It’s that time of the year. Time to start pulling out the recipes, deciding which oldies are still goodies, and what new ones you are willing to try. I was born on Thanksgiving, as was my sister, interrupting our mother’s turkey day celebrations 11 years apart – of course this makes it my favorite holiday! This year I will be celebrating with my in laws, so the only requirement of me is bringing the wine. What a treat for a cook:)
Feta, Apple and Spinach Salad
1 5-6 OZ Bag Baby Spinach
1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries, Coarsely Chopped
3 Green Onions, Greens only – Thinly Sliced
1 Large Granny Smith Apple, Chopped
½ Cup Red Grapes, Halved
1/3 Cup Chopped Pecans, Toasted*
½ Cup Feta Cheese, Crumbled
Place the Spinach in a large salad bowl. Place the remaining ingredients in the bowl and toss with the salad dressing.
* To toast nuts, place in a 375F oven on a sheet pan for 8 – 10 minutes. When you begin smelling them – they are done. Set the timer and you won’t burn the nuts!
1 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
1 TB Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Honey
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
Place all the ingredients in a jar and shake well.
Roasted Parsnip and Potato Puree with Rosemary
1 1/2 LB Parsnips, Peeled and Cut into 1” Pieces
2 Large Yellow Onions, in 1” Pieces
1 Tsp each Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper, Plus More To Taste
2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 LBs Yukon Gold Potatoes, in 1” Pieces
4 TB Unsalted Butter
1/3 Cup Skim Milk
1 TB Freshly Chopped Rosemary, Plus More For Garnish
3 TB Light Sour Cream
1 TB Light Mayonnaise
Preheat the oven to 400F. On a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with nonstick spray, toss the parsnips, onion, salt and pepper with the olive oil. Roast for 30 – 45 minutes or until the parsnips and onions are tender and beginning to brown. Cool slightly and transfer to a food processor. Process until slightly chunky.
While the parsnips are roasting, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Mash the potatoes with a masher until desired smoothness, then add the parsnip mixture.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the milk and rosemary over medium low heat. Add to the parsnip/potato mixture and stir. Mix in the sour cream and mayonnaise. Taste for salt and pepper and garnish with chopped rosemary.
Spinach and Artichoke Gratin
2 Packages Chopped Spinach, Defrosted and Drained (Well!)
2 TB Finely Chopped Yellow Onion
1 TB Unsalted Butter
1 TB Fresh Lemon Juice
1 8 oz Tub Light Soft Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
½ Tsp Black Pepper
Panko Bread Crumbs (Japanese Breadcrumbs)
Non-stick Butter Spray
Defrost the Frozen Spinach. Squeeze the Spinach in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to remove all the water. Set aside.
Toss the Artichoke Hearts with the Lemon Juice.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook the Onion until softened but not brown. Set aside.
Mix the Chopped Spinach with the Soft Cream Cheese, the sautéed Yellow Onion, and the Salt and Pepper.
Place the Artichokes in the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish. Add the Chopped Spinach mixture on top. Sprinkle the Panko Breadcrumbs over the Spinach, and spray with non-stick butter spray. Bake in a 350F oven for 20-30 minutes or until warm and crust is golden brown.
Roast Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy
Probably every one has seen this recipe somewhere – this is my take on this delicious classic!
2 cups Kosher salt
2 Quarts Apple Cider
1 Whole Bunch Fresh Thyme
¼ Cup Black Peppercorns
1 12 to14-pound turkey, neck and giblets reserved for stock
1 apple, halved
1 lemon, halved
1 large bunch herbs consisting of any combination of parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary and sage
1 onion, peeled and halved
Kosher or Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Large Onions, Chopped
2 Large Carrots, Chopped
2 Large Parsnips, Chopped
¼ Cup Olive Oil
Apple Cider Gravy, recipe follows
Using a clean large heavy-duty plastic garbage bag, (or a purchased brining bag) combine 6 quarts water with 2 cups kosher salt, 2 quarts apple cider, thyme and black peppercorns. Add turkey, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 375F, Toss the onions, carrots and parsnips together with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on the bottom of a large roasting pan with a rack in it. Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry. Rub the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Put the turkey on the roasting rack. Place the apple, lemon, herbs and onion in the cavity. Fold the wings under the body.
