Every Thanksgiving I experiment with the menu. This year was no exception. I tried a new orange peel and rosemary turkey brine that seemed to work better than others in the past. There was a lot more spice in this one – the orange peel worked well, the apple juice was a great exchange for cups of sugar in the water. I made roasted garlic mashed yukon gold potatoes. Yumm. But the roasted garlic got lost in the potatoes. I skinned the potatoes, which was a good choice, but would add another head of garlic next time and probably a good amount of pepper. The stuffing was a real bear to make and was good, but I wanted better: cornbread stuffing with linguica and kale. Making the cornbread for the stuffing and drying it out didn’t work like I wanted. The cornbread turned to mush, the linguica needed to be skinned to not be a chewy distraction, the kale was lost.
But the real winner to me, with modifications I will recommend, was the Cranberry Sauce with Port and Dried Fig. I first saw fig added to cranberry sauce on an episode of Iron Chef, so was eager to try it and was going to do it anyway when I found this recipe. Figs just seem like a perfect counterbalance to cranberries. They’re soft instead of crisp. They’re sticky sweet to offset the tart. But then the addition of port seemed like a real taste rounder, and I was right. Cranberry sauce is a high note in music, and the port, with its hints of rich base fruit and some barrel characteristics really grounded the dish. There were new layers to the taste profile now that made it both incredibly complex and satisfying – especially for wine lovers. And cooking it with a rosemary sprig and some black pepper? Genius. I love this one and am going to try it with my revisions again very soon.
Check it out at the above link or click here to try it yourself. Be sure to report back to me what you think. I think you’ll love it.