Giblets and necks

Hi all,

My annual Thanksgiving preparations are ongoing. I’ve learned that starting on Monday means I can actually enjoy Thursday. We generally invite a few friends over to our place for Thanksgiving meal. Most folks bring a side or an appetizer (and wine!) Complicating the annual preparations is that two of our friends are vegetarians. Stuffing is a high light of the meal for me, so it’s gotta be made. I like to have all my guests able to enjoy it, so that means two batches. One turkey flavored and the other not.

Likewise, gravy. I made a mushroom gravy one year. Good, but a little complicated. This year I had an interesting idea. Mashed potatoes made with roasted garlic are tasty, so why not make a roasted garlic gravy? I have an Indian recipe for a garlic curry (cook garlic, onion and chiles in clarified butter until brown, add spices and coconut milk). I toned down the heat a bit and pureed the mixture.

I’ll have to think about the turkey alternative. It seems a shame to just eat sides and I’m sure fish has graced more than one holiday table. I roasted a rock fish one year, which turned out well. It’s fairly easy to do (salt and paper inside out out, toss herbs in the cavity and roast in a hot oven). It is, however, something that requires attention right when everything else is coming together. I actually made a lobster risotto another year. I’m tempted by the lobsters as they were $5/pound at the market and looked pretty frisky. Problem being that risotto is relatively time intensive. I might just try a makhni sauce (used for Indian butter chicken). Cook the lobsters, take the meat off the shell and toss into the sauce. I can make the sauce ahead of time and it’ll be tasty.

So, Monday night was stock night. I made a turkey stock from roasted neck bones. Well, it was a hybrid stock as turkey necks are $2.20 per pound and chicken necks are $0.69/pound. While that was going on, I also made the absurdly complicated vegetarian stock from Cooks Illustrated. The first time I made it, I swore I’d never do it again. In addition to the usual suspects, there’s a pound of collard greens and a cauliflower. All that work to produce a quart of stock. I’ve found that the recipe doubles just fine and makes a quite tasty stock. Still, I’d rather just use chicken stock.

Not much to do yesterday. I made the roasted garlic gravy and roasted some beats. I dice them up for a salad with yogurt, some spices, and some cilantro. Thanksgiving with a side of Mumbai. I took the bird out of the fridge this morning and put it in the brine. I’ll take it out of the brine this afternoon and leave it in the fridge to air dry. Life is also easier for myself if I do a lot of chopping tonight. Carrots, onions, and celery are pretty hard and it’ll save me time tomorrow.

Well, I’d best get to work, go home, and get to work.

BB

42 Responses

  1. Sounds delicious…Have you heard my kitchen is demolished?

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  2. Went to pick up my oldest at 11PM last night from the train station which unfortunately shares an access road with the airport. Traffic jam like morning rush hour with two lanes of traffic closed!

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  3. I, too, started on Monday to prepare for both the traditional-ish Thanksgiving meal and Black Friday Fajitafest. Monday was for making desserts. Tuesday I started preparing the TG side dishes. Today is for chopping/slicing all the BFF fixings. That gives me so much more time with my guests, which I love.John, BroJS went to O'Hare last evening to pick up his #2 daughter. He said next year she can make her own arrangements to get home. Everything was backed up and overcrowded.

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  4. I wish I had to pick my youngest up from the airport. She couldn't get away this year so we're really missing her and she us. She's trying to figure out how to stop by all three houses she was invited to however, so she won't be eating a lean cuisine turkey dinner anyway, lol.She is coming home for a week at Christmas though.

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  5. And, I'm still cleaning and haven't even started cooking yet, looks like a long day…………

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  6. BTW all, there's still time to add to the Thanksgiving Day post if you're so inclined. And if anyone wants to put up a Bits & Pieces for tonight feel free to.

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  7. We planned on having a newborn by now so our Thanksgiving is just going to be 5 (me wife and the in-laws) of us at our house, so we're close to the hospital. Fortunately my wife's last day at work was last Friday so she has spent the last two days cleaning and is making deserts as we speak. We'll prep a couple of sides tonight and my mother in law will be in charge of the rest. For the record, I spent a few summers as a prep cook and line cook so I love chopping and cooking. Our new house has a nice open layout so you can cook and prep while talking with everyone which I love.

