Thanksgiving is a wonderful American tradition. A time to reflect, to spend time with one’s near and dear, a time to be thankful for the many things all of us have to be thankful for and a time to stuff yourself silly. We did all of the above this time, especially the last part. Since it was such a food heavy Thanksgiving for us, I thought I’d post a journal. A bit late but here it is.
Thanksgiving morning started with a brunch at my wife’s uncle’s house (aka Mama – Mama is Hindi/Gujarati for Mom’s brother). Mama is a fabulous and adventurous cook. He grew up in Burma (now Myanmar) and Mumbai, and uses every opportunity to cook something from his childhood. This time it was Daabeli. Daabeli is Mumbai streetfood (though originally from Kutch – the mouth of Gujarat, India). Like a lot of streetfood from this city-on-the-go, it is a complete meal. The bread is the Pao, the ubiquitous bread of Mumbai (a close cousin to the dinner roll but softer). The filling is potato-based goodness topped with Pomegranate seeds and spicy roasted peanuts flavored with the Daabeli masala. This masala is made with dry red chili, coriander seeds, cloves, and cinnamon among other things. It was fabulous. I haven’t tried to make it, but when I do, I will post recipes.
Thanksgiving day took us for dinner to a family friend’s house where they served up an amazing all vegetarian Tex-Mex spread – Tortillas, Enchiladas, Nachos, and a dish created with typical Gujarati ingenuity – Mexican Bhel (it is essentially Nachos but instead of Tortilla Chips, you use fried strips of Flour Tortilla). It was delicious.
The day after Thanksgiving took us back to my in-laws house where my wife and I (with lots of help from my in-laws and younger daughter) decided to used our recent learnings to use and cook up an Italian meal for 35 friends and family. The menu, as you can see was pretty extensive. There were a few things we could do in advance. Amisha, my wife, made the Cannoli shells in advance. We also made the Pesto (recipe here, we used Walnuts instead of Pecans) and Pomorola sauce (recipe here) ahead of time. The rest was done on the day. Gnocchi was going to be the big challenge.
A long time back, in a galaxy far, far away, we had attempted to make Gnocchi and failed miserably. Two days of stomachache and we decided not to attempt it again till October this year when we took a cooking class in Tuscany (see here). The answer is 22%. You need to steam potatoes and add no more than 22% of the weight of the potatoes of flour to the mix and everything is right in the world. So with that in mind we made Gnocchi for 35 people.
The Foccacia was easy to make and a great addition to the Gnocchi. The rosemary came from our garden.
My wife is the queen of baking and desserts and this time was no different. The Tiramisu (really easy to make, recipe to follow soon) and the Cannoli were wonderful. All in all, the feast was surprisingly easy to pull off, and seemed to go down very well. Something we will definitely do again.
With the holiday season, here’s hoping to many happy meals for you and your loved ones. May you be inspired to create and share tasty memories this year.