Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cruise Food: Thanksgiving Dishes

First, from Carnival Cruise Lines, we have a soup for the season that would be delicious on any cold night, but is particularly appropriate for Thanksgiving. Of course we mean their popular roasted pumpkin bisque with turkey and walnut quenelles. It's bound to warm you up on a blustery evening. Come to think of it, this recipe would an ideal day-after-Thanksgiving treat (and a way to use leftover turkey).

Roasted Pumpkin Bisque With Turkey & Walnut Quenelles

For the Soup:
1 cup Half-and-half
1 cup Heavy Cream
6 cloves Fresh Garlic, peeled
1 cup Leeks, chopped
1 cup Onions, chopped
2 cups Pumpkin Puree
5 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 quarts Turkey Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Quenelles:
½ lb. Turkey Breast Meat
1 each Fresh Egg White
¼ cup Heavy Cream
¼ cup Walnut Halves
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Soup: Roast onions, leeks and garlic with olive oil in a pre-heated oven at 300° F for about 30 minutes; remove and puree. Bring a strong turkey stock, pumpkin puree and pureed vegetables to a boil. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add half-and-half and simmer for 30 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with the heavy cream.

For the Turkey and Walnut Quenelles: Roast walnut halves in a medium hot pan without oil (or fat), then grate in a food processor to a fine paste. Cut the lean turkey breast into small chunks and place it in a processor bowl with 2 ice cubes; grind to a paste. Add heavy cream, egg white, salt and pepper; process until very smooth. Add the grated walnuts and process until mixed well–do not over-mix. Refrigerate the mixture until properly chilled (2 hours). Bring some chicken or turkey stock to a simmer, add quenelles (dumplings made from 2 tsp. of the mixture above), simmer for 1 minute and remove from heat. Arrange 3 quenelles in a soup cup or bowl, add about 6 fl. oz. of the pumpkin soup, and garnish with a sprig of sage. Yields 10 servings or 2 quarts.

No leftover turkey? Well, trust me, the soup is great on its own.

And, if you're looking for something unique to serve for Thanksgiving dessert, here's one that Viking River Cruises is happy to share.

One of the best things about traveling on a river cruise in Europe is the opportunity to sample delicious local cuisine. This is one of the recipes the Viking River Cruises folks have collected while traveling through France—the almond paste, an ingredient often used in French baking, gives this delicious dessert a Continental flavor. Serve alone or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Thanksgiving Apple Cranberry Tart

1 unbaked, room-temperature 9-inch tart shell
1 roll (about 7 oz) almond paste
1 cup fresh cranberries
5 medium-sized apples (preferably Macintosh), peeled and sliced to make approximately 5 cups
A quarter cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
A half cup uncooked oats
A half cup all-purpose flour
A half cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold or frozen
A quarter cup sliced almonds
Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 375°F. Flatten almond paste on a sheet of wax paper with a rolling pin, to form an 8-inch circle. Press almond circle into the bottom of the unbaked tart shell. In a bowl, combine cranberries, apples, sugar and a half teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour on top of almond circle, into tart shell. In a bowl, combine the remaining cinnamon, oats, flour and brown sugar. Cut butter into very small pieces and stir into cinnamon mixture until crumbs form. Spoon crumb mixture evenly over the top of the apple mixture. Bake 50-60 minutes. Sprinkle with sliced almonds during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy. Makes 6 servings.

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