Monthly Archives: November 2015

Procrastinators Thanksgiving Dinner part 2

Fortunately, we’re an evening dinner family, not an afternoon Thanksgiving family.

Apple Pie

As I start this post, I’ve been working on an apple pie. I’ve been using the Kenji easy pie crust recipe. Although experts seem to agree that Granny Smiths are not the best for pie, that’s what I use. Someday we may do an actual experiment to test alternatives. I used to just put the apples in the pie raw, but I’ve started pre-sauteeing them in the hope of reducing the tendency to get an empty dome under the top crust.

Into the oven around noon. Just in time to turn on the Ags vs Gonzaga in basketball from the Bahamas.

Cornbread dressing

This is where googling for recipes should really be done ahead of time. I had decided not to do oysters, but there are some nice sounding recipes that use things like sausage and apples. But I used all the apples in the pie and didn’t have sausage. And the store was completely out of sage. And the last bag of cornbread croutons is preseasoned with who knows what. But I improvised by sauteeing in butter and oil:

  • Mushrooms
  • Cajun trinity: Onion, Celery, and Green Bell Pepper + garlic

I added my own dried parsley, oregano, thyme., and a dash of chili flakes Tossed with the cornbread mix.  Moistened with stock with butter melted into it.

At this point the Ags and Zags are playing a very close second half.

Into a 350 F oven for about half an hour.

Ags upset #10 Zags!!! Whoop!

Cranberry Orange Relish

This is one of the easiest recipes ever. Checking the internet, there are lots of variations.

  • I bag cranberries
  • 1 or 2 unpeeled oranges, cut into segments. You want the peel.
  • 0.5 c sucrose. Many recipes use more than that, but we like it tart.
  • ~0.5 c pecans


Leftover relish is good on vanilla ice cream, btw.

More coming…

Procrastinator’s Thanksgiving Dinner part 1

Decided very late to do a semi-traditional Thanksgiving dinner, i.e. Turkey and sides instead of Spaghetti Carbonara. Starting to plan and shop on a Tuesday night before Thanksgiving is not ideal, but what the heck (I bought some pancetta just in case).

We’ve been meaning to try the spatchcock (butterflied) method. Kenji at Serious Eats seems to have mixed advice on brining between the website and the book he consistently is opposed to wet brining, but after that, the choices are:

  • Don’t bother. There’s also a question of whether Butterball brand (which is what I found in an appropriate size late Tues night) is pre-brined. Since Butterball provides instructions on brining, I’m thinking that’s not really the case.
  • Dry brine under the skin. That’s described in the book.
  • Dry brine over the skin – the salt will penetrate. This is easier and similar to what I’ve done before when roasting chickens, and the famous Zuni cafe recipe doesn’t bother to go under the skin. The current website dry brine method recommends doping the salt with baking powder to raise the pH for improved browning of the skin.

The plan is to dry brine overnight before spatchcocking because the spread out bird would take up too much room in the fridge. I’m hoping my pans and racks are big enough come tomorrow. I thawed the bird still in the bag submerged in cold water using the Cambro container I bought for sous vide. Then I mixed a 1/2x recipe of the dry brine (since it’s a ~10 lb small bird). 3 T Kosher salt + 1 T baking powder. I’m surprised the recipe doesn’t give this by weight.

Sprinkle all over except the back where the backbone will be excised. Leave overnight uncovered in the fridge.

The baking powder makes it kind of weird to sprinkle on, and even 0.5 x is way too much. I’m also wondering if there is a typo and this is too much baking powder. We shall see…

Also, Debby found this for one of the sides!

to be continued.