We have been deciding on a Thanksgiving dinner menu and have it set, mostly. Nothing here will be a part of the dinner save for a cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce. The dressing was a trial run, I think it will work out. It has homemade cornbread and was good but I think I may go half and half with white bread next time because the cornbread was a tad crumbly. On the plate tonight are braised chicken thighs, the dressing, mushroom gravy, corn, cranberries from a can, and ciabatta rolls with garlic butter.
The big day will see a table groaning under a roasted turkey, dressing, garlic mashed white potatoes, pecan praline sweet potato casserole, huge fresh baked dinner rolls, a tub of gravy, scratch made cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and Mrs J’s Famous Pumpkin Pie.
I had a yen for lo mein after seeing some pictured at another site. That one was beef and broccoli and we were going to do the same but got side tracked. Chicken works for me. I thawed shrimp but decided to go with those another time. I’ve found good Asian recipes at Rasa Malaysia and used their recipe for this one. A few minor tweaks, maybe.We paid a visit to the International Grocery this morning and brought back some noodles and sauces. These noodles say they are Cantonese style and I will take their word for it. I thought they were egg noodles from their color but they are wheat based. I cooked up three of the bundles for this but that was at least one too many. Leftovers!I bought the tamari and some more sesame oil along with the noodles. I had the sweet soy sauce already and was thinking tamari was about the same thing but it’s not, exactly. Tamari is about halfway between regular light soy sauce and the syrupy sweet soy sauce. Tamari is thicker and darker than light soy, not as salty, the sweet soy sauce is pretty thick, like molasses. In a day or two I will try the same basic recipe with shrimp and another style of Chinese wheat noodle.
Mmm… green beans and ham. The meat is some of the cured pork that we buy whenever we go up to the processor about an hour north of where we live. They bag and freeze chunks that are analogous to bacon ends. I’m not sure what their curing method is, soaking in a brine is my guess, then smoking for a spell.Mrs J is getting serious about wrapping up the patio container garden. I picked most of the peppers. The small sweet peppers are great for pickling – I have been using a simple water/vinegar/sugar pickle. The habs and the Anaheims were frozen whole. I noticed the jalapenos were starting to wrinkle so they got the same pickling as the little grape sized peppers. Still to go are a bunch of cayennes, and the ornamental tri-color peppers that have proved to be hot hot hot. Some other tri-colored peppers have no heat at all.They brought this long haired chihuahua to the shelter the other day. He was found running free by the roadside with his son. No tags or owner. They think he’s about 8 years old. Heartworm positive, he’ll be there a while, his son has been adopted and he is all alone.A neighbor called yesterday evening, telling Mrs J there was a momma cat and her kittens abandoned by the road. She found the mom and three kittens right away. They were hungry. Another sweep through the same area found three more kittens.They all seem to be healthy. We have them all in the back barn for now, all set up with litter boxes and bedding.Bookending the post with beans. These are red beans and rice. Kroger surprised me the other day with Andouille sausage. I bought a ring and used it here. Just about the perfect addition to the classic bean dish. I tossed in a few boneless chicken thighs to keep the sausage company.
Grill some chicken thighs, seasoned with chili powder and cumin, in olive oil then chop them and roll the meat with pinto beans and a generous handful of cheese in tortillas. Place them into an oiled casserole and cover with a jar of tomatillo sauce. Give them another sprinkle of cheese and bake them in a 350 oven for about 25 minutes. While they are going dump a cup of long grain white rice into the same skillet the chicken cooked in and add more olive oil, chopped bell peppers, onions, and garlic and brown the rice over medium high heat. When the rice has some color and the veggies are soft, add a can of tomato bits with green chilies, 2 cups of chicken broth with a tablespoon of tomato paste stirred in, and a handful of dried cherry tomatoes. Let that all come to a boil then simmer, covered, until the liquids are absorbed. I think it’s the best Spanish rice I’ve ever made.
We really needed to find something to do with our tomatillos. I browsed through some recipes yesterday and saw that they would work quite well with onions in a thick sauce to go with chicken. I chopped some sweet onions and a pound or so of tomatillos and seasoned them in a bowl with minced garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, and ground black pepper.Brown some chicken pieces in olive oil. I used bone in thighs with the skins on but whatever you like will work fine. Let them develop a nice crust then set them aside and dump the excess grease.Saute the veggies in the same pan for a few minutes then add a half cup of stock and let them cook some more. I added a good sprinkle of the dried chipotle pepper seasoning I like.Add the chicken back and cover. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through. I stirred in corn starch in a slurry to thicken the sauce before plating. Serve over rice.
[edited to correct spelling of tomatillo]