A Casual Thanksgiving: Turkey Wings and Trimmings.

Casual Thanksgiving

I’m not a huge fan of turkey, but as I was browsing in the supermarket (yes browsing, I enjoy grocery stores) my eyes came across turkey wings. I saw the possibility of making a fun twist on Thanksgiving dinner.

So, what’s on the menu? Roasted turkey wings, vegetable slaw, sweet tattie wedges with cranberry ketchup and a cocktail, that Cobra Commander named The Pilgrim.

Everything is really quick to whip up and would be great to have the day after Turkey day.

Cranberry Ketchup

Makes about 22oz

12oz Fresh cranberries

1 Small white onion

1 Garlic clove

1 1/2 Light brown sugar

3/4 Tsp mustard powder

1/4 Tsp salt

1/4 Tsp pepper

1/8 Tsp ancho chili powder

1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar

3/4 Cup water

You’ll also need enough canning jars to hold 22-24oz.

In a saucepan combine the cranberries, onion, garlic and water. Stirring constantly, bring to the boil over high heat. Once merrily bubbling and boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the cranberries are soft.

Take off the heat and use an immersion blender or regular blender to blitz until smooth. You might need to add a dash more water, to get a smooth texture.

Return the sauce to the pan and add in the sugar and spice and vinegar. Bring to the boil again over high heat. Once boiling simmer for 30 minutes stirring frequently.

Cranberry ketchup

While the ketchup is simmering prepare your jars, by soaking them in some hot water. I do this in the canning pot. It kills two birds with one stone, the jars are simmering and the water is on its way to boiling. Just dont’ let the water get to the boil.

Spoon the ketchup into the jars, It’ll be hot so take care. Leave about 1/2 inch clear at the top of each jar. Gently knock the jars on the counter to remover any air bubbles. You may need to add more ketchup. Wipe the rims and add the lids or bands, remember not to over tighten if using bands.

Put the jars in to boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Casual Thanksgiving

Vegetable Pecan Cranberry Slaw

This yields a lot, but it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days. I also find that I enjoy it more if it’s made a day ahead of when it’s needed.

Vegetable slaw with cranberries and pecans

1 Small red onion

1 Broccoli crown

1/2 cauliflower head

1 1/2 cups of grated carrots

1 1/2 cups Sliced brussels sprouts

3/4 Cup pecan chips

1 5oz bag of dried cranberries

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp Dijon country mustard

1/4 Cup Apple cider vinegar

1/4 plus 2 Tbsp Cup Apple cider

Finely chop the onion, place this in a bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and 2tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Set this aside and prepare the other vegetables.

Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into small pieces and put in a large mixing bowl. Add to this the grated carrot, Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, pecan chips and onion. Mix this thoroughly.

In a jug beat together the Greek yogurt, mustard, apple cider vinegar and apple cider. Pour this over the vegetables and toss.

Put this into an air tight container and into the fridge. I like to give it a good shake in the container every so often.

Taste test before serving and add salt and pepper accordingly.

Turkey Wings and Sweet Potato Wedges

Turkey wings

1 Turkey wings

1 Tbsp Unsalted butter

2 Tbsp dried Oregano

1 Tbsp fennel seeds

1 Tsp paprika

Pepper

Salt

1 Tbsp Olive oil

2 Tbsp honey

2 Small sweet potatoes

Pre heat the oven to 350°F.

Mix 1 Tbsp of oregano, the fennel and paprika together with the butter and rub over the wings. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.Place them in an oven proof dish and covered with foil, put in the oven for 1 hour.

After an hour turn the oven up to 420°F.

While the oven is heating peel the sweet potatoes, cut in half and cut each half into thirds. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle over the oil, season with the rest of the oregano, salt and pepper. Place on the upper rack of the oven.

Baste the turkey wings with half of the honey and the pan juices. Set the timer for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, Turn the turkey wings and baste with the rest of the honey and some more pan juices. Rotate the baking sheet with the sweet potatoes on it. Set timer for an additional 15 minutes.