Cook the turkey, about 2 hours or until an instant read thermometer registers about 165F. Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the gravy. The bird will stay warm for at least an hour. Make sure to not carve the bird for a half an hour to ensure the juices have settled.
Discard the apple, lemon, herbs and the onion from inside the turkey. Holding it with a large fork or tongs inserted into the cavity, Tilt the turkey to release any juices into the roasting pan. Transfer turkey to serving platter.
APPLE CIDER GRAVY
1 cup Apple Cider
4 cups low fat/low salt chicken stock
1 large onion, minced (about 1 cup)
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter,
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Ksoher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Remove the rack from the roasting pan, and *discard the vegetables. Pour the pan juices through a sieve into a large glass measuring cup. Place the roasting pan across two burners over high heat, add the cider and deglaze pan, stirring and scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes.
Pour the roasting pan mixture into a glass measuring cup, skim off any fat. Add enough chicken stock to the roasting pan mixture to equal 4 cups. Set aside ¼ cup of the mixture.
Using a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and melt. Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add the sage and cook for about a minute. Add the turkey stock mixture and any turkey juices accumulated on turkey platter and bring to a boil.
In a small bowl whisk together flour and reserved 1/4 cup cup of the turkey pan mixture. Whisk into the gravy, reduce heat and simmer, whisking, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
*If desired, and the veggies are not too brown – you can puree some or all of them and add them back to the finished gravy.
Jim’s Cornbread Dressing
1 Recipe *Cornbread
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
½ Cup Unsalted Butter
2 large onions, diced (3 cups)
1 large bunch celery, diced (3 cups)
2 – 3 TBs **Poultry Seasoning
32 Ounces Low Salt/Low Fat Chicken Stock, (plus more if necessary)
16 Ounces 2 % Milk
1 TB freshly cracked black pepper
Kosher or Sea Salt to Taste
Crumble cornbread into a large bowl; stir in breadcrumbs, and set aside
Melt the butter in a large skillet, add onions and celery, and sauté until tender. Stir in the poultry seasoning, and sauté 1 more minute.
Add the eggs, chicken broth, milk and pepper into cornbread mixture. It should create a very soupy mixture – if necessary add a little more chicken stock. Pour into a non-stick sprayed 13- x 9-inch baking dish. You may have a little extra left over – just bake in another baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 45 to 60 minutes or until golden brown.
** if desired you can add up to ½ cup fresh sage or 2 TB Dried sage in place of the poultry seasoning.
¼ Cup + 2 TB Vegetable Oil + more for skillet
1 cup Yellow cornmeal, (stoneground if possible)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp baking soda
2 Large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and pour just a little oil in a 6” cast iron (or oven proof) skillet, wipe it out with a paper towel and place it in the oven while it preheats.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk and the oil.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir just enough to form a batter. It is ok if there are a few lumps. Avoid overbeating as this will make the cornbread tough. Pour into the pan and bake about 30 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs
Fresh and Tangy Cranberry Dressing
1 Bag Fresh Cranberries
1 Large Navel Orange, cut in 8 pieces (peel and all)
¼ Cup + Honey or Pomegranate Molasses
In the bowl of a food processor add all the ingredients and pulse until desired thickness. Taste and add more honey if desired.
Orange Bourbon Sweet Potatoes
3 lbs sweet potatoes. Peeled and cut into chunks.
4 oz Unsalted butter, melted
Zest of 1 Orange
¼ Cup orange juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBs Bourbon
1 Cup Chopped Pecans, tossed with 2 TB Brown Sugar
Bake sweet potatoes in a 400F oven until tender, Remove the skins and mash while hot. Add the butter, zest, oj, salt and bourbon. Mix well, (the butter should melt), and place in a non stick sprayed casserole dish. Top with the pecans and bake at 350 for 20 – 30 minutes or until warm.
3 Large Eggs
1 15 oz Can Pumpkin Puree
3/4 Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
½ Cup Water
1 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 ¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 ¼ Tsp Salt
1 ½ Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 ½ Cups Toasted Chopped Pecans
Whipped Cream and Powdered Sugar for Serving
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and Flour, (or use Baker’s Joy*), a Bundt Pan.
In a large bowl, whisk the 3 eggs. Add the pumpkin, oil and water. Whisk until smooth. Add the flours, sugars, salt, baking soda and spices. Mix well. Stir in the nuts
Pour the batter into the pan, bake 65 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes clean. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, remove from the pan and let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with freshly whipped cream