Let’s face it, turkey isn’t the tastiest of the proteins we serve. Compared to something like lamb or even roast chicken, turkey pales. But it does serve one fantastic purpose – it’s a great foil for condiments. That’s why I like to have several different sauces and chutneys on the Thanksgiving table, and especially, available the day after for leftover sandwiches. Oh, those sandwiches. My mouth is watering.
While I have some chutneys canned, there are others that I make fresh for the occasion. I look for condiments that can be made ahead and held for a few days. I made three of those condiments today – tapenade, onion confit and cranberry sauce.
I’ll look around the refrigerator for stray containers of olives and make a quick tapenade (clean the fridge and make a quick party food all at once!) Easiest with a food processor, but also possible to do by hand or with a mezzaluna,
1/2# olives, pitted
1 garlic clove
1 anchovy fillet
lemon zest from one lemon, preferably in strips
3 T chopped fresh parsley
Combine all but the olive oil in the food processor and pulse until as chunky as you personally prefer. I like to still see pieces of olive. Stream in the olive oil until it forms a spreadable paste. Store in a glass jar for a month or more.
Variation: This is also quite nice with roasted garlic. Wrap an entire head of garlic in foil and roast at 425° for 40 min. Squeeze out the roasted goodness and add to about 1# of mixed olives and the other ingredients and 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary.
There also will be a very simple cranberry sauce, the one I grew up with. This cranberry sauce is something like a jam, sort of a preserves. It’s tart, because cranberries have plenty of pectin, it’s a soft set (a little runny), and it’s exceptionally good on a leftover turkey sandwich. It holds in the refrigerator for a month and freezes beautifully.
Last year, I added this superb Tuscan Onion Confit from Food52. I adapted it just very slightly by adding 2 tsp. fresh thyme. It’s heavenly, easy to make (I cheat and use frozen small white onions) and holds happily in the refrigerator for a month or more. If it lasts that long.
The day before Thanksgiving, I’ll make celeriac remoulade, carrot and currant salad, roasted beet and chive salad, (I’ll post those recipes here very soon), and my friend Liz’ cucumber side.
What condiments will you have on your Thanksgiving table?
Simple Whole Cranberry Sauce
1 bag organic cranberries
1 c white sugar
1 c water
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange
In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar, water and orange zest and juice until boiling. Add the cranberries and boil for about 12 minutes. Store in a glass bowl or jar in the refrigerator.