Thanksgiving dinner and pecan pie
It has been strangley warm lately and it doesn’t quite feel like November but sunshine and almost stormy weather tempted me to go for a walk on the pier. Standing at the very end watching the sea makes me feel like it is a little easier to breathe and I have always loved the sense of space. The sea is ever changing and it even looked different from different parts of the pier!
The sun was beautiful on the water and I couldn’t stop snapping away with the camera.
As the weekend approached activities in the house increased. I had a house to tidy up and food to plan and prepare with friends arriving. I was thinking about what to cook and as it almost coincided with one of my friends birthday I thought I would make something different. In the end I decided to make a Thanksgiving dinner. I haven’t had one since I was in the US during Thanksgiving and that was quite a while ago.
This week is special as, I am co hosting Fiesta Friday with the lovely Loretta, Safari of the Mind! Her blog is full of delicious recipes and interesting stories from her travel! Come and join us if you have cooked something or just browse and get inspired by amazing recipes!
Once in a restaurant on holiday I had sweet corn pudding as a side dish to steak. I loved it and have been on the hunt for a recipe ever since with no sucess. During my research for the Thanksgiving dinner I finally came across one, I saved it with the speed of light and couldn’t wait to try it. I found it on the Food Network site and here it is. I followed the recipe to a tee and it was great. I will make some tweaks next time but it is a great recipe and I am so happy I found one.
My Thanksgiving Dinner menu
Pumpkin and cumin soup (recipe here)
Bacon roasted crown of turkey with mash, sweet corn pudding and gravy
I did think of having some cheese after the dessert but there was no room for even a crumble of cheese!
There is no Thanksgiving without turkey. I couldn’t quite cope with the thought of a whole turkey as there would be too much meat so I ended up buying a crown. It turned out it would most likely have fed ten to twelve people and there was only six of us but we had just enough leftovers not to get tired of it.
Bacon turkey crown
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time about 2 1/2 hours, until the juices run clear and allow 20-30 mins resting time
oven 175 C or 350F
- A turkey crown, about 2 1/2 kg
- 25 gr or 0.9 oz butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 tsp sea salt
- enough bacon rashes to cover the crown
Mix the butter with the thyme, salt and crushed garlic. Loosen the turkey skin from the breast without removing it and place the butter between the meat and the skin. Place the bacon slices on top and roast in the oven until the juices run clear.
I let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before slicing one breast and the meat was very juicy.
In true tradition I did gravy and a silky smooth mash to go with the meal.
Quick turkey gravy
preparation time 5 minutes
cooking time 15 minutes
- 1 carrot, cubed fine
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 5 dl or 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp cream (optional)
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- a little cold water
- 2 tbsp corn flour
- the cooking juices from the turkey
Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic, onion and carrot. Let the vegetables cook soft and lightly brown. Add the soy sauce, the vinegar and the rice wine. let cook for a minute before adding the chicken stock. Let the sauce boil for 10 minutes and then mix the corn flour with the cold water before adding it to the sauce. Let the corn flour boil and thicken. Last add the cream, if using, and the cooking juices from the turkey, taste with salt and pepper and strain before serving.
In order to give the meal an all American feeling I thought a pecan pie would be a perfect dessert. I have never made one before but I love nuts and pecans are high on my list. Here is the original recipe from the talented chef Aaron Sanchez. I did a few tweaks as you can see below. I have to admit I did make ready made shortcrust pastry as I was short of time but next time I will make my own.
preparation time 15 minutes
cooking time 55 minutes
oven 175C or 350F
- 1 pack of shortcrust pastry
- 200 gr or 7 oz of pecan nuts
- 30 gr butter
- 2 1/2 dl brown sugar
- seeds of 1 vanilla pod
- grated zest of an orange
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 dl or 1 cup runny honey
- 3 large eggs
Roll out the pie dough and line a pie dish. Melt the butter in a pan and add the sugar and whisk until the sugar melted. Add the orange zest, vanilla seeds, salt and runny honey. I enlisted help placing the pecan nuts in the shell, perfectly done and I am sure quite a few nuts were eaten in the process but that is the joy of baking, isn’t it?
Place the pecan nuts in the pie shell and add the filling. Last add the butter mix and bake until set, 50-55 minutes. Let it cool before cutting.
This pecan pie was all I hoped for, sticky, nutty and goey, perfect with ice cream.
The pie was so rich I could make some neighbours happy as well with a piece. Reportedly eaten with berries soaked in creme de cassis, why didn’t I think of that?! It sounds like a great combination.
It was an early Thanksgiving but I thought there is no better way to celebrate this than with friends so why not do it a little early? To everyone who still havne’t celebrated this I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!