Well, Thanksgiving is over. And (if we do say so ourselves) it was awesome.
Zach's family joined in us here in DC for a most of the week, and we had a fantastic time.
We spent several days preparing our feast, making a few dishes and stocks in advance. On Thanksgiving Day, we started cooking at 10 a.m., barely left the house, and had a lovely late afternoon meal.
Over the next few days, we'll do a quick recap of the dishes we served and then tips for next year. After all, our December food magazines have arrived and we've got to get to cooking!
As planned, we kicked off our meal with Butternut Squash and Sage Soup with Sage Breadcrumbs (recipe below).
Wow -- this recipe is phenomenal. The blend of sage and squash is perfect, and the sage breadcrumbs add additional flavor and a nice little crunch.
Along with the soup, we served BLT Popovers. If you're not familiar, BLT Steak, part of the BLT Restaurants Group, serves popovers in place of a breadbasket. These delicious puffs of bread are huge and delicious, and they come with a recipe card attached. We had saved the recipe for several months, looking for the right time to try it. Thanksgiving looked like the perfect time.
One item we lacked was a popover pan. In place of using a special pan, we planned to make the popovers in a 12 cup muffin tin, and only use the 9 outer slots. Lo and behold, Zach's mom arrived in DC with a beautiful new popover pan, so that experiment was gladly canceled.
The popovers, baked with a topping of gruyere cheese, were delicious and perfect with the soup. However, they weren't quite as "light" as the popovers at BLT Steak.
Next time, we're going to try the Barefoot Contessa's popover recipe. Ina won't fail us!
Up next, turkey, dressing, pan gravy and our new favorite cranberry sauce!
Makes 6 servings
* 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
* 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 cups chopped onions
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
* 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash
* 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 5 to 6 cups Chicken Stock or 5 to 6 cups purchased organic chicken broth
* 2 crustless slices fresh whole grain wheat bread, torn
* 4 teaspoons butter
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
Melt butter with oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, parsley, and sage; saute until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add squash and coarse salt; saute until squash softens and onions are golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add 5 cups stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash is very soft, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender, allowing some texture to remain. Return soup to pot. Thin with stock, if desired. Season with pepper and more salt, if desired. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.
Place bread in processor; blend until fine crumbs form but some slightly coarser crumbs remain. Cook butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and sage. Cook until crumbs are crisp, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature.
Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Makes 12 popovers
4 cups milk, warmed
4 cups flour
1 1/2 heaping tablespoon salt
2 1/4 cups grated gruyere cheese
Place the popover pan in the oven. Heat the oven and pan to 350 degrees. Gently warm the milk over low heat and set aside. Whisk the eggs until frothy and slowly whisk in the milk (so as to not cook the eggs). Set the mixture aside. Sift the flour with the salt. Slowly add this dry mixture and gently combine until mostly smooth. Once combined, remove the popover pan from the oven and spray with non-stick vegetable spray. While the batter is still slightly warm or room temperature (definitely not cool), fill each popover cup 3/4 full. Top each popover pan with approximately 2 1/2 tbsp of the grated gruyere. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, rotating pan half a turn after 15 minutes of baking. Remove from the oven, remove from the pan and serve immediately.