Yes I realize I put a most positive spin on corporate America trying to capitalize on the holidays as early as possible but I prefer to be blind to it all and revel in the good spirit that these holiGAYS are all about. So shhhh!
Which brings me to Big Gay Thanksgiving!
For the past three years I have thrown what I call Big Gay Thanksgiving (BGT) a holiday celebration that I throw for me and my boys to gather, spread some cheer, be thankful that we have such an amazing group of supportive friends, be merry and get drunk on great food and LOTS O' WINE!
It's 3 days of cooking and this year I used three ovens to help me master these dishes... I even threw the cooked turkey in the back of a cab to get it cross town! It was very exciting!
The Menu was...
My Pumpkin, Sweet Potato Carrot Soup with blue cheese croutons (which has been a staple for the past three years & now is always expected) click the pink to get the recipe! don't you get any ideas! This soup is sweet, hearty and this year and a fantastically spicy finish! It also has gone through more name changes than Prince the artist formally known as that symbol thing.
Next course I served...
CIDER GRAVY! Let me tell you that it was not only the perfect compliment to this fantastico turkey but also a hit with the boys!
Cosmo Cranberry Sauce! Since discovering it it certainly has become my own as I add orange zest and cubed Macintosh Apples. Oh! And I not only use orange/citrus flavored vodka but I also up the alcohol a little to 1/2 cup of vodka and 4 TBS of Cointreau
Sides - This year, as I had a few vegetarians with me, I tried to make everything but the turkey veggie friendly. (Yes I left the meat out of some of those muffins for those herbivores!) So I went on a hunt for delicious and different sides and I came across three recipes that inspired me... one was Bobby Flays - Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranate & Hazelnuts - which I turned into Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranite & Chestnuts! (I needed the oven for other things and I thought chestnuts were more seasonal!) either way YUM!
I also made my famous twice baked sweet potato cups! So easy.. bake the sweet potatoes on 400 till you can easily stick a fork in them. Let them cool. Cut off 1/3 of the potato and stand them up. They are soft so they should stand no problem. Scoop out the filling and add butter, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and cinnamon to taste. Put a couple of mini marshmallows in the bottom as a surprise! Pipe the filling back in the cups and put some marshmallows on top and bake for about 15 more mins till hot. DELICIOSO!
Food & Wine Magazine published a recipe for Apple Cider Cream Pie that intrigued me so much there was no not making it. Find it here... Almost Better Than Sex
And Martha Stewart a long time ago published a recipe for a Chocolate Pumpkin Tart in her magazine. I still have that recipe but always forget to bring it home with me so it resides in Momma Gladys' house. Easy right...just go online and find it...well the lovely people at Martha Inc. decided to dumb it down and it's not as good. womp womp! Soooo, I ventured out and made my own version of it... recipe is below!
Nabisco makes these chocolate wafers and I used a whole packet. Throw it into a food processor...or using a rolling pin and zip lock...crush them into crumbs and then combine it with 3TBS sugar and about 5 TBS butter... mix that together and it should come together and feel like it's still crumbly but it'll hold form once pressed into the bottom of a pan...So 30 empty bottles of wine later, great conversation and maybe a short lull that my friend Jeff started being the first one to fall into a food coma, the evening was a grand success! Did I mention that this year's BGT was held at the most fabulous hotel in NYC? Can you guess which one it is?!?!
Press that into the bottom of a tart pan.. mine is 10inches.. yup I said it... and throw it in the fridge for like 15...
Now I have used dark chocolate but for this one the grocery didnt have dark so I used 60% bittersweet, Ghiradelli... preheat your oven to 350... throw the tart shell in with 2/3 of the bag of chips on it for about a minute or two till chips start to melt...
pull it out and using a spatula spread the chocolate evenly...throw it into the freezer till firm..about 5 mins or so..
meanwhile make the pumpkin pie filling...1.5 cups Libbys plain pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
The next ingredients are approximations... taste and adjust as necessary
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp each ground nutmeg, cloves, ginger
mix it up pour it into the tart shell and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until set... the middle will always set last... youll be able to tell cause it won't be jiggly anymore...
remove and let cool... take the last 3rd of chocolate and in a clean dry heat proof bowl set over a pot of boiling water (dont let the water touch the bttm of the bowl) let the chocolate melt... then dip a fork and drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the tart...
if you have trouble getting the tart out...CAREFULLY! run a hot knife underneath where it is supposed to separate and serve!
Many thanks to my friend Ryan for the fab hotel hookup! (No I'm not trying to kill him in this photo....)
Many thanks to my Chef de Cusine Adam who helped me tremendously the day of!
And of course Jeff for letting me put my Turkey in his oven! You all should be so lucky! Lastly, thanks to all the boys for being fat gerls/so supportive and making this event more amazing as each year passes!
May this Thanksgiving be delicious where ever you are!
Kisses & Pumpkin Pie!
The Gay Gourmet!™
©2011 Michael Muñoz