I feel a little deflated (metaphorically speaking, physically I’m too full to do more than sit on this lounger by the pool and type this in) now that T-Day is over. All that planning! The precision, the schedules, the recipes, the many many rounds of grocery shopping (they really need to create a one-stop-shop), the endless amounts of prep (chop slice dice sautee, rinse and repeat!) the polishing of the silverware and setting the tables, all the activity and the energy that went into that one great meal :) There is nothing more satisfying than winning the war. So now I feel a teensy bit empty without a chopper in one hand and a whisk in the other.
But I must say, it was a wonderful meal (not because the menu went exactly as planned, though that certainly helped) because my brother and I shared it with family, wonderful friends and loved ones that we’re lucky enough to have in our lives. So this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for all the little things that each and everyone of you have done to make the transition back to life in Singapore so blessedly easy for my brother and me!*
But enough sappiness and sentimentality, onto the stuff you really want to see! The Food, oh glorious beloved FOOD!
Roasted pears stuffed with blue cheese, toasted walnuts and dried cranberries on a bed of greens.
Roasted round mushrooms stuffed with prosciutto di parma, onions and herbs.
Classic tomato soup. This simple make-ahead recipe will save you lots of time and stress. Served here with a topping of shredded cheddar.
Dawn’s freaking addictive potato salad. I swear she must put crack in this stuff cos I can’t stop eating it! C and I have pretty much finished off the leftovers, 3 helpings each!
Sage sausage & apple stuffing. We made the sage sausage ourselves with regular pork sausage from Huber’s Butchery and combined it with a lot of fresh minced sage and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.
2 lbs of roasted garlic that went into the super garlicky mashed potatoes. Garlic should be a food group! It is in this family :)
Homemade honey-glazed ham with Ting’s apple-cinnamon sauce on the side. Always make your own apple sauce, it’s easy and a gazillion times better than the store-bought variety.
And another shot of the star of the show and his disloyal sidekick who happily devoured him (what else did you expect? His entire existence was for the sole purpose of satisfying many ravenous Thanksgiving folk, who are all very thankful for his great sacrifice!), our darling butterball Bob. You served us well to the noble end my juicy, tender friend! Now to make stock with your carcass.
Fruit cognac in pastry cups topped with Ben&Jerry’s ice cream and a drizzling of berry syrup. This dish wins the award for most visually appealing to my brother’s Canon 5D Mark II. This really impressed the guests.
Tarte au Citron (French Lemon Tart), which was all atas and frenchified because of its laborious origins, courtesy of The infuriatingly skinny Obscure Baker :) Lucky bitch (and I mean that in the best way my dear!)
Chocolate Pot de Creme, err not difficult at all but French nonetheless cos it sounds prettier that way and because it’s from Balthazar’s Cookbook. This wonderfully rich tiny pot of magic will win over even the most devout chocolate hater (I know right! Chocolate haters!!?! Inconceivable! How do people like that live with themselves?)
And a parting shot of Miss D cutting into that beautifully presented and absolutely delightful Tarte au Citron. There aren’t any leftovers of this little darling but how I wish there were!
I know a lot of you are food buffs like me, and I cannot possibly take credit for all these wonderful recipes created by chefs much more gifted than I am, so here they are! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
- Ina Garten’s Roasted Pear, walnut & blue cheese salad.
- Mark Bittman’s #38, Stuffed mushrooms with prosciutto di parma.
- Martha’s Classic Tomato Soup. The easiest thing you could dream of making. If you want great food fast, then I highly recommend her cookbook, Everyday Food. This cooking bible got me through college eating healthy and eating well.
- Food Network’s Sage sausage & apple stuffing.
- Michael Chiarello’s Definitive Mashed Potatoes with roasted garlic.
- Honey-glazed ham with a side of Ting’s apple sauce.
- Bob the Big Bird served with roasted veggies.
- Bob the Big Bird’s Brine Bath. Want a juicy bird? Well then brine, Brine, BRINE! The key to a juicy turkey lies in Miss Lawson’s concoction and a good 24 hours of patient waiting while Bird soaks leisurely in his bath. Also, many of the pleasures and principles of good food lie in her huge tome, How to Eat. It’s brilliantly written and completely in her style, it’s like having Nigella whispering the instructions to you in her sexy British accent.
- Gravy. It is a dish all on its own and many a time it is better than the Turkey not this time though!). The recipe requires “rich stock” you can use beef or chicken I suppose, but what really makes a gravy good is veal jus, there is no stock richer or more flavourful on the market (if you know of one you have to share!). You could make your own (insane), or you could buy some off the shelf at Culina.
- Fruit cognac in pastry cups.
- Chocolate Pot de Creme, recipe courtesy of Balthazar. This fabulously easy recipe is not for the sugar-haters among us or those that cower from the awesomeness that is heavy cream.
I’ll try to bugger Dawn and Drea for their respective recipes. If you’re desperate for the Drea’s tantalizing Tarte au Citron or Dawn’s delicious potato salad I suggest you bugger them yourself :)
Also, if you’re curious to know where I got what (which as I’ve recently learned is no easy feat in this country) please drop a line, there are simply too many different places to list! But the key groceries (gourmet and otherwise) are: Culina, Huber’s, Market Place, FairPrice at Bukit Timah Plaza and Phoon Huat.
*There are many, many more people who should’ve come to our Thanksgiving dinner so that we could thank them for being part of our lives, but the idea of cooking for more than 20 people the first time I used the new kitchen (or more than 20 people in general) makes me want to stick my head in our beautiful new Gaggenau and roast myself. So, do not fear my lovely friends, there will be many more meals around that table and you’re all invited on the condition that you bring ravenous appetites, good cheer and stretchy pants!
Now, onto Christmas! CHARGE!