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Thread: 2 weeks until Thanksgiving: menus, anyone?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    447

    2 weeks until Thanksgiving: menus, anyone?

    I'm on the verge of finalizing mine - not huge, but not little, either!

    Shrimp Cocktail as a early-afternoon munchie
    Good Eats Roast Turkey - brine it, baby!
    Make-Ahead Gravy
    Sausage and Dried Fruit Stuffing (and some without fruit, for DH)
    Roasted "Crysanthemum" Onions (epicurious - but I'll add some thyme to the dish too)
    Green Bean Casserole (DH says it's not Thanksgiving without it )
    Truffled Mashed Potatoes
    Spiced Cranberry Sauce
    Parker House Rolls
    Apple and Amaretto Tart

    edited to read: I think I have finalized it...


    what about you?
    Last edited by kjh01; 11-11-2003 at 11:16 AM.
    Kim

    Without music, life is a journey through a desert.
    -Pat Conroy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    Heck yes!!!

    Butternut, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Spread (I'm thinking with some veggies and then crostini/melba toasts/pita chips) 11/03

    Lentil and Spinach Puffs with Plum-Date Dip 11/03

    Spinach, Apple and Walnut Salad (old CL)11/03

    Pumpkin Biscuits with Orange-Honey Butter 11/03
    Garlic and Rosemary Cloverleaf Rolls 11/03

    (Clay Pot) Brined Turkey with Creamy Maple Gravy CL 11/02)
    Corn Bread, Sundried Tomato Sausage Savory Stuffing - old Martha Stewart recipe
    Layered Mashed Potatoes with Duxelles cl 11/03
    Mashed Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes cl 11/03
    Green Beans with Caramelized Shallot Butter cl 11/03

    Pumpkin Praline Tort CLBB
    Pear Cranberry Crisp or Streusel Topped Pear Pie - Cl/11/03
    "Comfy? I'm chained in a bathtub drinkin' pig's blood from a novelty mug. Doesn't rank huge in the Zagut's Guide."

    - Spike, "Something Blue"


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    oh and cranberry relish - I think I'm going with a recipe from last year's Cl

    j
    "Comfy? I'm chained in a bathtub drinkin' pig's blood from a novelty mug. Doesn't rank huge in the Zagut's Guide."

    - Spike, "Something Blue"


    *****************
    My lil site:
    http://greysangel.wordpress.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Marietta, Ga
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    Pretty Traditional,

    I'm going to try AB's Brined Turkey this year, cornbread dressing, pumpkin pie, homemade gravy, homemede rolls. I think I'll get my SIL to bring a sweet potato casserole. She wants to bring something and a sweet potatoe casserole with marshmallows (ICK to me) is preferrable to green bean casserole (my kids don't like green bean casserole).

    I haven't figured anything else out yet, but will probably add a vegetable and a salad. I'll probably serve a red & white wine as SIL doesn't like red wine.

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    Texas
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    Well, I haven't even begun to think of Thanksgiving menu since I'm making tamale dinner for 200 on Saturday. The friend who was suppose to help with this has decided to stay out of town until Saturday afternoon! Guess that gives a new definition to the word "friend"!!! Fortunately, the tamales are made and in the freezer so it's just the shopping, beans, rice, queso, and tacos plus all the trimmings & decorating that's left to do ... ...not sure we'll be doing this again!

    But both of your menus sound wonderful and I will definitely be getting some ideas from this thread!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Kitsap Peninsula, WA
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    Well, my menu looks very dull compared to the rest of yours.

    We pretty much make the same thing every year for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's my mom's menu and it's been the same for about the last 30 years. The hat was passed down to me about 5 years ago to make the holiday meals and I'm just sticking with my mom's menu. It's OK though, because everyone likes it. It's tradition.

    I am adding a couple of new (to me) recipes to try. We're going to have a small group on Thursday (probably just 8 but it seems to keep growing) and then an additional 8 will show up on Friday. There go the leftovers.

