2018-10-07 October 7th Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend

I'm doing an epic cook and having my parents over on Sunday.

On Saturday morning, I did a big shop at Famous Foods as my one stop shop.

That evening, Rachael had gotten us tickets for the Kid Koala Satellite + Turntable Orchestra show. Amazing! I posted a GIF of Rachael on the constructed turntable.

Cooking

I started cooking on Saturday. I bought some turkey bones and turkey giblets, and wanted to make a stock and use the bits for stuffing. Yes, I'm going to do a roast duck but still have turkey stuffing on the side. Pretty sure that, as always, I have way too much food

Turkey Stock & Stuffing

I put the crock pot on yesterday afternoon, starting with a carrot chopped in chunks, a small celery root, cubed, a selection of fresh herbs: rosemary, dill, thyme, basil.

I roasted the turkey bones with onions and garlic, adding a bit of salt. I put the bones in the crock pot.

Briefly sauteed the giblets and added them with the onions and garlic to the pot as well. Topped up with water and put it on high for a couple of hours, then low when I left for another 6 hours.

Here it is when we came home from the show.

This morning I removed all the solids, discarding the herb stalks and the bones. I chopped up the meat and the big carrot chunks and put them in a roasting pan. I added a handful of dried, sweetened cranberries, and one large leek, chopped. I cut 5 slices of sourdough into cubes and toasted the bread, and then mixed them into the meat and vegetables. I poured some of the stock over it and set it in the fridge until this evening.

German Potato Dumplings

I'm making German Potato Dumplings. Calls for russet potatoes, but I chose red. Four large red potatoes looks about the same as two large russets The crusts I cut off the bread went into the stuffing, the inner bits toasted for this recipe.

I undercooked the potatoes, and was struggling to use a fork and knife to mash them. I gave up and put them through the food processor and it was fine.

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For the record, 4 large red potatoes turn into about 16 dumplings. For four people, that's about right. I thought there wouldn't be leftovers, but they are very filling, so we can also try slicing them up and pan frying them as leftovers.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

I've been cooking Brussels sprouts shredded or quartered and sauteed for a long time now. I don't think I've ever cooked them whole at all. For today's dish, I cut off the bottom, discarded tough outer leaves, and quartered them.

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I cubed a 1/4 cup of slab bacon and cooked it until crispy, and then added the quartered Brussels sprouts. I kept the heat high and kept stirring -- browning / blistering the sprouts brings out a nice nutty flavour. I added a Tablespoon of Dijon mustard and a little bit of turkey stock. I cook them until al dente, so there's still a bit of crunch rather than mush.

Roast Duck

I followed Julia's roast duck recipe, which has a balsamic vinegar / lemon juice mixture, finished with balsamic vinegar / lemon juice / honey glaze. I followed the timing and heat pretty directly, other than I didn't have a roasting frame to lift the duck up. The skin did get nice and crispy, and the meat was flavourful, but it was pretty well done for my tastes. I think I would use the glaze again, but I would vary the cooking method so the meat is more medium / medium-rare.

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I also separately did a duck breast. I marinated it in shallots, ginger, lemon, and soy. I sauteed it fat side down, then breast side down for 2 minutes, then let it sit on the fat side down for another 5 minutes. I added a bit of the balsamic + lemon mixture, and finished it off with salt. Everyone had a bit of the duck breast slices, and it was really flavourful. Easy to make and quick compared to an entire duck, and half a (large) duck breast each is a good amount.