November 17, 2015, posted by Gina – A couple of weeks ago our Cookbook Club gathered for a Thanksgiving luncheon. All of the recipes for the day came from one of three Barefoot Contessa Cookbooks; The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties! and Barefoot Contessa Family Style. We have been cooking our way through these three cookbooks for almost a year and we all love the recipes. Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa, writes easy to follow recipes with imagination and a sense of style in presentation. We feel like we know her.
This was our menu with links to each recipe:
Lamb Sausage in Puff Pastry
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Perfect Roast Turkey
Roasted Baby Pumpkins with Homemade Applesauce
String Beans with Shallots
Chocolate Buttercream Cake
We enjoyed our appetizers outdoors as the day was very nice. Deer sausage was a substitute in the Lamb Sausage in Puff Pastry recipe because lamb sausage was unavailable in our neck of the woods. They were nonetheless delicious and hearty. Our other appetizer was Caviar Dip which was fabulous. It is made with salmon roe and was very creamy.
We then moved on to the soup course; Butternut Squash and Apple Soup. You would have thought that lots of cream and butter went into this soup but there’s not one ounce of cream and only two tablespoons of butter for the whole 3 ½ quarts the recipe yielded. I am not a big apple eater so I had my reservations about this soup but they were quashed upon my first bite. It seemed very rich to me and a little goes a long way in my opinion. It was the perfect orange color and its flavor was spot on for a harvest lunch.
Our main course did not disappoint. Perfect Roast Turkey, Roasted Baby Pumpkins with Homemade Applesauce, and String Beans with Shallots made a perfect plate. Where to begin? First, the 12 pound turkey was so moist and was only roasted for 3 hours. Ina goes into a bit of discussion about how this is plenty long enough. Potatoes, carrots and fennel were cooked alongside the bird and they added a great flavor. The Roasted Baby Pumpkins with Homemade Applesauce were out of this world. Again, I am not a big lover of apples, but this applesauce had a rich velvety smooth texture. The presentation on this was just so perfect for a Thanksgiving feast. The green beans were super fresh and, along with the shallots, very good. They say you eat with your eyes first, and this plate sure provided a beautiful array of colors.
But the feast didn’t end there.Two desserts were offered; a delicious Chocolate Buttercream Cake and Pecan Squares. You may think that pecan squares are fairly ho-hum but these are very different and decadent. I truly recommend you try them and advise cutting them into small pieces as they are very rich and satisfying.
If you are looking for a Thanksgiving menu that has a few twists on the traditional fare, this would be a very good one to follow. The flavors, colors and aromas will certainly ignite all your senses.
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