Two Turkeys Thanksgiving & Raw Butternut Slaw

How does “Two Turkey Thanksgiving” sound to you…? Our friends hosted their annual Thanksgiving fête last Sunday, and because their guest list is ever growing, two turkeys had to be made. So Günther (the 10th!) was joined by Hildegard (the 1st). And I, as the closest (geographically) and their neighbor, had the honor to roast one, in my own oven. Since J’s turkey creation is already world-famous and well-loved – especially the stuffing – I had to come up with something different for birdie Hildegard…

So, no stuffing, but what else is there to do for someone with little to no experience in meat preparation in general, let alone turkey roasting? I did what every good person in charge of a turkey would do: I researched different options and then operated by rule of thumb, hehe. Adding butter (lots) – which always helps. Red wine (good one, château neuf du pape, yep), pomegranate molasses, some maple syrup and a very good veal stock for good measure, to add up to a yummy glaze to baste the bird with. Like, every 20 to 30 minutes. Things didn’t go too bad, so we had two lovely turkeys in the end. The crowd ate all of it (almost no leftovers). And they were both yummy. We also had so many other things on the table…! Like creamy cabbage, sweet potato gratin, cauliflower soup with porcini, potato and apple mash… Food porn par excellence.

The raw butternut slaw with orange, maple, cranberries and pecan that I added wasn’t too bad, either. If you can get your hands on a hokaido or butternut (which hasn’t proven too easy once fall has come and gone and December has started). wonder who plans squash capacities? They’re still good and seasonal, in my opinion. And I’m never fed up by them. So please, retailers, keep stocking them!

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As you see, J’s home is simply the best. Their taste is without comparison. And it’s always an honor to be a guest (or, well, contributor, of sorts), to anything they’re dreaming up. At first, we almost felt like bailing because we desperately needed a day’s rest. But then again, the extra (turkey roasting) effort was so worth it. Time spent with friends is what we value the most, after all. And what better way to spend it than over a good turkey (or two!).

For something new to make with butternut squash, try this: raw! Seriously, my best creation in a long time (if I might say so myself). Heathy, exotic and the right amount of sour, sweet, salty and spicy.

Raw Butternut Slaw with Orange, Maple, Cranberry and Pecans

Ingredients:
1 Butternut squash, peeled and shredded
2 oranges, juice
1 lemon, juice
2 limes, juice
3 tbsp. rapeseed oil
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
4 lemongrass stalks, cores chopped
2 cm piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp. harissa or chili paste
1 tbsp. mustard seeds (yellow)
1 tbsp. mild curry powder
1 cup pecans
1 cup dried cranberries
Fleur de sel
The squash’s seeds, washed, dried and toasted

Directions:
Peel and shred the squash. Make a dressing: squeeze the juices and combine them in a small saucepan. Add the maple, pomegranate molasses, lemongrass stalks, ginger, harissa, mustard seeds and curry powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let cool. In the meantime toast the pecans until fragrant, then chop coarsely. Toast the Butternut squash’s seeds until fragrant, too. When cold, drain the dressing, catch it in a bowl and discard the spices. Season with fleur de sel. Dress the slaw and toss to combine. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. Before serving, add the cranberries, pecans and butternut seeds for extra crunch and color.

Thank you for a wonderful night among dear people in your beautiful home! May there be many more birds to roast.

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