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  8. It's not thanksgiving, it's "Family Health History Day"So pass the yams and talk about your family medical history. http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/11/20111122a.html

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  9. Happy Thanksgiving, all!I'm typing this at the airport in SLC, on my way to Sacramento for T-day with my favorite aunt and her oldest daughter (and her four daughters). Left to make sure that I got here two hours before my flight leaves and so far everything has been fairly calm. . . even the TSA line was only a minute or two. Let's hope the rest of the day is as calm!While in Sac'to my four second cousins (20-somethings all) are planning on giving the new divorcee a makeover–perhaps I'll be having to do another boots post! :-)Paul–you've got one sweet paper there! I even understood it, so it's clearly well written. I've got one suggestion for figure 1 if you're at all interested, although you may have already submitted your revisions. Your idea for roasted garlic gravy sounds darn yummy, so I think you may have to actually work it up into a recipe and post it on the "Leftovers" post. lms has already added a recipe to that one.ashot, sorry to hear that ashot v2.0 hasn't made an appearance yet. . . you realize that he's probably going to decide to join the outside world tomorrow, right? :-)I need to shut down, so next time you hear from me I'll be in sunny CA!

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  10. FB:Complicating the annual preparations is that two of our friends are vegetarians.Is it just me, or have you also noticed that whenever vegetarians come over for dinner, you always go out of the way to make sure there is a menu suitable for them, but when you go to a vegetarians house for dinner, they never go out of their way to make sure there is a menu suitable for us carnivores?

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  11. Scott — a 1000 times yes. but more importantly, i would never complain about it, a courtesy that I've witnessed on more than one occasion that seems to be dwindling. if you're a guest, you job is to say thanks and eat what they've prepared.

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  12. HeyWe have lots of vegetarians in our family, I used to be one exclusively until about 10 years ago, but I hate to count how many years I cooked a prime rib on Christmas for our guests, how many turkeys, chickens and slabs of beef we've cooked all the time taking into consideration that it doesn't kill a carnivore to eat delicious vegetables, grains, beans and a vegetable based soup or sauce. Maybe it's just a California thing, we do both for our guests. And all of our friends know I don't care if they cook meat for dinner, I usually can find something to eat after all and don't expect them to go out of their way for me. I don't generally starve to death either way. You guys are funny.

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  13. lms:I used to be one exclusively until about 10 years ago, but I hate to count how many years I cooked a prime rib on Christmas for our guests, how many turkeys, chickens and slabs of beef we've cooked You're a better vegetarian host than the ones I know!

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  14. vegetarian food is great. no problem with it. it's the "i'm going to dictate what's on the menu" aspect that is disconcerting. that's up to the host. that said, a gracious host would consider the needs of the guests.

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  15. I don't think you guys know very many vegetarians, lol. It's difficult because most non-vegetarians don't mind the occasional vegetarian meal whereas vegetarians don't ever have the occasional meat dish. I know on Thanksgiving I've never cooked a vegetarian (tofurkey) turkey but I figure there's enough of everything else that I can skip the turkey if I want or they want. I admit it's easier on myself and my friends now that I eat a little fish and or fowl. It's funny though that people expect me to eat meat as well, gross.

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  16. lms:I don't think you guys know very many vegetarians, lol.You are right, I don't. A few friends over the years, but not enough to say a lot. But one couple was not just vegeatrian, but vegan. I think that counts as vegetarian squared.It's difficult because most non-vegetarians don't mind the occasional vegetarian meal…To me, the term "vegetarian meal" doesn't compute. It's just not a meal without some kind of charred animal flesh. Vegetables are side dishes, not a meal.I think it is clear that deep in their sub-consciious even vegetarians really want to eat dead animals. That's why they are always making food that masquerades as meat. The aforementioned tofu turkey, the veggie-burger, vegetarian chicken, vegetarian seafood, vegetarian beef chunks.Vegetarianism is just so…unnatural. 😉

