Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fanksgiving (Faux Thanksgiving)

Because all we Moyers are traveling this week to Washington to visit my brother's fam and their new baby, we threw a DC Thanksgiving last weekend.  I've always wanted to host a family Thanksgiving but have come in from out of town and have never been able to.  Our fanksgiving plan unfolded slowly, changing houses along the way, and all of the sudden I was hosting!  Because I was only responsible for the turkey (and almost dropped the ball since I shopped the day before and, of course, in mid-November there were only frozen birds in the stores), and had been reading Bon Appetit for days, I got to pick a couple of extras (though there are about a dozen sides or more I'd like to try -- maybe a few a week throughout December!).

Here are two little additions I recommend!

Cranberry Margarita 
  from Bon Appetit Nov 2013

Cranberry Jam
3/4 c fresh cranberries
1/4 c sugar
1 t finely grated orange zest
2 T fresh orange juice

1 T kosher salt
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t Chinese five-spice powder
1 lime wedge, plus 2 oz fresh lime juice
4 oz fresh OJ
6 oz tequila

Jam: bring cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and 1/4 c water to boil in a small sauce pan; reduce heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickens, 30-40 minutes.  Mix in orange zest, let cool.
(can be made 5 days ahead, covered and kept in fridge)

Assembly: Mix salt sugar and five-spice powder on small plate (this recipe makes a LOT of salt/sug/spice -- you could definitely cut the amounts in half).  Rub rims of glasses with lime and dip in salt mixture.  Fill glasses with ice.

For each cocktail, combine 1/2 oz lime juice, 1 oz orange juice, 1 1/2 oz tequila, and 2 T cranberry jam in a cocktail shaker.  Fill shaker with ice and shake until outside is frosty, about 30 seconds.  Strain and pour into glass.

*this drink is not very sweet, so we ended up adding some dollops of cranberry sauce we'd just made to the drinks to sweeten it up*
*also, a couple of people in our crew were horrified by the idea of 5 spice powder rimming their glasses.  A couple of them rose to the occasion though and discovered that the flavors surprisingly work and blend all together.  A couple just opted out (wimpy)*

Pomegranate-Mint Relish
         also from Bon Appetit Nov 2013

1/2 small shallot, chopped
1 1/2 c pomegranate seeds
1/2 c olive oil
1 1/2 finely grated lemon zest
1 T lemon juice
1 T red wine vinegar
1 c finely chopped fresh mint
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Combine shallot, pomegranate seeds, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, chopped mint in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.
(can make a day ahead and chilled without the mint -- add mint before serving)

This was a fun addition, a different set of flavors at the Thanksgiving table, but the bright pomegranates and tang of vinegar was great with turkey.

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