Thursday, December 22, 2011
Thursdays Thoughts on Menu Planning
I seldom prepare food more than one day in advance, but I use visualization to imagine what it is I want to see and taste for the big event. I can't remember the last time I followed a recipe, but I do love to collect them as inspiration. If the ingredients appeal, then I give it my own twist. For last weekend's family gathering, I ran across a recipe for a cornbread sausage stuffing, so in addition to two other traditional stuffings, I did one with spicy lamb sausages, cornbread and dried cherries. Now for the encore .....
A smaller group on Sunday gives me a chance to cook a smaller bird - so fresh capon it is. I 'm picturing a caramelized onion and wild mushroom ragout to accompany both traditional mashed and perhaps a ginger/papaya infused sweet potato smash. There's got to be one sassy taste surprise in there. I like to finish my brocoli on the grill - in fact, with weather like this, a bar-b-que vegetable medley makes perfect sense.
My passion runs out when it comes to making dessert, but we have two shortbread chefs in the family, and plenty of decadent truffles and squares.
Blessings to all, and to all a good night.