Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu


I just finished planning out our Thanksgiving menu and wrote up my grocery list of last minute items! I'm a little nervous making the meal this year, since Its our first alone (and I've never cooked a turkey by myself!) but I'm sure it will all come out somewhat edible. I'm also a little nervous about baking everything that needs to go in the oven....we dont have double ovens (someday..I can dream!) So hopefully I can work everything out.
I don't like pumpkin pie, but Tom does..so I'm giving in and making it!

Sage butter-Turkey

kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, to coat

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped sage
salt and pepper

1--Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and remove the top rack of the oven.
2--Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper.
3--Stuff the cavity with stuffing and, if required, truss the legs. Cover the turkey with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Push the sage butter under the skin of the turkey, being careful not to puncture the skin. (Im not going to stuff the turkey, I saw somewhere that some people just fill it was ribs of celery, onion, lemon, etc just to get some flavor....)
4--Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, and into the oven. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F. The thigh juices will run clear when pricked with a knife, about 3 hours total (15 minutes per pound). If the legs or breast brown too quickly during roasting, cover them with foil.

Sausage-Cran Cornbread Stuffing

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
3 ribs celery, small dice
Kosher salt
1 pound spicy sausage, casing removed, broken into bite-size chunks
3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely diced
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
10 sage leaves, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
10 cups stale cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups dried cranberries
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions and celery and saute over to medium heat. Season with salt and cook until the vegetables start to become soft and are very aromatic. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage begins to brown. Stir in the garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the walnuts, sage and rosemary and cook for another minute, then remove from heat.

In a large bowl mix together the cornbread, cranberries, and the sausage mixture. Add chicken stock and knead with your hands until the bread is very moist, actually wet. Taste to check for seasoning and season with salt, if needed and transfer to an ovenproof dish.

Bake the stuffing until it is hot all the way through and is crusty on top, about 30 to 35 minutes. MMMMM...stuffing!

Sausage stuffed stuffing balls

I know this is overkill because we are going to have sasauge cornbread stuffing, but Tom saw this on the foodnetwork last week when we were skimming through the channels and he said this was a MUST! so I guess they will be appetizers...

8-ounce pack spicy sausage (recommended: Bob Evans)
2 cups canola oil, plus 1/4 cup
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
3 cups chicken stock
1 (6-ounce) box chicken flavored bread stuffing mix (made according to package instructions)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and drop dime-sized dollops of sausage into the pan. Cook until golden brown, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the pan to a plate and set aside.

After removing sausage add a 1/4 cup of canola oil to the pan and stir in 1/2 cup of flour. Stir to create a roux, and cook for approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, stirring while you pour and let simmer, stirring frequently, until it thickens, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

In a separate saucepan heat 2 cups of canola oil on medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine the stuffing, parsley, thyme, and scallions and mix together. Take quarter-sized or 1 tablespoon of stuffing mix and wrap it around the individual sausage balls. Cover the sausage completely and set aside

Once all of the sausage balls have been coated in stuffing, dredge them in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. When all the balls are lightly coated in flour, carefully drop them into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove them from the oil, to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Once all of the balls have been fried and drained turn off the heat to the gravy and add the fried sausage stuffing balls. Stir gently to coat the balls with the gravy and transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Im hoping to find a can of "Silver Corn" I've never really looked for it, but I was remembering all the thanksgivings at my nana's growing up and she always had this. I hope I can find it at the store tonight!

Normally I would make my sis-in-law Amy's awesome Spicy Greenbean casserole recipe, but I think since I make that all the time, I'll make the traditional casserole (okay, maybe I'll throw in some bacon...)

Mashed potatoes--I'm not really following a recipe, just wing it as I go like I normally do...all the good stuff, butter, milk, sourcream, maybe some ranch seasoning, I've even thrown in some creamcheese before....whatever!

I have never had the icky canned cranberry sauce in my life...and I dont plan on it, but I feel like we need some cranberry dish, so when I saw this recipe I thought it seemed like a nice dish

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce

2 cups cranberry juice
1 (6-ounce) bag sweetened dried cranberries
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 cup sugar
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 teaspoons corn starch
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the cranberry juice, cranberries, cinnamon and sugar. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have softened and apples are tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove 8 ounces of the liquid to a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch. Slowly add the cornstarch-juice mixture (slurry) to the cranberry mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate until thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and serve.

Paula's Pumpkin Pie

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
1 piece pre-made pie dough
Whipped cream, for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

(I plan on making a cinnamon graham cracker crust instead of the usual pie dough)

We are going to have food for an entire week and then some! I'm a little depressed that its just us this Thanksgiving and no other family members, It's just going to take some getting used to. Having family members in all different states really STINKS! But I am truly thankful to have such a wonderful family no matter how scattered we all are!



Wow, Sounds ambitious. I don't think I would even attempt it. I did make a few desserts this year and roasted some butternut squash, and obviously cooked a yummy turlkey, but every thing else on our menu was instant/ package. Hope it turns out the way you plan! Good Luck!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven

This looks like a wonderful Thanksgiving meal! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I used to try to stick to the "sugary sweet" side of life, but then I realized that hopefully I could help people by sharing my story. Thank you so much for your sweet comment and I hope to see you around again soon!