And so, after cooking and eating all day, we at last came to the final non-sweet meal: dinner.
Traditionally, my family eats two meats each holiday dinner. Our first meat was a slow-cooked lamb. This recipe is fairly easy -- mostly, you just toss ingredients in a pot and let them cook. However, because there are so few ingredients, the recipe also does not yield the most flavorful lamb I've ever tasted. If you already have a go-to shank recipe, no need to try this one out.
Our second meat was cornish hen -- need to have some form of bird in the menu! This recipe for cherry-glazed cornish hens is one of my favorite recipes, even though the boy and I must collaborate to complete it (I simply cannot tie up those sweet little birds). I must admit, though, that the boy and I had done these before to greater success. It must be all about the preserves you end up getting, so if you try his recipe, go for really high-end preserves.
My sister felt that we should feature Brussels sprouts for our grandmom and mom. So, we tried to find a recipe that everyone could eat (my sister does not eat pig!), which was rather difficult. Finally, we settled on sauteed brussels sprouts with apples. And they were supremely unpleasant, although I think part of that was our unfamiliarity with preparing the vegetable. I ended up going hugely off-script, adding in extra cheese and lots of honey. The end result was appreciated by many -- especially my sister's boyfriend -- but it only vaguely resembled the original recipe.
Comfort: 3 (bear in mind: anti-sprout bias here!)
We usually don't adjust recipes, as we tend to make so many that even smaller recipes stretch to fit the table. However, we grossly underestimated how many sauteed carrots with sage with would need -- everyone ended up able to have only one comically undersized spoonful! This was a particularly sad outcome, as the taste of these carrots was phenomenal. This is one dish I can strongly recommend -- easy, delicious, and healthy!
Green bean casserole is a staple of many Thanksgivings. While we usually don't go this tradition, we decided to try a deconstructed green been casserole this year. That is, instead of doing anything the easy way, we did everyone laboriously by hand. I swear, I don't know why my sister goes for these recipes. As can be expected, these beans were delicious, but not even close to being worth the effort.
Finally, we revived the cider scalloped potatoes from last year. However, on my sister's urging, we used cheddar this year instead of gouda. I don't know if it is just my fond recollection, but I feel that this switch significantly -- and not in a postive way! -- altered the flavor. Moral of the story? Still delicious, but stick to the gouda, it's in recipe for a reason.