1.29 – The heart of Peru

Last weekend I impulse-bought a beautiful pig’s heart from Heritage Meat, and immediately thought of my past trip to Peru. I’ve made anticuchos a few times with stew beef before, but am psyched to actually have a heart to work with for a change.

I also have some beautiful curtains my mom made for the new place, and apparently no ability to use a drill – so by way of a bribe, I decided to throw a small dinner party/curtain-hanging this sunday. Dinner for drapes…

~Menu~
Olives, sun-dried tomatoes, gouda cheese = curtain-hanging energy
Chicken Soup (because we had soup with every meal in Peru – they love it?)
Anticuchos
“Cuy-ish” Chicken with Salsa Creole
Baby kale salad with feta (this is not Peruvian…)

*Important Note:
My Peruvian cookbook, bought in Lima, is the world’s worst translation of traditional recipes with little to no detail. This is my guess based on the ingredients I could understand.

Anticuchos
——————
1 pig or beef heart (maybe buy two pig hearts, I wish I had more)
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp red pepper flakes (or minced fresh hot pepper of your choice)
1 bay leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste

First clean the heart. I did this by rinsing it, cutting it open vertically, and trimming off any silver-skin and/or sinew I saw.  I left the outside fat in tact. The heart came out very tender, so this seemed to do the trick.

Once clean, slice heart into bite-sized chunks (like stew beef, which apparently is the Quechua translation of “Anticuchos” anyhow).

Make marinade by combining all other ingredients in a large bowl or zip-loc bag. Place heart chunks in marinade and refrigerate for 12 hours (I went 24…it was fine).

To cook, place marinated heart on skewers and grill over high heat for about a minute on each side. These should be served rare-medium rare to stay tender (plus the heart is already chemically cooked by the vinegar anyhow.) Because I am still getting use to the new kitchen’s ventilation issues, I decided to brown and finish in the oven. Not as good as a barbecue, but pretty tasty anyhow.

Cuy-ish Chicken
——————
Cuy is a traditional and everyday dish of grilled or fried Guinea pig. Apologies to anyone who has had Guinea pigs as pets, but they really are quiet tasty. That said, I don’t have the heart, or the equipment to buy and prepare live ones here in NYC…so I decided to make something a little more accessible.

My hope was to use quail, or small Cornish game hens, as they would look like small vermin, but sadly the only option left on a Sunday afternoon was whole chickens…so I cut one up into to Cuy-sized chunks and followed the Cuy recipe as printed.

Small Animals of your choosing
Garlic, Salt & Pepper to taste
3 tbsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp hot paprika

In a large bowl make a brine of salt, sugar, paprika and about 2 cups warm tap water. Stir till dissolved, and add a few ice cubes to bring the temperature down. Butcher your chicken into large pieces, or skin your Cuy. Place meat in brine and leave in fridge for a few hour.

When ready to cook, remove meat from brine and pat dry with paper towel. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Heat a 1/4 inch of olive oil in a cast iron skillet and fry meat until brown. If you’re using Cuy, fry it through…chicken you can finish in the oven (about 15-20 minutes on 350) if you are afraid of your ventilation like me.

Serve warm with Salsa Creole

Salsa Creole
——————
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1-2 hot peppers (Serrano or jalapeno)
1/4 cup cilantro (I used parsley this time)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients and let marinate at least 45 minutes before serving.

Results
——————
I had three heart skewers left-over last night. I put two in a box over the remaining kale salad and went to bed dreaming of the delicious lunch I would have today…someone seems to have stolen my lunch for herself this morning.
I consider this a huge success!

      

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12.11 – Last Minute Lemon Cornmeal Cookies

I know I’m long over-due on new recipes and I’ve actually had 2 dinner parties since my last post.  I’m sorry.  I’ll be better in 2012.  But for now, a last-minute cookie recipe to get you through the season.

My mother has made these the past few years, and I was originally unimpressed, but Danielle insisted I make them for her this year, since she is missing the trip home for mom’s.