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  17. I hate all that fake meat stuff and I'm not a fan of tofu either. One of my nieces is a vegan and they are more difficult to cook for but I'm good at it because when I first became a vegetarian at 18 I researched and found macrobiotics which is an awesome and healthy vegetarian diet and it was vegan before there were people who called themselves vegan. So I can usually whip something up. charred animal flesh……………lol I grew up with that and also the best cuts of meat money could buy since Grandpa was a butcher. I also had a great uncle who had a cattle ranch outside of Billings, MT and it wasn't a dairy. I used to spend a week or two out there every summer as a kid so that was it for me. I used to beg my parents not to make me eat meat. The horse back riding was fun though.

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  18. my rule of thumb is this: If I'm a guest, i eat what is served without complaint. If asked, I can honestly say I have no food allergies (a legit reason to decline). I've had some awful meals. But I'll decline invites if I know I can't handle something. (hey, we're all going out for Indian food? oh, i'm booked that night … barf).

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  19. scottI'm pretty sure my husband figured he was going to starve to death if he married me, what a brave soul. His family was Polish on both sides and big meat eaters, they weren't too impressed with my meals at first even though I cooked a little meat for them, it was never enough, lol. Now my sister in law calls me for advice when her daughter is coming home.

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  20. NoVA, if someone says they're having mushrooms cooked three different ways and eggplant, I'm definitely out of town and no rain checks please.

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  21. "His family was Polish on both sides and big meat eaters"my family is polish/Ukrainian. i love that stuff, but we have no standing to complain about other cuisines. (it's not Christmas until we start boiling cabbage)

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  22. Don't forget the Polish Sausage. His aunt used to make it homemade every year……….yikes. I do like cabbage though.

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  23. Couple of things:1. Good interview by Ezra Klein with Doug Holtz-Eakin at the Post. Doug Holtz-Eakin: 'Growth is coming in last place with this administration'2. Re vegetarianism: An interesting article about how younger people define their personal morality more and more by what they do and do not eat, versus their sexual behavior.Is Food the New Sex?

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  24. If you like cabbage, this is the type of stuff i'm talking about (holubsti). but for Christmas eve, it's "meatless" — which now occurs to me was the word that we've always used. http://www.learnpysanky.com/recipes/holubtsi.html

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  25. NoVA:If I'm a guest, i eat what is served without complaint.I woud never complain to the host. But my wife will get (and has gotten) an earful in the car ride home. If you think I have strong opinions here, imagine what I'm like around people who have to put up with me.

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  26. Agree on fake meat. What's the point? Having said that, veggie & vegan food can be good. We did a Christmas one year that was vegan, except for the prime rib. Nobody knew the difference.

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  27. lms:if someone says they're having mushrooms cooked three different ways…Unbelievable. That was the menu at my first ever vegetarian-hosted dinner party. I'm not kidding. The funny part was that, while I complained to my wife for days beforehand about having to go to this ghastly thing, she insisted, and advised me to just eat something beforehand. Of course we get there and they bring out the mushrooms, which I actually like, but my wife hates them! Heh.

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  28. "If you think I have strong opinions here, imagine what I'm like around people who have to put up with me."too funny. but it's interesting. I'm incredibly quiet (can be painfully shy) in person.

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  29. bsimon:We did a Christmas one year that was vegan, except for the prime rib.Isn't that kind of like saying that one year you stayed celibate, except for the sex? 😉

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  30. I'm funnier and cuter in person.

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  31. Scott, my vegetarian friends always served at least one meat or fish dish when they invited people for dinner. Mostly, we'd meet at an Asian restaurant where both meat and vegetarian choices are plentiful.As for mushrooms served three ways, I'm allergic. So I would just smile and gorge on the way home.

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  32. "Mostly, we'd meet at an Asian restaurant where both meat and vegetarian choices are plentiful."Vietnamese is great for this.

