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Your Thanksgiving Menu for 2014

The wild rice recipe is from America's Test Kitchen ... or Cook's Country. I don't recall. A friend is making homemade beer to pair with it!

Minnesota wild rice and mushrooms soup

White mushrooms can be substituted for the cremini mushrooms. Use a spice grinder to process the dried shiitake mushrooms; a blender also works

1/4 ounce dried porcini, borowik or shiitake mushrooms
4 ¼ cups water
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, peeled, plus 4 cloves, minced
Coarse Sea salt
Black peppercorns in a pepper mill
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Minnesota wild rice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced ¼ inch thick
1 onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2/3 cup dry sherry
4 cups chicken broth
1 Parmigiano Reggiano rind
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2cup heavy cream
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees

Grind shiitake mushrooms in spice grinder until finely ground (you should have about 3 tablespoons).

Bring 4 cups water, thyme sprig, bay leaf, garlic clove, ¾ teaspoon salt, and baking soda to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Add rice and return to boil. Cover saucepan, transfer to oven, and bake until rice is tender, 35 to 50 minutes. Drain rice in fine-mesh strainer set in 4-cup liquid measuring cup; discard thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. Add enough water to reserved cooking liquid to measure 3 cups.

Melt butter in Dutch oven over high heat. Add cremini mushrooms, onion, minced garlic, tomato paste, ¾ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and dark fond develops on bottom of pot, 15 minutes. Add sherry, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until reduced and pot is almost dry, about 2 minutes. Add ground shiitake mushrooms, reserved rice cooking liquid, broth, Parmesan rind, and soy sauce and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until onion and mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes.

Whisk cornstarch and remaining ¼ cup water in small bowl. Stir cornstarch slurry into soup, return to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in cooked rice, cream, chives, and lemon zest. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve

I posted my Red plum-pomegranate sauce as a reply to dkennedy's request for the same in this thread. Let me know if you can't find it and I will send it along

Your Thanksgiving Menu for 2014

Maple-orange glazed onions with hazelnut crumbs

2 pounds frozen pearl onions
2 cups chicken stock
8 tablespoons 2 Pigs Farm syrup (or any pure dark amber maple syrup)
4 tablespoons orange marmalade
4 tablespoons white wine
4 tablespoons butter
Red pepper flakes, optional
Hazelnut crumbs, method follows

Combine ingredients in a large skillet over low heat, simmering and stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper as sauce reduces to glaze, 20 to 25 minutes. Plate portions and sprinkle with Hazelnut crumbs

Serves 8

Note: I did not find frozen pearl onions last year and used Italian fresh cipollini onions instead. Cut an x in the bottom of each onion and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds

Remove with a spider or slotted spoon, cool to touch and slip the skins off

Hazelnut crumbs

Pulse 1/2 cup peeled hazelnuts, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 slices toasted sourdough bread and a pinch of salt in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade

Your Thanksgiving Menu for 2014

Red plum-pomegranate sauce

18 ounce jar red plum jam
1/3 cup fresh pomegranate juice
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dried onions
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
Pinch of red pepper flakes, then to taste
4.3 ounce container fresh pomegranate arils, Pom Wonderful Pom Poms recommended

Add the red plum jam, rice wine vinegar, dried onions, fresh ginger, brown sugar and red pepper flakes to a medium sauce pan and heat over medium high heat. Stir until everything melts together. Heat until the sauce just begins to simmer. Drop the heat to low and simmer 20 minutes

Remove from heat and strain, pushing the sauce through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Add the pomegranate seeds and stir to incorporate

Use to sauce seafood, chicken, pork, duck, venison and appetizers like pot stickers, crab Rangoon and spring rolls

The sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance. Warm thickened sauce over medium heat to liquefy

Your Thanksgiving Menu for 2014

I'm one of those that likes non-traditional and I usually spend a good deal of time planning and devising recipes in advance. I host friends, not family, and they have come to expect the non-traditional and to enjoy a big several course dinner. I am still tweaking the recipes but I would like to share the menu with you

To start: Crab cakes popettes with sauce remoulade

Fish: Seared Sea scallops with red plum-pomegranate sauce and bacon lardons

Soup: Wild rice with mushrooms; Parkerhouse rolls with sweet butter and garlic paste