They do make a very nice counter-point to all the rich chocolate and heavy caramel; being light in texture, and a little savory in taste.  And if you love corn muffins – these will not disappoint.

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Lemon Cornmeal Cookies

————-

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (half stick) butter at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Karo syrup
Zest from one large lemon
2 egg whites

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl cream sugar and butter until smooth.  Or mash with your hands as Danielle did for our batch (we were at a friend’s house and short on appliances)

Add oil, Karo syrup, lemon, and egg whites, and blend until smooth.

Combine flour, salt, cornmeal, and baking powder, and slowly beat into the sugar/butter mixture until smooth.

Spoon tbsp-sized lumps onto parchment paper and bake 10 minutes until edges just start to brown a bit.

Image

Results

————-

Danielle ate half the batter before they went in the oven, and the party seemed happy to finish off most of the remaining cookies before the end of the night.
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Merry Christmas!

08.21 – New Home, New Sunday Dinner

It’s official.  After 5 years in my wonderful kitchen on the Upper West Side, Danielle and I have decided to choose life.  We have moved from our life in suburbia, down to the frantic Lower East Side.  I have traded Zabar’s for Russ and Daughters, Fairway for Essex Market, and the change suits me just fine.  Our new place is a bit more cozy…but the inclusion of a real fume hood, venting to the outside, makes the space a VAST improvement.

We have only one true hardship…a lack of dishwasher.  Have no fear, Best Buy is bringing my portable today, but in the mean time, I managed to squeeze in one, very intimate dinner, to break in the new equipment.

Sunday Dinner with our new neighbor – Jamie

~Menu~
Saxelby Cheese Selection (Essex Market)
Red Pepper and Eggplant Spread (courtesy Danielle’s Aunt)
Pain D’Avignon baguette (Essex Market)
Arugula salad with creamy vinaigrette
Summer Squash Casserole (veggies courtesy Essex Market grocery)
Roasted Salmon (New Star Fish Market, Essex Market)
Sea Salt & Orange/Ricotta Caramels, Saxelby Cheese

Creamy Vinaigrette
——————
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large salad bowl, whisk vinegar and mayo together until blended. Slowly whip in olive oil until desired thickness is achieved. Add a pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

Toss with greens, red onions. Serve.

Summer Squash Casserole
——————
2 carrots, peeled and loosely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and loosely chopped
1 yellow summer squash, one zucchini, and one patty pan squash diced in to 1″ chunks
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, divided into 2 halves
1 tbsp hot paprika

In a medium pot, combine all ingredients through salt and pepper, and cover with water. (Just enough water so that the veggies are covered.) Boil about 20 minutes until veggies, especially the carrots, are soft.

Drain veggies and let cool about 5 minutes. Mash veggies loosely with a potato masher – leaving chunks. Stir in cream and 1/2 Parmesan and taste. Add more salt/pepper as needed.

Crack 2 eggs, beat and mix through the squash (this will thicken the casserole as it bakes.) Spread squash evenly in a casserole dish and cover with the second half Parmesan, and sprinkle with paprika.

You can refrigerate for up to 3 days at this point before baking, (0r freeze for months) or bake straight away.

To serve, bake casserole at 400 degrees, uncovered, for 45-60 minuted until heated through, and top is browned and bubbly.

Roast Salmon
——————
6 oz salmon filets (1 per person being served)
Fresh Dill
One lemon
Garlic powder (please no garlic salt)
Old Bay seasoning
Cayenne
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil

Place salmon filets on a baking sheet lined with foil for easy clean up. Sprinkle with an even coating of garlic powder and old bay. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over each filet, then coat with fresh dill fronds. Finally dribble a little olive oil over the top (salmon should be well coated with seasoning)

Bake salmon at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Salmon should be on the rare side. Let salmon sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Results:
——————
Everyone was super full after eating the entire block of amazing stinky cheese from Saxelby, but Jamie managed to still go for seconds on the squash casserole.

