No. of Recommendations: 1
I outdid myself with my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. That wasn't hard because the only thing I normally cook is a simple stir-fry. Once DW had finished making all her dishes and it was safe to enter the kitchen, I made the dish I saw on a Mexican cooking show on TV a few days ago. I took a bunch of Brussel sprouts, cut off the bottoms, dug out the hard centers, then peeled all the leaves off. I cooked the leaves in a fry pan with olive oil, then added cashew pieces when it was nearly done. A little salt and pepper and voowalla! -- a delicious simple low-carb vegetable stir-fry.

DW had bought a boneless turkey breast. She made a paste from ground-up pistachios, cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, salt, pepper and butter and applied it all over the bird just beneath its skin. Then she rubbed the outside of the skin with a mix of garlic and onion powders, paprika (half sweet, half spicy), a little chili powder and some cumin. All this was before cooking, of course, with the secret step of taking the bird out of the oven before it was totally cooked and letting it sit while it finished cooking on its own. This avoids dryness. The result was a turkey experience that was both moist and flavorful beyond the norm.

The gravy came from a plastic tub purchased at Whole Foods. It was initially a little bland, but the addition of some spices, some wine and I don't know what else soon brought it up to snuff.

And she made her signature red dish -- red cabbage, red onion and red bacon with balsamic vinegar.

The cranberries came out of a can, also from Whole Foods. It was kind of like Jell-O®, smooth and without those annoying cranberry skins that get stuck in your teeth. But with a richer flavor and texture, the very essence of cranberry, more cranberrilicious than any I can recall.

And what, you are no doubt wondering by now, brought this marvelous meal to a close? Why, pears poached in red wine with vanilla, anise, orange rind, cloves and a cinnamon stick. After the pears sat overnight in the wine and stuff, the juice was poured off and reduced in a separate pot to intensify the flavors, then poured back over the pears when served. But wait -- I'm not done yet. It was topped with a chocolate sauce made from semisweet chocolate chips melted with a little cream and vanilla added for texture. And that was topped with a little freshly made whipped cream.

The best part: We only ate half so, except for the pears, we get to do it all over again in a couple of days.

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