Friday, November 18, 2011

Thinking about Thanksgiving??

Big Bro's Smoked Turkey
Last weekend my family threw an early Thanksgiving Potluck.  It was great fun with great food!  More importantly it got me thinking about all the pressure home cooks put on themselves for the Thanksgiving meal.  Why are people so afraid to make this holiday meal?  Is it because it is the one Holiday that is wholly focused on the meal?  Yep, that's probably it.  However,  if you think about it what is so complicated about it?.  Turkey, potatoes, vegetables, and pie.  Nothing too elaborate.  I am here to tell you anyone can do it!  Here are some ideas for your holiday as well as my personal menu!

My Family's Thanksgiving Menu :

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup -
recipe already on indy epicure

Big Bro's Smoked Turkey 
not sure what all he does but I know it involves a Big Green Egg and deliciousness!

William Sonoma Dry Brined Turkey

I use to go through the effort of a liquid brine but last year I tried WS's dry brine and I will never go back!  It creates the most moist bird I have ever had and it is so much simpler than the traditional brines.  After its rinsed I simply season with a fresh herb and salt rub.  You can not get any easier than that!
Fennel Herb Stuffing
  • 2 loafs of crusty country-style bread cut into 1inch cubes
  • 2 cups finely chopped fennel bulbs
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbls fresh thyme finely chopped
  • 2 tbls  fresh sage finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 cups turkey stock

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread bread cubes on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Toast until light golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Cool completely. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetables, thyme and sage.. Reduce heat to medium and sauté until vegetables are soft. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Combine bread crumbs, vegetables, parsley and desired salt and pepper in a very large bowl. Add turkey stock by 1/4 cupfuls to mixture until desired moistness. Transfer to buttered dish. Cover dish with buttered foil; bake 35 minutes. Uncover; bake until top is browned, about 30 minutes longer.

 Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes 
  • 3 pounds yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tbls unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper
Cut potatoes into cubes and place them in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily. With a hand mixer mash the potatoes, butter and cream until very creamy. Add sour cream and salt and pepper till desired taste. Serve immediately.

Corn Spoon Bread
  • 1 pkg. corn muffin mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 can (8 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (8 oz.) cream style corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 375. Grease 1- 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Pour butter and corn into prepared dish. Blend in sour cream. In separate bowl, beat eggs and stir into casserole along with muffin mix. Blend thoroughly. Bake 35- 40 minutes or until center is firm.

Martha Stewart's

Turnip and Sweet Potato Gratin
  •  3 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • salt and pepper

Butter Bacon Brussels Sprouts
  • brussels sprouts
  • 5 slices Bacon
  • approx. 2 tbls butter
  • salt and pepper

Steam brussels sprouts till tender but still somewhat firm and set aside.  Cut bacon in small pieces and cook in skillet till desired crispness.  Add butter and cook until melted.  Add brussels sprouts and salt & pepper and toss until well coated.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake-recipe already on indy epicure

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