Casual Thanksgiving

Remove from the oven and plate up.

The Pilgrim

All through the summer I have been making frozen cocktails. It’s a trend that has carried on into late Autumn. I make a batch and freeze.

1 1/2 Cups of Moscato

3/4 Cup of Wild Turkey honey bourbon

1/4 Raspberry or cranberry vodka

1/4 Apple liqueur

3/4 Cup Apple cider

1/4 Cup Sparkling blueberry pomegranate juice

Combine all the ingredients in a jug and distribute into freezer safe containers. Or you can keep the cocktail in a pitcher in the fridge.

If they are frozen, remove from the freeze 5 minutes before serving, I love it when they turn to slush, I use a spoon straw to ingest these.

Happy Thanksgiving.

F.

Buffaloaf!

At The Croakery this is our signature Thanksgiving dish . Neither Cobra Commander nor myself are big turkey fans so when we first moved here and hosted our first Thanksgiving we thought it’d fun to have a meaty feast with no Turkey in sight. On the menu there were wild boar sausages, venison welling and buffaloaf. Buffaloaf has been a staple ever since.

What is this buffaloaf, it’s meatloaf made from buffalo mince.Nothing too fancy, just a twist on a classic!

Buffaloaf!

Let’s get cooking’

2lb Buffalo mince

1 Medium onion white

1 Tsp olive oil

1Tbsp sugar

1/2 Medium apple

1 1/4 Cups fresh cranberries

1 Egg

1/4 Breadcrumbs

1 1/2 Packets of bacon

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp fennel seeds

1 Tbsp dried rosemary

1 Tbsp dried thyme

1 Tbsp mustard powder

2 Tsp Roasted cumin

2 Tsp salt

1 Tsp pepper

2 Tbsp honey

5 Tbsp ketchup, I usually split these 3tbsp of cranberry ketchup and 2 tbsp of regular

1/4 Cup Worcestershire sauce

Parchment paper

A 2lb loaf pan

A baking sheet

 

Pre heat the oven to 380°F

Put the mince into a bowl and break up with a fork.

Heat the olive oil in  a small frying pan over medium high heat. Finely chop the 1/2 the onion,  add to the pan, cook for around 5 minutes until the onion is softened. Reduce the heat to medium and sprinkle over the sugar and stir. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool a little and add to the bowl with the mince.

Leave the skin on and grate the apple and other onion half into the mixing bowl. Stir this thoroughly.

Roughly chop the cranberries and stir those in also.

Sprinkle in all the dry spices and herbs.

Beat the egg before adding this and the rest of the wet ingredients to the meat.

Finally add the breadcrumbs.

You can go in and get your hands dirty and use them to mix with, or a wooden spoon also works.

At this stage I like to wipe out and reheat the pan used to caramelise the onion and cook a little of the mixture for a taste test.

Lay the parchment paper sheet flat on the counter. You need to have a big enough piece to fit inside the loaf pan and over hang a little.

Weave the rashers, lay 7 in a row so that the short ends are facing you and the length running away from you. Working left to right weave another rasher over one then under the next,  over then under until you get to the other side. With the second rasher, again working left to right weave under the first, then over the second, under then over all the way to the end. Continue with alternating over and under until you reach the botton, anout 8 or 9 rashers.

 

 

Gently lift the parchment paper and ease it into the loaf pan. Spoon in the buffalo mixture, pack it in tightly until it’s all in there. Fold over the loose ends of the bacon.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place the loaf pan on it.

Pop it into the oven on the lower rack and cook for 90 minutes.

Leave the oven on and turn up to 425°F

After 90 minutes remove from the oven and let sit for a further 20 minutes.

Take the loaf pan off the baking tray and sit on a flat surface. Place the baking tray on top of the pan, apply a good amount of pressure and do this quickly and carefully, flip the pans over.

Now the buffaloaf is resting on the baking sheet. Remove the loaf pan and carefully peel off the parchment paper.

Return to the oven for 20 minutes until the bacon browns, I check on the buffaloaf and baste with any juices every 5 minutes or so.

