Like Tia, my family celebrates with a semi-traditional Thanksgiving meal. There are some non-negotiable classics: turkey, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce. Then there are Tom-family classics, curried beef samosas, foie gras, lots of veggies. Here's how I do turkey day.
Whatever's on the menu, these samosas always steal the show. We call them "shambosh" -- wonton wrappers stuffed with curried beef and scallions, a bite-size Indian/Chinese ethnic makeup of Madagascar, where my mom was born. You might remember this wrapping technique from my Deep-fried Nutella and Raspberry Samosas video.
I actually served these at my launch party, but told my mom to only bring 50. Otherwise, no one would eat the other food and it'd all go to waste. They are that good.
Pre-dinner we also snack on foie gras (yes, like Tia's family). I have family in Montreal and France and they bring us the good stuff. Not shown: shrimp cocktail.
Meanwhile, my grandma and her buddies post up and play mahjongg. They play in a separate part of the house, but man between the tile clanking and lady cackling, this is very noisy (but isn't every Thanksgiving?).
They play upon arrival, eat apps at the table, break for dinner, play again, break for dessert, then play again. One of the ladies won $97 and for some odd reason, they left $3 on the table when they left (presumably a tip???). The woman in purple is my grandma.
Okay, dinner! Let's start with the proteins.
My dad smokes the turkey in a jerry-rigged smoker in the backyard. It's basically one smoker that feeds into another smoker and though the house smells like a cedar shed for days, the turkey is tender, flavor-packed perfection -- even the white meat.
We also ate roast beef (with gravy and dad's famous "horsey sauce"). These garlic-ginger-ketchup shrimp are on the table year-round, but they're great enough for a special occasion too.
We got greens... brussels sprouts, zucchini, cucumber.
Pickled veg... a welcome sharpness during a rich meal.
And some classics to round it out: cranberry sauce with Grand Marnier and orange peel, stuffing, sweet potato, marinated beets. Sometimes we have corn and I think at some point we had mashed potatoes, but they were phased out.
And now dessert! This is my domain. Depending on when I get in, I may do sides and dessert, or sometimes only dessert. This year, I got in at noon on Thursday (following a Frogger-like runaround with the Thanksgiving Day parade on 6th Ave), so just did desserts.
I made these two from Pichet Ong's The Sweet Spot: salt and pepper cashew dragees with a sesame oil base note, and pistachio raspberry-rose cookies, a butter cookie fortified with cream cheese.
This recipe came from Claudia Roden's The Foods of Spain: an almond chiffon cake with a whiff of orange and lemon peel that also happens to be gluten-free. The recipe headnotes tell me this is a Passover cake, but I liked the sound of it (and it was suitably light(ish)) so why not.
And my last contribution: an apple crisp from the Tartine cookbook. Despite its homeliness, this was the only dessert that was finished in full. You basically top apples with rounds of butter-saturated, cinnamon-scented dough. Over 90 minutes, the dough drips its flavor into the softening apples.
Grandma brought a cream cake and we drank ice wine (another piece of Montreal in New York, I guess).
My uncle's friend is also a major dessert contributor. Here's the oh-so-appreciated tropical fruit salad.
And dinner and activity in one: creme brulee.
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving too! Isn't it the best?