  

6/29 – Europe Night @ 12Rollingwood

This post is long over-due, I know.

In late February I took my mom, little brother, and Paul on their first trip to Europe.  We started in London, took the train to Margraten, and then finished up in Berlin, checking out various WWII relics along the way.  Tonight we will look at pictures, laugh about the adventures, and try to recreate the food.

~Menu~
London: Steak and Guinness Pie
Margraten: Steak Tartar
Berlin: Currywurst and soft pretzels*

Steak and Guinness Pie
———————-
1 & 1/2 lb stew beef, cut into 1″ cubes
2 tbsp lard
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 bottle of Guinness
1 10 3/4 oz can of double strength beef broth (or reduced homemade)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground pepper
Salt to taste (note stock is salty and I didn’t need to add any, so taste first)

Use crust recipe from Apple Pie on blog, just skip the sugar and add a little pepper for a more savory take.

In a dutch oven, or other heavy sided pot with a lid, melt 1 tbsp lard and brown beef cubes. Remove beef and set aside. Add second tbsp lard and saute onion, carrot, celery and garlic until softened.

Add browned beef, Guinness, beef broth, thyme and pepper back to the pot and reduce heat to medium low, so that stew just simmers. Cover pot and simmer at least 1 hour. I let mine go about 1h 20m. You’ll know the stew is done when you can break up the beef with the back of a wooden spoon.

Break up all beef with a wooden spoon in the pot and simmer another few minutes with the lid off until the stew is thick with very little liquid left. Turn off heat and let cool slightly while you make the crust.

My crust recipe is very forgiving and does not need to be refrigerated. Make crust following recipe for apple pie and roll out half to fill a standard pie pan. Fill with beef stew. If stew is a little runny, perfect, if it seems almost dry, add in a little more Guinness to keep it moist while baking. Roll out second half of dough, cover pie, seal edges and cut a few vents.

Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes until crust is brown and insides are bubbling. I like to serve mine at room temperature, but if you can’t wait, it’s okay.

Steak Tartar
———————-
Okay I know it’s not necessarily Dutch, but we did eat it in Maastricht, and we served french fries and mayonnaise on the side to increase authenticity. I did mine without raw egg, only because the eggs in my mom’s fridge were old. Don’t be afraid to swap mayo in recipe for a yolk if you have a fresh one, it is better. ***recipe contains raw meat. Duh.

8 oz fresh-from-the-butcher sirloin, trimmed
1 tbsp fresh parley, chopped
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
A little Tabasco
2 tbsp capers packed in water, drained
Salt and pepper to taste

Immediately before serving, finely chop beef by hand, or in a food processor. Mix in all other ingredients to combine. Serve with small toast points, or just forks if you’re a true carnivore.

If you do not finish it all, do not serve again raw. You can, however, cook the rest up as a little burger or meat balls. They will be delicious!

Currywurst
———————-
Bratwurst (we bought ours from the local butcher)

Ketchup (sure Heinz works too)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, drained)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
Pinch powdered mustard
Pinch Allspice
Pinch ground Cloves
Pinch ground Mace
Pinch ground Cinnamon
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

Medium to hot curry powder

Combine onion and oil in a medium sauce pan and saute until translucent.  Add in all ingredients before salt and pepper, and saute for 45 minutes on low until a thick paste forms.  Remove bay leaf and turn off heat.  Puree sauce until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste.  Sauce will keep in the fridge 3-4 weeks.

Cook bratwurst on the stove, or grill.  Top with ketchup sauce and sprinkle with curry powder to serve.

*Mr Will made the soft pretzels from Alton Brown’s recipe online.  I highly recommend, they were amazing.

Results
———————-
With a meal of sausage, meat pie, raw beef, pretzels and french fries, it’s hard to imagine anyone being able to go back for seconds…yet Paul managed to have a second piece of meat pie.

 

I completely agree. It was so good and beefy, much more British than my previous attempts!

