As I write this, Jay’s housemates are en route to Thailand, where they’ll be soaking up Southeast Asian sun through Thanksgiving. Before they left, though, we were determined to send them on vacation with happy bellies. It was decided: we would throw an early Friendsgiving dinner.
Jay’s housemates are a food-loving bunch, so it was no surprise that the table was set with a bounty of delicious dishes. It was a stretchy-pants-necessary, food-coma-inducing preview of the holiday eating to come. I left the table with a tummy full of delicious eats and a head full of ideas for future Thanksgiving dinners. Details after the jump!
D came across a picture of cheesy pull-apart loaves and recreated it at home to great effect. These are toasted sourdough batards, stuffed with white cheddar or gouda cheese, green onions, garlic, and olive oil. They were served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. (Similar recipe at Brown Eyed Baker)
C threw together a spinach and spring mix salad with seasonal fruit, including persimmons and pomegranate arils. (Similar recipe at Better Homes and Gardens)
B brought a delicious spiced sweet potato soup, served with a dollop of salted maple whipped cream. (Similar recipe at Pass the Sushi)
K turned to Paula Deen for stuffing. Should I be surprised that it was totally delicious? I’m not. (Recipe at Food Network)
D baked an excellent roasted cauliflower gratin. If you’re thinking about making mac and cheese — don’t. This dish was a cinch to make and is light years better. (Similar recipe at The Shiksa)
The main event! J’ and D’s roast turkey was a true labor of love, requiring hours of tender loving care — but that attention paid off! The meat was exceptionally moist underneath that incredibly browned skin. (Turkey recipe at SimplyRecipes, with herb rub from About.com)
We created turkey gravy using broth boiled from the turkey neck and pan drippings. Perhaps the most on-the-fly of the dishes, it was also the sole non-negotiable. Thanksgiving just is not complete with a ladleful of the savory sauce. (Similar recipe at the Kitchn)
I was, of course, in charge of desserts. I baked my well-documented Dutch apple pie with sour cream custard for the occasion. Unsurprisingly, everyone was a bit too stuffed to have very much — but it was still a treat. (Recipe at Lottie + Doof)
Always over-prepared and in search of healthy(-er) alternatives, I also made a chocolate pecan pie, free of gluten, butter and oil. This recipe, however, will have to wait until next week!