For food lovers, Thanksgiving is the most important day of the year. A whole holiday dedicated to food, drink, and celebrating the bounty of our land, with no commercial or religious overtones.
The menu for Thanksgiving dinner is so traditional it is almost rote. Turkey, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, something green, apple pie. All seasonal foods. Turkey is such a given in most homes that we call it Turkey Day. I used to call it Cardboard Day until I learned how to cook the bird. (Click here for my recipe for the Ultimate Brined & Smoked Turkey.)
The fact is, we think, that Americans riff on the prescribed menu and have created their own traditions. So we developed our first annual survey, below, to track how we celebrate the great American Food Holiday. It will be interesting to see how the answers change over the years.
We initiated the survey by asking Bobby Flay, owner/executive chef of nine restaurants, author of nine cookbooks, and star of several FoodNetwork shows, about his plans for Thanksgiving. The meal is at his house, about 50 people attend, and surprisingly, the maestro cooks! No day off for this hardworking chef (but the avid sports fan is allowed to watch football in the kitchen). Each year there's a different theme and this year it is New England. He will cook two 30 pound turkeys and, not surprisingly, a creative menu. Here are two videos of our interview.
Part 1) In the first he discusses his holiday menu, his horseradish, maple syrup, and mustard glaze; how he keeps white meat moist; basting; and recipe for Cranberry Martinis.
Part 2) The second video shows Flay's novel Tandoori Style Roasted Whole Turkey Breast with Hellman's mayo, one of his sponsors. He's a big fan of leftovers, and demonstrates Turkey Fajitas with Creamy Avocado Sauce. He also send me his recipe for Grilled Turkey Cuban Sandwiches. Click the links for the recipes.
Tell us your plans
Now it's your turn. Tell us about your plans and your personal preferences. You can click more than one choice per question. You will see the results instantly after you hit "Vote." Feel free to comment at the bottom of the article. Happy Thanksgiving!
Unless otherwise noted, all text and photos are Copyright (c) 2009 By Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn, and all rights are reserved. Links and recommendations are all products, services, and websites I truly admire, and are never paid endorsements. For more of my writing and recipes, please visit AmazingRibs.com. Click here for information on reprint rights.
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