Thanksgiving week Menu Swap: sweet potatoes

heritage turkeys

Sea of Book of Yum is hosting the swap this week and has chosen sweet potatoes as the ingredient.  It took me a long time to realize that sweet potatoes are great.  As a kid they were always coated in marshmallows and brown sugar, not having a sweet tooth and not liking marshmallows much, the dish was never for me.  I really like sweet potatoes in a more savory dish.  Or in sweet potato fries.  Speaking of fries, that reminds me that soon we will start a new post series called Deep Fry Fridays, although I seem to deep fry more on Thursdays for the record.  Friday rhymes better.  Since we celiacs typically can’t eat any deep fried foods in restaurants because of cross contamination, I thought I would push our limits and have a deep fry fest month.  I am thinking January might do.  That gets us safely behind the busy holiday season, albeit everyone seems to diet in January.  Deep frying doesn’t have to be super fattening.  Sauteeing can be just as bad.  So stay tuned for some great ideas to dip into your fryer.  Send your suggestions this way too.  We will do a menu round up and see what is frying around the country.

Saturday: Porchetta, leftover from the freezer, ancho chile, cilantro new potatoes, roasted broccoli

Sunday: Szechuan beef (using our grass fed beef) and broccoli stir fry

Monday:  Pizza!!  I will be trying out Whole Foods 365 GF pizza crust mix.

Tuesday: Chicken ala Veracruzana from one of Rick Bayless’s books, arepas (chicken raised by my brother)

Wednesday:Grilled salmon, ethnicity to be determined, sides to be determined.  Leaving this one up in the air for now.  Maybe an Indian theme.

Thursday:  Thanksgiving!  Our menu this year is mostly based on Gourmet’s Come Together menu, very modern Mexican/New Mexican.

Apps: shrimp cocktail with cilantro and lime, chipotle meatballs, guacamole, chips and fresh salsa using my canned tomatoes and adding fresh cilantro, onion and serranos.

Salad: Clementine Jicama Salad

Main course and sides:mango salsa with pomegranate, spiced roasted sweet potatoes, adobo turkey with red-chile gravy (brined and charcoal grilled), corn-bread and chorizo stuffing, poblano potato gratin, green beans with a brown butter shallot sauce, center cut pork loin with rib on the rotisserie (with my homemade Mexican rub), rice (to go with the gravy),  and cranberry sauce (you have to have it)

Desserts:lattice apple pie with mexican brown sugar (although GF it probably won’t be latticed), chocolate cinnamon cream pie, with Pamela’s chocolate cookies used as the crust vs graham crackers, Haagen Daz Swiss Vanilla Rum ice cream

No, I am not cooking all of it, a good friend of mine and her hubby are bringing the meatballs, the stuffing and apple pie and making them all GF, another set of good friends (my aunt and uncle) are bringing sweet potatoes to roast and cranberries.  Both are bringing lots of wine. Both are coming from far away to join us.

Localvore part: We are using our ground pork in the meatballs, skipping the veal, the heritage turkey raised by my brother, the pork loin that we helped raise and butcher, tomatoes that I raised and canned, apples from the farm, potatoes from the farm and all garlic used is from my brother and sister in law.  The tortilla chips are made localy in Ann Arbor and are addictive. Oh, and our bubbly and several wines are local from LMawby Vineyards and 45, a new winery in Suttons Bay, both with great winemakers.

Friday : Brunch with the house guests: Sausage and Egg Casserole with slow roasted tomatoes and mozzarella (using pomodori al forno tomatoes instead of sundried) – this is naturally GF and I made it years ago and finally found the recipe again, recovery bloody marys, home roasted coffee.

Dinner:  Pork Pozole Party: our good friend Dan is in town (as well as our Thanksgiving guests) and we are hosting a party for him so that he has a chance to see everyone.  Pozole sounded like a tasty crowd pleaser and is comfort food for me when it is cold out and it is already cold cold cold out.  Radishes, shredded cabbage and onion for toppings.  We will use our pork for the pozole and red chiles from NM.  Margaritas will flow.

So, a wonderful week is on it’s way and once again, we have a lot to be thankful for!  Happy Thankgiving to all of you!

pigs and apples Ginger with her sides of porkour thanksgiving turkeyheritage turkeys purple potatoes in the gardenripe ready to can tomatoes garden fingerling potatoes apples apples

i’m out

High Holy Food Magazine Day

That’s right, in terms of food and cooking magazines, it is the day I look forward to the most every year.

The Bon Appetit Thanksgiving issue is here!  As many things as I dislike about Bon Appetit, the Thankgiving issue makes up for most of it.  This also means that within days, the Gourmet Thanksgiving issue will be arriving.

heritage turkeys

I will admit, it is only September, but already last week I started thinking about what we wanted to do for my favorite holiday, the one that honors tradition, history, food, friends and family – Thanksgiving.

In the face of tradition I was thinking of doing a pork loin on the grill, or something with pork to give thanks to our piggies – Speck and Parma.
parma and speck speck and parma
We hope to be butchering them around the middle of November.  I have also considered doing the turkey on the rotisserie grill.  Again this year, our turkey will be from my brother’s organically raised heratige turkeys.

heritage turkeys

I am also considering rice instead of potatoes – if I can get away with it. I do love my potatoes but a change of pace might be interesting.
So, let the planning begin!

i’m out

Turkey day planning in full swing and Pancetta is in the freezer

It’s that busy time of year, you know, when you rush off to Chicago for a long weekend of eating and drinking with friends, then you rush off up North to help butcher your pig Pancetta and then to top it all of, Thanksgiving is this week. I have been planning for a month already, but it doesn’t seem to reduce the stress of all the last minute stuff. I have a list of what to prep on what day, starting today with bread baking (with my new cryovac food saver, I can make it ahead of time now) and ancho chile roasted garlic paste making. There is a little extra stress in that my boyfriend’s parents are coming to this holiest of holy food days and I haven’t met them yet. So this year, I am going with my old standbys. A brined and charcoal grilled SW ancho chile garlic roasted turkey (this bird is so fantastic – I have made it about 8 times now) and SW cornbread stuffing.

More about the menu later. I realize that I am way behind on my Pancetta the pig postings. I hope to have some spare time with the long weekend approaching to catch up. We did go up and give her some final yummies, pears! Then we chose to participate in watching the entire process, from death to dressing out (degutting) and skinning. We were there for the butchering and I cut the tenderloin out myself. Now this might gross a lot of you out, I thought it would gross me out, but it didn’t. I feel that if I am going to eat meat, I should be a part of the whole experience of what brings my pork to the table, at least once. I really feel that I should be able to kill my own meat, but I am not ready for that step, yet. We split the pig with my brother and sister in law. I think we have about 200 pounds of pork. The bacon alone from our pig was 40 pounds or so and is now sitting in a smokehouse in Leland – Carlson’s. I will post some pics very soon of the event, with a warning should you not want to see all the events.

Ok, time to hit the road and go visit some farmers. Work stuff. Yes I do hold down a full time job that takes me on the road at all times of day or evening. Sometimes all that work and cooking makes it tough to get the blog time in, because there are 5 knitting projects that need a piece of me too. Luckily for me, these farmers live very close to both Ann Arbor’s Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Lucky for me that I have a flexible schedule and can take time off to prep for Tday. I am lucky in lots of ways, those just to name a slight few. It’s that thankful time of year – Thanksgiving!

By the way, Pancetta tastes fabulous. I made a roast and a Thai dish with some of the pork last week. Fresh and flavorful. I am thankful for her sacrifice and for the opportunity of a pig “share”.

i’m out