    Here's our menu:

    Snacks during the day-
    Pumpkin Cheese Ball with Crackers (new)
    Sun-Dried Tomato Dip with raw veggies (new)
    Christmas Meatballs (this isn't a definite yet but I made these last year and they were a huge hit)

    Dinner:
    Turkey
    Spiral Ham
    Dressing - my mom's version of Pepperidge Farms (no added fat) (I'm going to try cooking the extra dressing in the crockpot rather than the oven as was suggested on another thread)
    Mashed Potatoes (I was in charge of mashing the potatoes when I was younger - until one time when I had too much wine and the potatoes ended up on my mom's kitchen ceiling. I was immediately put on gravy duty)
    Gravy
    Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole (new)(I didn't think I liked sweet potatoes so always refused to make a casserole. A new family member has brought a casserole the last several years - the sickly sweet kind - but she won't be here this year so I'm trying this recipe.)
    Green Bean Casserole (yes this is THE green bean casserole that has been around for years. Just wouldn't be the holidays without it.)
    Linda's Cranberry Sauce (new) (I've never liked cranberry sauce, but, my ex-bil's girlfriend brought the sauce last year and I LOVED it. It's an almond flavored sauce that is great. So, I got the recipe from her before they broke up I will make this sauce. Usually we have sauce out of the can.)
    Rolls
    Overnight Layered Green Salad
    Pumpkin Pie
    Fudge Pecan Pie
    Chocolate-Topped Peanut Butter Mousse Cake(new) (dh's birthday is in November so we celebrate it with my family at Thanksgiving. This will be his birthday cake this year)

    Sneezles, good luck with your dinner Saturday!! It sounds fun but that's rotten that your friend let you down!!
    "Let food be thy medicine" ~ Hippocrates

  7. #7

    This is what we are having (I think)

    I didn't find a lot of recipes that interested me in magazine this year (can't say about CL as I haven't received Nov as yet). So I am going with the familiar.

    Turkey (haven't decided how to do this yet)
    Gravy (also undecided)
    Potatoes Dauphinoise or Potato Gratin With Gruyere and Creme Fraiche
    Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese
    Green Beans with Pecans, Lemon, and Parsley
    Corn (my kids have said that there MUST be corn-undecided how it will appear as yet)
    Apple Pecan Corn Bread Dressing
    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Orange
    Mom's Pumpkin Pie
    Gingerbread Pecan Tart

    I am looking forward to the leftovers as I always cook too cook for just our family of 6.
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs

    "You can never do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late"

    "Great minds talk about ideas; small minds talk about people" - Eleanor Roosevelt

  8. #8
    I don't get to cook much for Thanksgiving . MIL hosts and the big assignments don't change over the years. So, even though Aunt brings store bought dessert, it's her thing. I've been hasseling MIL for a couple of weeks now to let me know what she'll need me to bring, but I don't know yet. We have our assignments for Christmas Eve already, but Thanksgiving .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Connecticut
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    1,285
    This is how it looks so far.

    Shrimp cocktail
    spiced cashews
    one more (undecided)

    Roasted Turkey (SIL= gig)
    Stuffing
    Gravy
    Mashed Potatoes
    Cranberry Sauce

    Fried Turkey (me)
    Oyster stuffing
    Praline Sweet Potato Casserole
    Zin. Cranberries

    Salad (undecided)
    Parker House rolls

    Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
    Pumpkin Pie (undecided)

    That should be about it. My SIL= and I split everything up to cook. It works out well. Frying the turkey is DH= job. Keeps him and all the men folk outside!

  10. #10
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    Connecticut
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    Oh, and a vegetable which is undecided.

  11. #11

    Re: This is what we are having (I think)

    Originally posted by Gecko
    I didn't find a lot of recipes that interested me in magazine this year (can't say about CL as I haven't received Nov as yet). So I am going with the familiar.

    Turkey (haven't decided how to do this yet)
    Gravy (also undecided)
    Potatoes Dauphinoise or Potato Gratin With Gruyere and Creme Fraiche
    Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese
    Green Beans with Pecans, Lemon, and Parsley
    Corn (my kids have said that there MUST be corn-undecided how it will appear as yet)
    Apple Pecan Corn Bread Dressing
    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Orange
    Mom's Pumpkin Pie
    Gingerbread Pecan Tart

    I am looking forward to the leftovers as I always cook too cook for just our family of 6.
    Can you pass on the Potato recipes? They sound right up my alley!

