Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Dinner . . . Pizza!

This afternoon Jen made a turkey salad with nappa cabbage, raddicchio, scallions, turkey, and a sweet soy dressing. Regretfully we did not capture a picture of this creation.

For dinner tonight I made this pizza using all the turkey leftovers with some grilled pizza dough and a small amount of Fontina over the top. Jen was suspicious of this dish (as she often is of my cooking) and in the end would prefer her "tastes kept separate." I prefer my tastes as intermingled as possible so I was a big fan of tonight's dinner.

Jen had purchased this wine on the recommendation of the wine shop guy who said it would be a good accompaniment to turkey dinner. I'm not sure if he meant that to include turkey pizza but I thought it worked very well.

For dessert we had some leftover cupcakes from Betty Bakery in Brooklyn. Some kind friends that visited this afternoon had brought them over while we provided lunch.

Now the only thing that remains is perhaps a turkey pot pie and we may have made our way through this tiny turkey. The only thing that will remain then will be making the tiniest pot of turkey stock in history, followed by the world's tiniest soup.

I do love a tiny meal.

Hot Turkey Sandwiches (Variations on a Theme)

In July of 2008 I tasted this fantastic pickled herring from Blue Hill Bay out of Brooklyn, New York. Sadly it wasn't until April of 2009 that I stumbled upon it in a forum where I could actually purchase it. Sadder even still was that I was unable to find anyone who would enjoy consuming the herring with me until this weekend when Jen's dad was in town.

Truth be told, I had forgotten I even had this herring around. I thought that after our trip to Aquavit this summer that Jen would have opened up to having some herring. I was mistaken. Every time the herring would turn up in the fridge I would suggest it to a look of partially masked disgust on Jen's part. Then, on the day after Thanksgiving, Jen's dad discovered the herring in the fridge and I had found my herring buddy.

Served on some pumpernickel bagel pieces from Davidovich Bagel & Lox Factory this was the perfect pre-day-after-Thanksgiving treat.

The traditional hot turkey sandwiches of Jen's youth require french fries as an accompaniment. Given that our deep fryer requires $20 of oil to fill for use we opted to once again make potato wedges which I arranged in this Jenga-style presentation.

There was (and is) a difference of opinions as to how the hot turkey sandwiches should be presented so we had three versions:

Jen's was a closed turkey sandwich with hot gravy over the top and vegetables on the side.

Gary had the idea of using naan as a base (brilliant) but did not trust enough in this innovation that he would eat this exclusively. Thus he also had a plain white bread version as insurance. He felt that the turkey should go on the bread with sides and vegetables on the side.

I prefer my sandwiches open-faced. I also prefer my vegetables, stuffing, and everything on top of the bread in one ungodly heap. While I had plenty of faith in the naan idea I also wanted to have the white bread version as well as it is hard to pass on tradition.

There's no tradition like a new tradition! It's a naan issue!



For Thanksgiving we had our first guest in a number of years: Jen's dad. Apparently he really wanted to spend the holiday with his eldest daughter and son-in-law and that was the only reason he came to visit. The fact that he brought a car full of Jen's things to drop off was completely unrelated to his visit.

Some cheese plates only contain cheeses from one or two animals. Ha! I wasn't about to let our Thanksgiving suffer from lack of species! That is why we enjoyed a delicious goat, sheep, and cow's milk cheese! And, of course, with company over we were contractually obligated to use our slate board and write the cheese names in chalk, something that always seems like a better idea in theory than in execution. You see, in order to be able to write the name of the cheese legibly you must write it so large that it leaves very little room on the slate for the cheese itself.

Still, totally worth it.

For Thanksgiving dinner Jen made braised carrots (actually leftover from the farm), bacon-maple and apple roasted brussel sprouts, brined and roasted turkey (a tiny nine-pounder), mashed potatoes, sausage cornbread stuffing, and sweet bread rolls.

For dessert Jen made her standard pecan tassies and we also had this pumpkin pie which bares a striking resemblance to the pumpkin pie we had for Canadian Thanksgiving.

After dinner we spent most of the evening watching Rocky & Bullwinkle on Google Video. This largely involved Snuffles the levitating dog who reacts to his dog treats in much the same fashion we reacted to Jen's pecan tassies.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Prelude to Thanksgiving

In short there were not that many great meals in the past couple of weeks.

The only noteworthy thing I made was this bacon-wrapped cod loin. I wrapped it in bacon, roasted some cayenne-sprinkled pumpkin and onion in a pan, then tossed this in at the very end. It was a particularly fantastic piece of cod that didn't really need to be wrapped in bacon but like most things wrapped in bacon it did not suffer from the preparation.

A friend I haven't seen in a decade sent me some of her famous strawberry empanadas which I baked in the oven. These is one of my favorite desserts from my restaurant past. It's even more favorite when sent to me, oven-ready, and free!

As if that wasn't enough to give thanks for, there was another dinner looming on the horizon that Jen was going to singlehandedly prepare while I sat on my duff.

Lo, there is a lot to give thanks for.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's All About The Brussel Sprouts

I'm short on time so here it goes . . .

Last week:

Roast Chicken with Cayenne-Roasted Pumpkin.


Mozzarella and Pine Nut Salad.

Pan Roasted Cod Loin with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Spaghetti Squash. The sprouts were from Harvest Farm in Whately, Massachusetts.

The wine was Dr. Konstantin Frank Rkatsiteli. This is a wine from the Finger Lakes. I can only assume from the name that Dr. Konstantin Frank Rkatsiteli is the name of an evil scientist who is trying to help Soviet Russia develop its nuclear program by stealing secrets from American scientists.

And in his spare time he makes wine.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grilled Pizza Assembly

It's hard to say that I actually made dinner this evening. I was, however, involved with its assembly. It only took about nine minutes to put together and about seven minutes to eat.

I got a sample of a new ready-made grilled pizza crust which is made in Rhode Island. The crust is called Top This! and it's from my home state. Top that!

With three varieties of heirloom tomato which I'm unable to identify, a little mozzarella and a brief time on the oven rack at 450 degrees the pizza came out pretty well. I tossed all the chopped tomatoes with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and let them sit in a strainer for about 25 minutes to drain before topping the pizza. I used the leftover juice to dress a salad (made with additional heirloom tomatoes).

For dessert: a Baba Booey cupcake which Jen was kind enough to pick up from Crumbs's new shop at Grand Central. Jen's verdict: pretty good. My verdict: excellent. My level of admiration for things chocolate and peanut butter is easily achieved.

Coming soon: I may get time to actually make dinner. You'd better look out for that action!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Spooktacular Feast

With my parents in town and Halloween upon us it was finally time to carve the giant, expensive pumpkin we procured last weekend on our trip through Westchester County.

We managed to save up enough of the random local newspapers that we inexplicably get delivered to line our floor for a good carving session.

The dinner we made was a traditional Halloween dinner. Well, maybe a traditional dinner at The Olive Garden. We made heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella salad, stuffed shells, and salad. The only thing missing: unlimited bread sticks, the spookiest Halloween dish of all!

Tonight I made a salad with the leftover tomato and potato from the other night with a little additional lemon and olive oil.

For the main course I used the pumpkin seeds to make this chili-cumin pepita crusted mahi mahi. Tonight's challenge was in trying to make anything edible out of the nearly vacant fridge but I think we did our best.

Tomorrow's dinner will likely be three boiled potatoes unless some sort of grocery store visit takes place. Tomorrow's dinner happiness depends largely on whether of not time will permit said shopping trip.

Fingers crossed for time.