Thanksgiving is an American holiday and the turkey is an American bird but is it mandatory to have said bird as the centerpiece of the dinner table every year? We say nay! Ok hear us out as there are many reasons to detach from tradition.
Perhaps you never liked turkey. *gasp* Or you’re a vegetarian. Or you dread the volume of leftovers after the coveted drumsticks and wings are claimed… Or maybe you just want to try something new. With an assortment of classic autumn flavors to choose from, a turkey-free Thanksgiving is definitely possible and may not be the wildest idea in the bunch this season. Think outside the box, give the oven a break and move your table into the spotlight with a progressive menu featuring a few sous vide dishes and minus our favorite feathered friend.
Lamb Shanks with Rosemary, Sage and Thyme Butter – serves 4
Sous viding the meat in a flavor filled pouch makes this lamb shank recipe beautifully juicy and tender! Chef Tip: Due to the long cooking time this recipe should be started the evening before the big feast.
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
½ Cup cold butter
15 fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
Freshly ground black pepper
4 quality lamb shanks, crown- or French-trimmed
12 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 large carrots, peeled and finely sliced
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 leek, washed, halved and finely sliced
1. Set the circulator to 66 C / 150.8 F
2. Pick the leaves off 2 sprigs of rosemary, mix them with the butter, most of the sage and the thyme in a food processor and season with salt and pepper.
3. Using a small knife, take one of the lamb shanks and cut between the meat and the bone from the base of the shank upwards. You want to create a hole big enough to put your finger in, making a sort of pocket.
4. Do this to all the shanks and divide the flavored butter between them, pushing it into the pockets. This will give a wonderful flavor to the heart of the shanks.
5. Next divide the garlic and vegetables between the four shanks.
6. Rub the lamb shanks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
7. Place one shank in a sous-vide pouch with a portion of vegetables, a sprig of rosemary and a few sage leaves.
8. Vacuum seal.
9. Repeat with the other 3 shanks.
10. Cook all shanks at 66 C / 150.8 F for 16 hours
Cod with Tomato Confit and Asparagus Risotto – serves 4
4 cod fillets, pat dry seasoned with salt and pepper
2 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes
2-3 cups Olive oil
4 garlic cloves
2 sprig thyme
2 sprig rosemary
6-8 asparagus spears
4-5 cups risotto cooked
1. Set the circulator to 62 C / 143.6 F
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F
3. For tomato confit, in a deep metal pan, lay garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and cherry tomatoes on the bottom, season with salt and pepper.
4. Coat with a generous amount of olive oil.
5. Place in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes. The tomatoes will be tender and the skin will be falling off.
6. Blanch asparagus and chill in the fridge or in ice water.
7. Slice asparagus ¼ inch think on a bias.
8. Make risotto according to packaging instructions, and add blanched asparagus into risotto. Hold hot.
9. Vacuum seal the seasoned code fillets one per pouch.
10. Cook the cod fish in the water bath for 12 minutes at 62 C / 143.6 F
11. Remove fish from the pouches and place on plates or in a serving dish. Fish will be flaky and tender when done.
12. Spoon about 2-3 ounces of the tomato confit over the top of each fish.
13. Serve with risotto on the side.
Artichoke Barigoule – serves 4
¼ cup Virgin Olive Oil
½ cup Carrots, thinly sliced
½ cup Shallots, thinly sliced
¼ cup Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 Garlic Clove, minced
2 Globe Artichoke Hearts, cut into pieces
8 Globe Artichokes, trimmed and whole
¼ cup Dry White White (We like Sauvignon Blanc)
½ cup Chicken Stock
½ Veal Stock
1. Heat olive oil in a wide sauce pan.
2. Add the carrots and sweat for 2 ½ minutes.
3. Add the shallots, onions, a pinch of salt and cook for another 1 ½ minutes.
4. Add the garlic, chopped artichokes, and wine. Stir while it cooks for 2 minutes.
5. Lastly add the chicken and veal stock, bringing to a simmer for 10 minutes to infuse all flavors.
6. Strain all liquid and chill until cool.
7. Place the remaining artichokes and the cooled mixture single layer within a pouch and vacuum seal on high.
8. Cook at 85 C (185 F) for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the whole artichokes are tender.
Braised Fennel and Potatoes – serves 4
1 Large fennel bulb
1 large onion
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
3 tbls olive oil
½ cup of water
1 lbs red potatoes
1. Set the circulator for 85 C / 185 F.
2. Cut fennel lengthwise, thick slices.
3. Halve the onion then cut lengthwise into thick slices.
4. Combine fennel, onion, 1 tsp salt and pepper with the olive oil in a sous-vide pouch and vacuum seal.
5. Cook for 40 minutes at 85 C / 185 F.
6. Cut potatoes crosswise into ¼ inch slices.
7. Add potatoes, water and remaining tsp of salt into a sous-vide pouch and vacuum seal.
8. Cook for 25 minutes at 85 C / 185 F.
9. Remove all ingredients from their pouches and blend well in a serving dish. Serve immediately.
2 cups of blackberries
1 cup of blackberries (for garnish)
1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice
2 cups heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup of sugar
1. In a blender, combine juice, sugar, berries and blend until smooth.
2. Pour mixture through a fine mesh and press with a spatula.
3. Discard seeds.
4. Move the puree to a small bowl and cover and refrigerate.
5. Mix together cream and vanilla extract. Whip until peaks form.
6. Fold remaining puree into cream.
7. Spoon mixture into custard cups.
8. Cover and place in fridge for 1 hour.
9. Serve with reserved black berry puree and garnish with blackberries.