24 November 2018

Weekend Cooking: Thanksgiving at My House

Weekend Cooking: My Thanksgiving 2018Happy holiday weekend for those in the United States. This week is all about traditional foods, family, and friends. Thanksgiving dinner can be tricky to time right, and there sure are a ton of dishes to wash, but there's nothing difficult about any of the dishes.

This post includes a photo of my pies and the cranberry sauce, which you may have already seen on Instagram. I didn't take a picture of the turkey, the finished dish I'm sharing, or of the table brimming with food. As usual, I forgot until dinner was almost over. Ooops.

I made my usual pumpkin pies, and I always make the whole berry cranberry sauce from the back of the Ocean Spray package. I make dinner rolls with honey in them, which we really use mostly for sandwiches over the weekend. Of course, there's also mashed potatoes and homemade gravy.

Thoughts on Michael Ruhlman's Thanksgiving turkeyI have been using Julia Child's method of roasting turkey from her The Way to Cook, since the book was published in 1989. This year, I decided to try Michael Ruhlman's method in his book How to Roast. This was one of the best (and easiest) turkeys we've had. I'm not going to share the recipe, because you can find it over at Publisher's Weekly, though you can't see the photos. (I used an orange instead of the lemon.)

What attracted me to this recipe was that it was for an unstuffed bird (the way I always make my turkey) and the size range was similar to ours. Plus I totally trust Ruhlman when it comes to kitchen advice.

I didn't do the braising part at the end. Instead, we cut off the legs and thighs and put them in pan with a little stock and slipped them in a low oven along with the mashed potatoes (covered). We loosely tented the turkey carcass (no one eats the skin, so we weren't worried about it losing crispness) and let it sit while I finished the gravy. This was so, so delicious. (photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman)

Pumpkin pie by Beth Fish ReadsWe tried a cider bourbon drink to start off the afternoon/evening. We used cider we bought from a local fruit farm, which we warmed in the microwave and then added bourbon, Cointreau, thyme, and a lemon wedge. It was good, but not good enough to share the recipe.

One new dish that I'll definitely make again, especially in the summer, came from the Good Housekeeping site and is by Katie Lee (you may remember her from my review of her cookbook Easy Breezy Eats). I liked the idea that I could serve this at room temperature, so I could make it a couple of hours ahead, which freed up stove space.

I followed the recipe exactly but after I tossed the beans with the tapenade, I thought the dish needed a spark. I added a good squeeze of lemon, which really completed the flavors. These beans were also good the next day cold as a kind of salad. I think this dish would be fantastic in the summer with garden-fresh beans and served at a cookout or picnic.

Green Beans with Olive-Almond Tapenade
Recipe for Katie Lee's Green Beans with Olive Almond TapenadeServes 4

  • 1/4 cup whole almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup large pitted green olives
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons packed parsley leaves plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a food processor, pulse almonds until finely chopped. Add olives, zest, and parsley. Pulse until finely ground. Add oil and pulse until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.

Steam or boil the green beans until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and run under cool water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and place in a serving bowl.

Add the tapenade to the beans and toss until evenly coated. Garnish with parsley. (photo from the Good Housekeeping site)
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

NOTE: Mr. Linky sometimes is mean and will give you an error message. He's usually wrong and your link went through just fine the first time. Grrrr.


rhapsodyinbooks 11/24/18, 6:04 AM  

Every Thanksgiving I vow not to overeat, but alas. It sounds like you had some great food choices at yours!

bermudaonion 11/24/18, 7:42 AM  

Since it was just the two of us and we worked Thursday, we bought our turkey breast pre-cooked from a friend of ours who just opened a restaurant and made all our sides. I'm all about olives and am marking that green bean recipe - it looks delicious.

gluten Free A_Z Blog 11/24/18, 8:03 AM  

I was invited to my daughter in law and son for Thanksgiving. I made a black bean and salsa dip for appetizers and an acorn squash salad for the meal.. I didn't over eat and enjoyed the day. Your Thanksgiving looks very traditional.

Claudia 11/24/18, 9:11 AM  

Looks like yours was a good, tasty one. I'd like to try that green beans with tapenade dish myself. We had a fairly quiet meal this year.

Deb in Hawaii 11/24/18, 10:52 AM  

I volunteered to prep food for a Salvation Army meal in the morning with my work group and then kept it mellow with friends for dinner. Your meal looks delicious. I am definitely tagging the green beans to make. Yum! ;-)

Mae Travels 11/24/18, 11:53 AM  

Great to see everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We skipped out this year — Paris with family — instead of turkey a meal at a Michelin-recommended restaurant (without stars but very very good)! Nice to change what you do once in a while. Your thanksgiving menu sounds delicious, Beth! I’ll catch up on everyone’s blogs when I get back to the US.

best...mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Les in Oregon 11/24/18, 12:43 PM  

I'm going to save Ruhlman's turkey recipe for future reference, but I have to ask, do you really take the turkey out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temp for 4 hours? Is that safe?

Cecelia 11/24/18, 1:12 PM  

I like the look of that green bean recipe! We haven't had green beans for years at Thanksgiving - we seem to rotate between brussels sprouts, asparagus, and something with kale (along with a green salad).

Vicki 11/24/18, 1:34 PM  

That turkey sounds good, thanks for the link!

Laurie C 11/25/18, 10:59 AM  

I love the sound of this green bean recipe! We were carting food over to my mom's house instead of hosting, so I made a lot of salad-type sides that can be served at room temperature. Great for a buffet-style dinner, too!
I also forgot to take pictures of our Thanksgiving spread!

Peaceful Reader 11/25/18, 11:55 AM  

The green bean recipe sounds delicious. The way you prepared the turkey sounds interesting even though I haven't made a turkey in years. I used to brine mine for a few days before. I hope your holiday was lovely.

Heidenkind 11/25/18, 11:02 PM  

I’m a big fan of America’s Test Kitchen Easier Roast Turkey. This is the second year in a row we’ve made it. Unfortunately there was a snafu with the grocery store and we got a frozen turkey on Wednesday, but it still worked - I just extended the cooking time by 50%

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 11/26/18, 6:28 PM  

Those green beans are tagged for future times! Thanks for sharing and I miss being part of Weekend Cooking, but as we settle more I to this RV life as Park volunteers, I hope to join the fun again. Thank you.

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