Friday, November 1, 2013
Every year I write a Thanksgiving blog, and this year I'm going to provide some gluten free (don't groan) ideas; at Preferred Sonoma Caterers we had many more requests for gluten free friendly menus and I've learned quite a bit, a few items I'm actually liking the gluten free options better. But that's the next blog, so check back next week, and again in the middle of the month for some more modern T-day ideas. But let's start out the month with revisiting some classics.
Let's start out the afternoon with a Thanksgiving cocktail... The Happy Pilgrim... hubby and I invented with one a few years ago when we couldn't find a cocktail recipe that went well with Thanksgiving.
1 shot wild turkey bourbon - must have turkey!
1 shot ginger beer
2 shots cranberry juice
1/3 shot orange bitters
Shake and serve over crushed ice
garnish with a fresh cranberry
Now on to stuffing, classic stuffing is a must, but what is classic stuffing. It depends on where you are from, or perhaps where Grandma was from. In my family, the Runge side, the traditional stuffing is a classic bread stuffing. Lots of celery and onions with plenty of sage. It is baked in the turkey with extra crusties along the legs. It reflects the Germanic origin of much of the county. From my time in Austria I recognize this recipe is very similar to bread dumplings from Germany - my family heritage.
Stuffs a 12 to 14lbs turkey
1 loaf simple white bread - cubed
2 yellow onions - diced
1 small head celery - diced
2 sticks butter
2 Tbs dry rubbed sage
Salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 cups chicken or turkey broth
Sauté onions and celery in butter with the sage till tender. Place bread cubes, sautéed vegetables and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add broth till soft, then season with salt and pepper. Stuff into a rinsed turkey cavity. The just a standard roast of the turkey.
In Mr. PSC’s family, from the Otis side of the Balshaw side, there is a potato stuffing that I have come to love. Part of their heritage is from French Canada and shows in this recipe for Tourtiere. Traditionally this is meat and mashed potato baked in a pie pan with two crusts and served as a main dish. But his Granny (or perhaps her Granny) decided it would be better used for stuffing a Turkey. That is his family’s tradition.
1 lbs breakfast sausage - browned
1 yellow onion - diced
2 lbs Russet potatoes - peeled & boiled
1 Tbs dry rubbed sage
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 1½ cups chicken stock
Boil the potatoes till fork tender, then drain and allow to cool slightly. Brown the breakfast sausage and break up with a fork, and remove from the fat. Add diced onions and spices to fat, sauté till tender. Mash the potatoes, add the onions and spices, then season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth as necessary for texture. Place in a rinsed turkey or bake in a pie pan (with or without crust) on the side.
You might be wondering about the difference between dressing and stuffing. The only real difference is geography. Northerners call it stuffing, while Southerner’s prefer dressing. One of the most used components in southern dressing is corn bread. Not what most of us consider corn bread, but a denser version that is cut and laid out to dry. Corn bread has a much crumblier texture so the stuffing is much softer.
make up to 2 days in advance
2 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking soda
1 1/3 cup milk
2 eggs - beaten
6 Tbs veggie oil
Mix the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, then bake in a 9 x 13 pan for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to sit out and dry for 24 to 48 hours.
Corn Bread Stuffing
1½ cup celery - chopped
1½ cup onion - chopped
4 Tbs butter
3 cups turkey or chicken broth
1 tsp sage - ground
Sauté the onions and celery in butter, add sage, then add to the crumbled cornbread. Add liquid to soften. Now it is ready to stuff in your turkey and roast.
Many of you out there might have the addition of a vegetarian to your Thanksgiving table. The question is what to serve that they will enjoy. What about stuffing a pumpkin? Small sugar pumpkins are perfect for this. When choosing your pumpkin make sure that is labeled as a cooking pumpkin. Choose one medium size and free of blemishes, wash, cut off the top approximately a third of the way down. You will need to scoop out the seeds and string, the rub the interior lightly with salt and pepper before stuffing.
You can use the pumpkin as an extra vessel for more stuffing (more stuffing is always great), or make it a dish of its own, with another stuffing.
Turkey, of course. But how to cook it. A few years ago I experimented with several different methods (brine, deep fry...), but in the end it was the classic that won. If you would like to know the results you can find them at http://blog.sonomacaterers.com/2010/11/turkey-day-prep-down.html. And don't let my opinion stop you from experimenting, it was a lot of fun
Of course you can always take the easy way out. Every year we offer a full Thanksgiving meal for 8 to 10 to go. Just re-heat and voila, Thanksgiving! Or just order a few of the dishes the make life easier. You can find the Thanksgiving catering menu at http://www.sonomacaterers.com/2013Thanksgiving.pdf
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
From my Petaluma Post column.
2 cups of shredded Zucchini
½ cup cherry tomoates, cut in half
¼ cup fresh green beans, cut 1”, then smashed with your knife
¼ cup chopped thai basil
Juice of ½ lime
¼ cup brown sugar
1 Tbl fish sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbl of toasted peanuts, chopped
Sunday, August 25, 2013
From my Petaluma Post column:
Monday, August 19, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
From my Petaluma post column:
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Advice from my Petaluma Post column on planning your wedding...
Monday, August 5, 2013
From my Petaluma Post column, enjoy...
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
From my Petaluma Post column. You can find the first installment of this athttp://blog.sonomacaterers.com/2012/01/healthy-not-boring.html
Thursday, July 25, 2013
From my December column in the Petaluma Post. A little dated... until the holidays are back!
Saturday, July 20, 2013
In the US yams and sweet potatoes are both actually varieties of sweet potato, but are widely different in color and texture. What we call “sweet potatoes” are usually a lighter colored flesh with a thin light colored skin. The “yam” is the darker red skin with a vibrant orange flesh (full of beta carotene). Both skins are completely edible.
Baking a whole sweet potato (approx. 7 oz) will take 45 minutes to 1 hour to bake in a 350 degree oven. Prick the skin and make sure to place it on a cookie sheet or foil as it will drip a bit.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
The museum raised several thousand dollars, and I hope had a lot of new people introduced to this downtown jewel.
Shaved Matos St George Cheese with Roasted Pear and Spiced Almonds on Baby Arugula
pair with a Glenkenchie 12 Year Old
Smoked Salmon Rillette with Roast Red Potatoes and Asparagus Tips
with Talisker 10 Year Old, Isle of Skye
If you haven't already liked our Facebook page, please do so to get updates on these events: https://www.facebook.com/PreferredSonomaCaterers
Sunday, March 24, 2013
|Roasted Beet and Chevre Salad|
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Sunday, February 17, 2013
We had Crispy Eel (not shown), I am a huge eel fan. The thin slices of eel were dusted and fried crisp in a ligtly sweet sauce. I need time to play with the recipe.
The second item with a steamed pork roll (right). Center cut pork loin wrapped around perfectly cut carrots and cucumber steamed and served with a hoisin drizzle