From New York City to Philadelphia to Baltimore to Washington NJ, we gave thanks. Thanks for family, thanks for friends who are extended family, and thanks for the memories to those who were not with us this weekend. Make no mistake, we ate and drank extremely well, but it was all about sharing.
Pre-Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin’s house has turned into a semi-annual event that is not to be missed. We all gather with choice wines in hand, and Jim and Zona turn out a 5 star meal. One of the big hits of the evening: grilled pork tenderloin stuffed with figs and a Spanish blue cheese, served with a guava habenero sauce. Oh yeah! The sauce was thick, rich and weighty, with a bracing kick of spice.
They have kindly shared the sauce recipe with us:
12- 15 oz guava juice
2 heavy tsp. blackberry preserves or jelly
1 large shallot minced
1" piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy
1 good size habenero minced finely
Gently sauté the minced shallot in butter taking care not to brown the shallot.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce to low simmer.
Add a butter/flour roux to thicken and cook for about an hour.
Refrigerate overnight and heat back up near a boil and and then strain the solids.
Our Baltimore Thanksgiving day tradition always starts off with a massive Oyster Rockefeller fiesta. I see your face...”Oysters Rockefeller? That is so 1950's!” Which of course you are saying in your best "Honey Badger" voice.
If more people made this classic dish the way it should be made, you wouldn’t be making that face. Barely warmed oysters, topped with spinach, nuts and garlic, and sprinkled with grated cheese. The oysters are pulled out of the oven the instant the cheese bubbles. The kind of perfection that people fight over! Serve with a cool glass of something sparkling.
We made our way back to Philadelphia on Friday where I had a taste epiphany: beer!
I’m one of the last holdouts in this craft beer craze that’s been going on, but I have seen the light at the fun and funky KraftWork Bar. Marvelously complex beers that are just crying out to be part of a cocktail, a dessert, or a little roast meat glaze. The idea flood gate has opened!
One last hurrah before the weekend was out: the annual Post-Thanksgiving Lobster fest featuring the best ceviche ever. Because, after all, there is always room for lobster, right?
Thank you to everyone who shared meals, laughter, wine, food and love with us this weekend!