Main: Roast pork tenderloin with city gravy, thyme and roasted garlic Aligot (Potatoes in the French-style), chicken-oyster cornbread dressing, sauteed greens with duck confit and fig gastrique, maple-orange glazed pearl onions with hazelnut crumbs, macerated dried apricot

Sorbet: Ginger-grapefruit

Cheese: To be determined, with honeycomb, pecans, sourdough

To finish: Apple crisp with butterscotch-chai ice cream

Oct 25, 2014
tomsaaristo in Home Cooking

Where can I order chicken oysters online?

Thank you. I misspoke and didn't mean what I said. I know the oyster is above the thigh and that I would have to buy leg quarters. I hope I didn't mislead or confuse anyone

Jun 27, 2014
tomsaaristo in General Topics

Where can I order chicken oysters online?

Well, here we are almost a year later and I am Googling "Buy chicken oysters" and ended up here. Here's my big 'DUH' moment: buy 8 chicken legs! I was thinking I would have to buy 4 whole chickens! That I can do! Thanks to the original poster

Jun 26, 2014
tomsaaristo in General Topics

Basic Seven-Layer Bars

With all due respect you seem to be missing a layer, even if you count the butter and the graham crackers separately. Typically you would separate out 2 kinds of chips and then add some kind of crushed chocolate coated candy like crushed toffee

Dec 06, 2013
tomsaaristo in Recipes

Smoked Tomato Bisque

Alder and an herb! Great idea! Thank you for your tips!

Nov 03, 2011
tomsaaristo in Home Cooking

Smoked Tomato Bisque

Very much appreciated! By the way, anyone looking to get an immersion blender should avoid the cordless model. I'm saving up to replace mine with one that plugs into the wall

Nov 03, 2011
tomsaaristo in Home Cooking

Smoked Tomato Bisque

Thank you!

Nov 03, 2011
tomsaaristo in Home Cooking

Smoked Tomato Bisque

I have designs on presenting a Smoked Tomato Bisque to my guests during the soup course at Thanksgiving next month. Admittedly the idea is in the conceptual mode and I have no attempted this recipe to date.

I'm sure I will be using canned, fire-roasted, organic tomatoes due to the season and am thinking about using the Cameron Stovetop Smoker for which I just purchased a complete 'fresh' selection of hardwood 'dusts' they offer. I would really prefer not to use the Liquid Smoke product, unless you can convince me otherwise.

I am curious as to how my fellow Chowhound might tackle this challenge with those two components and how you would prepare such a soup

Thank you very much!

Oct 09, 2011
tomsaaristo in Home Cooking

Okay, Now On To Christmas Dinner...

Do you have a recipe/technique for your Wild Mushroom Duxelle in puff pastry? cheers :)

Oct 11, 2010
tomsaaristo in Home Cooking

Dinner Party Help

I like the idea of countering meat and potatoes with onions of some sort. I like to do a gratin of pearl or Cipollini onions; too, balsamic red onions are wonderful and would go with many kinds of meat whether lamb, pork or beef.

One of my favorite make-ahead meat dishes is Individual Beef Wellingtons. They can be made in advance, frozen and then tempered in the refrigerator for a few hours before baking them off.

I love the Fennel slaw idea. Roasted or braised fennel is wonderful too. You also can't go wrong with the utter simplicity and pure nutty flavor of roasted broccoli.

I'd probably opt for the cheese puffs as an hors d'oeuvres if you're doing a cocktail before and save the shrimp cocktail for the appetizer. Crab cakes make a nice appetizer too and you could couple them with your salad or serve each course separately.

Oct 28, 2007
tomsaaristo in Home Cooking

What did you cook today, and was it good?

I made Linguine frittata w garlic shrimp and sun-dried tomato for dinner last night. I'm still devising my lunch menu for today.

Oct 28, 2007
tomsaaristo in Home Cooking

Avec Pre-show Questions

The walk is probably more like 20 minutes, unless you are quick walkers with long strides and you catch all the lights.

Maybe uppercase letters are more expensive to print?

Oct 28, 2007
tomsaaristo in Chicago Area