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How to be Cool at your Friendsgiving Dinner

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  If you’re like us then you’ll be states from the nearest family member, orphaned in Tahoe due to work obligations, empty wallets, or both.  As a result, you’ll more than likely be attending a Friendsgiving potluck event this holiday season.

Friendsgiving is the perfect occasion to catch up with old friends as well as develop new connections.  It’s also the perfect time to show off that culinary prowess that nobody knew lay within you!

Wait, what’s that?  You were planning on showing up with a box of Franzia?  Really, you’re going to be that guy?  Thanksgiving comes ONCE a year, and you’re willing to blow it with a contribution your 15 year old cousin would laugh at?

 “I don’t know what this is, but I’m going to put it in my mouth.

-f*ckingrecipes.com, a motto for potlucks.

Oh, what else is that you say?  You can make a mean green bean casserole?  Your mashed potatoes are to die for?  I’m sorry, I didn’t quite hear you because I FELL ASLEEP!

Please avoid the prosaic yawn-worthy recipes we’ve had a million times over.  Don’t get us wrong, we are all about tradition!  But isn’t it time you wow the masses with something new and exciting?

Remember fourth grade? Was the cool kid the one who brought the same pogs as everyone else to the playground?  NO!  It was the kid with  the slammer he designed himself and the host of glittery pogs that could have only been accumulated with thought and care.

You – yes you – can be that kid.

The following recipes will not only guarantee an Friendsgiving invite for years to come, they will probably get you laid.  So roll up those sleeves and get to work!

MOMMAThe sweet potato casserole is a staple people always look forward to on Thanksgiving.  This rendition of the ol’ classic will really give your friends something to talk about.  Don’t worry about the recipe getting all complicated and impenetrable for your simple minds – it’s pretty much the same crap with a few extra touches!  The orange and ginger kick will give your tastebuds cause to rejoice and party guests a reason to talk to you.

Makes 8 servings.

What you’ll need:

4 sweet potatoes, and scrub them dammit!

1 tablespoon orange zest.  Basically, run an orange along a cheese grater for 30 seconds.  Easy.

2 teaspoon freshly minced ginger root.  Slice and dice with sharp knife and please avoid fingertips.

2 egg yolk.  Best part of the egg, yo!

Salt and pepper to taste.

1/4 cup orange juice, or to taste.  I know it sounds weird, but trust me on this one.

1/2 cup 2% low-fat milk.  Or use whole if you want…. fatty.

1/3 cup chopped pecans.  Crunch is good.

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place oven rack in middle position. Lightly grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, and set aside.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork (pretend it’s your ex), and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Roast the sweet potatoes in preheated oven until easily pierced with a fork (again, pretend it’s the ex), 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven, and cool about 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  5. When sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop flesh into the bowl of a food processor (or if you’re poor like most Tahoeians, use a blender.  Or your fingers.  The latter will only take two hours). Discard potato skins or toss them into your houseplant soil. Add the orange zest, ginger; and egg yolks; process/blend to make a smooth mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour in the orange juice and milk; if desired, add more orange juice to taste. Spoon sweet potato mixture into prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle top with pecans.  Feel free to toss a marshmallow or two on there if you got ‘em laying around.  
  6. Bake in preheated oven until heated through and pecans are toasted, about 30 minutes.  Don’t tell granny you sabotaged her famous dish.

It should end up looking something like this:

casserole

momma2There’s something about stuffing that turns people at Thanksgiving potlucks into filthy animals.  It’s the dish that everyone stampedes to and then takes way too much of!  Half the time they drool all over the dish before walking away, thus contaminating the pot o’ gold before everyone else has a chance to drool on it too.  Well, this year it’s time to take control.  Individual sized cups of DIFFERENT KINDS of stuffing will not only fulfill everyones love for multiple choice, but will prevent it’s disappearance within the first ten seconds of serving.  I know, mind blown.

Serves: however many you want depending on which of the following you decide.

What to do:

 Go buy a bunch of boxes of the generic stuff, bring home, and follow instructions on box.

OR

Follow this recipe for homemade stuffing:

1 stick butter

2 cups diced onion and celery

1 tbsp minced sage

1 tbsp minced thyme

salt and pepper to taste

3 cups turkey/chicken broth

2 eggs

1/4 chopped parsley

6 cups stale white bread

  1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, celery, sage, and thyme; add salt and pepper and cook for just five minutes, so don’t wander off!
  3. Add broth and bring to summer.
  4. Beat eggs and parsley in a large bowl; add the stale bread and then pour broth into the mixture and toss it!  Once the toss party is over transfer to a buttered baking dish and dot with butter.
  5. Cover and bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Uncover and bake 30 more minutes until stuffing is the same color as your golden retriever.

Now time to get creative.

Cranberry-apple herb: Just top with some sautéed chopped apples, onions, and dried cranberries.  BAM!  Sexy stuffing.

Apricot-hazelnut:  Top with diced dried apricots and toasted hazelnuts.  WALAH!  Who doesn’t love nuts?

Mushroom-spinach-gruyere: Add spinach, dried gruyere, and cooked mushrooms to mix before placing in oven and BOOM-SHAKA-LAKA, dank stuffing in the house!

It should end up looking something like this:

muffin

SIR2

Got 16 hours to spare to prepare a dish that will probably get you a plaque on the wall at the SLT Chamber of Commerce?  It’s the off season in Tahoe, of course you do!  Have the $300 it probably costs to create this miracle of God?  Didn’t think so.  But you know you’re still curious to read on.

Meet the Sir Pumple, a three-layer food cake with mashed potato frosting.  This is the kind of entrée capable of silencing a crowded room upon entering, and then parting that oogling sea of guests as you glide by with your creation.  Not only will the Sir Pumple prove itself worthy of the highest praise during dinner, but for months to come people will whisper your name, telling the legend of the master chef who cooked what could only be described as the eighth world wonder.

The Anatomy of the Sir Pumple:

      Top layer: Chicken pot pie baked into turkey-duck meatloaf (a turducken riff).
      Middle layer: Green bean casserole pie baked into sage-sausage stuffing.
      Bottom layer: Sweet potato pie baked into jalapeno cornbread (WHAT?!).
      Exterior: Mashed potato frosting, fried garlic sprinkles and a cranberry sauce and chives garnish.

 Ingredients: Are you kidding me?  If you really want the recipe then it will cost you a digital invite to your Friendsgiving event.  Please send invite to contact@thetahoejournal.com and address it to ‘To whom it may concern’.  Because we are ALL concerned over here.

It should look something like this:

faint

momma3If there’s one day out of the year that’s worth cheating on your diet, it’s Thanksgiving.  However, there’s always those people who are unwilling to budge.  No worries, Thanksgiving is a time of gathering, and nobody should ever feel alienated because of their dietary choices.  This dish will no doubt bring a huge smile to the faces of those carefully watching their silhouette.

Makes 8 Servings.

What you’ll need:

1 Celery stalk.  

What to do:

  1. Dice stalk into eight portions.
  2. Place gently onto baking sheet and store in fridge until ready to serve.

It should end up looking something like this:

 

Text by Bojangles

Recipes sources:

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