This was a fruitful weekend for Thanksgiving planning. I made two pans of pecan bars. The first using a recipe from the Gourmet cookbook, and the second from the first Barefoot Contessa cookbook. What did I learn from that exercise? Never doubt the Ina. While the filling from both recipes were excellent, the crust of the Barefoot Contessa cookbook kicked the ass of the crust from Gourmet. The fillings in both recipes consisted of brown sugar, honey (which I replaced with a mixture of light caro syrup and maple syrup), a touch of cream and of course, chopped pecans. I also added a healthy swig of bourbon to the filling to give a little kick to the intensely sweet mixture. But the crust is where Ina Garten shows her skill in writing foolproof recipes. The Gourmet crust consisted of brown sugar, flour, and butter pressed into the bottom of the pan. The result was a pleasingly, flakey, but unfortunately crumbly, crust that made extracting the bars from the pans difficult. Half of the crust lay in a pile of crumbs at the bottom of the pan. The Ina recipe was a shortbread crust that included eggs to the flour/butter/sugar mixture and ensured enough wetness for the mixture to stay together when cutting the bars. This made enough bars for both Thanksgiving dinner and the post Thanksgiving leftover lunch the next day.
Also accomplished this weekend was the extra large batch of corn pudding which is happily in the freezer waiting to be heated. I'll give you the recipe after we've eaten it to make sure I haven't given you a dud but it's a Barefoot Contessa recipe so I don't think that will happen. I increased the recipe by half to ensure that all nine of our guests could have seconds and added a little four to the mixture to let it hang together better.
Also accomplished was the purchase of a roasting pan for the 15 pound turkey that I will roast upside down to ensure juiciness, and a serving platter for said turkey. I also made chicken stock that will be incorporated into the the stuffing and the marsala gravy and piecrust for the pumpkin pie.
What's left to do?
The griddle cakes (Tuesday)
The pear cranberry tart (Wednesday)
The green beans (Thursday)
The stuffing (Thursday)
And of course the turkey (Thursday)
Our guests will be bringing:
Two potato casserole (The Timily's)
Sauteed spinach (the Timily's)
Mashed potatoes (The Shyan's)
Rolls (Thank Heaven for Little Girls)