Tears of a Squanto:
It’s no exaggeration to say the “president-elect” kicked the Thanksgiving out of me. For only the fourth time in 35 years, we did not do the turkey+trimmings but instead let friends take on all the elements I usually revel in. Last year I happily cooked for eight while on heavy Hydrocodone after back-to-back major surgeries three days apart (thanks, Obamacare). This November I was too thoroughly dispirited even to buy a baguette to stuff up some random bird’s ass.
The good news: Our hostess’s turkey was more succulent than I would have served. The better? The leg she sent home to The Cat laid the foundation to prove my contention that potpie is the best recycling evah (after, of course, all those immigrant innovations like tacos and burritos and quesadillas and pasta and pierogis and, and, and.)
I happened to have half a crust left from this:
Nancy Silverton’s “Desserts” book is pretty amazing. Otherwise I just cherry-pick recipes. Pie crust is guaranteed heartbreak, but the one recipe that for me yields something I’m not embarrassed to serve came from a Bruce Aidells book: Edy’s Foolproof. I don’t have a food processor, but it works well in the KitchenAid. You combine 2 sticks of very cold butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes with 3 cups of flour and process until you get coarse crumbs, then add a combination of 1 large egg yolk with enough cold milk (or half milk, half cream) to make half a cup, processing in short bursts until the dough just comes together in a ball. The recipe doesn’t call for salt, but I add half a teaspoon of kosher.
It’s best rolled out right away but can be shaped into a flat disk and refrigerated. I have half of it in the refrigerator still since it makes enough for two single-crust pies and I was only on the hook for one.
And then, last night, I took out the drumstick destined for The Cat, shredded it while tossing every other shred to The Cat, and mixed it with a small onion, diced, and a few stalks of celery, finely chopped, all sautéed in butter with thyme, kosher salt and Aleppo(style) pepper. All that was waiting while I melted a couple of tablespoons of butter with a couple of tablespoons of flour, cooked until the raw taste went away, then simmered in a cup or so of mushroom brodo (which is what I use when I’m too lazy to thaw last T-giving’s turkey “bone broth”).
I put it in a little casserole and laid the rolled-out dough over, then went to fold laundry and came back to dinner. The only mystery: Where are the leftovers from the leftovers? To go with the canned peaches from The Road?