Tuesday, November 28, 2006

An FAQ Thanksgiving

"Victory is mine", she said loudly, surveying the field of battle with grim satisfaction and a rather grand hand gesture. "It is indeed possible for the Food Allergy Queen to partake in a traditional Thanksgiving with the trimmings. Bow down, treacherous wheat stuffing! Make way for delicious dairy-free gravy! Wander freely amidst the pecan chocolate pie! And behold, a new Thankgiving cranberry sauce that will make the gods weep with joy...."

Okay, you get the general idea. I finally figured out a way to get the most important part of the Thanksgiving meal, the STUFFING -- to be at least hospitable to the FAQ. It was crunchy, but downright tasty. I fixed it a little later with some turkey broth.

The menu:

Turkey with Sage and Sherry/Cider Gravy from Sara Moulton
Cornbread and sausage stuffing from James Beard
Cranberry and shallot compote from Gourmet Magazine
Roasted Kabocha squash from Sunday Suppers with Lucques
Grilled asparagus
Kentucky pecan pie with chocolate chips

Here is the recipe for the cranberry compote, passed onto me by a customer. Insanely good. Savory and sweet, tender and chewy and bright tasting. It needs to be shared with the universe.

Cranberry, shallot and dried cherry compote from Gourmet magazine
1/2 lb small (1-inch-wide) shallots or pearl onions (preferably red), left unpeeled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup white-wine vinegar
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried sour cherries (5 oz)
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (8 oz; not thawed if frozen)
1/2 cup water

Blanch shallots in a 3-quart saucepan of boiling water 1 minute, then drain. Peel shallots and separate into cloves if necessary.
Cook shallots in butter in 3-quart saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add sugar and 1 tablespoon vinegar and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar mixture turns a golden caramel, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully add remaining vinegar, wine, and salt and boil, stirring, 1 minute (use caution, as mixture will bubble up). Add cherries and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until shallots are tender and liquid is syrupy, about 45 minutes.
Add cranberries and water and gently boil over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst, about 10 minutes. Transfer compote to a bowl and cool completely.
Cooks' note:
Compote keeps, chilled in an airtight container, 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings (about 3 cups).

1 comment:

Colleen Cuisine said...

wow, that cranberry recipe sound DELICIOUS! i'm going to have to try that next time around.
your turkey looks beautiful too!