I’ve been stuck in a rut when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. I serve the same tired old recipes year after year – so I’ve decided to break out of the box and jazz up my feast next week.
I woke up at the crack of dawn feeling all domestic and decided to do some experimentation. Let’s call it “research” – I’m hoping I can deduct this activity from my taxes.
Here was my breakfast – mac a rita and cheese served in a sherbet glass with a side of fillet mignyams (boiled sweet potatoes wrapped in bacon and roasted). Yummo. I shared the recipe last week on deluded diva, but I had to cook mine way longer than the recommended 15-20 minutes. I think my oven has a leak or something.
Now, I’m not going to go all Martha Stewart on my guests, but I’m gonna shake them up a bit. My aunt is all bothered about it.
“What? No spinach Madeline,” she whined.
We’ve had that dish every Thanksgiving for going on 35 years and I’m just bored with it. She got all huffy and said “Well, I”LL bring the spinach Madeline.” See how that works? She also brings a Honey Baked Ham and about a million desserts.
So I got to thinking, which is always dangerous. Why not try serving an old favorite like mac and cheese in sherbet glasses – margarita glasses would be better, but I don’t have any of those so I use the sherbets I inherited from my mother.
Actually I borrowed this idea from a caterer in my area who served mashed potatoes in cocktail glasses for a function I attended recently. I thought it was a great idea and it imparted a little bling on low-country fare.
I’m going one step further for Thanksgiving by serving mac and cheese as an appetizer. My regular recipe will be stuffed loosely into tart shells (made from rounds of bread pressed into mini muffin tins and baked). When the shells are stuffed, I sprinkle them with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of evoo and chopped parsley. They will broil briefly to get a little crunch.
If you’re really ambitious you could serve the mac and cheese in a parmesan tuile – very easy to make. Just grate a bunch of parmesan in a pretty thin layer in circles on to a cookie sheet that you’ve covered with parchment paper. Bake until bubbly. While the cheese is still warm, put each diskette over a mini ramekin or small bowl so it moulds into the shape of a little cup. Let cool and it will set and then you can fill them with mac ‘n cheese I warn you though, these are addictive and delicious without any stuffing.
Another dashing presentation for the lowly mac and cheese would be to stuff it in a tomato shell, douse with parmesan cheese and broil until lightly browned.
Oh, I saw the Yummo lady (Rachel something or other) prepare her Thanksgiving feast yesterday. She baked her dressing all mounded up in muffin tins. I thought that was pretty cool, but worried it might get a little dry. So when I get the cornbread dressing all gushed together I may baked a few muffins and see how they turn out. Will let you know.
And Paula Deen gave me the best idea of all. She sliced a can of boring jellied cranberry sauce into thin slices. She mixed cream cheese, mayo and pecans and formed little sandwiches with two slices of cranberry sauce. Very pretty and maybe someone will actually EAT the cranberry sauce this year. No one in my family seems to like it, but I dutifully serve it and dump it down the garbage disposal at the end of the day.
I’d love to hear what you are doing for your Thanksgiving feast, especially if it’s a little non-traditional.