Saturday, December 01, 2007

Thanksgiving Recipe Extravaganza

Below I have posted most of the recipes we used in making our Thanksgiving feast, plus a couple of bonus recipes.

Sweet Potato Soup (w/ Bacon)

I found this recipe in the Nov. 07 issue of Sunset. It wasn't part of our Thanksgiving feast, but is worth putting up here because it is simple, quick, and totally delicious.

1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large leek (white and light green parts only), rinsed and thinly sliced
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs. orange sweet potatoes (about 2 large sweet potatoes), peeled and cut into ~1" cubes
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces (optional)

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leek and cook until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Put sweet potatoes in the pot, add 3 cups of water (I used 2 cups of water + 1 1/2 cups of turkey stock made from the carcass of our turkey), and the salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Purée the soup until smooth. Over low heat, stir in the cream and add water to make desired thickness. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with bacon chips, and serve (serves 4-6).

Turkey Meatballs

I made this recipe up the other day, to make use of some of the leftover turkey. They turned out really good.

1 1/2 cups of ground roasted turkey
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl, until the mixture is moistened. Form into balls of desired size (we got ~12 1-inch meatballs out of this). Heat a couple of Tbsp. of oil in a frying pan (I used some of the leftover turkey fat) over medium heat. Place meatballs in the pan and fry, turning regularly, until evenly browned.

Katie's Mom's Pie Crust + Apple and Pumpkin Fillings

Pie Crust
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 c cold water

Cut the shortening into the flour + salt with a food processor or 2 knives or a fork, until the pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle water into the mixture by tablespoons, mix with a fork, push the bigger clumps to one side, and add more water. When all is moistened, gather up into a ball and divide into 2 equal pieces. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Makes crust for top and bottom of a covered, 9" pie.

Apple Pie Filling
7 apples, peeled and sliced (for a 9 inch pie)
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash of salt
2 Tbsp. butter

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix with apples. Fill the bottom pie crust with apple mixture and dot with butter. Place top crust over, and crimp the edges together with a fork. Cut holes in the top crust to let steam escape. Place in 400° F oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 15-oz. can of pre-cooked pumpkin
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp melted butter
1 12-oz. can of evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/8 cup molasses
2 eggs, beaten

Sift together sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Mix with canned pumpkin. Add eggs, melted butter, molasses, and evaporated milk. Pour mixture into a 9-inch pie plate lined with crust. Bake at 450° F for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350° F and continue baking for 50 minutes.

Pan Gravy

For each cup of brown drippings use:
2 Tbsp. fat
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup brown dripping liquid or other liquid (water, stock, etc.)

Remove meat to a warm place. Pour off and reserve the clear fat from the brown liquid. Measure the amount of fat needed into a small saucepan.
Measure the brown liquid into the roasting pan. Stir and scrape all of the brown drippings loose from the pan, heating the mixture if necessary. Set aside.
Add flour to the fat in the saucepan and whisk together until smooth. Cook over low heat, stirring steadily, until the mixture is bubbling. Remove the pan from heat. Gradually whisk in liquid and drippings from the roasting pan. Return the saucepan to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

Gujerati Green Beans

1 lb. green beans
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. whole mustard seed (yellow, red, or black all work)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 hot dried red chili pepper, coarsely crushed (or 1/2 to 1 tsp of red pepper flakes)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
Pepper to taste

Trim the beans and cut into 1" lengths. Blanch, drain, cool, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seed. When the seeds begin to pop, add garlic and stir until it turns light brown. Add the red pepper and stir for a few seconds. Add the green beans, sugar, and salt, and stir to mix. Turn the heat to medium-low and sauté about 8 minutes (or until they taste spicy). Add pepper, mix, and serve (serves 4).

Katie's Mom's Stuffing

1 cup butter
2 cups diced celery
1 1/2 cups minced onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tsp salt
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
16 cups (about 2 loaves) day-old bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup chicken broth (for portion cooked outside the turkey)

In a large kettle or stock pot, sauté celery and onion in butter until soft. Add parsley, salt, poultry seasoning, pepper, bread cubes, and eggs. Mix well. Makes 8 cups of stuffing. If cooking outside the turkey, spread mixture in an 8 x 13 pan and pour broth over. Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes or until brown on top. I cover with foil for the first half of baking, to keep the stuffing moist.

Thanksgiving Turkey

We didn't really have a recipe for this, and B did most of the turkey wrangling. Our turkey was 13+ lbs., and we followed general instructions from the USDA. It took several days to thaw in the fridge, and then B extracted the giblet bag and the neck from the 2 cavities and rinsed the bird out in the sink. He inserted some stuffing, tied the legs together with some string, and placed the turkey in an aesthetic pose in the roasting pan. Turkey was roasted in the oven at 325° F for ~4.5 hours, until the little button popped and internal temperature was ~150°. We covered the turkey with foil for the first 1.5 hours, then uncovered, buttered the top, and basted every 20 minutes thereafter.