Thanksgiving Thursday with Rose’s Celebrations, exactly!
October 18th. Already doing ingredient hunting and research. Since I will be out of the country from 11/1 to 11/17, everything possible will be done ahead: pre-measuring dry ingredients, freezing what possible, and finding alternative ingredient sources in case the 17th is a grocery store nightmare. Hope you enjoy these first pictures and get motivated to feast with peace! Planting dill for Graavlax with Sweet Mustard Dill Sauce. Planting sage and thyme for Turkey with Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing. Planting Italian parsley for Rick Rodger’s Rolled Herbed Turkey Breast. Making Glace de Volaille to quickly execute Turkey Stock. Pre-mix, vacuum seal, and freeze at -10oF the ingredients for Bourbon Whipped Cream for the Low-Profile Pecan Pie (using Meyer Rum instead of Bourbon since my booze chest already looks like a liquor store). Pruning the kumquat lemon tree for the Cranraspberry Sauce.
11/1 to 11/17 will be Italy, perhaps I can pickup the dijon, lyle’s, and chestnuts! And why not prosciutto and pancetta, even fearing to be enjoyed by U.S. customs only!
October 18th dinner. You need to know that I’ve had the most wonderful and simple pasta with tomato sauce. Too fast to picture. Simmer for 1 hour 2 cups of product-of-Italy plain tomato sauce with 1 cup of caramelized onions, some salt, and one cube of reconstituted Glace de Volaille. While still simmering hot, toss the sauce on just-drained-still-super-hot boiled pasta. Have all your utensils laid out and ready, because you need to believe that handling the pasta as hot and quick as possible with the sauce as hot as possible, is a always must! . . . Glace de Volaille is just the magic stick!
October 19th. Playing with Lyle’s. Mixing yolks, lyle’s golden syrup, Maui brown turbinado raw sugar (notice the undissolved sprinkles), butter, cream, salt, and vanilla; for the filling of Low-Profile Pecan Pie. Lyle’s is such heavenly syrup, not so sweet, but full of butterscotch taste. No problem washing prep utensils since most was licked clean. Again -10oF vacuum sealed.
October 20th. Chinatown bounty. Reconnecting with my blood, I took a day stroll in Chinatown. What a treasure! Chinatown is at its best ever, not just China men but World men shop in China town! Today’s goal was to find a source of fresh chestnuts which season has just started. I picked 2.5 lbs of fresh ones, plus a few packages of vacuum ones. Love the fresh chestnuts clean taste and smell and heavenly golden color and texture. However, it is not fun to boil and peel unless you plan to have a finger thumbnail transplant. Chestnuts made it home with a treat full of shrimp dumplings, roasted pork, and si-ka squash.
This October 20th went by with a nice intermission at 5:30 pm, when friend Kathy snatched THE YELLOW KITCHEN’s soul to attend the lovely benefit play for the Hawaii Arts Foundation, not first having dinner at this new artsy restaurant a block from the theater, called EPIC which photos are from google where controversial reviews can be found about the restaurant’s -amazing- grand opening-s. It is good to get reminded that the world outside is nice!
October 20th, evening. The stuffing mix began. Boiling in milk and crumbling chestnuts, tossing 198 gr of bread cubes, 115 gr of corn bread mix, 228 gr of walnuts, black pepper, and a hint of paprika flakes. Corn bread mix derived from The Bread Bible. The fun and unfair part during this process was to taste the stuffing mix after the incorporation of each ingredient. Fun because of the amazing multidimensional taste, and unfair because it can’t be eaten until Thanksgiving Thursday! It tasted and looked better than this vacuum packed picture!
October 20th, undisclosed time. Lining the Perfect Flaky Cream Cheese Tart Crust. Here is a little credit card silly commercial: La Cuisine French pin $15.00 (pictured front), closeout store French pin $3.99 (pictured second), another closeout store bargain $3.99 (pictured last), Perfect Flaky Cream Cheese Tart Crust . . . priceless.
Update. A leaf border on a tart? To strengthen the tart borders, planning on adding a border of leaves like the Open Faced Designer Apple Pie. Possibly the true hybrid of a tart fusionists pecan pie!October 22nd, the REAL Italian, sausage that is. Fresh island grown pork, so fresh that was still warm and lacking of any ‘pig’ smell. 2 parts lean with 1 part fat. Fennel seed, red salt, black pepper, flat leaf parsley, and sage. One of the most useful attachments for the Kitchen Aid, the food grinder and the flat beater. This for Turkey with Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing!
October 23th, Alii, Shimeji, and Kea Hon, local mushrooms from Hamakua. Mild in taste and much unfar from the common white mushroom, but the shapes and textures are sure to be fun. The freshness of locally harvested mushrooms will be appreciated, since this is going to vacuum freeze. This for Turkey with Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing. Surprised?
October 24th, cranberry-raspberry-lemon(might-as-well-berry). First of the season, ripe organic cranberries; priced in weight as gold! Raspberry sauce madness. The chosen lemon juice and grind is kumquat lemon, in my opinion, a hybrid dimension between the taste of Meyer, Key Lime, Lime, and Lemon! Rose’s favorite cranraspberry sauce. Like she says: make lots of it, because the sauce is so good to not have enough.
