What’s more traditional than having French food for Thanksgiving? Nothing, that’s what!
For the last couple of years we had gone to Montréal over the four-day Thanksgiving holiday. It’s nice to have so much time off all at once, and Montréal is so close by; it’s almost like going abroad, even though it’s only four hours away. (Vive le Québec libre! and all that.) This year we had planned on going a bit further down the Saint Lawrence River to the city of Québec, but with all of the traveling we’ve done recently, we decided it might be nice to stay at home for a change. Perhaps to make up for not going anywhere, Lisa suggested that we make a French dinner, which was something I’d wanted to do ever since Mom and I got back from Provence a couple years ago.
Last week we made the menu:
- Hors d’œuvres: Gruyère gougères
- Plats: Baked halibut with fennel and beurre blanc
- Légumes: Sautéed haricorts verts, Pommes Anna
- Déssert: Mille-feuilles
We knew it was going to be a big undertaking. In fact, I think it might be the biggest meal we’ve ever made. The logistics were daunting: six recipes, four different oven temperatures, and three “serve immediately” dishes. In the past my Thanksgiving meal timing has been all off, but this time over the span of three-and-a-half hours, we got it just right. Lisa made the appetizers and dessert, and I made the main dish and starches. And—even though we aren’t going to win MasterChef any time soon—the whole meal was delicious!
I’ve never cooked with so much butter! The beurre blanc sauce itself required three full sticks. Cooking, I’ve learned, requires a bit of faith; who knew three sticks of butter, white wine, vinegar, and minced shallots could turn out so well? I also wasn’t so sure about the fennel (even though I picked the recipe) but it turned out to be quite subtle and a perfect match for the fish. Lisa’s Napoléon dessert was fantastic, too!
I am so thankful for Lisa and family and friends and all of the good things in my life. I hope you have plenty to be thankful for, too. Here are a few pictures of our Thanksgiving.