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updated 10/18/2005 3:30:56 AM ET 2005-10-18T07:30:56

Recipe: THANKSGIVING DAY ROASTED TURKEY W/ GRAVY

Ingredients
  • 12 — 15 lb. Turkey , (neck and gizzards reserved for stock)
  • 1 large onion, studded w/ 10 cloves
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 3 stalks celery , rough chop
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and rough chop
  • 1 stick butter , softened
  • 1 cup mixed chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, tarragon)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. If your turkey was in a brine, remove from brine at least 5 hours before serving, and rinse well under running cold water. Dry well with towels. Cut the wings off your turkey and set aside. In a large roasting or turkey pan, add the turkey wings, celery, onions and carrots to the bottom of the pan.

Rub your turkey all over with the softened butter, front and back, and season well with salt and pepper, inside & out. Place the studded onion into the cavity of the bird, and place the bird in the roasting pan, laying it over the chopped vegetables & turkey wings.

Add a cup of chicken broth to the pan to moisten the vegetables, but keep level below the bird. Tent the bird with aluminum foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 1½ hours. Lower the oven temp. to 325 degrees, uncover the bird and let cook for about another 1 1/2 hour, basting it often, every 15 minutes or so. If not sure of doneness, use a thermometer. ( Cook 3-3 1/2 hours for 14 lb. bird)

Baste the turkey with the fresh-chopped herbs, about 20 minutes before your turkey is done.

Notes: Cooking times vary depending on the age of the bird, fat content, and whether it is fresh or frozen. 15 -20 minutes per pound is a good rule of thumb for larger birds, and add 5 minutes per pound if you are cooking the bird stuffed. If you have a meat thermometer, insert it into the center of the thigh muscle, not touching the bone, and cook to a temperature of about 175 degrees.

Directions for the gravy:

In a saucepot, add the gizzards and neck, 4 cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 1— 1 1/2 hours, or until reduced by half. (Add 1 cup of chopped celery, onion and carrot to this for more flavor.) Do this while your bird is cooking for the first hour! Strain and set aside when ready.

When the bird is done, remove turkey from roasting pan and transfer to a warm platter to rest, covered. Remove the turkey wings from the pan, and transfer the cooked vegetables to a blender, purée and return to the pan, and place the pan on the stove over a lower flame and bring to a simmer.

Mix the flour with 2 cups of the turkey stock (made from the gizzards), and mix well to make a slurry. Add this to the pan and bring to a boil, whisking slowly until sauce thickens. Check seasoning for salt and pepper, and when sauce is desired consistency, strain it into a saucepot, and finish it by swirling in 1 Tbsp. of soft butter, and some of the mixed chopped herbs. Serve hot in a gravy boat.

Recipe: TRADITIONAL BREAD STUFFING

Ingredients
  • 2 bags — Arnold or Pepperidge Farms Plain Stuffing bread (toasted)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced in 1/2 moons
  • 6 large chestnuts, boiled, shelled and crumbled
  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced ( ½” inch thick)
  • 1 stick ( 4 oz.) softened butter
  • 1 can ( 16 oz.) chicken broth
  • 2 each eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated locatelli cheese, optional
  • 4- 6 Tbsp. warm water, as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation

(Note: Boil chestnuts about 20-25 minutes, until tender)

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter, celery and onions and toss to mix and melt butter. Lower flame and let sweat slowly about 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions take on some color and celery is soft. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, add the cubed bread, onion mixture, and the remaining ingredients except water, and mix very well until bread is softened. Add the warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, to further moisten.

Season well with salt and pepper, and mix again. At this point you can stuff a 12 - 15 lb. turkey with about ½ of the stuffing, and let cook in the bird until turkey is ready. Take the other half of the stuffing, place in a greased loaf pan, and place in the oven about 1 hour before the bird is ready to come out.

Otherwise, take all the stuffing, place in an appropriate-sized loaf pan, and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven, covered for 15 minutes, then uncovered for another 15 minutes

Recipe: EASY PUMPKIN PIE

Ingredients
  • 1 9” inch unbaked pie shell
  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin or canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, or heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tea cinnamon
  • 1/2 tea nutmeg
  • 1/2 tea ginger
  • 1/4 tea nutmeg or all spice
  • Dash salt
  • 3 each eggs, lightly beaten
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (F). Mix all ingredients well and pour into the pie shell and distribute evenly. Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then reduce heat to 350 and bake another 45 minutes or so, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream ( flavor the whipped cream with a little bourbon, if desired)

Recipe: Buttermilk biscuits

Ingredients
  • 2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup chilled Crisco or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F). Place the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process to blend, add the cut up Crisco or butter and process, using quick on and off pulses, to make a crumbly mixture. Then, with the motor running, slowly pour in the buttermilk to make a firm but not sticky dough ( you may not need to use all of the buttermilk).

Remove from processor and lay out on a lightly floured work surface (if you use Wondra flour, the biscuits will be lighter). Pat the dough gently with the palm of your hand, or roll the dough with a lightly floured rolling pin, until it has a thickness of about 3/4” thick.

