Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Redux - Some Past Dishes

Yams with Moroccan Compound Butter

We're doing a traditional Thanksgiving meal with family this year, but many times it is just the two of us. Given that, we often try to find a way to do something other than a whole turkey. We also like to try twists on the traditional holiday meal, while still keeping the spirit intact.

Here are a few dishes we've done in years past:

Rolled Turkey Leg Stuffed Thanksgiving-StyleRolled Turkey Leg Stuffed Thanksgiving-Style

We're both dark meat people, so a meal composed solely of the leg and thigh is perfect for us. The stuffing inside keeps things solidly Thanksgiving-y.

Add a sausage in the middle for extra credit.
Thanksgiving Stuffing Croquettes with a Gravy CenterThanksgiving Stuffing Croquettes with a Gravy Center

We invented these little guys last year - a ball of stuffing filled with bits of turkey, coasted in panko crumbs and deep-fried. The molten gravy in the center seals the deal.
Roasted Yams with Moroccan-Spiced Compound ButterRoasted Yams with Moroccan-Spiced Compound Butter

Yams go really well with North African flavors. The simple addition of this compound butter takes a standard holiday side dish in a completely different, delicious direction.
Smoked Turkey BreastSmoked Turkey Breast

And of course we can't forget the smoker...

Have a great and food-filled holiday!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Homemade Mozzarella with Garden-Fresh Tomatoes and Marjoram

Homemade Mozzarella with Tomatoes and Marjoram

Even though we didn't get started on our garden plot until early September, we still wanted to give tomatoes a shot. We planted some varieties known to tolerate colder weather (Early Girl, Siletz, Glacier) , and were lucky to get some help from late season warm weather.

While we haven't gotten a ton of tomatoes, the ones we have are very tasty. Yesterday, Sherry made up a batch of fresh mozzarella to enjoy with some of them. We didn't have any basil on hand, so we picked some sprigs of marjoram from our patio.

Homemade Mozzarella with Tomatoes and Marjoram

Sherry has had trouble making mozzarella in the past, but this batch came out perfectly. It is really easy to make (when it works). If you are interested in giving it a try, stop by our friends' new cheese and wine making shop, Curds and Wine when it opens this Thursday and get yourself some cheese making supplies.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My New Camera Takes Offal Pictures

Smoked Pork Tongue

For years now, I've been plugging away with my little canon point-and-shoot while coveting each new generation of digital SLR cameras that comes out. Last week, I finally took the plunge and gave myself an early birthday present in the form of a Canon T2i.

What better way to break in the new toy than with some pictures of tasty pig parts? Pictured above is smoked pork tongue with a vinaigrette. We were making Coppa di Testa and had a tongue leftover, so we brined it and smoked it at the same time as some slabs of bacon we were doing. Good stuff.

Speaking of the testa, we did a post on Warm Testa with Waxy Potatoes (a recipe from the Babbo Cookbook) way back in 2007. It was a good then, and it is still a good dish now:

Warm Testa with Waxy Potatoes

And we never make a batch of testa without doing some Testa on Toast...

Testa on Toast

So far I'm really pleased with the new camera, although I haven't done much beyond fully automated shooting yet. It does hi def video, so we might have to try our hands at some food in motion. We'll see...