Welcome sweet Fall! Halloween opened our Feasting Season and this coming week we continue the celebration with Thanksgiving. Although I see many have started decorating their Christmas trees already, I can’t help but think “Oh well, why not? It’s been such an unprecedented year.”
Add Some French Seasoning to the Holiday Menu
Last year, the chefs from Le George restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel V, Paris shared their favorite Thanksgiving recipes. I thought that would be a fun way to perk up the traditional dinner. These recipes are perfect for making any meal a special occasion. When it comes to food, you can’t go wrong with French, right?
Braised Turkey and Pumpkin Ravioli del Plin
Ingredients (serves 6)
For the dough
- 550g flour
- 320g egg yolks
- Olive oil as needed
For the stuffing
- 1 turkey thigh (approx. 1.5kg)
- 3 onions
- 1 head of garlic
- 1l chicken broth
- 350ml white wine
- 100g parmesan
- 1.5kg pumpkin flesh
To make the dough, mix the egg yolk and T45 flour together until you obtain a smooth and homogenous dough. Cover and leave to rest for 2hr in the fridge, then roll out using a pasta machine.
Drying the pumpkin
Cut the pumpkin into large cubes, place on a baking tray and put in the oven for 1hr at 140C.
Keep 500g of pumpkin and dice into small cubes. Brown in olive oil, salt and pepper. Use the pumpkin to garnish the dish.
Braising the turkey
Brown the turkey thigh in a frying pan, seasoning each side in a little olive oil, garlic and rosemary, then set aside. In an oven-proof dish that is large enough to fit the turkey thigh, sweat the sliced onions over a medium heat, add the golden thigh, garlic and rosemary, and then add the white wine. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes and add the broth, immersing the turkey thigh. Cover and simmer for 1hr.
Once the thigh is cooked through and tender, remove the meat from the bones, keeping the onions and garlic. Place the remaining liquid in another saucepan and reduce.
For the stuffing
Blend the turkey meat, onions, garlic, dried pumpkin, Parmesan, reduced cooking liquid, salt and pepper using a blender/food processor.
Make the ravioli with the rolled-out dough, cook in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Put some water, a knob of butter and rosemary in a saucepan. Add the ravioli, simmer and stir until the sauce has a creamy consistency. Serve with the seared diced pumpkin.
Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Tart
From Pastry Chef Michael Bartocetti
Makes four tartlets
Sweet hazelnut pastry
- 135g butter
- 85g icing sugar
- 26g hazelnut powder
- 1g salt
- 1 egg
- 225g T55 flour
Combine the butter, icing sugar and hazelnut powder using a flat beater. When the dough has a homogenous consistency, add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until the dough has bound together. Set aside in the fridge.
Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 3mm and cut out circles 14cm wide. Set aside in the fridge and line a 10cm tart tin. Blind bake for 10 minutes at 155C.
- 50g butter
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g hazelnut powder
- 1 egg
Combine the soft butter and sugar with a flat beater. When the mixture is slightly pale, add the hazelnut powder. Gradually add the eggs.
Candied butternut squash
- 1 fresh butternut squash
- 100g sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
Cut the butternut squash lengthwise into 1cm slices. Put the butternut slices on some tin foil and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Tightly seal the tin foil and bake for 15 minutes at 200C. Once cool, cut into 1.5cm/2.5cm/3.5cm circles. Set aside any scraps for the mixture.
- 350g butternut pulp
- 160g milk
- 6g flour
- 1 egg
- 1g cinnamon powder
- 70g caster sugar
Put the baked butternut squash in a large bowl. Boil the milk. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, then add the milk. Mix together.
After blind baking, add a layer of hazelnut cream and put the tart back in the oven for 6 minutes at 155C.
Pour the butternut mixture into the tin and level the surface. Cook at 140C for about 15 minutes.
Place the butternut roundels at random on a small piece of cardboard and cut out 10cm circles.
Place the circles on the cooled pie.
Decorate with a few rolled strips of butternut, charcoal gavottes biscuits, and purple wood sorrel petals.
Gratitude Is the Attitude — Always!
Our lives have been upended—tumultuously so—in 2020. How have you escaped the chaos? Would love to hear all the different coping strategies. As for me, I agree with environmentalist and author Edward Abbey that wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit. I hope that you have found your solace through nature or other means.
Gratitude is key in strengthening your spirit. I thank you for sharing with me through this year whether in person or through social media, although this year, it’s mostly been social distancing.
I know being outside helps soothe my soul. Follow me on Instastories and now on Twitter ‘fleet’ to tune in with Mother Nature virtually. Perhaps that may inspire you to find your enchantment zone/space. Or we can start saving and plotting our 2021 bucket list travel trip. Maybe we can meet up at Le George at the Four Seasons Hotel V, Paris!
I’d like to leave you with this:
“Don’t wait until the fourth Thursday in November, to sit with family and friends to give thanks. Make every day a day of Thanksgiving!” — Charmaine J. Forde
“In the spirit of the original Thanksgiving, let’s take care of one another this Holiday Season.” — Ann Tran