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What To Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers: Lessons From Blue Duck Tavern

What to do with Thanksgiving leftovers??? Perhaps you aren't thinking about this quite yet. After all, it's only Wednesday! It's the day before Thanksgiving: are you hosting? Are you doing all the cooking? Will there be turkey on your menu?

I'm flying to UTAH tomorrow to visit my friend Rachael and her family!!! We even have a hashtag figured out for our trip: #fujimangoreunion ;) I cannot wait to see Rachael again and to meet the rest of the Fuji family.

Before I leave though, I want to share with you a great experience I had this past Saturday.

Blogging has its perks! This past Saturday I was invited by Heather Freeman PR  to attend a cooking class and dinner at the Blue Duck Tavern in Park Hyatt. I've dined at the Blue Duck Tavern several times in the past, and always find the food, the service and the atmosphere superb.

This event was part of the Masters Program and promised to teach me and the other seven attendees a few ideas for what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers.

Upon arrival, each participant received a glass of Virginia's Thibault-Janisson Brut and an apron. The sparkling wine was refilled at least once. I wasn't complaining!

Then we met chef Ryan LaRoche and learned how to make dumplings. I was expecting fluffy pillow'y dumplings, but these resembled pasta. Ryan demonstrated how to make the dough and then used an incredibly cool tool (see below) to cut the rolled out dough into shapes.

Then we all got to roll out the dumpling dough and make our own shapes. Because I'm quite fancy, I cut my dumplings into diamonds ;)

By the way, check out the gorgeous open kitchen at the Blue Duck Tavern!

It was really nice to have such a small and intimate class and to have the chef all to ourselves. Ryan was ready to answer any of our questions and was clearly in love with his job.

Once the dumpling were whisked away, we went to a beautifully set table and started our meal.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Poached Egg with Heirloom Apple and Pickled Pearl Onion
Recipe courtesy of Ryan LaRoche {I made a few slight edits in directions}

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and blanched
1 firm apple cored and chopped
1/2 cup Nueske's bacon lardons
2 farm eggs
1/3 cup pickled pearl onions plus 2 tablespoons brine/pickling juice
Fleur de Sel salt and freshly ground pepper

Render the bacon in a large skillet until slightly brown. Remove and set aside.
Place the apple and sprouts in the bacon fat cut side down and cook until brown.
Add the pickled onions and bacon and cook until warm. Add the pickling brine. Season with sea slat and black pepper.
To prepare the egg, heat water in a pan on high until it reaches a bare simmer and bubbles start appearing at the bottom of the pan (bring the water to 144 F) and gently place the eggs in {in the shell!!!}. Cook for one hour and remove.
Place the eggs {out of the shell} over the Brussels sprouts, crack them open and enjoy.

How gorgeous is this dish? The version we had included raw apple julienned on top of the Brussels sprouts as well as micro greens.

Turkey Dumpling Soup
Recipe courtesy of Ryan LaRoche {I made a few slight edits in directions}

The Soup
1 turkey carcass plus bits and scrapings
1 onion, sliced
1 cup chopped celery plus leaves
1/2 to 1 cup sliced carrots (optional)
bouquet garni: 3 or 4 sprigs of parsley (1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried), 2 sprigs of thyme (1 heaping teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried), 1 small bay leaf
water to cover
salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a pot and reduce at a simmer. Strain out the bones and keep warm.

The Dumplings
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons melted butter (1/4 to 1/2 stick)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (or 1 tablespoon dried)
3/4 cup buttermilk

In a bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder together. In a separate bowl, mix the butter, chives, and buttermilk together. Next, slowly add the liquid into the dry mix making sure you don't over mix. Once it's combined, roll the dough out and cut into pieces. {You want the dough to be about 1/8 to 1/4" thick.}

Cook the raw dumplings in the turkey broth and enjoy.

Our broth was poured tableside and the soup was finished with dill crème fraiche.

I wish you could smell the aroma! It was such a decadent dish.

Both the Brussels sprouts and the soup were served with Virginia wines: Boxwood Estate Cabernet France Rose and Linden Claret from Linden Vineyards.

And then there were two desserts: cranberry sauce hand pie and pumpkin pie milkshake prepared by Naomi Gallego. Yes, they were as amazing as they sound! 

This entire experience was such a treat! Each student received house made pickled mustard seeds and a hand pie as a thank you gift for attending (as well as the apron!).

Thank you to everyone who made this event possible. Happy Thanksgiving!

Disclosure: I attended the class/dinner free of charge, but was not under any obligation to blog about it. All opinions are my own. The class was $65 for regular people ;)