    Haven't really started planning yet, but getting there. So far, have:
    DH makes the turkey -- debating about frying it outside this year.
    Spiral ham
    Jack Daniels Sweet Potato Casserole
    Pumpkin Praline Cake (absolutely delish, and EZ as they come)

  12. #12

    Rec: Potato Gratin With Gruyere and Creme Fraiche

    This was generously brought to my attention and posted by Ema on Gail's Recipe Swap.

    Potato Gratin With Gruyere and Creme Fraiche.

    The recipe is from the Bon Appetit Nov. 2002 issue. If you COMN there's also a picture at the Epi. site. Enjoy!

    http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe...=filtersearch&

    (click on the camera)

    POTATO GRATIN WITH GRUYERE AND CREME FRAICHE

    Just four ingredients add up to a rich and delicious side dish. Once the potatoes are sliced, the gratin comes together quickly and then bakes unattended for about an hour and 15 minutes.

    3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into
    1/8-inch-thick rounds
    1 1/2 cups crème fraîche,* stirred to loosen
    1 1/2 cups (packed) grated Gruyère cheese(about 6 ounces)
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange half of potato slices in bottom of prepared dish, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread half of crème fraîche over potatoes and sprinkle with half of cheese. Top with remaining potatoes, overlapping slightly; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread with remaining crème fraîche;
    sprinkle with remaining cheese.

    Bake gratin uncovered 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue to bake gratin until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

    * Available at some supermarkets. If unavailable, heat 1 1/2 cups whipping cream to lukewarm (85°F). Remove from heat and mix in 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Cover and let stand in warm draft-free area until slightly thickened, 24 to 48 hours, depending on temperature of room. Chill until ready to use.

    Makes 8 servings.

    Bon Appétit
    November 2002
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs

    "You can never do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late"

    "Great minds talk about ideas; small minds talk about people" - Eleanor Roosevelt

  13. #13

    Potatoes Dauphinois to follow soon.....

    I make this one from memory but I will get the recipe just in case I miss something.
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs

    "You can never do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late"

    "Great minds talk about ideas; small minds talk about people" - Eleanor Roosevelt

  14. #14
    Linda's Cranberry Sauce (new) (I've never liked cranberry sauce, but, my ex-bil's girlfriend brought the sauce last year and I LOVED it. It's an almond flavored sauce that is great. So, I got the recipe from her before they broke up I will make this sauce. Usually we have sauce out of the can.)
    Would you mind sharing this recipe? Cranberry sauce is one of those things I like a little of & nobody else eats, so I'm always looking for different recipes so I'll get my little cranberry fix without it kicking around in the fridge until Easter!

    Thanks!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Ande, here you go. I think it looks pretty straight forward.

    * Exported from MasterCook *

    Linda's Cranberry Sauce

    Recipe By :
    Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Sauces, Marinades, & Gravies

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    12 ounces fresh whole cranberries
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup orange juice
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    zest of one orange
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Boil sugar and juice. Add cranberries and simmer 10 minutes. Add the zest, extracts, and cinnamon during the last minute. Pour into a container and let cool to room temperature; refrigerate. Makes 2 cups.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    "Let food be thy medicine" ~ Hippocrates

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    California
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    402
    This is the first year that I'll be making dinner! My menu is pretty basic, but I'll probably add things on as the day gets closer!


    Roast turkey - did anyone watch American Test Kitchens where they removed the backbone to flatten the turkey for brining?

