Delicious Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving and Tips for the Turkey!
Celebrate the holiday with mouthwatering favorites like deep-fried turkey, mouth-watering vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes, and more.
Crystal Day’s Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Soufflé
"I make my mom’s sweet potato soufflé every year. It has butter, sweet potatoes and sugar – there’s really nothing better in life." Website: www.crystalday.net
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature, plus more to grease pan, usually 5-6 medium sweet potatoes, 2 large eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 cup milk, Pinch of salt
1 cup chopped pecans, 1 cup brown sugar, packed, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
For the souffle: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with butter.
Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork and bake on a foil-covered baking sheet until they are soft, 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes, place the flesh in a large mixing bowl and mash until very smooth. Add the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, milk and salt. I usually mash it up with a fork but you can use a blender too.
For the topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the pecans, brown sugar, flour and butter until thoroughly combined. Spoon the mixture over the sweet potatoes, making an even layer. Bake the casserole until slightly browned, 40 minutes. Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Jenna Paulette’s Pumpkin Bread Dressing
"This dressing was a HUGE hit last year at “Friendsgiving”… I haven’t dared bring it to my family yet because my mom’s and Nan’s dressing is always a staple. I might have to this year though! It’s kind of a cross between the dressing I grew up with and “stuffing” because it incorporates cornbread while the texture is more like a stuffing. The twist is adding pumpkin bread… Since dressing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving, it’s what I wanted to share with y’all! I could just eat it, a little salty ham and some sweet potato casserole, and be so happy.
Here is my new twist on an old favorite — I hope you like it!
1/2 Loaf Pumpkin Bread
1/2 Pan of Cornbread
1/2 Loaf of Challah Bread
Butter 2 Tbs. + some to coat the pan.
1/2 Sweet Onion
3 Sm-Med. Shallots
3-4 Cloves Garlic
1 Lb. Spicy Pork Sausage
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary Chopped
4 Sage Leaves Chopped
1/4 C. Maple Syrup
1/2 Cup White Wine (anything you have left over or a cheap white wine, but anything will work)
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 6 oz. Package of cranberries
3/4 C. Chicken Broth
Pre Dressing Preparation:
Cook breads the night before (use your favorite recipe – I was in a hurry this time so I used Trader Joe’s mixes). Once they’ve cooled, tear the half loaves/pans and slices into smaller pieces and leave to get stale overnight.
While the oven is preheating to 350 degrees, put the torn bread in the oven, tossing occasionally. Once it’s reached 350, leave in another 10-15 minutes until most of the pieces are crunchy and slightly golden. Chop onion, shallot, garlic, rosemary and sage. Sweat the onion and shallot in 2 Tbs. of butter. Once the onions and shallots are translucent, add garlic, then brown your pork in the onion mixture. Once the pork is nice and brown, add maple syrup, sage, rosemary, garlic salt and wine, then reduce. Once the mixture is reduced almost completely, take it off the heat and let it cool for a bit. Once it’s cool, add pecans and cranberries and mix. Place sausage mixture in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk 3/4 cup chicken broth and 2 eggs together in a separate bowl. Add the broth and eggs to sausage and combine (make sure sausage is cool enough—you don’t want to scramble the eggs!). Add breads to the mixture and toss until coated. Place the mixture in a greased 9×13 pan and cook at 350 for 45-55 minutes, giving it a toss 30 minutes into the bake. It should be golden brown on top. Serve with your usual thanksgiving dinner!!!
Miranda Lambert’s Peanut Butter Pie
"She may be Hell on Heels, but the bite-sized spitfire blonde Miranda Lambert also has a sweet side. This peanut butter pie is said to be a favorite Thanksgiving dessert."
Active time 35 minutes Total time 40 minutes plus chilling Makes 10 servings
1 9-in. refrigerated ready-to-use piecrust
¾ c. sugar
⅓ c. cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
4 c. whole milk
4 lg. egg yolks, lightly beaten
¾ c. peanut butter (preferably crunchy)
3 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Freshly whipped sweetened heavy cream, for serving
Chopped peanuts, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place piecrust in 9-in. pie plate; bake as label directs for one-crust pie shell.
2. In 4-quart saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. In large bowl, whisk milk and egg yolks until blended; gradually whisk into sugar mixture. Heat on medium 6 to 7 minutes or until mixture thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter, butter, and vanilla until well blended.
3. Immediately pour peanut butter mixture into baked pie shell; press plastic wrap onto surface of filling. Refrigerate pie at least 4 hours or until well chilled and set.
4. To serve, top with whipped cream and garnish with chopped peanuts.
Each Serving (PIE ONLY) About 400 calories, 10 g protein, 39 g carbohydrate, 24 g total fat (9 g saturated), 2 g fiber, 97 mg cholesterol, 480 mg sodium.
This story originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/inspirational-stories/interviews/a19562/miranda-lambert-interview/
Lindsay Lawler's - Hot Buttered Rum
"We drink lots of cocktails at our house! We always love a whiskey cider, which is whiskey (Evan Williams is fine cause you’re mixing it), Apple Cider, Nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks. But the really yummy drink that we have acquired from our dear friend Skip Courtney (who has the BEST parties in Nashville!) is his Hot Buttered Rum. It’s good even in the morning (if you’re into that kind of thing…what?!). I even love how he writes his recipe. Here it is…enjoy at your own risk…it’ll sneak up on ya!"
