sfprankster's (mis)adventures with a Santa Cruz Mountain Thanksgiving

Discussion in 'Beef' started by sfprankster, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Having a gf with a large family(2 brothers, 4 sisters, husbands, wives and their kids). I have volunteered to make the Thanksgiving dinner the past several years. Not being a traditionalist myself, I like to make meals that give everyone a new food experience, whether it's something they have never tried or my spin on a family favorite. After my Thanksgiving grilled tri tip, mushroom and caramelized onion gravy, rainbow chard in a chardonnay sauce, arugula and gorgonzola salad and fresh baked brioche rolls a couple of years ago. I have seen one of my gf's brothers begin to learn a new skill, grilling fresh veggies, steaks, burgers, etc. This one meal opened a whole new menu of meal options for him and his family. [​IMG]  

    This year I'm going for a southern style BBQ with a California twist. [​IMG]

    So here we go again... [​IMG]

    A Santa Cruz Mountain Thanksgiving

    This year's menu:

    Hickory smoked beef chuck short ribs

    Hickory smoked pork St. Louis ribs

    Cinque formaggio mac 'n cheese

    Roasted fennel with caramelized onions

    Spinach, cranberry, candied pecan salad with a homemade blue cheese dressing

    Apple/cranberry sauce

    Apple pie

    Everyone have a Happy and Smoky Thanksgiving!!! [​IMG]
  2. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Your GF has husbands?  I'd be smoking something alright.
  3. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like a great meal.
  4. As long as they pay our bills...   [​IMG]   

    I was referring to her sisters husbands. [​IMG]  

    ...and now we return to our regular programming... 
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  5. Having the luxury of working in a commercial kitchen, I got a jump start on my Thanksgiving meal preparation last night at work. [​IMG]

    Some of the early prep:

    ...made my rub...

    ...simple SPOG...


    ...cut and trimmed the pork spareribs St. Louis style...


    ...St. Louis ribs rubbed and sealed for smoking early on Thanksgiving morning...


    ...prepped, rubbed and sealed the beef chuck short ribs...


    ...caramelized 4-5 lbs of onions in unsalted butter and fresh cracked black pepper...


    ...can you say "YUM" in a jar???  [​IMG]

    ...made an apple/cranberry sauce with cinnamon, allspice and ginger...


    ...candied the pecans in maple syrup(the real stuff [​IMG]  ), cinnamon and a small amount of salt for the salad...



    So glad I was able to get some of the items off the Thanksgiving To Do list... [​IMG]  

    It will make getting up at 4am much easier...

    ...or so I hope... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
    aggie94 likes this.
  6. Get to take advantage of the pork rib tips for a chef's treat tonight... 

    A quick smoke over apple and cherry...

    ...toothpick says not quite done yet... [​IMG]

  7. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Them tips are a treat. I love them and are you using a round or square toothpick????:biggrin:
  8. The pointy ones that are $0.70 for a box of 800... [​IMG]  

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  9. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cant really see it. :drool

    There was a debate about this awhile ago. Sorry for the hijack
  10. Must have been a boring day to have a debate over toothpick shapes... [​IMG]

    That was a tiny scrap I tested since I didn't trust the toothpick's ability to tell doneness... [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  11. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Always trust the toothpick. It is golden.
  12. It's dark outside and that particular toothpick may have been defective... [​IMG]

    ...you never know...

    ...and there are times when you lose patience and have to test it yourself... [​IMG]  
  13. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming... [​IMG]

    Chef's treat is ready to be served...

  14. Since I make no claim as to being the baker in the sfprankster household, those duties have been delegated to my gf... [​IMG]  

    Bringing back memories of my gf's childhood of having an apple tree in their backyard...

    ...a dutch apple pie is on our Thanksgiving menu...

    Dutch Apple Pie

    Living near an agricultural area has its benefits...

    ...we sourced fresh, organic Pippin apples, for our pie, from a local apple orchard...

    ...as an added bonus, I was able to get a box of Pippin apple wood at the same time... [​IMG]  

    ...while I was outside playing around my WSM and the rib tips...

    ...my gf made a crust and formed it into a car tire sized, springform pan... 

    ...a little of our homemade vanilla and cinnamon into the bowl full of sliced and peeled Pippin apples...

    ...load up the pie crust...

    ... a quick crumble topping...


    ...and into a preheated oven it goes... [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
  15. Must not forget the adult beverage... [​IMG]

    ...a magnum of Cabernet Sauvignon from a friend's winery, located in the Santa Cruz mountains, a couple of ridgelines to our south...

    ...still a little young...

    ...but its destiny to be consumed on Thanksgiving is already written in the stars... [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
  16. Tomorrow's mystery dish will include... [​IMG]

    ...yup, that's fresh fennel I picked up at the Santa Cruz farmer's market today...

    ...have to keep my tradition of exposing my gf's family to new veggies every year... [​IMG]

    ...I have to wonder how many of my gf's family has ever tried fennel before... [​IMG]

    ...I'd guess maybe 2 or 3 at the most... [​IMG]  
  17. Success...

    ...the Dutch Apple Pie has escaped the friendly, warm confines of our oven... [​IMG]

    ...WSM is all cleaned up from my rib tip chef's treat earlier... [​IMG]

    ...reloaded with fresh lump and hickory chunks...

    ...only need to fill and start the chimney at 4 am to begin the Thanksgiving smoke... [​IMG]

    ...make the last couple of sides in the morning...


    ...so far, so good... [​IMG]

    ...now it's off to bed for a few precious hours of sleep... [​IMG]

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

    To be continued...
  18. Back at it...

    ...too early for my blood... [​IMG]

    Thanksgiving's main course onto my WSM...

    ...3 racks of beef chuck short ribs over hickory... [​IMG]

    ...another hour or so and the St. Louis ribs will be joining them... [​IMG]
  19. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Morning.   Kinda chilly in them SC mountains today?    Just stand close to your smoker.
  20. Upper 30's and wearing classic Santa Cruz beachwear... [​IMG]

    Shorts, t shirt, flip flops and a UC Santa Cruz hoodie... [​IMG]

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