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Old 11-17-2010, 06:14 PM   #1
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Many dishes, one oven

I just thought I'd share an epiphany I had today about the logistics of cooking a Thanksgiving feast for many. We are hosting the bash this year and having 20 or more folks - many traveling long distances.

I have been obsessing about meal prep because I have one oven and a complicated menu w/ duplicates of several dishes altered to meet special dietary needs. (ex: regular stuffing and vegetarian stuffing). All these dishes don't fit in the oven along with a big turkey or 2 smaller ones. What to do?

Use the BBQ!

I have a gas grill that makes a fine oven with just a little care. I picked up a few fire bricks to spread the heat more evenly and am planning on roasting sweet potatoes, root veggies (carrots, parsnips) chestnuts and heating dinner rolls in the grill. This leaves the oven free for 2 turkeys (small) and additional stuffing.

Pies and tarts are done in advance and the rest happens on the stove.

Here's the menu:


Oven:
Turkey x 2
stuffing (pan baked)
vegetarian dressing (pan baked)

Stove
Peanut soup w/ puff pastry cheese crouton (floating thing
Mashed potatoes (reds w/jacket)
brussel sprouts w/ chestnuts in noisette butter (steam sprouts)
Green and yellow beans (plain steamed)
gravy
vegetarian gravy


BBQ
1 cornish game hen (old family joke)
Roasted sweet potatoes chunks with apple juice/maple butter sauce
Roasted carrot and parsnip fingers w/ lemon, parsley & butter (packet cooked)
Chestnuts (do earlier in day and reheat with steamed veggies)
Rolls


Do ahead:
cooked cranberries
Cranberry relish (fresh, raw)
Mandatory dish of olives, radishes, pickled bits
Pies tarts, etc

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Old 11-17-2010, 06:30 PM   #2
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Sounds brilliant, Janet. Folks often forget about the gas grill as a stove/oven supplement.

Also, your menu looks very good.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post

Also, your menu looks very good.
Thanks - it's a challenge to feed the vegetarians, gluten avoiders, picky kids and still have a decent traditional meal. I've avoided cassorolised yams and that odd green been and soup thing to that end (and I don't like them). The birds are cooked sans stuffing, there will be a fruit tart with a nut crust for the no gluten crowd, the veggie stuffing will have nuts in it, you get the idea


I'm still looking for some good ideas for a light appetizer or two..... suggestions?
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:33 AM   #4
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How about stuffed mushrooms?
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:39 AM   #5
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dates stuffed with gingered cream cheese
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
I just thought I'd share an epiphany I had today about the logistics of cooking a Thanksgiving feast for many. We are hosting the bash this year and having 20 or more folks - many traveling long distances.

I have been obsessing about meal prep because I have one oven and a complicated menu w/ duplicates of several dishes altered to meet special dietary needs. (ex: regular stuffing and vegetarian stuffing). All these dishes don't fit in the oven along with a big turkey or 2 smaller ones. What to do?

Use the BBQ!

I have a gas grill that makes a fine oven with just a little care. I picked up a few fire bricks to spread the heat more evenly and am planning on roasting sweet potatoes, root veggies (carrots, parsnips) chestnuts and heating dinner rolls in the grill. This leaves the oven free for 2 turkeys (small) and additional stuffing.

Pies and tarts are done in advance and the rest happens on the stove.

Here's the menu:


Oven:
Turkey x 2
stuffing (pan baked)
vegetarian dressing (pan baked)

Stove
Peanut soup w/ puff pastry cheese crouton (floating thing
Mashed potatoes (reds w/jacket)
brussel sprouts w/ chestnuts in noisette butter (steam sprouts)
Green and yellow beans (plain steamed)
gravy
vegetarian gravy


BBQ
1 cornish game hen (old family joke)
Roasted sweet potatoes chunks with apple juice/maple butter sauce
Roasted carrot and parsnip fingers w/ lemon, parsley & butter (packet cooked)
Chestnuts (do earlier in day and reheat with steamed veggies)
Rolls


Do ahead:
cooked cranberries
Cranberry relish (fresh, raw)
Mandatory dish of olives, radishes, pickled bits
Pies tarts, etc
Fantastic food, if you where my neighbour I would let you use my oven ect as well. I would of course require two seats
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
How about stuffed mushrooms?
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
dates stuffed with gingered cream cheese
These are both great ideas! kids would love the dates (I did when I was a kid). I was also considering popcorn... as an interactive munchie. I have a fireplace that's usually going and an old style popcorn basket. Folks could make their own - it would take several batches. It gives them something to do as well. I'm just not sure about how fitting popcorn is...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolas De Fraile View Post
Fantastic food, if you where my neighbour I would let you use my oven ect as well. I would of course require two seats
2 seats? You might have to bring your own chairs.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
These are both great ideas! kids would love the dates (I did when I was a kid). I was also considering popcorn... as an interactive munchie. I have a fireplace that's usually going and an old style popcorn basket. Folks could make their own - it would take several batches. It gives them something to do as well. I'm just not sure about how fitting popcorn is...?
Very fitting I would say, seeing as corn was a gift to the Pilgrims. I like the popcorn idea, even though I hate the stuff, with adult supervision, could keep some of the kids busy for a bit.

Kids were also the required component for getting olives, celery and dates stuffed for the apps. Kept them busy and of course you need a lot more olives, dates and celery than you would normally use.
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:06 PM   #9
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1 cornish game hen (old family joke)
I'm very interested in this component...our family joke is a 24 year old box of Hamburger Helper that makes the rounds.

I think I'll post that in a new thread!
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