I’m counting 1-10: Seafood Cocktail Louisiana as the fourth dish I made of this year’s 7-recipe Thanksgiving cooking marathon (TGV 2016) , but its components actually spanned a few days (and a few cooks). This was one of three appetizers I made for my Thanksgiving dinner–the others being a crudité & hummus platter and 1-5: Pigs in a Blanket.
My mom was always big on the idea of “shrimp cocktail” as being necessary for Thanksgiving dinner appetizers (it was always part of her family’s holiday dinner when she was growing up), so in order to honor that idea, I chose this recipe.
As I mentioned above, I’m counting this as the fourth dish I made–it spanned Wed. 11/23 and Thu. 11/24 as different components had varying levels of make-in-advance-ability. My sous chef made the dressing and prepped shrimp the first night, while I assembled the dish itself right before serving the next day.
It’s been a hell of a month, y’all. Between my birthday at the very beginning, the election, an aunt passing away, unexpected horse-sitting, and planning/executing my very first self-made Thanksgiving dinner, I unfortunately didn’t do a lot of writing. However, our Thanksgiving this year (TGV 2016) was Simply Delicious-themed, as I used 7 recipes for this year’s feast.
I started the cooking marathon on Tuesday 11/22 with 4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin–I thought parsnips would make an interesting variation on the “vegetable” dish for Thanksgiving. I also cooked this one first because I knew I could cook it most of the way, and save the final broiling for right before the dinner was served.
I don’t know much about parsnips being the “poor man’s lobster” (a quick Google search reveals butter baking cod/haddock/etc. to be the most common modern use for that term), but I’d describe them as a cross between potatoes and carrots. Too potato-y to be a carrot, but too carrot-y to be a potato.
I had mentioned in 9-26: Crispy Beef Turnovers and 13-13: Spinach Turnovers that there was a third turnover recipe that I had intended to make (for a trio of turnovers), but that the third recipe required a different cooking method (deep-frying versus baking), so I chose to shelve it until I could do it right.
Well, I happened to have a (borrowed, since returned) mini-deep-fryer in my possession recently, so 1-7: Trader Vic’s Crab Turnovers (the fabled third turnover recipe) was finally about to become a reality.
Here’s a question for you: is cheese soup really soup? To me, it’s essentially the sauce from macaroni and cheese, thinned down and maybe dressed up with some onions or bacon. Often potato or broccoli gets added as well, in an attempt to “healthify” it. No matter what, it just seems…indulgent. I was on my own to make and eat 3-5: Creamy Cheese Soup, so I kept this one simple.
Don’t get me wrong–I do enjoybroccoli cheese soup (and make one every few months or so for work), but leek & cheese (which this one is) doesn’t excite me as much. This one was a bit leek-y for me, but maybe I just lack appreciation for the leek.
I’ve often talked during this project about my mother and her predilection towards recipe experimentation. One of these instances was where she attempted to make gumbo–I’m not sure where she got the recipe from, but I remember the family failing to choke down poorly cooked okra and my father making a quick run to KFC while she surreptitiously got rid of the rest.
The mere mention of gumbo usually brings this unsavory memory back, and so I attempted 11-26: Fish Gumbo with a fair amount of trepidation.
Roux is something I’ve covered several times throughout this project, and it’s an essential flavor and texture component of gumbo. Letting a roux brown deepens its flavor, and there’s a fine line between too light and over cooked.
Here’s one from the Fish & Seafood chapter, which I haven’t delved into for awhile. 11-4: Calzone with Seafood sounds rather strange on paper, and was in fact strange in reality. If you’re picturing a pizza-like calzone with tomato sauce…think again.
If you’ve come here from a search engine looking for a good seafood calzone recipe (which apparently a lot of you do), here’s the TL;DR–the crust and overall cooking method are decent on this recipe, but be prepared to come up with your own fillings. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the heck this site is, read this.
They’ll mention later that the dough is really what they want you to get out of this recipe–the filling is a variable. Knowing that now (after I followed their suggestions), I would have definitely made some adjustments.
I jumped several sections ahead a few weeks ago when I needed to make a pasta side dish for something (I don’t even remember what at this point). I don’t have this group scanned yet and I procrastinated on scanning the card–oh well. 🌿
We find 12-6: Seasoned Pasta Toss in Book 2, Group 2 (Main Courses), Subgroup 12 (Pasta & Rice). I still have a ton of parsley in my freezer and gluten-free rice pasta in my pantry, and it’s time to clean house.
Too bad it turned out to be less than impressive. It’s my fault, but still.