Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanks Alton Brown for making Thanksgiving awesome!  In Alton’s recipe, he brined the turkey, but I didn’t brine mine.

1 turkey, any size (thawed)
1 red or green apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried sage
Canola oil

Preheat oven to 500°F.  Move the oven rack to the lowest position.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and water in a bowl.  Microwave for 5 minutes.

Place the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and dried sage inside the turkey.  Put the turkey on a roasting pan breast side up.  Tuck the turkey wings under the body and rub canola oil on the bird.

Roast for 30 minutes.  Turn the oven temperature down to 350°F and insert a probe thermometer into the breast.  Set the thermometer to 161°F.  A 14-16 lb turkey will take about 2-2½ hours.  My 20lb turkey took just over 3 hours.

After roasting, cover with a foil tent for 15 minutes before carving.

Cranberry Pink Stuff

This is something that we always have at Thanksgiving in my family.  It is typically served with the meal, but could also be dessert.

1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple (drained and towel dried)
1 (7oz) jar marshmallow creme
1¼ cup sugar
8 oz Cool Whip

Lightly chop the cranberries in a food processor.

In a large bowl, stir together the chopped cranberries, pineapple, marshmallow creme and sugar.  Once combined, fold in the Cool Whip.

Freeze until firm, about 3-4 hours or overnight.  Thaw in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Green Bean Casserole Challenge

Green bean casserole is a staple for Thanksgiving dinner.  I’m experimenting with a new recipe here and comparing it to the traditional Campbell’s recipe.  The new recipe is from Alton Brown, so I have faith that it will be delicious.  I made these to bring to our Tuesday night Bible study so I could have some taste testers.  Everyone decided that they were both very good, but the Alton Brown version was more flavorful.  The Campbell’s version was much saltier, but had that classic flavor that brings back memories of Thanksgiving.  More of the Alton Brown casserole was eaten than the Campbell’s version, so that says something too.  They were both tasty, but I much prefer the Alton Brown version.

Campbell’s Classic Green Bean Casserole

1 can (10 ¾ oz) Cream of Mushroom Soup
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Dash ground black pepper
4 cups (2 cans, drained) cut green beans
1 1/3 cups French’s French Fried Onions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a 1½ quart casserole dish, stir together the cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, green beans, and 2/3 cup french fried onions.
Bake until hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with the remaining french fried onions.  Bake until the onions are browned, about 5 minutes.

Alton Brown’s Green Bean Casserole

For the topping –
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Nonstick cooking spray
For beans and sauce –
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine the onions, flour, bread crumbs and salt.  Spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake on the middle rack in the oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Toss the onions twice during cooking to prevent burning them.  Let cool.

Turn oven temperature down to 400°F.

Fill a large pot with 1 gallon of water.  Bring to a boil and add 2 Tablespoons of salt.  Add the beans to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.  Drain the green beans and place them in ice water to stop the cooking process.  Drain again.

In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper.  Cook for 4-5 minutes to soften them.  Stir in the garlic and nutmeg and cook for 2 minutes.  Sprinkle in the flour, cook for another minute.  Stir in the broth and cook for 1 minute.  Lower heat to medium-low and stir in the half-and-half.  Simmer until thickened, about 7 minutes.

Remove the mushroom mixture from the heat and stir in the green beans and ¼ of the browned onions.  Sprinkle the remaining onions on top.  Bake until bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Apple & Onion Stuffing

Stuffing is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish.  This stuffing isn’t stuffed inside the bird, it’s made on the stove top then baked to make it crispy on the top.  One thing I can’t stand is mushy stuffing!  This recipe comes from Rachael Ray.

¼ cup butter
1 bay leaf
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium-large onion, chopped
3 apples, quartered and chopped
Salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons poultry seasoning
¼ cup parsley
8 cups cubed stuffing mix
2 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the bay leaf, celery, onion and apples.  Season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.  Cook until the veggies start to soften, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the parsley and stuffing cubes.  Pour in the chicken stock and stir to combine.  The stuffing cubes should be soft, not wet.

Form the stuffing into a large loaf on the baking sheet and bake until crispy and browned on top, about 15-20 minutes.  This can also be make in buttered muffin tins for individual stuffing muffins.  The muffins will only need to bake for 10-15 minutes.

Serves: 12

Pecan Chocolate Chip Pie

I don’t think I could possibly make a regular pecan pie after making this version.  The chocolate chips were a great addition to the classic pecan pie…thanks Emeril Lagasse!

1 ½ cups pecan halves
1 pie crust
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for coating chocolate chips
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (½ stick) salted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place the pie crust in a 9 inch pie plate.  Evenly spread the pecans on the pie crust.  Toss the chocolate chips in a little flour and sprinkle over the pecans.

In a bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, butter and flour.  Once thoroughly stirred together, pour this mixture over the pecans and chocolate chips in the pie plate.

Bake until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown, about 70 minutes.  Use foil to tent the crust if it browns too quickly.  Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

Serves: 8-10

Mashed Potatoes

I made these mashed potatoes to go with the Cranberry Pork Loin, but of course mashed potatoes go great with almost anything.

Potatoes (about 1 per person)
Optional mix-ins:
Milk or sour cream or cottage cheese
Green onions, chopped
Salt & pepper

Chop the potatoes into large chunks.  There is no need to peel them, unless you don’t like the skin.  Place in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and simmer until tender.  Drain.

Add any mix-ins you like and mash together with a potato masher.