Monday, November 21, 2011

My Get-It-Done-Early Thanksgiving Timeline: 3 Days till T-Day!

I am a little embarrassed that I never thought to prep some of the dishes before the actual Turkey-Day.  I mean I consider myself to be of at least average intelligence but it just never occurred to me not to try and do everything all in one day!

So here we are three days before Thanksgiving, and these are my jobs today according to my timeline:

* Make the cider glaze for the Cider-Glazed Turkey; refrigerate.
* Make the gravy base for the Bourbon Gravy; refrigerate (Alternatively, make and freeze up to one month in advance.)
* Make the Jellied Cranberry-Ginger Sauce; refrigerate. 

The cider glaze was a snap to prepare, but making the gravy base for the Bourbon Gravy?  I think I'll wait until Thursday.  I mean how long does it take to make gravy?  Five, 10 minutes tops?  I'll take my chances and make the gravy all at once on Thursday. 

Now the Cranberry-Ginger Sauce should have been easy-peasy (look at that beautiful color!) but I noticed when I was typing the recipe that I only used one packet of gelatin instead of two so I jumped up, dissolved another packet of gelatin in a tiny bit of water and whisked it into the sauce.  I guess I'll find out on Thursday if it worked!

Cider Glaze 
Yield:  Approximately 1 cup

4 cups apple cider
2 tbsp cider vinegar
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large skillet, boil the cider until reduced to about 3/4 cup, 25 to 30 minutes.  Add the vinegar, butter, salt and pepper, and stir until butter has melted.  Refrigerate.

Jellied Cranberry-Ginger Sauce 
Serves 8 (makes 2 cups)

2 0.25ounce packages unflavored gelatin
1 12 ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp peeled, grated fresh ginger

Place 1/2 cup water in a small bowl; sprinkle with the gelatin and let sit for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, ginger, and 1/2 cup water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, until the cranberries begin to burst, 3 to 5 minutes. 

Transfer the cranberry mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.  Discard the solids.  You should have about 1 1/2 cups of liquid.  Whisk in the gelatin mixture and transfer to a 2 cup mold.  Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours. 

To unmold, dip the mold in a bowl of hot water for 10 to 15 seconds, then turn out onto a plate. 

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