Thanksgiving Menu and recipes: the American dream with a French twist

Thanksgiving Dinner by Appetit Voyage
Audrey's Thanksgiving 2014
Since I am back to France, almost one year ago, I had such an intense and amazing time, I felt I had to thank special people who arrived in my life and who make me smile everyday!
I suppose, I also miss somehow the International atmosphere I had in Amsterdam, so, it comes to me quite naturally, that I should organize a Thanksgiving dinner for the ones I love.

Totally inspired by my experience at Audrey´s Thanksgiving party, that I already talked about on this blog, I created a special menu to complete my first post. I do not try to imitate the American taste, but find a way between US and France, that tie together the Thanksgiving food further than only the French onions in the casserole!

So there is my menu for this year:
Communard cocktail for the aperitif, a very old fashion recipe that mix Cassis liquor cream and red wine. It is like a kir but with red wine: 1 measure of Cassis for 6 or 7 measures of wine. As we recently celebrated the Beaujolais Nouveau in France, I use this one for the cocktail!
I serve the cocktail with saucisson, some Spanish cold cuts like chorizo, lomo and jamón!

Gluten Free Cornbread by Appetit Voyage for Thanksgiving
Gluten Free Cornbread
Then, we have a small parsnip´s soup with gluten free cornbread as hors d´oeuvre. I made the cornbread in advance and keep them in a up-tight box in the fridge, so you probably saw the recipe earlier this week published on the blog!

The main dish is of course roasted turkey: 4.7 kg. turkey for 8 persons, salt, pepper, butter and olive oil.

I decided to follow the American tradition and prepare the stuffing aside but give it a personal fall twist:
- 400 gr. of chestnuts
- 100 gr. thinly ground hazelnuts
- 100 gr. of fresh cranberries
- 140 gr. of bacon in slices
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- the turkey giblets thinly ground
- 3 eggs
- salt and pepper
- 3 crushed cloves
- 1 pinch of anise seeds
- 1 laurel leave
- fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary or sage.
Mix all the ingredients in a baking tray. Cover with the slices of bacon and put in the oven for 30 minutes at 180ºC. Spread a tbsp. of the gravy when you serve.

To go with our beautiful bird, I prepare several side dishes:

1/ Green beans casserole:
500 gr. steamed green beans, 200 gr. of buttered sautéed button mushrooms mixed with 5 big tbsp. of heavy cream, salt and black pepper, 5 tbsp. of fried onions. Mix the cooked veggies in a service tray, add salt and pepper and sprinkle the fried onions on top. Ready!

Crunchy Broccoli Casserole by Appetit Voyage for Thanksgiving
Crunchy Broccoli Casserole
2/ Crunchy Broccoli casserole:
500 gr. of steamed broccoli, 100 gr. of smoked bacon in dices, 2 thinly sliced shallots, 5 tbsp. of Almond flour, 200 gr. of grated parmigiano. Let the bacon and shallots sweat together in a baking tray in the oven for 5 minutes. Then add the broccoli and toss the mix with the almond flour. Sprinkle the cheese on top and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes to get it golden.

3/ Mashed potatoes:
Cook 500 gr. of potatoes in salted in half water, half milk. Choose them small with a thin clean skin in order we can also mashed the skin. When they boiled during 20 minutes, they should be ready. Mashed them and add some 100 gr. of butter and 2 tbsp. of heavy cream with pepper. Don´t make the puree too smooth, and keep some potatoes lumps to give texture. Serve straight away with some fresh spring onions on top.

All these beautiful dishes are of course served with cranberries sauce and gravy.
The cranberries sauce is quickly done cooking the fresh cranberries in a pan, with some water,  1 tbsp. red wine vinegar and 1 tbsp. maple syrup for 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with cinnamon, star anise, Sishuan or Madagascar pepper.

Pecan Pie by Appetit Voyage
Gluten and Sugar Free Pecan Pie
For a happy sweet ending, I made again my pumpkin pie, and create a gluten free pecan pie with no refined sugar, and a maple syrup ice cream!

It is a large menu, and everyone can pick up what he likes most, share and enjoy with his loved ones! I did not spend so much time explaining the recipes, because you are the master chef who decide. Keep always an eye on what is cooking; Instead I added all the small tips that make you save time and turn all your dishes in totally personal and outstanding meal!

 I wish you the best thanksgiving ever and all the love and peace for your family and friends!

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