Addendum

3/29 – Vegetarians Read Books Too

Danielle and I hosted a Tuesday night book club this week.  Since our schedules have been too busy to fit in a Sunday Dinner Party lately, I thought I’d take this opportunity to post anyhow.

Week-night dinner parties require advanced planning to pull off.  I hate the stress of worrying about what time I get off work, when the guests will arrive, and the resulting craziness of trying to cut up carrots, pour wine and greet guests all at the same time.

To avoid this, I plan in advance. It’s been a long time since I’ve thrown a week night party, and I had forgotten just how fun and relaxed they can be when you do it right.

~ The Menu ~
Our book was Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn.  If you can find a food theme to play with in this book, I applaud you.  I could not, so I decided to go simple, and mostly vegetarian, to suit the range of attendee’s dietary restrictions.

APPS
– Crudites
– Asparagus with Prosciutto (had to thrown in a little meat)
– Baked Fontina

DINNER
– Veggie Lasagna

~ The Game Plan ~

  • Sunday Afternoon: Make lasagna and dip for crudites and refrigerate
  • Monday Evening: Prepare Asparagus by snapping off dry ends, wrapping in one piece of prosciutto, and lining up on a cookie sheet.
  • Tuesday 6pm: Bake Asparagus for 15 min at 400 degrees.  Prep cheese while Asparagus bakes.  6:20: Bake cheese while chopping up crudites. 6:50: set out apps and place lasagna in the oven.  Pour a glass of wine before guests come at 7 and put your feet up, since they won’t get there till 7:15 anyhow.

Baked Fontina
———————-
1.5 lbs Fontina Cheese, rinds trimmed off, and cubed into 1.5″ squares
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a cast iron skillet, or other Broiler-proof container (this is important, must be metal, your pyrex will explode…I speak from experience)
Broil 6 minutes until bubbly and browned on the top

Serve with bread and sliced apples

Vegetarian Lasagna
———————-
1 package fresh lasagna sheets (you can buy the box and prep as directed if you can’t find fresh)
1 lb fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
6 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed out to remove as much liquid as possible
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
2-3 cups milk
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1/2 cup crumbled Feta Cheese
16oz Container of Ricotta Cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp diced fresh basil, plus more leaves for the top of the lasagna
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh marinara sauce (homemade or store bought is fine)
salt and pepper to taste

Step 1 – make bechamel sauce.
In a medium sauce pan on medium heat, melt 4 tbsp butter.  Whisk in 4 tbsp flour and cook for about a minute until you can smell the flour cooking.

Whisk in 2 cups milk and continue whisking continuously until liquid boils.  You want the sauce to thicken to the consistency of a heavy cream sauce.  If it’s too thick, just add more milk as necessary.

Once the sauce just starts to boil, turn off the heat and whisk in paprika and salt/pepper to taste.  Let stand to cool while you saute the mushrooms.

Step 2 – Saute Mushrooms.
Rinse and dice mudrooms into bit-sized pieces.  In a skillet with a lid (you can cover with foil to improvise if you don’t have a lid that fits) melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat.

Add mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes over medium heat, until softened.

Add garlic, some salt/pepper, and red wine vinegar and cover.  Let steam, still on medium heat, for 3-5 minutes.

Remove lid and continue to cook until any juice is evaporated, then turn off heat.

Step 3 – Mix Ricotta
In a medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta, egg, red pepper flakes, oregano, fresh basil, and a little pepper and mix until blended.

Step 4 – Assemble the Lasagna
In a high-sided pyrex lasagna pan, add 1 cup marinara sauce to coat the bottom evenly.

Arrange an even layer of lasagna noodles on top of sauce.  Cover noodles with a thick layer of bechamel, then sprinkle all mushrooms on top, then top with the feta cheese.

Arrange a second even layer of lasagna noodles on top.  Cover noodles with  ricotta mixture in an even layer, then top with the wrung out spinach.

Arrange a third even layer of lasagna noodles on top.  Cover noodles with second cup of marinara sauce.  You can drizzle on any remaining bechamel as you like.

