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Thanksgiving 2009

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

My friend Rebecca has outdone herself again.  This year’s Thanksgiving feast was wonderful, and as head chef she gets the credit.  The rest of the guests (there were 7 of us total) each contributed a few things to make for an all-around gourmet meal.  Here’s the menu:

Endive Spears with Tarragon Crabmeat Salad
Roasted Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese
Marcona Almonds

Roasted Turkey with White Wine Gravy
Rustic Porcini & Onion Stuffing
Potato & Celeriac Purée
Roasted Baby Root Vegetables
Green Beans and Walnuts with Lemon Vinaigrette
Shaved Fennel, Pear and Tarragon Salad
Cranberry Sauce with Dates & Orange

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
Pear Crisp with homemade whipped cream

The two items with links are my contributions to the meal. I hadn’t tried to make dates stuffed with goat cheese before, but they turned out quite nice.  The recipe I used called for orange blossom water to be added to the goat cheese.  Call me cheap, but at $7 for a 2oz bottle, I ignored that and it still tasted fine. Many of the stuffed date recipes I found call for them to be wrapped in prosciutto – which sounds both luscious and excessive. I did all of the prep at my house and put them in the broiler for 4 minutes when we got to the hostesses house.  Here are a few pictures of the process and the almost finished product:

More after the jump…

I bought a little less than 1 1/2 lbs of Medjool Dates which came to 33 dates. This picture shows about half of them.

The goat cheese mixture contains toasted pine nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

I sliced each date open lengthwise to remove the seed. But make sure you keep them in one piece for stuffing.

After the dates were stuffed, I sprinkled them with extra toasted pine nuts and some parsley flakes.  Once I got to the house where we ate, a few minutes in the broiler softened the dates and the cheese, and gave them a sweet and toasty shell.

Drop Cap “F” from the Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Erin #

    Sounds wonderful! I look forward to tasting it.

    November 28, 2009
  2. Rebecca #

    And those were BY FAR the yummiest thing on the table.

    PS. Your last two photos look very Smitten Kitchen. Teach me!

    December 7, 2009

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