November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving to my friends south of the border!
Up here in Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in October, so to allow time to sufficiently digest the turkey before having more at Christmas, or so the story goes (according to me). However, it's true that we don't always have turkey for Christmas dinner at our house (although we usually have one on Boxing Day with the family), and it's also true that we sometimes mess around with cross-cultural holiday traditions.
Tonight, we'll be having a turkey & stuffing skillet dinner, with roasted Brussels sprouts and a baked sweet potato. It's considerably less effort than a traditional stuffed turkey dinner, and perfect for those of us who like to squeeze in an extra turkey-related meal between the others. I'm still tweaking the recipe, though, and you'll get an update on it when I've figured it out completely...
On Canadian Thanksgiving, however, we let our fusion madness run amok. This time, the infusion was from Japanese cuisine. The above picture is our turkey gyoza with sage-rice, sake-steamed sweet potato cubes, and ginger-sauteed Brussels sprouts, with little bowls of miso gravy and cranberry-soy dipping sauce (made with cranberry sauce, rice vinegar, and soy sauce).
The sage rice needs work - I needed to use either more (and more finely chopped) fresh sage, or combine it with a pinch of dry sage to really infuse the rice with a pleasantly mild sage-iness. As it was, the inclusion of the sage was tasty, but seemed kind of accidental or incidental to the dish.
The sweet potato cubes were a new variation on our favourite "Holiday Yams" which are briefly described about half-way through this post on jerk chicken. Instead of citrus juice for the liquid, I simply used sake, and instead of the mixed spices, I used thin coins of peeled ginger. The results were lovely! I used a covered corningware dish to make these, and bake them for about 40 minutes at 375℉ (you can adjust the time accordingly if you are cooking something else concurrently at a different temperature. This version was also a big hit, and will definitely be called upon again.
As a weird, additional bonus on the day, we were let out early from work on account of the (snowy) weather, since Vancouver comes to a screeching halt if more than two snowflakes are spotted in the air together. This means that I had lots of time to get home, and get dinner on the table, which was much appreciated.