Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving for Two

I've never made Thanksgiving dinner before. I want to, but I never get the chance. Thanksgiving is always at someone else's house, which means that I'm not doing the cooking. But it just seems wrong that, on perhaps the biggest food holiday of the year, I'm not in the kitchen whipping up something new (or repeating something new I saw on TV). That's why this year I decided I would have two Thanksgivings, and one would be all mine.

Now, there's sort of a problem with that, as well. It's just me and my fiance at my place, and we can't eat a whole turkey. I would love to have leftovers (turkey sandwiches, turkey tetrazzini, turkey potpie . . . . so many possibilities), but I already have our little freezer stuffed to capacity. So I decided to do a mini Thanksgiving with just enough food for one big meal.

After scouring around a while for the perfect recipes, I decided on turkey cutlets with cornbread, sage, and prosciutto stuffing and brussels sprouts with pancetta. As with most Thanksgiving meals, the turkey, while good, was sort of forgotten among the sides, which were better than good.

The cornbread stuffing had a much finer texture than usual stuffing. It was made with corn muffins, and my muffins broke down a lot during the cooking process. But that's okay. This was one of those rare and wonderful recipes where I wouldn't change a thing, although I imagine it would also be really good with a bit of sausage crumbled in.

The other side was brussels spouts with pancetta. This was the first time I've made brussels sprouts on the stovetop. Normally I roast them in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and the outside leaves begin to brown and crisp and they're just delicious. This recipe (Giada's) calls for cooking the brussels sprouts in a pan with pancetta and chicken stock. These were good, but I missed those outer crispy leaves that you get with roasted brussels sprouts. The fiance, in perpetual opposition to me, liked the softer texture of these sprouts. I'll have to play around with this one some more. Maybe if I left out or reduced the chicken stock, I could get them to be just a bit crisp but not as crisp as ones done in the oven.

For dessert? Leftover pumpkin butter gooey cakes, of course.

So, in short, it was a very satisfying mini Thanksgiving. I actually much prefer a small meal at home to a big elaborate affair at somebody else's house. Of course, I didn't have leftovers, which as everyone knows are one of the best parts of Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll wait til next week and see if I can get a small turkey on sale and, if there's room in my freezer by then, I'll try again....

1 comment:

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This sounds like the perfect menu for a mini Thanksgiving - you get all the great flavors of the season without all the insanity!

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