Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 Recipes

Turkey seasoning rub

In making the turkey this year, I am going against everything I advise about 1. Trying something new for a major dinner instead of having a trial run first and 2. messing with how people expect something to taste.

I am going to rub a mix of seasonings under the skin instead of just butter. This recipe comes from TV show host and cookbook author Jim Coleman.

1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon powdered cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon powdered coriander
1 lemon

Wash turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towles. Using hands, lift up the skin (without tearing) and rub herb mixture onto meat under skin, starting near the neck and continuing to rump. Squeeze lemon over turkey and use remaining herb mixture to caot the top of the bird.

I bake my turkey in an electric roaster at 350 degrees because it leaves my oven free for preparing other dishes and it cooks faster.

Dressing No. 1

I never bake stuffing inside the bird. I worry about bacteria. The recipe is from the November 1999 Good Housekeeping magazine. It was the first Thanksgiving in my house and the first time I tried to host the dinner.


1/2 cup margarine or butter (1 stick)
5 large celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 14 1/2-ounce can chicken broth
2 16-ounce loaves sliced firm white bread, lightly toasted and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 325. In 12-inch skillet, melt margarine or butter over medium heat. Add celery and onion, and cook 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in thyme, salt, pepper, sage, chicken broth and 1/2 cup water; remove skillet from heat.

Place bread cubes in very large bowl. Add celery mixture and parsley; toss to mix well.

Spoon stuffing into 13-inch-by-9-inch glass baking dish; cover with foil and bake 40 minutes or until heated through. Makes about 12 cups.

Dressing No. 2

This is also the first time I'm trying this recipe for cornbread dressing.

1 pound fresh pork sausage, casings removed, crumbled (plus giblets, diced; optional)
1 large onion, (about 2 cups), finely chopped
3 celery, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 pounds prepared cornbread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (12 cups)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 to 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage (and giblets, if using) over medium-high heat, stirring often, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl.

To pan, add onion, celery, and 1/4 cup water. Reduce heat to medium; cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add to sausage.

Add cornbread, sage, and eggs to sausage and vegetables. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan; pour 1/2 cup over stuffing, and toss gently (cornbread will break down into smaller pieces). If needed, add up to 1/2 cup more broth, until stuffing feels moist, but not wet. If you aren't planning on cooking the stuffing inside the turkey -- and I'm not, pour all the chicken broth over the entire amount of stuffing, and transfer to a large baking dish.

Sweet Potato Side Dish No. 1


1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch buves (about 4 cups)
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 slices hardwood smoked bacon, julienned
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup diced green onions
2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, onion, bell pepper, bacon, olive oil and curry powder. Pour mixture into an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and bake until sweet potatoes are tender, up to 90 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool about 30 minutes.

Once mixture has cooled, add the dried cherries, bleu cheese, orange juice, green onions, salt and pepper and mix ingredients until well incorporated.

Makes 4 to 6 side-dish servings. Also good with steak or pork. Can be used to stuff quail, Cornish hens, chicken or turkey. If used as stuffing, decrease initial baking time to 50 minutes.

Sweet Potato Side Dish No. 2

This recipe is new to people outside my household, but I have made it once before and found that it tastes even better the second day. If anyone misses the marshmallow-topped candied sweets, this should partly make up for it. I am also planning to make this as a side dish for barbecued pork tenderloin in the future. The recipe is from Pillsbury.


5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel
1/2 cup honey
4 pounds sweet potatoes

Heat oven to 325. Brush 13-inch-by-9-inch glass baking dish with melted butter. To remaining butter, stir in cinnamon, salt, lemon peel and honey; set aside.

Peel sweet potatoes; cut into 1-inch chunks. Place in baking dish. Drizzle with half of the honey mixture; stir to evenly coat potatoes.

Cover tightly with foil; bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; spoon remaining honey mixture on top. Recover; bake 20-30 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

Last year's mashed potatoes

I am not making these this year, but I wanted to share the recipe. My mom is making mashed russet potatoes. But last year, I nearly poisoned my mother-in-law because she went looking for "regular mashed potatoes" in a pot on the back of the stove that held some that I hadn't baked yet -- that wasn't to be served. Because the eggs were still raw and the dish potentially harbored bacteria, I made her scrape her plate into the trash. She was unhappy with me. The recipe is from an old Better Homes & Gardens magazine.


3 red-skinned medium potatoes (1 pound), cooked and drained
2 medium sweet potatoes (1 pound), cooked and drained
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel (optional)
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
White pepper

Peel all of the potatoes.

In two separate mixing bowls mash the white potatoes and the sweet potatoes with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth, adding 1 tablespoon of the butter to each. Beat egg white and onion powder into white potatoes. Beat the egg yolk and orange peel into the sweet potatoes. Season both potato mixtures with salt and white pepper to taste.

Line a baking sheet with foil; spray with nonstick spray coating. Using a wooden spoon, spread about 1/4 cup of the sweet potato mixture into a 2 1/2-to-3-inch nest on the foil. Repeat with the rest of the sweet potato mixture, making 8 nests total.

Spoon the white potato mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe white potato mixture into the center of the sweet potato nests. Loosely cover nests with plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

At serving time, drizzle the melted butter over the potato nests. Bake the nests, uncovered, in a 500-degree oven for 10-12 minutes or till golden. (Or, broil potato nests 4 inches from the heat about 7 minutes.) Let stand for 1-2 minutes. Use a wide spatula to carefully transfer the nests to dinner plates. Makes 4 side-dish servings.


Green beans, steamed, sauteed or oven-roasted, topped with chopped smoked almonds


I prefer Rhodes frozen dinner rolls. I top them with this terrific sweet spiced butter that tastes like what they serve at Texas Roadhouse. It's also good on baked sweet potatoes.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon sugar

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy and well-combined. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. Makes 1 cup.

Cranberry sauce

My mother-in-law makes the relish-like sauce from the recipe on the back of the package of cranberries. Here is Ocean Spray's.


Libby's Pumpkin Pie

I toted this pumpkin cheesecake to a newsroom potluck when I worked in an office and to my mom's house a few Thanksgivings ago. It is from the Oct. 5, 1999 issue of Woman's Day magazine.


7 whole chocolate graham crackers, finely crushed (1 cup)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons stick butter, melted

5 ounces semisweet chocolate or 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 8-ounce bricks reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon each ground cloves and nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs plus whites from two large eggs
1 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin

Heat oven to 350. Lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Stir cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a small bowl until evenly moistened. Press over bottom of pan. Bake 8 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Meanwhile melt chocolate according to package directions. Keep warm.

Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until smooth. Add sugar, cornstarch, spices and vinall. Reduce mixer speed to medium and beat mixture until very well blended. Scrape bowl and beaters, add eggs and egg whites, and beat just until mixed.

Add pumpkin and beat on low speed until well blended. Stir 2 cups pumpkin mixture into chocolate. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pumpkin batter and pour the rest onto the crust.

Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the pumpkin batter in a thick ring about 1/2 inch in from sides of pan. Top with dollops of reserved 1/2 cup pumpkin batter. Run a knife through both batters for a marble effect. (Don't overdo or effect will be muddied.)

Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Run a knife carefully around edges to release cake from pan.

Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before removing pan sides. Place cheesecake on serving plate.

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