    Potatoes - a cheesy gratin dish and mashed potatoes
    green beans - Haricot Verts are my new favorite!
    Rolls - still not sure about this one
    Stuffing - using a Martha Stewart recipe
    gravy

    Desserts:

    T.J.'s pumpkin mousse cake - Someone here on the board recommended this, I can't wait to try it!
    Chocolate - molten cakes with mint ice cream. I might actually serve this on another day


    That's it so far!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Lexington, Ky.
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    Mine is still coming together, but I thought I'd share what I have so far...parts of it are pretty unchangeable, like mashed potatoes, mom's waldorf salad (which is truly the best I've ever had--my grandmother came up with the recipe. The sauce is pineapple juice and corn starch, among other things, so none of that fruit-with-mayo theme I'm not fond of), and basic stuffing with added onions and celery, but beyond that I'm on my own.

    Turkey--considering doing Sage-Roasted Turkey Breast. Saw it advertised as a recipe Williams Sonoma is teaching this month at the mall, and I found the recipe on their web site.

    Whipped sweet potatoes with carmelized apples--I have been wanting to try this since I saw it in Martha Stewart about two years ago.

    Bread--waiting until I try the CL Nov '03 Rosemary Garlic Cloverleaf rolls tomorrow night. If they turn out well, I'll try those.

    Dessert--every year I insist on making a pumpkin pie from scratch, and this year I might also make a cake. There are so many good options finding their way to me lately.

    Other possibles:
    Curried carrot soup (saw it on Rachael Ray recently)
    Kale greens

  18. #18

    Rec: Potatoes Dauphinoise

    This is a recipe I clipped from an Australian recipes, thus the metric measurements. I'll try my best to show conversions, I know some look a little strange.

    1 kg potatoes (2.2 lbs-I usually use about 3 large ones)
    butter
    125g sharp cheese, grated (4.4 ozs)
    1 egg
    1 1/4 cups whipping cream (1 1/2 cups)
    1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese (4 teaspoons)
    salt, pepper, nutmeg

    Peel potatoes and slice thinly. Butter a shallow, oveproof dish, and fill with alternate layers of sliced potatoes, cheese and seasonings. Beat the egg with the cream and pour over the potatoes. Finish with parmesan cheese and bake in a moderate oven (350F) for about 1 hour, until potatoes are tender and the top is golden and crispy.

    The recipe doesn't state the serving size but it easily serves my family of 6, with some leftovers.
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs

    "You can never do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late"

    "Great minds talk about ideas; small minds talk about people" - Eleanor Roosevelt

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    McClellanville, SC
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    Everyone's menus sound so wonderful! It makes it hard though because I want to start swapping my planned dishes for one of yours But this is my plan:

    Rosemary Roasted Cashews
    Lindrusso's Spinach Balls with Mustard
    Sage Roasted Turkey with Carmelized Onions
    Sage Gravy
    Stuffing with Portabella Mushrooms
    Brussels Sprouts with pearl onions, button mushrooms, and balsamic browned butter
    Sweet Potato Pie with Hazelnut Streusel

    Oh, and I also asked for wine suggestions here

    Kim
    I love the seashore. The ocean makes my butt look smaller.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    PA
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    Overnight layered green salad

    Chocolate Rose - when you get a chance could you post the recipe for the layered green salad?

    My office does a Thanksgiving dinner on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and we never seem to have enough veggies (too tough with only a few microwaves around to re-heat stuff)

    TIA
    I don't need time. What I need is a deadline.
    -Duke Ellington

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Colorado
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    My kids and I are going to be with my dad for Thanksgiving. Since this is the first Thanksgiving since my mom passed away, I am going to make the things she would have made. Also, my dad is not one to try new fangled menu items. So with that

    Roast Turkey (I will see if he will go with me brining it)
    Stuffing
    Mashed Potatoes
    Broccoli puff (a very yummy broccoli and cheese casserole)
    Lemon jello with apples and walnuts (traditional with my mom)
    cranberry sauce
    and pumpkin pie.

  22. #22
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    Keg64--Would you mind sharing your recipe for sage gravy? What is the source for your sage-roasted turkey?

