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Thanksgiving plans with possibly no working oven

John Liu
8 years ago

I am not certain to have a working oven for Thanksgiving, when we'll have about 20 people here.

(In brief: range oven died, too expensive to fix, so I've ordered a new range that should be delivered and installed the day before Thanksgiving, but isn't 100% certain to be.)

So I'm trying to come up with a menu that can still be made if the new range isn't available on the day. That means I would have (taking inventory here): four burners, a toaster oven, a microwave, a gas grill, an electric griddle, a countertop deep fryer, a Nesco roaster, an old crockpot. I'm thinking that if I put the pizza stone in the grill, it can serve as an oven. We have some chafing dishes to help with warm service.

Fortunately, the turkey is taken care of. My sister will bring it, mostly done, and finish it in my Nesco roaster.

My job is to provide appetizers, a meat main, sides, and dessert.

I'm thinking something like:


- Cheese, pate, fancy olives, bread

- Bacon-wrapped watermelon rind (par-cook bacon, wrap, finish in toaster oven?)

- Pork and shrimp dumplings (prepare ahead and freeze? Then thaw and steam on stovetop)

- Pork belly nigiri (slow cook in crockpot, then slice, sear in cast iron pan, and place on nigiri.)

- Mushroom soup (with port wine, do-ahead, garnish with creme fraiche)

Fowl main:

- Sister's roast turkey and gravy (she brings it partly cooked, finishes in Nesco roaster)

Other main:

- Choice A: deep fried short ribs (beef short ribs, slow cooked, refrigerated, cubed, deep fried, then briefly stir fried in a light glaze-like sauce)

- Choice B: medallions of beef tenderloin, Gran Marnier sauce (hard to prepare for twenty, given my burner situation)

- Choice C: grilled fish (probably mackerel filets) with sauce (I could do this on the grill, if I don't mind standing in the rain, but then I can't use the grill as an oven)


- Mashed yams and mini marshmallows (family insists on this, fortunately this can be done ahead and held a little while)

- Mashed potatoes (ditto)

- Creamed spinach (easy, holds well, I tart it up with toasted almonds and a splash of amaretto)

- Borscht (daughter-san makes a great borscht)


- Persimmon ice cream (i have a mess of Japanese persimmon here)

- Pumpkin pie (if we can bake it in the grill)

What do you think?. Sounds feasible?

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