and place near the stove. Return the dough to the work surface. Using a doughnut cutter 3 inches in diameter, and dipping the cutter into flour before each cut, cut out as many doughnuts as possible, pressing straight down and lifting straight up. Transfer the doughnuts and the holes to the parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Gather up the scraps and repeat rolling and cutting.

Using a metal spatula, carefully lower a few of the doughnuts into the hot oil, being sure not to crowd the pan. Deep-fry the doughnuts, turning them once at the halfway point, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a wire skimmer, transfer to the rack to drain. Repeat until all of the doughnuts have been fried, then add the doughnut holes to the oil and deep-fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let cool.

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan, bring the remaining 1/4 cup reduced cider to a boil over high heat. Add the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat. Holding each doughnut or doughnut hole by its edges, briefly dip it, smooth side down, into the glaze, letting the excess drip back into the saucepan. Place on the wire rack, glazed side up, and let stand until the glaze is set, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 1 dozen doughnuts and 1 dozen holes.

 

If you’ve hit a culinary wall in preparing for this Thanksgiving I hope this helps! It makes me hungry just thinking about it.

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One thought on “Thanksgiving Monday

  1. I wish I was coming to your house!

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