More Tales from Thanksgiving 2010

I had to keep the Thanksgiving fun going by inviting the family over to our house for a post- Thanksgiving brunch.   Luckily, I made a lot of food ahead of time so my morning was fairly easy.  On top of that, my Mom gave me an awesome gift of pate de foi grois and duck confit.   So here’s how the final menu went down:

Cheese plate with pate – we got three kinds of cheeses and a baguette as well as some sliced apples for the plate.  One piece of advice for those of you entertaining – get the bakery to slice your bread for you.  It saves a ton of time.

Sour cream coffee cake – I used this recipe.  It was made better with the substitution of vanilla paste for vanilla extract.  For those of you who haven’t encountered vanilla paste, it’s a thick corn syrupy paste of vanilla seeds.  Given the cost of vanilla pods these days, it’s a great alternative.

Apple crostada – An old standby. As a nice addition, I made homemade caramel sauce to go with the crostada and coffee cake.  Sadly I didn’t label it and my aunt poured some on her salad.

Berry salad with balsamic vinegar – Strawberries, raspberries and balckberries (about 5 cups altogether) with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar.  SOOOOOO good.

Goat cheese and red pepper frittata

Duck and chicken salad – With the duck confit, I decided to do a “healthy take” on duck a l’orange with shredded duck confit on top of a salad with orange vinaigrette.  It turned out exactly the way I wanted it to.   The sharpness of the salad blended perfectly with the richness of the duck meat.  I also had some leftover parmesan chicken I heated up and sliced over the sald for those less adventurous.   For the duck, I just followed the directions on the can (yes it comes out of a can).   I opened the can, heated it in a water bath until the fat melted (saved the fat for duck fat roasted vegetables), took out the duck legs and seared them on both sides for 8 minutes a side.  I then took the duck skin and excess fat off and shredded the meat.  I toss the salad with the WORLD’S BEST VINAIGRETTE.  I kid you not, this stuff rocks so hard.

Here’s what I did:  Take 1 cup of orange juice and 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar.  Simmer them in a small pan until reduced by half.   Then add a finely chopped shallot and a teaspoon of coarse grain mustard.  I added two tablespoons of citrus grapeseed oil (purely optional) and half a cup of olive oil and whisk the whole thing until combine.  It was amazing.

That was my Thanksgiving weekend.  What about yours?  Any standout dishes to share?


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