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Making Thanksgiving meal less stressful

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If you're dreading the thought of slaving to prepare another turkey dinner this Thanksgiving, perhaps it's time to pay the chefs at Lido a visit.

The restaurant, located at Elbow Beach Hotel, is serving up a scrumptious three-course meal featuring a mixture of savoury and sweet delights tonight, tomorrow and Saturday.

The meal will start with a sweet potato cream soup, garnished with sweet potato chips and pistachio pesto, to whet your appetite.

“Sweet potatoes are like pumpkin. They go very nice with nuts and because Christmas is coming up it's not such an unusual pairing. It gives a little kick to the soup,” said executive chef Guido Brambilla.

“So we put [the pistachios] on top so people that are allergic to nuts can avoid it. The sweet potato chips are just an extra touch. It's just another crispy texture to go with the softness of the soup.”

Also on offer is a variation of the traditional Thanksgiving platter. The restaurant will fill free-range turkey breasts with a pork sausage, walnut, celery, onion and dried apricot stuffing, which is steamed at a low temperature for several hours.

This ensures the meat stays very moist and helps it keep its shape when sliced, said Mr Brambilla. Individual portions are then seared to give it a golden colour before it arrives at the table.

“We also tried to do something that is not so traditional. So we pair the stuffed turkey breast, which is a roulade, together with a turkey leg which we [use to] cook confit. We cook the turkey meat in olive oil for an hour-and-a-half or two hours at 70 degrees Celsius.”

The low temperature means it doesn't fry, it is poached; and then pressed in a terrine. “That way it's nice and moist and not dried out at all,” said the chef.

The main dish is completed with some traditional Thanksgiving sides, like corn bread timbale with sautéed butter and herbs; a platter of vegetables including broccoli, Brussels sprouts and carrots; and creamy mashed Russet potatoes with thyme and garlic.

And because no holiday feast would be complete without the garnishes, there will be a dollop of cranberry sauce and gravy available.

The dessert will undoubtedly be considered one of the stars of the meal. Pastry chef Krishna Gudla has mixed pumpkin with pecan nuts, and made it into a cheesecake.

It is paired with a very simple vanilla creme anglaise, raspberry sorbet to clean the palate and refresh the mouth, and cinnamon merengue with cloves. Such warm flavours tend to remind people of Christmas, said Mr Brambilla.

“The meal is a mixture of savoury and sweet and has herbs and all the garnishes. So we kept the spices to give a nice kick to the soup and cheesecake and dessert.

“We really wanted to put on the plate these traditional items but in a different way which is mostly trying to [enhance] the flavours, not to push too much the elaboration of the dish because we still want to keep it traditional, classic and family-style.

“But it will look different because of the different methods of cooking we will use.”

To order or reserve the set Thanksgiving menu at $49 per person, not including gratuities phone 236-9884.

Tasty: Lido pastry chef Krishna Gudla created a sweet delight, featuring pumpkin pecan cheesecake, raspberry sorbet, cinnamon merengue and vanilla creme anglaise.
Lido Restaurant's executive chef Guido Brambilla has prepared a Thanksgiving feast, including slow cooked turkey breast, with stuffing, turkey leg confit, cornbread timbale, creamy mash and vegetables. It is offered tonight, tomorrow and Saturday for $49 per person, plus gratuities. (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Lido pastry chef Krishna Gudla and executive chef Guido Brambilla show off their Thanksgiving feast. (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Pumpkin pecan cheesecake

(Makes two servings)

INGREDIENTS:

7 oz cream cheese

1.5 oz sugar

1 egg

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 tbs fresh cream

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tbs corn flour

1.5 oz pumpkin puree

4.5 oz crumbled cookies

2 oz melted butter

1.5 oz pecan nuts (chopped)

METHOD:

For the base, mix together the crumbled cookies, roughly chopped pecan nuts and the melted butter. Spread the mixture on a tray and set aside.

For the topping, mix together cream cheese, sugar, eggs and egg yolks. Add the vanilla essence, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, lemon juice, cream, pumpkin puree and corn flour. Whisk until it reaches a smooth consistency, and pour it over the base.

Bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.

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Published November 24, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated November 24, 2011 at 8:16 am)

Making Thanksgiving meal less stressful

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