Wednesday, November 4, 2009
My Wife's Boss is Coming to Dinner - Sucking Up for a Raise Menu - Thanksgiving Preview
As long time readers know, my wife has this inconvenient day job. It gets in the way of a lot of my plans, but it gives her a special purpose, so I tolerate it. Going along with the inconvenient day job is her boss. Actually, as bosses go, Jackie and I really like this woman. Led an interesting life, and is fun to be with.
Well, we get together a couple times a year for dinner, and yesterday I decided was a great chance to enjoy their company again... But it made me ponder, what dinner menu planning (and executing) is more fraught with pressure than hosting dinner with the boss???
And then it occurred to me... Someone, somewhere out there in the world, hundreds of cooks are hosting their first Thanksgiving dinner, sure, that's a lot of pressure, but what if it was the first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner for your Mother-in Law? Now that is pressure. So, I decided to preview a possible Thanksgiving meal with the dinner party for my wife's boss (and her husband) for any potential Mother-in-law hosts.
What would Thanksgiving be without a Turkey? I decided to smoke mine, so it was up at dawn to get this 20 pound monster on the cooker. I will blog the specifics soon...
Back in October, I blogged about my ALL VEGETARIAN MEAL. For that meal, I made an appetizer dip with eggplant. You can read all about this recipe by going HERE. How to GRILL WHOLE EGGPLANTS for Eggplant Dip - Steven Raichlen is a terrific recipe that is perfect for a milling about having the first glass of wine time. I have already blogged about this and you can follow the links above, but only change I made was rather than grilling, I smoked the plant... Came out GREAT (those slits are filled with garlic...yum).
Stuffing with turkey is VERY overrated. In fact, many a meal is disappointing BECAUSE you stuff the bird with the dressing. When done right, it is fine, but there are two problems with stuffing. First, if you stuff too full, the air flow needed to cook everything through is restricted. So your stuffing will not reach critical temperature (165 degrees). That means potentially poisoning your mother-in-law. While no jury would convict you, it will dampen the family spirits for every future Thanksgiving. Your other problem is the opposite of stuffing too full, and that is to have too much air flow, making your stuffing overcooked and dry by the time the turkey is done.
So, instead, I usually cook my dressing in the oven in a side pan. But for this dinner, I experimented and came up with a savory bread pudding, made with buttermilk and pork sausage ( the reason I am showing two different pans, one of my guests can not eat pork, so i made a savory bread pudding without meat for him. I will absolutely be blogging this recipe in the next couple of days.
And here is my wife's bosses' husband, who can not eat pork. But, I insisted he have a little pig. And, you will be pleased to know that I will not be making another post about my Fugasse Bread making skills (which are legendary in my own mind). If you are interested, you can click HERE for the recipe. But, it is a terrific bread for making shapes... Like this pig face!
But I did like the pig faced bread so much, I am showing it twice...
I invented a recipe...
A Cornmeal Vegetarian Galette (fancy name for Tart, which is just a less fancy name for a little pie).
Everybody.... OHHH AHHH, and I will be blogging this recipe soon as well (with a surprise twist)
For potatoes, I used a modification of my Bacon Wrapped Grilled Potato Boats with Goat Cheese and Asparagus that you can check out the details by clicking HERE. These I smoked instead of grilled, and I will be making a post about them as well.
And I am now a master candy maker, as I made homemade truffles (Caramel-pumpkin pie) for dessert. And you know that I am so full of myself that I will make this post about my first attempt to make candy!
So, there you go... 7 courses, a meal fit for a king (or your wife's boss, or your first attempt at a hosting your mother-in-law for Thanksgiving). Stay tuned for the details, they will be coming in the next few days.
Three wine bottles in the trash, maybe I cooked and served my way towards a raise for my wife. Someone had a good time!