Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

I know it’s been a few days since Thanksgiving 2010, but I wanted to give my holiday wrap-up now that we’re back on Terra Firma Jersey. As I mentioned, our big meal was a collaborative affair, with my in-laws battling the bird, my sister-in-law stirring the gravy, my mother-in-law handling the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauces, and me on appetizer and vegetables. I think to divide and conquer really is the way to go with this meal. If you’re one of those gifted, well-organized individuals, who can somehow churn out every dish on your own without assistance, then I say you must be made of butter and pixie dust. And this is coming from someone who’s a bit of a control freak in the kitchen. Unless we’re some sort of kitchen soul mates, I rather be cooking for you, not with you. But the Thanksgiving meal is just too awesome an endeavor, the expectations too large, the stakes too darn high.
The appetizer was a butternut squash tart that I saw on Food52.com. This was my first time making something from the website and although I tweaked the recipe a bit (I used gruyere instead of fontina to sprinkle on top because I think melted gruyere with butternut squash is a perfect late-fall match) I thought it came out really well. I won’t say it’s an everyday dish, and in the video instructions they sort of gloss over how difficult it is to peel, halve, and slice a stubborn butternut into perfect 1/4 inch slivers. I had to make do with my M-I-L’s less than sharp carving knife and I’m lucky to still be in possession of all my digits.
First step was the rustic semolina crust. They have you using a food processor but we didn’t have one so I used two forks to mix the flour, semolina flour, cold butter, and ice water. Worked just fine.
Then, of course, those perfect squash slivers that you might lose a finger cutting. You roast these with thyme and whole garlic cloves.
The crust is chilled then rolled out on parchment paper. On top you slather a mixture of ricotta and the smashed roasted garlic, then the roasted squash. The edge is folded over the mixture to make a rustic looking open tart. Then you sprinkle your fontina or gruyere over the squash, and some parmesan directly on the crust edge.
We served it for a lunch-appetizer along with a cold Kriek Lambic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *