Thanksgiving dinner

We were very radical with our Thanksgiving dinner last night and didn’t serve turkey. Instead, we started with smoked butterflied quails (marinated in teriaki sauce) served on a bed of grilled zucchini, red pepper, eggplant, red onion and mushrooms with French-style rustic bread.

(We WERE going to have appetizers of fuhl made with cranberry beans instead of favas with pita chips but somebody burned the pita chips and there were no more pitas to make new chips. We decided that pita chips and bean dip were probably going to be too much of a good thing.)

Then (in case that wasn’t enough already!) we continued with grilled salmon steaks with basil pesto (made with pecans, peccorino and zero cream) and/or green peppercorn mayonnaise and steamed green beans. Pesto on bread is amazing!

We drank Italian wine: Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio (2004) and Farnese SanGiovese (2003).

Dessert was a spectacular apple tart (made by my sister) followed by fresh figs with goat cheese. I neeeeeeed to make that apple tart myself. My sister said that it was from one of Patricia Wells’ books – it’s very simple and very delicious – a short slightly sweet pastry surrounding sautéed apples with a tiny bit of lemon zest. The absence of ubiquitous cinnamon was not felt. Au contraire, the apple tart was, well… I already said it but I’ll say it again; it was spectacular.

As well as chillies from their garden, figs, flowers, wine, and apple tarts, my brother-in-law brought his digital camera and took photos of the bread. If he allows me, I’ll post the photo along with my take on the recipe for couronne Pain de Compagne from Bread Alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks.

smoked quail on grilled vegetables (photo mef 2005)

edit 12 October 2005: Not only did my brother-in-law take a photo of the bread, but he also took one of the quail! Here it is. (Click on the image to see a larger view.)

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