Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Tips, Recipes, and Ideas

Today is usually my weekly Southern Sundays party.  Since the holidays are coming up and there is so much planning to do I think a break from the party for a couple of weeks is needed.

Instead I'm bringing you some wonderful Thanksgiving Tips, Recipes, and Ideas that you might like, and want to try this holiday season.

Last year I did a wonderful series of posts that are certainly worth another look.  Click on any of the links below to read about these topics.

How-To: Roasting the Turkey

These are the subjects that are discussed in the post.  Click on the link above to read about any of these.

What Size Turkey to Buy
What Size Pan to Use
Roasting an Un-stuffed Turkey
Roasting a Stuffed Turkey

Here's my FAVORITE recipes!

Oven Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter
By Tyler Florence
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 3 hr 0 min
Serves: 10 to 12 servings 

1 (12 to 14) pound fresh turkey 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
Sage Butter, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and remove the top rack of the oven. 

Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with stuffing and, if required, truss the legs. Cover the turkey with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Push the sage butter under the skin of the turkey, being careful not to puncture the skin.
Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, and into the oven. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F. The thigh juices will run clear when pricked with a knife, about 3 hours total (15 minutes per pound). If the legs or breast brown too quickly during roasting, cover them with foil.
Sage Butter: 
2 sticks butter, softened 
1/4 cup chopped sage 
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients.

Turkey Gravy
3/4 cup water
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 Tbs. dry sherry, Madeira or other wine (optional) (we used balsamic vinegar the other day!)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Skim and discard any fat from the juices in the roasting pan. Or use a gravy separator and pour the defatted juices back into the pan.
2. Add the water to the pan and place over medium heat. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Transfer the juices to a bowl.
3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until bubbly. Add the flour and whisk rapidly for a few seconds to cook the flour.
4. Rapidly whisk in the reserved pan juices and the stock. Cook until smooth and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sherry and season with salt and pepper.
5. If desired, pour the gravy through a fine-mesh sieve or chinois into a warmed sauceboat or wide-mouthed pitcher. Makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups gravy.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Red Rice Stuffing

4 acorn squashes, each about 1 1/2 lb.
2 Tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 box (12.5 oz.) herbed quinoa and red rice stuffing mix
3 1/4 cups water
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup chicken stock, warmed
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil.

Cut the acorn squashes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Coat the squash cavities with the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheets and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the squash halves over and rotate the pans from top to bottom. Continue roasting until the squashes are just tender when pierced, about 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.

Using the stuffing mix, water, salt, butter, onion, celery and stock, prepare the stuffing according to the package instructions, adding the almonds along with the dried cranberries (included with mix). Instead of transferring the stuffing to a baking dish, spoon about 1 cup into each squash cavity. Bake the squash for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley and cut the squash halves into wedges. Serves 12 to 16.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

LIBBY'S Famous Pumpkin Pie
Prep:15 mins
Cooking:55 mins
Cooling:120 mins
Yields:8 servings

This is the traditional holiday pumpkin pie. This classic recipe has been on LIBBY'S® Pumpkin labels since 1950. This pie is easy to prepare and even easier to enjoy. Just mix, pour, bake for a delicious homemade tradition.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

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