    Thanks,
    Kristin

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    plantation Acres, FL
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    I love hearing about everyone's menus!!
    here is mine:
    Baked Bried En Croute (Paula Deen foodtv.com)
    Mississippi Caviar (black eyed pea dip)
    Purcashed Tuna Stuffed Peppers and assorted olives (Flora brand, from the grocery store)

    Turkey cooked outside on the charcoal grill (DH's job)
    Make Ahead Turkey Gravy (no drippings when grilled outside)
    My mom's famous deluxe mac and cheese
    Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing (Cook's Illustrated)
    Sweet Potato and Apple casserole topped with granola
    Broccoli Salad
    Homemade Cranberry Chutney

    Sheet cake (yellow cake baked with cherry pie filling and marshmallows...sounds weird but is good)
    Pecan Pumpkin Pie (Nov 03 Gourmet magazine

    I used to knock myself out with doing desserts, but I found most "normal" people do not want to pig out on desserts after such a big meal. Of course my mother and I do, but we are trying to watch our weight!

  24. #24
    Originally posted by adrianna!!

    Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing (Cook's Illustrated)
    Anybody have this recipe easily accessible? If yes-can you please post? I have used a Jimmy Dean recipe for a number of years but am always on the lookout for others. Thanks!

    Sheila in MD

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Central California
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    Is this the right one?

    Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage

    Cornbread, sausage, and a little bit of bourbon give this stuffing a country flavor. One cup of chopped dried fruit may be added to the mix if you desire a little sweetness. Makes about 12 cups.

    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 lb sweet sausage, casings removed and crumbled
    1-2 Tbsp butter, if necessary
    4 medium onions, coarsely chopped
    1/2 c bourbon
    2 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
    2 Tbsp minced fresh sage leaves
    12 c dried, crumbled cornbread
    1 3/4 c turkey or chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 c pecans, coarsely chopped
    1/2 c chopped fresh parsley leaves
    2 tsp salt (assuming a brined bird)
    Pepper

    Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet and fry the sausage over medium-high heat until the meat loses its raw color, 5-7 minutes; remove with slotted spoon to a small bowl. If necessary, add enough butter to the rendered sausage fat to equal 3 Tbsp. Add the onions and celery; saute until softened, 7-8 minutes. Add the bourbon, thyme, and sage; boil until the bourbon is almost evaporated, 1-2 minutes. Mix with all the remaining ingredients, including the sausage and salt and pepper to taste, in a large microwave-safe bowl.

    Cornbread

    2 c yellow or white cornmeal
    2 c AP flour
    4 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    3 tbsp sugar
    1 tsp salt
    4 large eggs
    1 1/3 c buttermilk
    1 1/3 c milk
    4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan

    Adjust the oven rack to the center position and heat to 425 degrees. Grease two 9x9x2-inch metal pans.

    Stir the cornmeal, flour, powder, soda, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Push the dry ingredients up the side of the bowl to make a well.

    Crack the eggs into the well and stir them lightly with a wooden spoon. Add the buttermilk and milk to the eggs. Stir the wet and dry ingredients quickly until almost combined. Add the melted butter; stir until the ingredients are just combined.

    Divide the batter between the greased pans. Bake until the top is golden brown and lightly cracked and the edgs have pulled away from the sides of the pans, about 25 minutes.

    Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool slightly, 5-10 minutes. Cut the cornbread into squares and remove from pans. Each pan will yield about 8 c crumbled cornbread, when dried. For use in stuffing, spread the squares in a single layer on a baking sheet and dry in a 225 degree oven for 25-40 minutes; cool and coarsely crumble.

    Source: Cook's Illustrated Complete Book of Poultry
    Dianne

  26. #26
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    Jun 2002
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    McClellanville, SC
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    Originally posted by Kingwell
    Keg64--Would you mind sharing your recipe for sage gravy? What is the source for your sage-roasted turkey?Thanks,
    Kristin
    Kristin, I noticed it on this thread and after reading the comments, just had to try it! Kim
    I love the seashore. The ocean makes my butt look smaller.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    832
    Here is what is on deck for our house:


    Thanksgiving Day:

    Appetizers: {since it will be an hour or longer before dinner}
    Shrimp cocktail
    Spinach dip in a bread bowl {Knorr Recipe}
    Veggie platter

