Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Big Gay Thanksgiving Season 3! - The Gay Gourmet!™

The "dreaded time of year" is upon us, well for most at least! Christmas commercials have been playing for at least a month, stores have been prepping us with presales, chirstmas music has been slowly creeping onto the radio and in stores. It's a little crazy but that's why I like it! Someone out there is just as crazy as I am and can't wait for the hustle and bustle, the carols, THE FOOD, the cheer and all that comes with.

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!
I only invite 10 to 12 gays in my life as that's usually all the space I have. I also try to mix up the guest list including people really close to me, yes, but also trying to diversify the group by inviting people that not everyone knows, new friends etc. I like having an eclectic group of personalities cause it always proves for an interesting night of conversation and laughs.

The rules of BGT are that no one is allowed to bring any food whatsoever and I suggest that everyone brings at least 3 bottles of wine...Let's face it we all know that I travel in a group of people who like a little thin the blood.

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...

Turkey OBVIOUSLY! - if you remember last year I took a Chef's advice and butchered the turkey and made a roulade. This year I brined the turkey in half pickle juice half water for about 10 hours, dried it off covered it in a herb compound butter of cilantro, sage, rosemary, pepper, and lemon zest and then cause I was bored, covered it in a lattice work of BACON!
Don't you just love my apron?!?!
Gravy - I has a little help/inspiration from Anne Burrell and used her recipe for cider gravy which you can find here.. 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!
Stuffing- This year, after my failed attempt at making someones not so tasty stuffin' muffins, I decided to forgo stuffing and make my own version of "Stuffing muffins." I made a cornbread batter to which I added 6 jalpeños, sauteed celery, leeks and chorizo. Poured it into muffin tins and topped it with pepper jack cheese and baked it. Best idea I ever had! Nuff said!
 Cranberry Sauce- Every since I discovered this recipe on Epicurious it has been demanded every year at the BGT Table! It's called 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!

The next was Giada De Laurentiis' Spicy Parmesan, Green Bean & Kale Salad to which I peeled and roasted some butternut squash and added it to the mix at the end. (I know what you're thinkin'! Why can't you just leave well enough alone?!?! Well, that's why I am The Gay Gourmet!™ takin' the ordinary and makin' it extraordinary!)
The last recipe that I was inspired by was a Donna Hay recipe for a beet and potato bake. Now the only adjustment I made was using real horseradish & mayo as opposed to horseradish cream. It's just more intense! - I have to find it again and post it! I promise!

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!

As if that wasn't enough Dessert consisted of two things...

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...

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!
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?!?!

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!

Deliciously Living,
Michael Muñoz
The Gay Gourmet!™

©2011 Michael Muñoz

1 comment:

  1. These dirty tricks. Trying to replace me. CAN'T BE DONE!!

    Looks delicious! Sad I missed it!! Yummers, mother fucker!