Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Notes & Pictures

The numbers:
8 adults, 11 courses, 7 bottles, 6 hours.

The pictures:

Duck and pear:

Melons are long since out of season, so these are local organic red bartlett pears. This duck took about three months to cure, but was SOOOO worth the wait.

Leek & Gruyère tart:

A dribble of truffle oil and grating of Indonesian long pepper on top put this one into orbit.

Celery root-leek-potato soup:

Local milk, veggies from the garden, and passed through a tamis for ultra-velvety texture. Wild chives for garnish.


These frostproof greens are making a big difference to our quality of life right about now.


The kimchi juice firms up the scallops a bit, and gives them a rich flavor. I cooked the eggs in a bit of smoked duck fat.

Squash broth with ham "ravioli":

I got the gelatin-filtered squash broth idea from Derrick, and added the smoked ham ravioli (glued together with activa) to make it more substantial. Great (even better than the scallops) with the Gewurtz.

Marrow bone w/buckwheat "risotto":

A nice combination of wintry flavors: fat, grain, intense meat reduction. Another particularly good wine match with the old Burg.

Plating the gnocchi (picture by John):

After boiling, I browned them in the rendered duck fat with sage leaves. This "Thanksgiving on a plate" idea worked really well; it was the essence of bird, creamy potato, sweet tangy cranberry, and wild greens, and satisfied Christine's desire for something traditional.

Duck confit:

No pictures of the cheese. Sorry. Here's the panna cotta, though:

This tasted like essence of pumpkin chiffon pie (also to please my wife,) with a super-tangy sauce that did a good job of conjuring the lemon-stuck-with-cloves flavor I was shooting for.

Last, the tart:

Out of focus- but by then, so was I- a nice way to finish like we started, with pears and crust, and an ice cream I'm pretty proud of. The port added a wonderful hazelnut complexity to the whole thing.

On the whole, it came out much as I had hoped. Everyone was thoroughly full and satisfied without being stuffed, and there were hardly any leftovers to deal with (except for duck bones to make soup.) It hit some traditional notes, went to some newer places, and stayed pretty solidly local with the ingredients.


cookiecrumb said...

I'm very excited about your duck prosciutto. I didn't know it would take so long in the "root cellar."
I gotta do that.
Happy happy!

peter said...

The meat was pretty firm after a month or so, but the fat took a long time because it was so thick. Next time I'll either trim some of it or smoke it a bit to render some off.

I took it to my butcher to use his deli slicer so it's nice and thin.

cookiecrumb said...

This is why we must befriend our purveyors, and thanks for the suggestion!