    Salad:
    Spinach salad w/ warm bacon dressing

    Main dish:
    Alan’s deep fried cajun turkey {BIL’s recipe and contribution}
    Good Eats Roast Turkey {Alton Brown, Food TV}
    Make ahead gravy {Woman’s Day mag recipe}

    Sides:
    Mom’s tradition bread “filling” {Mom’s making}
    Mashed potatoes
    Green bean casserole {my sisters request, the only time of year I eat it}
    Glazed pearl onions {Martha Stewart recipe}
    Buttered Sweet Corn {for the green veggie hating crowd}
    Jellied cranberry {yup, the canned kind!}
    Homemade cranberry
    Whipped sweet potatoes, not sure which topping I will put on them yet.
    CL's rosemary and garlic clover leaf rolls {making them this weekend and freezing them}
    Cornbread muffins {making this weekend and freezing, then rewarming T-day}

    Desserts are still up in the air, we usually have 4 different ones because everyone feels compelled to bring one.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Hockeytown!
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    Preparing for the world's most uncomfortable Thanksgiving....

    I'm not hosting, but I'm bringing brie kisses, the fig crostini from September CL, sweet potato pie and gooey apple cake.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Falls Church, VA
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    I am not hosting either, but I have been assigned (get this) TURKEY AND GRAVY.

    Huh.

    So I am flying into Green Bay Wednesday night, hustling to the hosts' house to get the turkey into brine, making stock and roasted garlic butter, and then retreating to our hotel. Unusual.

    I am making a compendium turkey: using Alton's brining method, sliding roasted garlic butter under the skin and dousing with white wine based on a Gourmet recipe from last year, and high-heat cooking, I think based on Alton. Gravy will be standard pan drippings/turkey stock/flour slurry with maybe a little brandy.

    I am actually flattered that I have been dubbed Chief Cook of the Extended Family (that is the message that I should get from this assignment, right?) but it is a little logistically difficult.

  30. #30
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    Sheila, here's another cornbread recipe. We made it in my holiday cooking class and everyone liked it a lot. I would definitely include the dried cherries, as their tartness was a nice contrast with the sweetness of the corn bread.


    Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

    2 recipes Country Cornbread (recipe follows) prepared 1 day ahead and left loosely wrapped at room temperature
    4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
    4 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, divided
    Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    2 pounds bulk pork sausage
    2 Tbsp. butter
    3 cups finely chopped onion
    6 ribs celery, chopped
    1 cup dried cherries or cranberries, if desired
    4 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves
    ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
    2 cups chicken stock

    Preheat the oven to 350F

    Cut the cornbread into 1-inch cubes (you will have about 12 cups). Place the cubes in a large bowl with 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil, 2 Tbsp. of the thyme and large pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss well. Spread the cubes on two baking sheets and bake until slightly toasted, 15 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes then return to a large bowl.

    Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a spatula, until cooked through and well browned, 15-20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, add the cooked sausage to the bread mixture and mix well.

    Remove the sausage fat from the pan and add the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil and the butter. Heat the pan over medium heat and add the onions and celery with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 15-20 minutes. Stir in the cherries or cranberries, if using, and cook 5 minutes more. Fold the mixture into the cornbread. Using a rubber spatula, toss the remaining thyme, sage, and parsley with the bread. Slowly drizzle in the broth, ½ cup at a time, just until the stuffing is moist to your taste. Adjust the seasonings to taste and cool completely to room temperature before stuffing the turkey.

    Note: This makes enough stuffing for a 20-24 pound turkey. If cooking the stuffing on its own, place it in a buttered baking dish and cook, covered, at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

    Country Cornbread

    1-1/2 cups cornmeal
    ½ cup flour
    3 Tbsp. sugar
    1 Tbsp. baking powder
    ½ tsp. salt
    ½ cup milk
    ½ cup plain lowfat yogurt
    2 Tbsp. butter, melted
    2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 cup creamed corn, canned or homemade

    Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.

    Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and stir well.

    In another bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, butter, oil and eggs. Add this to the cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the creamed corn.

    Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 minutes.

    Cool in the pan on a rack for 15-20 minutes then remove the cornbread from the pan and cool completely on a rack. Cut into squares and serve.

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