Decorate the top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves.

Step 5 – Cook
If you are cooking immediately, bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees
If cooking from the fridge, bake 40-50 minutes at 350
If cooking from the freezer (this freezes beautifully) bake 1 hour at 350 degrees (no need to defrost)

Results
———————-
This was my second batch of veg lasagna over the past few weeks.  My first attempt was polished off over the course of a ski weekend, while my traditional meat lasagna when politely untouched…A good sign from a group of carnivorous, college boys.

At book club, my guests polished off over 1lb of the the baked cheese, and still made it through seconds on the lasagna as well.

1/2 – Happy New Year 2011!

Apparently I’m a sucker for marketing and so felt an irrational need to make something healthy to start off the new year. There was no dinner party this week as everyone is recovering from the weekend’s festivities but I couldn’t keep this to myself when it came out so yummy.

Hot and Sour Soup
————–
8 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced into thin strips
1 bag dried wood ears, reconstituted in warm water
*note you can find these at Chinese groceries
1 can straw mushrooms drained
1 can sliced bamboo shots, cut into match sticks
6 oz firm tofu, cut into small cubes
3 cups chicken or veg stock
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp hot chili oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp corn starch dissolved in water
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp Siracha (to taste)
Chopped green onion to garnish

In a large soup pot, combine mushrooms, bamboo, tofu and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add in chili oil, vinegar, soy sauce and sugar.

Stir in corn starch dissolved into a little water to thicken the soup. If you’re not eating carbs, skip this step like me.

Slowly pour in scrambled eggs while stirring the soup to create thin ribbons of egg like in egg drop soup.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, add sesame and Siracha. Serve with fresh green onion garnish.

Results
———
This was so good I had two bowls. And it was so hot it made my nose run. Maybe I’ll go find the left-overs right now…

12/12 – Happy Christmas Goose

To spice up our annual holiday feast this year, Danielle and I decided to accept a challenged posed to us by 2 separate friends.

  • Challenge #1: Have a British-themed dinner
  • Challenge #2: Cook a goose

We combined this into a British-themed Christmas complete with Christmas Crackers, Puddings and WHAM! on repeat.

As a side note – please be sure to order your goose, should you want to try roasting one, 72 hours ahead of your dinner. It seems that no one in Manhattan keeps geese lying around and ready to cook. Much thanks to Jeffery’s at Essex Market for working a Christmas miracle and finding me a goose in under 12 hours!

Appetizers
———————–
Chicken Liver Pate
Deviled Eggs (both recipes available in the index)

Roast Goose with Wild Mushroom Gravy
———————–
For Brine~
2 gallons water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 bay leaves
3 gloves garlic, smashed to break up a bit
7 pepper corns
2 springs of fresh thyme
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp celery seed
1 tbsp dried onion flakes (or 1 tsp onion powder)

For Goose~
10-12lb bird – the largest one you can find

Note: Geese have a lot more bones and skin than meat, a 12lb really only feeds about 4-5 people

3 carrots, chopped into 1″ pieces
3 ribs celery, chopped into 1″ pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped into 1″ pieces
4 fresh sage leaves
A handful fresh parsley
Salt, pepper and paprika to season

For Gravy~
2 cups stock, instructions to make stock follow, but store-bought chicken stock will work just fine
1 cup whole milk
3 tbsp flour
1/4 cup dried wild mushrooms of your choice
A splash of white wine or vermouth
Salt, Pepper and a dash of garlic powder to season

1 day ahead
———————–

24 hours before you plan to roast the goose (roasting will take about 2 hours, or slightly longer) you’ll need to brine the bird.

To make the brine add 1 gallon of water to a large stock pot with all other brine ingredients and bring to a boil. The brine needs to be cool before you can add the bird, and you can speed this along by adding one more gallon of cold water. If you’re in a rush, you can add a combination of water and ice cubes.

