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Brewer Burns

Monday, January 03, 2005

The Fabulous One and Only Turkey

Time to wax poetic about my new year's day feast. The turkey was sumptuous. Rich and juicy. A little on the salty side, but that can be expected when you brine a turkey. Every once in a while you would get hit with a flash of thyme, rosemary or black peppercorn which the turkey absorbed from the brine. I wish the skin had been more browned and crunchy but it was altogether delicious. The pear gravy was amazing. Sweet and savory at the same time with just a hint of rum taste. It was perfect for the turkey. Actually, making the gravy was one of my favorite parts of the meal. There's something so sinfully satisfying about melting the butter with spooned-off turkey fat from the pan drippings and then adding flour to make the roux. And then waiting while the roux browns to a sumptuous chestnut brown color. The whole process is just fabulous.

The profiteroles were great. They puffed up in the oven just the way they were supposed to, leaving a cavity in the bottom and the top halves, into which I spooned generous helpings of pumpkin custard. I was delighted that they came out exactly as planned. With the drizzle of maple-caramel syrup on top and the dry champagne (Mountain Dome, 2002, Spokane, Washington) we ate them with they were just perfect.

We all loved the sweet potato torte, and my father in law especially. It's taste was reminiscent of a pumpkin pie but not as sweet and not as spiced. It was heavenly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The stuffing was also quite good. I loved the combination of the sausage, fennel and sourdough bread cubes. The only alteration that I made to the recipe (Bon Appetit 11/04) was the substitution of mild italian sausage for apple-fennel sausage. It worked quite well.

The last thing, which I forgot to mention in my previous post, was the appetizer: Stilton Toasts. Baguette sliced thinly with a mixture of stilton cheese and sour cream spread on them. It was quite good, if a little dry. f I had toasted the bread it would have been better.It was my first experience with stilton cheese and it reminded me of something but I couldn't quite remember what....All in all a fabulous meal.

The only thing I wish I had done better is get the turkey skin to brown more. I think maybe I should have rubbed the butter into the skin more vigorously before cooking it. Something I will have to research.

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