Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010, Part I: Cream cheese ball (p.75), Shrimp dip (p. 72), and XXBaked honey shrimp (p. 84)

And on to another edition of TJOC Thanksgiving! Did anyone else make any TJOC recipes for the holiday?

There were two major changes this Tday:
1. I'm getting to the point where I've made a very significant portion of certain chapters. The recipes that are left I've made the conscious decision (many, many times since I go through every recipe several times a month) not to make. Either I think it looks gross, it's time-consuming, it has difficult ingredients--whatever. One of the chapters I'm the furthest in is definitely "Appetizers and Hors D'oeuvres", from which I traditionally make a few selections for Thanksgiving lunch.

2. I've made the vast majority of the normal Tday TJOC recipes. So the turkey, one of the stuffings, one of the cranberries, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie, and sweet potatoes were all made either from TJOC recipes I've made before--the green bean casserole, for example--or from mom and I just winging it.

Now, this was a long list of entrées. Guess how many people we had to dinner? Four. Josh, Mom, Josh's brother, and myself. Plenty of food for four people! I love Thanksgiving. We cook all day, eat around 5 or 6 pm, sleep for a couple hours, and then go to the mall to shop at midnight. We get home, sleep a couple more hours, and then get up and go to the mall again around 6 am. Fun!

The appetizers this year and why they haven't been previously made:

I hadn't yet made Cream cheese ball (p.75) because it's such a boring recipe. I made the Cheddar cheese ball a couple of Thanksgivings ago and it was a hit, but this was essentially just a more boring version of the same recipe.

I mixed cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, a little salt, and some horseradish:

The best part of cooking with mom is that she enjoys doing some parts of cooking that I can't stand. For some reason I really hate forming the cheese balls--but mom enjoys it. She says it's like working with clay. Look at the perfect ball she formed:

We cooled it in the refrigerator for a couple hours and then rolled it in crushed pecans:

Perfect! This cheeseball was a hit too. I think people don't make cheeseballs nowadays because they seem old-fashioned and way too retro but people seem to like them. I think it's time for a cheeseball renaissance. That being said, it was more boring than the other cheeseball and really needed to be spiced up with something else--probably more cheese.

Shrimp dip (p. 72). I hadn't made this recipe because it seemed odd--it's not a dip FOR shrimp, it's a dip made FROM shrimp. It was a simple recipe, I mixed a little can of tiny shrimp, sour cream, mayonnaise, chili sauce, lemon juice, and a little onion and refrigerated it for an hour:

Believe it or not, it was actually pretty good! I thought the little shrimp were very strange but it had a nice, tangy flavor. I had two issues though--it was a very strange little pink color and it was difficult to figure out what to spread it on. We gave plenty of options--crackers, bread, baguette, breadsticks, but none of them were perfect.

I actually haven't made any shrimp appetizer recipes up until this point. I'm not sure why. I decided to break the drought with Baked honey shrimp (p. 84).

The recipe called for Cajun seasoning, which I actually happened to not only have, but have at mom's house. I hadn't found a use for it before this point--I only had it because Penzey's had a coupon for a free jar. The ingredient list is hilarious--it's essentially every spice.

I mixed lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce, honey, the Cajun seasoning, parsley, and red pepper and added my shrimp (it took a LONG time to peel two pounds of shrimp):

After they marinated for an hour, I popped them in the oven:

When they were done I sprinkled a lemon zest and parsley mixture over the top:

These shrimp were amazing. The Cajun seasoning was spicy but not too hot (if it was just me, I'd make it quite a bit more spicy) and was rounded out by the soy sauce and honey. These shrimp were really good both hot and cold--which is a great characteristic for a party appetizer. I would make these again in a second.

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1 comment:

  1. How about the little party rye breads for the shrimp dip? Otherwise, I would go to standard ritz. Bagel bites of some kind?


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