From October 2010 to June 2015, as I was working my way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table with the French Fridays with Dorie group, I frequently hosted what came to be known as “Dorie dinners”. Since we were tasked with cooking/ baking 4-5 recipes from the book per month, it was sometimes easier to make all the dishes on one weekend in advance of the posting dates – and during busier times of the year, it was an essential strategy in helping make sure I didn’t miss one week’s posting over the nearly five year span of the project.
Of course, due to the nature of the project and somewhat haphazard selection of dishes (especially at the beginning when we would happily choose dessert after dessert to make each month, meaning towards the end we had fish after fish dish to make, all in the space of a couple of weeks, it seems…) the “Dorie Dinners” didn’t always feature dishes that *quite* went together so, today, in honour of Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, I’ve selected dishes for what I would consider to be the ultimate Dorie Thanksgiving menu. Click on the name of the dish to read more!
I cannot go past gougères (the first recipe we made from the book and still one of my favourites).
Served with a glass of bubbly, these are the perfect hors d’oeuvre to greet your guests with.
There are many Dorie soup recipes that it really was hard to choose but the chilly temperatures and the appearance of local pears in the market swayed my choice a little. A chestnut pear soup (a thinner version, without cream) is the perfect way to start an indulgent meal.
Vegetarian main course
I always think there’s nothing worse for vegetarians at a celebration-type meal like Thanksgiving than when there’s no actual dedicated vegetarian main course. I always prepare something separate – who wants to eat a plateful of side dishes? Around my French Table offers a wonderful array of seasonal dishes you could serve. I like the idea of a quiche/ galette because as a host, it’s something you can make in advance and as a guest, it makes you feel special that there’s a whole different dish for you!
Gorgonzola apple quiche – a surprising take on a quiche.
Gérard’s mustard tart – filled with carrots and leeks.
There are SO many wonderful chicken recipes (what I would make if I wasn’t doing a turkey) in Around my French Table, it really was hard to pick.
There’s the classic roast chicken (the ‘hurry up and wait” version)
Or for something a little fancier, sausage stuffed Cornish hens:
Or for a more elegant presentation still, how about Chicken with apples and cream à la Normande?
For me, the sides are just as important as the mains. Dorie has a vast array of recipes that would be suitable for Thanksgiving. Here are just a handful but there are so many more in the book!
Go with everything celery root purée – for something a little different than mashed potatoes.
Lemon barley pilaf (or a riff on it as I did!). Some grains are always a welcome addition to the side dish selection.
Lemon steamed spinach. Because, greens.
Spiced butter glazed carrots. For colour.
Our first ever “Dorie dessert” for Thanksgiving was Marie-Hélène’s apple cake. Still a favourite and perfect for the season.
We also enjoyed Crispy Crackly Apple Almond Tart one year – again, a perfect seasonal dessert.
Though I would have a hard time NOT making Orange-Almond Tart. One of our favourite desserts.
So there you have it – an actual “Dorie dinner” where all the dishes go together! This is just one example of the Thanksgiving feast you could create from Around my French Table though – the possibilities are endless.
This Thanksgiving weekend, I won’t be cooking our usual big meal though as we’re headed to Vancouver to celebrate a milestone birthday for Neil’s mum. Good food and wine will be consumed. And perhaps amongst them, a Dorie dish or two 😉
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