1/3 spiced rum
2/3 apple cider
Butter to taste (tsp to a normal coffee cup)
Sprinkle nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon
Heat to a simmer or use a percolator for a larger batch. Serve with a cinnamon stick and extra butter floater. Don’t burn your mouth as it will spoil the rest of your day…and stop drinking when you can’t feel your toes anymore!!!
Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: How To Make Thanksgiving Green Chile Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
"“With Thanksgiving just over a week away, I wanted to share one of my favorite Turkey Day dishes with y’all,” says Krystal. “Every Thanksgiving my family makes the traditional turkey, stuffing (my Grannie’s Cornbread Stuffing recipe is world class), corn, candied yams, etc., but a non-traditional staple at our dining table is Green Chile Cheddar Mashed Potatoes."
Ingredients: 4-6 large Russett potatoes
1/2 cup Half and Half or milk – my grandmother would cringe that I don’t use heavy cream
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (or more if you’d like)
1 1/2 cups roasted green chiles, chopped (we use Hatch Valley chiles)
1/3 cup butter
1 Tbsp granulated garlic
salt and pepper
Directions: Peel, rough chop and boil potatoes until tender and cooked through. Drain water and mash using a masher if you like your potatoes to be chunky or whip them with a stand mixer if you like a smoother consistency. Add in the Half and Half, butter and garlic. Mix well.
Add chiles. Depending on how hot your chiles are, you may want to add more than this recipe calls for. The Hatch Valley chiles vary from medium to hot and this is the amount I use. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, mix in the cheese. Mix this in by hand so that the cheese doesn’t just disappear into the potatoes, I like people to be able to see bits of cheese.
Turkey in a Bag by Alicia Keys & Her Mom
This is going to become a new thanksgiving tradition at your home! Enjoy!
Ingredients: 1 12–14 lb. turkey 1/2 cup white vinegar 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved 2 tbsp softened unsalted butter 2 tbsp garlic powder 2 tsp paprika 2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper 1/4 tsp dried basil 4 sprigs rosemary 4 bay leaves 4 Granny Smith apples, cored and roughly chopped 2 onions, coarsely chopped 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
Supplies: A large roasting pan, a meat thermometer, and a turkey-size oven bag (available in the paper-goods section of the supermarket).
Preheat oven to 350°F. Start by removing neck and giblets. Rinse the turkey with cold water inside and out, then rub with vinegar. Pat dry. Rub the skin with garlic cloves, then butter. In a bowl, mix together your dry ingredients to make a spice mix. Then rub half of spice mix under skin, on breast and back. Tuck two sprigs of rosemary and one bay leaf under breast skin and two rosemary sprigs under back. Rub outside skin with remaining spice mix. Stuff turkey with two chopped apples, one chopped onion, and three bay leaves. Rub inside of oven bag with flour to prevent bag from bursting. Add some of remaining chopped onions and apples to oven bag and leave some in the roasting pan, outside of bag, to use as garnish later. Place the turkey breast side up, on onions and apples in oven bag. Cut six ½-inch slits into bag to allow steam to escape. Tie bag closed with provided tie or butcher’s string. Place bag into the roasting pan. Cook in oven for 2½–3 hours. Pierce bag with meat thermometer, and poke into thickest part of inner thigh. The turkey is ready when it reaches 180°F. Cut open the top of bag, and carefully remove turkey. Discard vegetables. Place turkey on serving dish and let rest for 20 minutes. Garnish with roasted apples and onions.
Julia Child's Top 5 Turkey Tips
How much turkey should you buy? Count on ½ pound of whole turkey per serving, and that means about 1 pound per person if you want second helpings. Thus a 16-pound turkey will feed 16 to 20. But if you want leftovers buy a 20-pounder, which is a good size for taste and tenderness.
How long does it take a frozen turkey to defrost? A 20-pound bird, I have found, takes 3 to 4 days to defrost in the refrigerator, or about 12 hours in a sinkful of water. In either case, leave the turkey in its original plastic wrapper until it seems thawed. Then unwrap as soon as possible, and pull out the package of giblets from inside the turkey. Often these are still frozen, indicating, too, that the inside of the turkey is also still frozen. Finish thawing either at room temperature or, if you’re not in a hurry, in the refrigerator. Keep thawed turkey under refrigeration, since it spoils more rapidly than fresh turkey, and plan to roast it within a day or at most two days of thawing.
Julia Child’s Turkey Roasting Timetable:
Indications that turkey is nearly done: Juices are exuding from the turkey into the pan; you will have a cup or more when turkey is done. Thickest part of drumstick feels tender when pressed, and drumstick moves fairly easily in its socket. Lower part of thigh, when pricked deeply with a fork, exudes clear yellow juices. (Meat thermometer reading in thigh should be 180 to 185 degrees.) Do not let turkey over-cook or meat will dry out.
When turkey is done: Remove to a platter, and discard skewers or strings. Turkey should sit half an hour before carving, for juices to retreat back into meat tissues. If you will not be ready to serve for some time, turn off oven and open door to cool it. In 20 to 30 minutes, reset thermostat to 140 degrees, and return turkey to oven, where it may sit for an hour or more. (Or return turkey to oven, and heat it to 250 degrees every half hour, then turn it off.)