Is it possible to be so full, and yet still hungry? If so, that’s what I am, after the Fresh Fork Market Thanksgiving Beer Dinner. It was a demo/dinner/sampling of the company’s Thanksgiving offerings this season. And my appetite is piqued.
When we sat down at the communal tables in Market Garden Brewery (which served as the night’s event space), there was freshly baked bread, butternut squash and bacon biscuits, with creamy guernsey butter and belly-warming winter squash soup to start….a good start indeed.
While we sampled one of three beers offered for the evening, Chef Adam Lambert demonstrated several different ways to prepare, break down, and carve a Thanksgiving turkey.
Brining is a must, according to Lambert. Noted. Trussing you can do without. Excellent. Always intimidated by that part anyway. To stuff, or not to stuff? He says for safety reasons (and to not overcook the bird) cook the stuffing separately. Grill it, smoke it, roast it, or…a new one for me… “spatchcock” it (method of removing the backbone then cooking it flat, thus making for a more even thickness).
Chef Lambert answered questions throughout the demo, everything from where to place the thermometer, to what kind of knife to use for these various methods. By then, the smells coming from the kitchen had made their way to the back of the event space and it was time to feast.
The buffet had everything you look for in a Thanksgiving dinner, plus some things you’ve probably been meaning to try.
There was turkey two ways, (traditionally roasted and spatchcocked/smoked/grilled) mashed potatoes with turnips, cauliflower risotto, braised carrots and greens, sweet potato casserole, creamed cabbage, roasted Brussels sprouts, two kinds of stuffing, root vegetable hash, cornbread, shaved raw vegetable salad, home fries with cabbage and jowl bacon, Harvard beets. And these are just the ones I can recall.
After seconds, and thirds, and finally take out containers were offered…it was time for apple pie. Since I limited myself to one trip to the buffet line (and one to-go container 🙂 ) I saved just enough room to sample the Amish baked pie. Sorrynotsorry on that one.
Those who sat at my table were discussing which Thanksgiving package they were ordering and already dreaming about the pasture-raised turkey that had their name on it. (Click here for info on Fresh Fork Market Thanksgiving Orders) Guests walked away with an extensive instructional book, about 45 pages long, that covers everything from planning, to prepping and execution. A new “bible for Thanksgiving hosts” if you will. A great takeaway!
I left the evening stuffed, satisfied and stimulated…ready to be adventurous and ambitious in the kitchen this Thanksgiving (stay tuned for a “Friendsgiving” post very soon!) I’m also convinced that this year, the turkey MUST be brined. So mom, I’ll be over early in the week to take care of that for us! Thanks, Chef Lambert and Chef Bosley for the great recipes and inspiration! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!