- Great Taste - 20101124 - Thanksgiving

Turkey in the dock

The show this week features a look at the wide variety of dishes that can make up a modern  Thanksgiving table.  We have guests galore starting off the hour with Jeanne Sauvage, author of The Art of Gluten-Free Baking blog.  Jeanne has been baking gluten-free for over 10 years, and will help you make a gluten-free dressing for the turkey and simplify the art of preparing a pan gravy. 

How about a raw foods holiday banquet?  Joining us again from the already snowbound state of Minnesota is Susan Powers, creator of rawmazing.com, and author of Rawmazing Desserts and Rawmazing Holidays 2010.  Susan's ever-evolving raw food philosophy might surprise you.

We're only getting started because at the bottom of the hour Katherine Wall, Colonial Foodways Culinarian for Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA tells us the real story about the origins of our American Thanksgiving holiday.  Relying on her background in historic horticulture and foodways research, she'll give us a glimpse into period cooking techniques, the first Thanksgiving menu, and how the holiday's dishes have evolved over almost four hundred years.

Also, Marissa Markowitz contributes some suggestions featuring the local food side of Thanksgiving.  She recently finished a 100 day/100 mile diet researching all the food possibilities available within a few hours of Fairfield.  Steve Juskewycz is my king of mushroom gravy.  He's kindly agreed to share his recipe with us.  And, did I mention pumpkin pie?  Rebecca Severin will have one baking in the studio for our pre-Thanksgiving enjoyment.  Fresh-baked pumpkin spiced just right and you can find the recipe right here.

Whew!  Ideas and info aplenty for Thanksgiving on Wednesday's GREAT TASTE.  Drop by the studio or follow the stream at kruufm.com starting at 7:00 PM CT.  If you miss it, it might be a little strange listening to the rebroadcast after Thanksgiving, but we'll air it anyway-7:00 AM CT Friday.

Note:  The New York Times has a great Thanksgiving help guide up here.

Jeanne Sauvage suggested this link for her gluten-free dinner rolls-a hit at any meal.

Susan Powers of rawmazing.com contributed the following recipe:

Carrot Hazelnut Soup
    •    1/2 cup hazelnuts
    •    1 1/2 cup water
    •    3 cups carrots, cut into chunks
    •    1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced
    •    1 tablespoon honey, raw
    •    1 teaspoon ginger
    •    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    •    salt and pepper to taste*
1. Place hazelnuts and water in food processor. Process until smooth
2. Add carrots, apple, honey, ginger, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
3. Salt and pepper to taste.
* I always use Himalayan Salt

Steve Juskewycz contributed this recipe for gravy and a vegetarian variation.  Read on. From November 1994 Bon Appetit 

 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup dry sherry
3 tablespoons butter
12 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
4 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme ot 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
 Mix flour and sherry in a small bowl until smooth paste forms.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and rosemary and saut until mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
(Can be made 3 hours ahead.  Cover flour paste tightly.  Let paste and mushrooms stand at room temperature)
 Discard turkey neck and giblets from pan juices in roasting pan.  Transfer pan juices to large glass measuring cup.  Spoon off fat.  Add enough chicken broth to measure 5 cups; add to saucepan with mushrooms.  Add flour paste and whisk until smooth.  Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.  Boil until thickened to light gravy, about 10 minutes.  Mix in cream, thyme, and tarragon.  Season with salt and pepper.

The Turkey - The roasted turkey recipe is quite good.  It involves using an herb rub of fresh ground pepper, chopped rosemary, thyme and tarragon.  If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to pass it on as I highly recommend it.

Vegetarian gravy version - You can make this using a vegetarian broth.  Usually, you would think a fresh homemade broth would be best.  I'm not sure it is in this case as a couple times when I have done it, I thought the fresh broth fought with the shrooms.  It may have had something to do with the ingredients of those broths.  One of the best vegetarian mushroom gravies I've made had about half homemade broth and half from broth made from a bullion cube (sorry to the purists).
I would also recommend putting more of all the herbs that the original recipe calls for.  The reason is that the turkey broth you would have had already contains all three herbs because of the herb coating and frequent basting.  You'll probably finish it with more pepper than the original recipe also.

General remarks
Use fresh herbs.  I know it's more expensive and more work, but it's worth it.
Enjoy the smell of the rosemary while cooking.
I always make up a double batch - either because I need a vegetarian batch along with the turkey batch or because I just want more.  The gravy is great for the leftovers and tastes great on just some white rice.
If you're making the turkey version, I doubt that you'll need four cups of chicken broth to get it to 5 cups total (for one recipe).