11-19-07 - 1

Some different Thanksgiving suggestions :

Plain roast pumpkin is really delicious. Scoop out all the pulp, cut into moons, rub some olive oil on, salt & pepper, and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or so, just like a butternut squash or something. Finish with a pat of butter and maybe a drizzle of honey or a tiny dash of nutmeg. Roast beets and roast brussel sprouts are also easy to do in a similar way and go great with thanksgiving.

Grilled polenta is a really convenient thing because you can make the polenta the day before and just grill it at the last minute. I recommend using a spring-form pan to cool the polenta in, it makes it really easy to pop it out and cut nice perfect wedges to grill. Coat very thinly with OO before grilling. Use a vegetable peeler to cut flakes of parmesan to top each wedge.

Make a cranberry gastrique instead of regular cranberry sauce. Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup cranberries, 1 cup red wide vinegar + 1 cup red wine. Boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Mash the cranberries. If it's not thickening enough you could add a cornstarch slurry. Of course you can add whatever other flavor elements you want; some standard would be a bit of orange rind or some ginger. If you want it chunky you can serve just like that, or you can blend some of it or all of it. You can also strain through a mesh strainer if you want it really smooth. It should be bubbling and syrupy when you take it off the heat and it will thicken more as it cools. Oh you can also finish with butter if you like.

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