Friday, November 25, 2011

A very special Frenchgiving

Yesterday we all celebrated thanksgiving by fattening ourselves up with some good food and by being thankful that our liver can still handle the copious amount of alcohol that is added to the mix. This year I didn't get the chance to spend this holiday with my family so we celebrated it with some friends in a beautiful apartment that overlooks the Santa Monica boardwalk with its Ferris wheel in the background. Since I enjoy cooking, I volunteered to cook and went grocery shopping the day before.

I usually enjoy cooking the giant turkey while coming up with an inventive way of making an original stuffing, but this year I wasn't really in the mood for turkey especially after eating the traditional thanksgiving meal a few days earlier at work. They even had a cooking contest at work which I didn't participate in because I was too tired after diving in the cold rain the day before, but it had me thinking of fun dishes that I would enjoy eating on Thanksgiving.

Here's the menu I came up with:
- Pizza with butternut squash roasted in Honey, Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, yellow peppers, Mushrooms
- Beef Bourguignon
- Moelleux au chocolat

It was quite a challenge for a stoner since the "beef bourguignon" usually needs to be prepared way in advance but I did the express version of the recipe.

Beef Bourguignon (6 people)
- 3 lbs of beef Stew
- Beef Broth
- Garlic
- onions
- Carrots
- Cilantro (It's usually Parsley but I like cilantro better)
- Fresh Thyme
- Bacon
- A bottle of wine
- A shot of brandy (It's usually cognac but since I didn't have any I used brandy)
- A tablespoon of flour
- Mustard

Cut the onions, garlic and carrots in a bowl, add the beef, cilantro and thyme and season is with salt and pepper. Add half of the bottle of wine and the shot of cognac and let it marinate for 24 hours, mixing the marinade every 6 hours.

At the beginning of thanksgiving day I sizzled the beef in a pan after draining the marinade in another bowl. Once the meat gets browns, add a few pieces of lard or bacon and let it fry with the mix until it's cooked.

Put the meat in a crock pot and add the marinade on top. Add the flour and the mustard. Let is stew on high for at least 6-7 hours.Add wine or beef broth if there isn't enough marinade for the meat to stew. I also added mushrooms in the stew. I served it with basil linguine.

Pizza: I have a small kitchen so I didn't make the dough but Trader Joe's has some pre-made pizza dough that is very convenient and quite good. I shredded the butternut squash in aluminium foil, added olive oil honey and pepper and threw the mix in the over on 375 for 40 minutes.When it was almost time to eat I rolled the crust into some shape that closely resembled a pizza and put it in the over for 10 minutes with nothing on it so it would get a little hard before adding the tomato paste and the veggies that were going to make the crust soggy. Once the crust got a little hard I took it out of the over and added all the toppings except the prosciutto. When the pizza was ready (and my pizza ended up being a little soggy so I guess I sohuld have left the crust in the oven even longer before adding the toppings) I added the strips of prosciutto on top before serving it.

Moelleux au chocolat: This wouldn't be "gourmet stoner" without a reference to our friend Mary-Jane, so here is my fancy version of an edible.
- 200g of weed butter
- 250g of 72% Dark chocolate
- 100g of flour
- 200g of powdered sugar
 - 6 eggs
- one teaspoon of vanilla extract
- one tablespoon of honey

Heat the chocolate and the butter in a bain-marie. in a bowl mix the egg whites with the flour. Add the powdered sugar and the yolks and add the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla extract and honey and mix well.
Put in the oven on 375 degrees for 20 minutes. This cake was deliciously dangerous.

At the end of the meal we played poker, shared a few more drinks, laughed a lot and stared at the man sleeping on his stool, always wondering if he was going to fall head first on the ground. It was a fantastic thanksgiving with great company.

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