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  33. As for mushrooms served three ways, I'm allergic. Lucky, I need to become a better liar. I think my mom used to put mushrooms in her spaghetti sauce just to torture me. But then she used to boil zucchini in canned stewed tomatoes also. It took me years to try zucchini again.

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  34. I'm out for awhile, finally got the house finished and a little work done at my desk and now I can cook. I'll check in tonight.jncThanks for the links, I'll check them out later.

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  35. "Vietnamese is great for this."vietnamese is just great. but this reminds my of PJ ORouke column that ran after Obama was elected. "Our attitude toward immigration has been repulsive. Are we not pro-life? Are not immigrants alive? Unfortunately, no, a lot of them aren't after attempting to cross our borders. Conservative immigration policies are as stupid as conservative attitudes are gross. Fence the border and give a huge boost to the Mexican ladder industry. Put the National Guard on the Rio Grande and know that U.S. troops are standing between you and yard care. George W. Bush, at his most beneficent, said if illegal immigrants wanted citizenship they would have to do three things: Pay taxes, learn English, and work in a meaningful job. Bush doesn't meet two out of three of those qualifications. And where would you rather eat? At a Vietnamese restaurant? Or in the Ayn Rand Café? Hey, waiter, are the burgers any good? Atlas shrugged. (We would, however, be able to have a smoke at the latter establishment.)"http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/791jsebl.asp?nopager=1And with that, I'm out. Catch you all later and enjoy the holiday. safe travels to all (out of of the TSA scan if practical)

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  36. I like the fake meat better than tofu. The fake meat is just a way to get texture so I understand it but don't eat it any more. I did the vegan and vegetarian thing for a little bit my last year in law school mostly because I was bored. But when I first met my wife and told her I was a vegetarian she said that's dumb and I ordered chicken. I wasn't very committed to the cause.

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  37. But when I first met my wife and told her I was a vegetarian she said that's dumb and I ordered chicken. I wasn't very committed to the cause.Now that's funny.

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  38. I'd a feeling my accommodation of vegetarians would get a little reaction. With respect to the Thanksgiving meal, I must make a couple of comments. I just got off the phone with my friend C. who told me it was totally fine to have the other things. I just feel that as an obsessive host, I should have a centerpiece dish for those who aren't eating turkey. My friends do eat fish, so I make a fish dish. We have some bluefin tuna that is the superior of any steak you will have outside of prime. I don't entirely get the reason that fish is OK whereas hoofed or winged meat isn't, but I can role with it.If you can't handle a meal without beef, pork or poultry (yes, I'm fond of lamb, game, rabbit and other winged beasties), you don't have my pity. I've made risotto 100+ times. When I make risotto, that IS the centerpiece of the meal. I don't miss the usual meat when I make sushi for dinner. If I'm making linguini with clam sauce, I'm not going to fry up a couple of burgers on the side. Why is it such an imposition to have a meal without beef, pork or chicken?I do think that vegetarians should (and for the most part) do accommodate meat eaters joining their table. A favorite food write of mine (Kim O'Donnell) has in fact written a couple of cookbooks based on the theme of meatless dishes that meat eaters will enjoy. One time when we went up to C.'s place, the main dish was ravioli. I can't say that I felt deprived that the filling wasn't a meat ragu (it was spinach cheese and delicious).I think Mark Bittman has it right. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. BB

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  39. But when I first met my wife and told her I was a vegetarian she said that's dumb and I ordered chicken. I wasn't very committed to the cause."Now that's funny."I agree, that's probably one of the funniest things I've heard, here anyway. Thanks for the chuckle ashot. Good luck Sat., that's my bet for the birth day.My poor husband had to learn to like buckwheat noodles, bean sprouts and brown rice and lie about the burgers on the side. He thinks I didn't know……………lol

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  40. One of the greatest movie quotes ever. My girlfriend is a vegetarian, which pretty much means I'm a vegetarian.Only to be followed by…That's a mighty tasty burger.BB

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  41. I would make a terrible vegetarian since I hate legumes. My mother-in-law is a strict vegan but cooks wonderful meat-filled food for us when we visit.

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