11.30.2010

Thanksgiving Extravaganza--Part Two

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If you ever want to impress your dinner guests--I mean seriously impress--pick up a copy of Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home, and block off the rest of your day.  Keller's recipes are absolutely devine, but they take some serious time.  He is a chef, afterall.

Husband and I decided to bring both mashed potatoes and a green vegetable to Thanksgiving this year (and don't forget the cashews and cake), so of course we turned right to Ad Hoc for our answer.  As soon as we saw the picture for Keller's "Green Bean and Potato Salad" recipe, we knew it was meant to be. This dish is delicious as always, and also extremely beautiful.  Almost more beautiful than it is tasty, if that's even possible.

After our five-stores-in-one-night experience (we'll discuss that later...), we came home with all of the ingredients for this amazing salad and set to work.  The only thing we decided to leave out was the fingerling potatoes.  We figured we would not need them with the mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes on the table, but feel free to add them in to your recipe if you'd like.  We also accidently left out a splash of lemon juice at the end, which we just realized 5 minutes ago.  "There was lemon juice in this recipe??"

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Green Bean and Potato Salad with Mission Figs and Iberico Ham
Slightly adapted from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home

3 pounds green beans
1 cup walnuts
3 medium radishes
1/4 cup minced shallots
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
About 1 cup (we used about 3/4 cup) Sherry Vinaigrette (see below)
2 tablespoons minced chives
4 fresh figs, halved (he calls for Black Mission figs, we used whatever we could find...)
3 ounces of prosciutto (again, he calls for Iberico Ham, but we are not rich here, people.)
Extra virgin olive oil

Cut stems off beans. Place into a large pot of boiling water and blanch for about 3 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and place immediately into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Once the beans are cool, take them out of the ice bath and dry off with paper towels.
Preheat the oven for 375 degrees F. Spread the walnuts out onto baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt. (Since the oven was being used for the turkey, we toasted the almonds in a saucepan, stirring often.  It worked just fine.)
Slice radishes as thinly as possible, either with a mandoline (next on our wish list) or with a very sharp knife.
Transfer beans to a large bowl and add shallots, walnuts, and half of the radishes. Pour dressing over the top, to taste. Season with salt and pepper and toss well.
Once mixed, arrange on your nicest and hugest platter. Place the rest of the radishes and figs over the beans and sprinkle with chives.
Arrange the prosciutto on a seperate plate and serve!

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I, Wife, am a huuuuuge mashed potato fan.  They have to be creamy and buttery and delicious, and without garlic or gravy (what can I say, I love the taste of pure dairy fat).  Whenever I hear about garlic mashed potatoes, I get very nervous.  They really freak me out, especially when they have huge chunks of garlic in every bite. These potatoes, however, were INCREDIBLE.   I would make them again in an instant, even over regluar ones.  Do it!  Make 'em!

Puree of Garlic Potatoes
Slightly adapted from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home

4 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes
2 cups heavy cream
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup Garlic Confit (see below)
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced chives

Put potatoes in a large pot of cold water.  Mix in 1/4 cup of salt and bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and let sit for 1-2 minutes.  Quickly peel.
*Note: we would definitley do this part differently next time.  Trying to peel potatoes right out of boiling water is not very fun--we used oven mitts to save our hands but that got messy fast. I might try peeling the potatoes first, then boiling them. Let us know if you try it!

Heat the cream in a heavy saucepan.  Put the peeled potatoes back into the pot, and slowly mash in the Garlic Confit and the butter with a hand masher. Whip cream into potatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Spoon into a serving bowl and top with an extra gob of butter and the minced chives.

These potatoes can be mashed with the butter and garlic and kept at room temp for up to 3 hours before serving.  Just heat mashed potatoes in a saucepan and whip in cream. Perfect for Thanksgiving!


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Extras:
[Garlic Confit:
1 cup peeled garlic cloves
About 2 cups canola oil
Cut off root ends of garlic and place in a saucepan with 1 inch of oil covering each clove.  Place a diffuser on your stovetop and then the saucepan on the diffuser. Heat garlic and oil over medium-low heat. You should only see very small bubbles, if any, coming through the oil.  Adjust heat if necessary.
Cook for about 40 minutes, stirring often, until garlic is very soft. Remove Confit from saucepan and let cool. 
Refrigerate for up to 1 week.]

[Sherry Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Whisk vinegars together first, then whisk in oil.  
Refrigerate for up to 1 month.
*Note:  Next time I would add a lot more olive oil to cut the acid a bit.  Le Man, who loves his vinegar, thought it was perfect.  You decide.]

3 comments:

BoersMama said...

Wow, if only Brent and I didn't have a rule about not making recipes with more than 4 ingredients we would definitely try these out! :) What can I say...we are simple eaters.

BoersMama said...

By the way, your pictures are great! Very professional!

Connor said...

Thomas Keller is a straight up American badass.

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