Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Our Thanksgiving...better late than never

Two days of cooking was all worth it for this lovely Thanksgiving dinner.   This is a long post, all recipes included, so I'll save you the time of reading my gibberish and get right to it.  The menu this year was:

Fresh Farm Raised Turkey with a Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme and Lemon Zest Butter Rub
Classic Bread Stuffing
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
Corn Pudding
Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Casserole
Steamed Brussel Sprouts
Roasted Rosemary Cherry Potatoes and Carrots
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Fresh Pumpkin Pie
Cheesecake with Blueberry Lemon Sauce

This was our special guest, one very moochy cat.  She ate well that night.  How can you resist feeding that?


The Bird.  This was a free range local turkey so fresh it still had it's heart in it.  That was interesting.  To prepare this I just mixed butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and lemon zest.  I rubbed it all over the bird and under the skin.  We stuffed it with celery, carrot, onion and orange and roasted it in a bag for 3 1/2 hours.  It was lovely.

Classic Bread Stuffing

1 chopped onion
1 1/2 C chopped celery
1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
1 C sliced fresh mushrooms
Handful fresh chopped sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons course salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper
9 C bread cubes
1 C Butter
1 C Stock, plus more if needed

Cook onions, celery and mushrooms in the butter.  Add 1/3 of the bread cubes, transfer to a large bowl.
Add everything else and toss very well.  Add more stock as needed until thoroughly moist.  Bake 350F/175C 30 minutes covered, 15 minutes uncovered.

Fresh Green Bean Casserole recipe from Alton Brown

2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut in half
2 Tablespoons butter
8 - 10 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Tablespoons flour
1 C chicken broth
1 C cream
Fried Onions

Preheat oven to 400F/200C.

  Blanch beans in one gallon of boiling water with 2 Tablespoons of salt for 5 minutes.  Immediately set into ice water to stop the cooking process.  Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large pot, add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper.  Cook 5 minutes over medium high.  Add garlic and nutmeg, cook 2 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, cook 1 minute.  Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute.  Turn heat to 3 and add the cream. Cook while stirring for 6-8 minutes until thickened.

Remove pan from heat, add 1/4 of the fried onions and all of the beans. Mix well and put in casserole dish. Bake 20 minutes.  Add remaining fried onions to the top and bake 5 minutes more.

Corn Pudding, the family favorite and always the first thing to go.

5 cans corn
4 eggs
1 C cream
1/2 C milk
4 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Blend everything except one can of corn.  This may have to be done in two batches depending on the size of your blender.  Add remaining can of corn.  Put in a casserole dish and bake 45 minutes at 350F/175C

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Casserole recipe adapted from Eating Well

3 sweet potatoes, chunked
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chunked
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon oil
1 Tablespoon honey
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 C milk
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons orange juice
3 Tablespoons flour
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Boil potatoes and squash, puree.  Measure out 3-4 cups and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F/175C.  Grease casserole dish.

Whisk eggs, oil, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon.  Add potato/squash puree, mix well.  Add milk, zest, vanilla and salt.  Mix well.  Combine all topping ingredients except pecans and mix until crumbly.  Add pecans, mix.  Cover potatos with topping.  Bake 35 - 45 minutes.

Fresh Brussels Sprouts

No fuss here.  Simply peel off the outer leaves, slice in half and steam.  Mix with butter, salt and pepper.

Roasted Rosemary Cherry Potatoes and Carrots

Mixed desired amount of potatoes and chopped carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary.  Roast at 400F/200C for 45 minutes.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

4 C fresh cranberries
1 C sugar
1 C fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients, bring to a boil then simmer until the berries pop, about 20 minutes.  Chill.

Fresh Pumpkin Pie recipe from All Recipes

2 C fresh pureed pumpkin
2 eggs
1 C brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 can evaporated milk
1 9'' pie crust, fresh or bought
(I used the crisco recipe)

If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, make your own batch by mixing 4 Tablespoons cinnamon, 4 teaspoons nutmeg, 4 teaspoons ginger and 3 teaspoons allspice.

Preheat oven to 450F/230C

Beat eggs, add individually and beating in between: brown sugar, flour, salt, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and evaporated milk. Mix very well.  Pour into crust.   Bake 10 minutes at 450/230, reduce heat to 350/175 and bake an additional 40 - 50 minutes.  Cool completely and chill overnight to set.

Cheesecake with Blueberry Lemon Sauce recipe from Tyler Florence

2 C crushed graham crackers or digestive biscuits
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 C melted butter

450 grams/2 8 oz. blocks cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs
1 C sugar
1 pint/2 C sour cream
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 bag frozen blueberries
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 325F/165C

For the crust: Combine all ingredients.  Grease springform and press crust into it evenly and slightly up the sides. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Filling:  Beat cream cheese for 1 minute.  Add eggs one at a time while beating. Slowly add sugar and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add sour cream, zest and vanilla.  Scrape bowl and mix once more.  Pour filling into chilled crust and smooth the top.

Wrap aluminum foil around bottom and up the sides of the springform.  Place in a large pan and fill pan with boiling water halfway up the springform.  Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes until sides are set and middle is slightly jiggly. Turn off oven and crack the door open and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes.  Cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then chill in the fridge overnight.

Topping:  Combine all ingredients and simmer 10 minutes.  Chill.  Top chilled cheesecake before serving or serve on the side.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
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