Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Dinners: Thanksgiving

So I am a few weeks late... what's new? If you want, this would also be a great Christmas or New Years meal, or you can plan ahead for next year.

This year we smoked our turkey. My husband bought a smoker for his birthday, and we have been enjoying it immensely. In fact, I plan to do a post all about it someday, when I get around to it. Anyway, it was amazing but I am not going to post the recipe because only a handful of people actually have a smoker, and I have many other recipes to share instead. And yes, that is bacon draped over the top. Bacon seemed to be the theme of our dinner this year. Oh, and just for the record, I have never made my turkey. My husband does it every year and he is awesome at it.


So I have this sick obsession with food. It was only our family for Thanksgiving, and I bought way too much. I probably went a little over board on the appetizers this year, but they were oh so good.

This year I did a cheese tray, with grapes, crackers and crusty bread. I looked up online to see which cheeses were the best, and most sites suggested to get three or four different types and to get a hard cheese, a soft cheese and a semi-soft cheese. We used sharp cheddar, tintern cheddar with chives, smoked Gouda and taleggio.

Along with that I made in antipasto platter with salami, prosciutto,  ham, turkey, baby swiss cheese, black olives, and mini pickles.

Also, crab dip and 7 layer dip which are definitely my go to appetizers. Also we threw in some veggies and dip!

A new one we tried this year is homemade hummus. It was super easy, and really good. I even through in some red pepper spread that we had to add some more flavor.

5-Minute Hummus

1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed
1 clove garlic
1/4 c olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste) optional- (I used sesame seed oil)
1 tsp ground cumin
kosher salt
1/4 tsp paprika

In a food processor, puree the chickpeas and garlic with the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini (if using), cumin, and ¾ teaspoon salt until smooth and creamy. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the paprika before serving.

Main Course

As I mentioned, we had the smoked turkey, with a gravy made out of the drippings.  I also made my go to butterhorn rolls and added a yummy honey butter recipe to go with!

Honey Butter

2 sticks butter, soft
1/2 c honey
1/2 c marshmellow fluff

Whip all together with an electric mixer and serve at room temp.

And here are the side dishes. All were super delicious, even the stuffing. I hate stuffing, but this was actually pretty good! And in place of cranberry sauce, I made a package of cranberry jello!

Blue Cheesy Potatoes

5 potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 c crumbled blue cheese
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
4 strips bacon, crumbled
2 tbsp butter

Boil Potatoes and garlic until soft (about 10 min). Mash Potatoes with blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, crumbled bacon and butter. Add milk for desired consistency.

Spicy Corn-Bread Stuffing

For the Corn Bread
3 cups cornmeal
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2½ tsp kosher salt
2 cups milk
½ cup canola oil
1 can (14¾ oz.) cream-style corn
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 yellow onion, finely diced
½ cup diced green bell pepper

For the Herb Butter
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp minced fresh sage
2 tbsp minced fresh thyme
2 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the Stuffing
5 tbsp Herb Butter
2 yellow onions, finely diced
(about 2 cups)
3 stalks celery, finely diced
(about ¾ cup)
10 cups corn bread, cubed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup whole milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the Corn Bread

1 Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 13˝ x 9˝ x 2˝ baking dish, and warm in oven while you make batter. 2 In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, red pepper flakes and salt. Stir in milk, oil and cream-style corn. Then add cheese, onion and green pepper. 3 Carefully remove warmed baking dish from oven, and pour batter into it. Return to oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely, then cube.

For the Herb Butter

and celery and sauté until translucent,In a small mixing bowl, combine butter with herbs, salt and pepper. Reserve 5 tbsp for stuffing mixture and use remainder for turkey. For the Stuffing 1 Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. 2 In a large bowl, combine onion-and-celery mixture with corn bread, eggs, milk, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine, careful not to crush cubed corn bread. Refrigerate until ready to stuff turkey. 3 Grease an 8˝ x 8˝ baking dish. After filling turkey, place remaining stuffing in baking dish. Bake alongside turkey for last 35 to 40 minutes.

Green Beans With Bacon Vinaigrette

kosher salt and black pepper
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
6 slices bacon
2 shallots, sliced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the green beans and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool; transfer to a serving bowl.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then break into pieces.
3. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the skillet and return to medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar, mustard, oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add to the green beans, along with the bacon, and toss to combine.

Baked Sweet and Savory Mashed Potatoes

3 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon salt, divided
1 (29-ounce) can sweet potatoes in syrup, drained and mashed
1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
3/4 cup light sour cream
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Garnish: crumbled bacon

Bring potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and water to cover to a boil in a Dutch oven; cook 30 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Return potatoes to Dutch oven. Add sweet potatoes and cream cheese; mash until smooth with a potato masher. Stir in bacon, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Garnish, if desired.


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