Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Day is here! Aren’t you amazed by so much celebration for such an ugly animal?

I work for Big Bossman & family on Thanksgivings and we usually do a very traditional Thanksgiving dinner for about 25 people. I don’t like to experiment too much on that day, in my opinion it should be all about comfort food and not nouvelle cuisine.
Here’s my menu for this year’s:
  • Chestnut & Fennel soup w/ apple-walnut chutney & fried sage
  • Roasted Turkey with giblets gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed sweet potatoes, sauteed wild mushrooms & cippolini onions, green beans & baby carrots. Cornbread stuffing (with sage sausage, chicken liver etc…)
  • Pies assortment (Pumpkin, Apple, Pecan, Mincemeat)
I usually make two of each pie so there are plenty of leftovers for guests to take home, it’s a nice touch and that’s what the Holiday is all about after all, besides fighting with your relatives of course.

Sometimes people underestimate the power of the cranberry. Many buy it canned or if they do make it fresh, they just throw the cranberries in a pot with water and sugar and let it cook down. That’s pretty boring. If done properly the cranberry sauce can make your whole plate sing because let’s face it, turkey needs a little help. Here’s what i do, i spice it up a little with vanilla bean, cinnamon, ginger and orange zest. It doesn’t overpower the cranberries but brings extra perfume. Over the years i received rave reviews for it.

ZenChef Cranberry sauce

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 water
  • Two 1/4 inch thick slices peeled ginger
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 orange peel
  • Pinch of salt
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan, cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring, until the cranberries start to lose their shape and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat. Refrigerate. Discard the ginger, vanilla bean, orange peel and cinnamon stick before serving.

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  • §pinzer

    hey great thanksgiving meal!

    Turkey meat’s cheap here in the UK, so I’ve been making assorted dishes with it for the last 4 years I’ve been here… but something tells me if I try cooking up a dish closely resembling your menu, it may actually turn up being a pleasant surprise, especially with that cranberry sauce of yours!

    Can’t wait to try it, but first thing’s first: gotta have a few attempts to create that sauce of yours, but be sure to expect a few failures =P

  • Claude-Olivier

    Je dois dire que je ne suis pas un fan de la dinde..j’aime pas trop sa chaire et son gout, mais cuisinée comme ceci, why not!

  • Zen Chef

    Claude-olivier, moi non plus je ne suis pas un fan. Mais une fois par an…pourquoi pas!

  • Zen Chef

    Azra, Turkey is not as good as a Panna Cotta for sure but you should stay away from aphrodisiac desserts until you fix your love life anyway!!
    hehehehehe…it’s your counsellor talking! haha

  • Waliz

    zen – errr i want oyster to but baked wth cheese…

    azra – zen has taken my profession..wht am i suppose to do now?