Cut the dough in typical rounds using a biscuit cutter that has been lightly dusted with flour, and using a spatula, place these on an ungreased baking sheet or dish, close together (or place them 1” apart if you want them crusty all over).

Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with milk, and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 — 25 minutes or until nicely risen and lightly browned.

Recipe: CARAMELIZED BRUSSEL SPROUTS, PEARL ONIONS, SHALLOTS & BACON

Ingredients
  • 4 pints of brussel sprouts, cleaned
  • 1 pint pearl onions, cleaned
  • 4 each shallots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 6 ounces bacon strips, julienne
  • 2 Tbsp. softened butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a 2 quart pot of boiling, salted water, blanch the brussel sprouts for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until tender, strain and immediately shock in a bowl of ice water. Drain well and cut in half, set aside

Repeat this procedure for the pearl onions, except blanch for about 1 minute, then strain and shock in ice water. Drain well, and set aside, keeping whole.

In a mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together with softened butter, season well with salt and pepper, then transfer to a small 2” deep roasting pan, in a single layer.

Place in a preheated oven, uncovered and roast for about 25 — 30 minutes until nicely browned, stirring every 10 minutes to mix. serve hot.

Serving Size

Serves 8 — 10 people as a side dish.

Recipe: MAPLE GLAZED WINTER SQUASH

Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash, cut in half, seeds scraped
  • 1 medium large acorn squash, cut in half, seeds scraped
  • 1 medium large Delicata squash, cut in rings, 1/2” inch thick, seeds removed
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. nutmeg, ground
  • 3-4 Tbsp. softened butter
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take the halved butternut squash and lay out lengthwise. Cut off about 1/2” from the top and bottom stems and discard, then proceed to cut across the squash, about 1/2” apart, to create wedges. Set aside.

Take the halved acorn squash and lay cut side down, proceed to cut across the squash, following the natural lines in the squash, to create wedges.

In a large mixing bowl, toss all the cut squash with the remaining ingredients and mix well. If mixture looks too dry, you can adjust with more syrup & honey. Transfer to a large 2” deep roasting pan, laying out in a single layer. You may need to do this twice, depending on how many wedges were cut.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes, then uncover and let brown for another 15 or more until tender.

Tips

if all squash are cut the same size, they will all cook in the same amount of time. Serve hot, or cool down and reheat when ready.

Serving Size

Serves 8 — 10 people

Recipe: BASIC CRANBERRY SAUCE

Ingredients
  • 4 cups (1 lb.) cranberries, washed and picked over
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 orange zested and juiced
  • 2 inches of cinnamon stick ( optional)
Preparation

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, and add the cranberries. When the water returns to a boil again, cover with a lid and boil for about 3-4 minutes until skin bursts.

Pour mixture into a blender and pulse a few times to purée, then strain out and return to the pot, stir in the sugar to dissolve, add the orange zest and juice, add the cinnamon stick if you are using it, and bring back to a boil.

Lower heat and simmer slowly about 5 minutes or until this thickens to a sauce consistency, then remove from heat at once.

Serving Size

Makes about 6 cups of sauce.

Recipe: HOMEMADE APPLE COBBLER

Ingredients
  • 2 cups + 1 Tbsp. sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) soft butter, cut up, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 cups apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, cut in bits
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
Preparation

Place the 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process to blend.

Add the 1/2 cup of cut butter and process, using quick on and off pulses, to make a crumbly mixture. Then with the motor running, slowly add the egg and milk to make a firm but not sticky dough.

Remove from processor and lay on a lightly floured work surface, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough from 1/4” to 1/2” inch thickness. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add the apples, lemon juice, walnuts, raisins, 3 Tbsp. butter, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. flour, brown sugar and cinnamon and mix all very well.

Place this mixture in a buttered baking dish (rectangle or oblong) of appropriate size, and cover with the rolled out dough, fitting in evenly over the top, and trimming off all excess dough. Sprinkle top with extra cinnamon and sugar.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 55 minutes or until the crust is golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve warm or cool down and reheat desired portion later.

Recipe: SWEET POTATO PURÉE WITH MARSHMALLOWS

Ingredients
  • 5 large sweet potatoes, washed and dried
  • 1 cup heavy cream, as needed
  • 3 oz. melted butter, as needed
  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bag large marshmallows
Preparation

In a pre-heated 400 degree oven, roast the sweet potatoes for about 1 hour until tender. Remove from oven, and using rubber gloves, peel while they are hot. Put the peeled sweet potatoes through a food mill, turning into a large mixing bowl.

Add all the butter and then drizzle with the heavy cream while mixing, to make a consistent purée. Do not make too loose. Season with the cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Place mixture in an oblong oven-proof casserole, and line the top evenly across with the marshmallows to cover entire surface.

Bake in a pre-heated 375 to 400 degree oven, on the top rack, for about 20-25 minutes until marshmallows are nicely browned.

You can prepare the sweet potato purée up to one day in advance, then place in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes until hot, then line with the marshmallows, and place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes or until nicely browned.

Serving Size

Recipe serves 10 — 12 people as a side dish.

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