Once the brine is cooled, add goose and refrigerate over night. If you’re lucky enough to have a huge pot to hold the goose and brine, by all means use it. If you’re like me, you’ll need to either buy a brining bag from a kitchen store (this is just a giant ziplock that costs $3.50), or you can double-up 2 clean garbage bags as a last resort.

I don’t recommend skipping the brining process, as geese have fairly lean meet underneath all the surface fat, and this process will help to keep the meat moist and juicy.

Day of
———————–

Pre heat the oven to 290 degrees.

Roast the goose in a large roasting pan. Make sure this is a pyrex or something with at least 2″ high sides. The goose will release up to 2 cups of fat as it cooks, and you don’t want this on the floor of your oven.

Remove goose from brine and rinse to remove stuck-on seasonings. Make sure you’ve removed giblets and neck from the cavity.

Place heart, gizzard and neck in a medium stock pot and save the liver for frying up with onions later on (this would be fois gras if the goose was raised differently). The liver is the flat dark-red squishy thing, larger than the other giblets…

Place the bird on top of a small handful of celery and onion to keep it off the bottom of the roasting pan. Salt and pepper the inside of the cavity and stuff with carrots, celery, onion, sage and parsley. Truss the legs and tail together for even cooking.

Take a sharp fork (I used my meat fork as the table ones were too wimpy) and stick the goose all over, creating holes in the skin. This will allow the fat to run out and keep the skin crispy as it cooks.

Season the outside of the bird with salt, pepper, paprika and place in oven to roast. Every half hour or so, check the bird and remove fat from the pan as needed.

DO NOT throw out fat!!! Save it in a glass or metal container and enjoy roasting veggies in goose fat for the next few months.

While the goose roasts, make stock.

Add the ends of the onion celery and carrots left over from stuffing the bird to the pot containing the goose giblets and cover with about 6 cups water. You should have about a quarter cup carrot and celery odds n ends, and a half cup onion. Use the parts you would normally throw away, as you won’t eat these and there’s no use wasting pretty veggies on stock.

Add a few pepper corns, a bay leaf, some parsley stems, and one whole clove, and bring to a boil. (leave out any ingredients you don’t have on hand) Bring to a boil and cook 20 minutes. Skim foam if necessary. This will make enough stock for stuffing and gravy.

At the hour and a half mark, take the birds temperature. It’s done when a thermometer reads 165. Allow the bird to rest at least 15 minutes before carving.

Right before serving
———————–

While the bird rests, make wild mushroom gravy.

Place wild mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Soak a few minutes until mushrooms are tender and reconstituted. Chop mushrooms into small pieces and save the mushroom water for the gravy.

In a medium sauce pan combine 2 cups stock, chopped mushrooms, mushroom liquid, a splash of vermouth (sherry would be lovely too), whole milk, salt, pepper, pinch of garlic powder, and flour.

Whisk vigorously to combine.

Turn on heat and continue to whisk until gravy just starts to boil and thickens. As long as you started will all cold ingredients you will not get lumps.

Taste gravy and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Chestnut Stuffing
———————–
1 loaf white bread, ripped into bit-sized pieces and left out to go stale overnight on a cookie sheet
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 small white onion, finely diced
1 cup shelled chestnuts, coarsely chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups stock

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with 2 cups stock. Mix to combine. The stuffing should be good and moist, but not soupy. Add more stock if needed.

Grease a medium casserole dish and press stuffing mixture into the casserole evenly.

Pour more stock over the top to get everything good and moist.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, until top is slightly golden and stuffing has firmed up.

Serve with goose and gravy.

Desserts provided by our guests
———————–
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Steamed Christmas Pudding with Brandy Butter
Mincemeat Pies
Cognac

Results
———————–
Our token Brit says delicious, though not quite authentic… Stay tuned for another try after my trip to London in February.

Our other new guest Nick was not deterred by lack of authenticity. After an early faux pas (filling up his plate with a full dinner on the first trip) he snuck in seconds, thirds, and even 2 rounds of dessert!

Happy Christmas and God Bless Us,  Everyone!