Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I am a little late with my post but better late than never. I am not hosting this year but I will be bringing a few dishes to add to the feast. Our family prefers a traditional Thanksgiving with turkey etc. I made an apple pie and a 2 colour cauliflower gratin. The pie crust recipe is one that I have used faithfully for several years as I have not found one better. It comes from my essential Baking with Julia recipe book.

The apples for the pie originate from Joanette's Apple Orchard (Chemin Principal, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, Quebec), where we picked our own apples last weekend. A beautiful place to visit (with kids or not). We like Joanette because it is quiet as opposed to some of the orchards that have a Walt Disney feel and are very busy. We did bring our kids to one of the frantically commercial places after to let them enjoy the petting zoo and park. I have to recommend the ice wine offered for sale at Verger Lacroix. We sampled some and immediately bought several bottles to give as hostess gifts at Christmas.

I like to slice my apples quiet thinly and really pack them into the pie. I add a little cinnamon, cornstarch, and this time some Demerara sugar. I egg washed the crust and sprinkled some of the demerara on it. I had a little helper who made her own pie and we used cookie cutters to make moon and star shapes on the pie...why not.

Click here for some tricks to apply to your favorite pie dough recipe.

2 Color Cauliflower Gratin

1 Head of orange cauliflower, in small forets
1 Head of green cauliflower, in small florets
30 ml / 2 T Butter
15 ml / 1 T Olive oil
1 small Onion, chopped fine
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
pinch of Savoury
30 ml / 2 T Butter
60 ml / 4 T All purpose flour
750 ml / 3 cups Whole milk
half an Onion
1 Bay leaf
1 Clove
pinch of Nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
500 ml / 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese

Blanch florets in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a skillet melt better and add olive oil. Saute onion for 5 minutes, add the garlic and saute for a minute more. Add the florets and savory and saute for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a oven safe casserole dish.

In a sauce pan melt butter, and with a wooden spoon add the flour, stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Slowly add milk and stir until relatively smooth. Fix the bay leaf to the half onion with the clove and add to the bechamel (milk mixture). Add the nutmeg. Simmer on low heat for ten minutes. Remove and stir in 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese. Pour over florets and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over top. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling and slightly golden.

If like me you will reheat the dish later. Remove the gratin a little early and finish it off half an hour before serving. If the oven is packed and your casserole only adds to the hosts' anxiety cook the dish completely and heat it in the microwave.

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy. I would like to offer blogs like this at least a week before the actual holiday when you are actually on the net looking for ideas. With so much food styling work I have not been able to do this but plan on changing that by getting organized and banking posts so that I can get them out in timely a manner.

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