Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Mmm, a brownie on my left, champagne on my right (tea steeping in the kitchen).  Football on in the next room.  Girls napping.  I think I'll take this peaceful moment to record what a great Thanksgiving dinner we made.

Fried turkey
Sweet potato masala
Saag Paneer

Yellow Rice
Cranberry Chutney
Various store bought chutneys and pickles

We fried a fresh local turkey that I purchased at Herb's Meat.  The day before I soaked it and two chickens in a brine of ginger, cloves, allspice, brown sugar, black pepper, salt, vegetable broth and water.

Also on Wednesday I made the paneer.  Heat 1/2 gallon whole milk to just boiling.  Remove from heat. Add 3 TBL of fresh lemon juice. Stir gently as curds and whey separate.  The whey will be light yellowish and the curds will be white and tender.  Let sit about ten minutes and then poor into a strainer lined with cheese cloth.  I save the whey for baking but you can compost it if you'd rather.  Once cool and drained gather the paneer into a disc by pulling the corners of the cheese cloth in and wrapping in the ends around the cheese.  Compress between two plates in the refrigerator.  I weighed it down with a jar of milk but use whatever works for you.  You can eat it fresh or the next day.  I don't know how long it lasts because we always eat it right up!

Also on Wednesday I made the cranberry chutney.   I used this recipe.  The only thing I changed was I left out the raisins and 2 Tbls more sugar to make up for their sweetness.  I used an equal amount of apple to onion.  It is so good that Addy picked it as her favorite part of the meal.

Thanksgiving day we dried the birds and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  Chad fried the chickens together for 3 1/2 minutes a lb.  Then he did the turkey.  Moist and delicious. After the chickens cooled I put them in freezer bags in the freezer.  We'll eat them later by defrosting in the refrigerator over night and then heating gently in the oven.

I made the sweet potato masala by peeling a bunch of sweet potatoes and chopping them into bite size pieces.  I simmered these in a jar of Patak's butter chicken sauce that I bought at My India's.   I picked the butter chicken sauce because the ingredients listed seemed close to the flavors I taste in my favorite sweet potato masala at Yak and Yeti in Westminster.  It was a decent match but not perfect.  I'll have to experiment with it some more.

I made the saag paneer by cooking about 10 oz of washed spinach in boiling water for about two minutes. Use a frying pan for this. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.  Using a food processor or blender, puree the spinach and set aside.  In the same apparatus (no need to wash) chop one small onion, one large or two small tomatoes, 1 inch ginger, chopped, 1 seeded hot pepper, 1 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp salt and the reserved cooking water.  In the pan you used to cook the spinach heat about a 1 T. spoon of ghee or oil.  Toast 2 tsp of cumin in the hot oil for until a shade darker.  Pour in the onion/tomato mixture and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the spinach and 1/4 cup heavy cream, stir until combined and warm. Cut the paneer in to bite size chunks.  Gently stir into saag.  

I will have to share our recipe for yellow rice another day.  The girls are up!

Right before eating we prepared the roti and papadum that I bought at My India's.  Both heated up nicely on a hot dry skillet.

Brine ingredients


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