October 25th, shaping little sausage balls. At the 60 hour mark of sitting the ground sausage mix in the refrigerator, the meat turned beautifully pink and crunchy, expected and desired. The fresh and dried herbs blended into intense scents, I thought I was opening a box of herbs de Provence when I popped the plastic wrap open. Lightly frying on its own fat, it is just magic how simple or where does it come, sausage! Sans the nitrates and who knows what else.
This process of aging freshly ground sausage in the refrigerator, reminds me of how my Mom used to make pork hash.
October 27th, the virtues of the vacuum. Down to the hair line between overdoing what to prep ahead vs packing for the 17-day overseas trip. Sneaking in the Great Pumpkin Pie for the Saturday party after Thanksgiving Thursday! Canned pumpkin puree is so great and has a shelf life of many years; adding light brown turbinado raw maui sugar, cinnamon, and salt shouldn’t cut shelf life any shorter since these ingredients are all food preservatives; there is only one way to know! Now the pumpkin filling half done, vacuum packed at 32oF. Who cares for strong pumpkin and spices tastes anyways? The prolonged refrigeration should have a taste dulling effect, if any.
Did not add the fresh ginger as this I agree turns into mushy taste after grating.
Near the pumpkin puree wonder, is a bunch of fresh-off-the-tree cranberries, vacuum packed. Cranberries live 1 month if not longer. These are left overs from the above cranraspberry sauce. Saved for garnish since perhaps no one enjoys eating raw cranberries
October 28th, no pictures worthy. Testing an oven trick to hold a 17 lb stuffed whole turkey together with a 6 lb turkey breast roll. It fits, but with the turkey directly on the oven floor and the breast on the top rack. The baking temperature is 325oF for the turkey (baking time 3-4 hours) and 350oF for the breast (baking time 60-90 minutes).
Oven dial was set to 325oF, non-European convection turned on.
The issue now is how to register the 325oF on the oven floor? Tried by placing a rated 600oF silicone mat on the oven floor and the turkey roast pan on it. After 15 minutes, the fire alarm just said no! The silicone mat smoked and the infrared thermometer registered HI TEMP (the thermometer does this when it reaches temperatures above 650oF). Unbelievable belief! After a few more mishaps, a solution was found by placing a flat baking sheet on the oven floor, then the turkey roast pan. Unless the oven floor reaches over 1500oF, the baking sheet will not melt! The turkey roast pan registered a constant 325oF, baking magic again!
The top rack registered a constant 350oF, expected: heat accumulates upwards. The top rack is lined with quarry tiles, preheated and baking together with the whole turkey, so the temperature drop is minimized when the turkey breast is added in the oven. The breast will bake on a deep cast iron rectangular baker, a must to even up the hot heat up near the oven ceiling!
Of course, these will be the most intense 4 hours of baking ever yet at THE YELLOW KITCHEN! The oven glass window an two remote probe thermometers will sure to help.
November 1st, made a few pecan pies to practice and share. Hours prior my trip and after arriving, too near 30 hours of travel. Low Profile Pecan Pie (Rose’s Famous Pecan Pie) done with Lyle’s Syrup. The pie traveled on the plane with me, it is TSA approved! Pie on the train seat, then pie and the moka pot at breakfast, and pie on the window of my apartment, this is Rome. It was fantastic to enjoy this pie at 55oF weather, did not feel buttery fat or too sweet. Bonus pic: Last picture is Keiko, my sourdough starter, which made it thru the trip and baked 2 breads.November 19th, I assembled the Graavlax with everything I can find locally. I used 1 lb each of 3 different fish, instead of only 3 lbs of salmon. Fresh island Mahi Mahi, flown in Atlantic Salmon, and fresh island grade #1 Ahi (red tuna sashimi). It was very inexpensive, except for the Ahi: you do find Ahi inexpensive in Hawaii and indeed excellent freshness and taste, but my fish monger tempted me with the grade #1 which is not even red (but pink due to the high fat content and lack of cartilage).
Photo here, pay attention to the colors, the photo captured the true colors pretty accurately!
and click on any picture to take you the full progress page.
November 22nd, assembling Rick Rodgers’s Rolled Herbed Turkey Breast.
THE PIE. Following Rose’s recipe for pecan pie(tart). Pre-baked shell. The chocolate lace is not just beautiful but compliments the taste. I think this pie & lace is on the cover of a food magazine, I’ve spotted last week. The extremely lightly sweetened whipped cream has compliments from my friend who does not cook!, Meyer’s rum instead of bourbon, was good, I think the point here is to add some bitter alcohol taste to cut the sweetness. Bitter chocolate lace and near non-sweet whipped cream, plus a thin profile pie as a tart on a flaky cream cheese unsweetened non-cookie crust, are like putting each of your feet on a separate scale and register the same weight: perfect balance. Rose: thank you for doing the research for us on how to assemble the best pecan pie! I hope the pictures give credit to this incredible composition of flavors, texture, and color.
THE PIE’s SIDE DISHES: except for using 3 types of fish for the Graavlax and using a generous amount of product of Italy pancetta for the breast rolls, here is Rose’s Celebrations Thanksgiving menu @ THE YELLOW KITCHEN