Buffaloaf

Serve with your favourite sides. This is also great cold as left overs, served with pickled onions and crusty bread.

F

 

Thanks For Friends

Up at the Crokery we gave thanks with our friends, here is what we feasted on and a few photos of us all.

Shrimp bisque accompanied with autumnal shaped croutons

A palate cleaners of cranberry sorbet

Roast venison with jumble berry mole

Cornish hen with classic gravy

Boar and apple sausage

Roast potatoes

Parsnip bread pudding

Roast vegetable medley with pommegranate vinagrette

Wild rice with pecans and cranberries

Chestnut stuffing

Sweet potato ice cream served with toasted marshmallows and pecan cookies

Caramel apple pie

Lots of wine

Wildwoman and Dutch pass the croutons

WildWoman & Dutch pass the crotuons

Giggles and my Cosmic Twin, smiley faces after a bellyful of bisque

Giggles and my Cosmic Twin, smiley faces after a bellyful of bisque

Candles nestled in a vase of nuts makes for a multi functional centre piece

Marie cleanses her palate

A perfect portion

The table awaits hungry guests

Remains of a tasty bisque

The salt and pepper pots, a nod to the host sense of humor

A nod to the hosts sense of fun

Sweet Potato ice Cream

A twist on a much loved Thanksgiving classic. Instead of sweet potato pie try sweet potato ice cream, this is a variation of a pumpkin ice cream I had a few years ago.

1½ Cups Whole milk

1 Cup dark brown sugar

1 cinnamon stick

3 Egg yolks

1 heaped teaspoon of fresh ginger or ginger paste

½ Teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 Teaspoon black pepper

¼ Teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup sweet potato

¾ Cup heavy cream

¼ Cup Brandy

Roast the sweet potato in an oven preheated to about 400°.

Now set about making the custard

Pour the milk into a saucepan over a medium bring to just below the boil

Add the cinnamon stick, remove from the heat and  leave to steep for at least 20 minutes

In a pan bring about 1½ inches of water to a soft boil,

Measure out the sugar, reserve half for later  and…

…Put the other half of the sugar into a bowl. I used a stand mixer so that when it comes to pouring in the hot liquid, I have a free hand

Add the yolks to the sugar

Whisk until the mixture turns pale

and thick and forms ribbons

To this mixture add in the

The ground nutmeg, black pepper

The ginger paste and vanilla extract.

Give these  a good mix to incorporate them thoroughly

OK..So back to the milk

And the reserved sugar to the milk and bring back to just under the boil. Watch this very closely, if this boils it will curdle. You really only want to warm so that the sugar dissolves.

Pour through a stainer to remove the cinnamon stick and any lumps. With the mixer on low steadily pour into the egg mixture

Take the mixing bowl and put it on top of the pan containing the softly boiling water. Stir constantly, making sure you get the mixture at the bottom of the bowl.

You want the custard to thicken to the point that it coats the spatula. A good test to check the thickness is to draw your finger across the spatula, if the line holds it shape the custard is thick enough. If not cook it for a few minutes more and check again

Plunge the warm bowl of custard into a a sink filled with cold water, this will stop it from cooking more. Now cover with cling film, make sure it touches the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the fridge for at least a few hours, I usually leave mine overnight.

remove  the sweet potato from the oven and let it cool,

Scoop out the inside and blitz in a food processor

It is important to get this really smooth, the sweet potato give the ice cream a grainier texture than other ice creams, so you really don’t want lumps

Add in 1 tablespoon of cream and blitz again

When you have beautifully smooth creamy sweet potato measure out 1 cup

Remove the chilled custard from the fridge and stir in the sweet potato and cream.

Last, but not least pour in the brandy. It is tempting to over do it, but if you go crazy with the booze the ice cream wont freeze properly. Stir that in and churn in the ice cream maker or still freeze

Pour into a container and pop in the freezer until needed

Inject some some into dessert, I served the ice cream with toasted marshmallows  and pecan cookies