Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Feast 2014

Pin It Thanksgiving Feast 2014

Allen and I made our Thanksgiving feast yesterday since we had Thanksgiving dinner at my Mom's. This has been a tradition for us since 2009 to do our own intimate dinner the weekend after Thanksgiving. Our dinner consisted of Turkey, Gravy, Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing, Dinner Rolls and Cranberry Jelly. We have leftovers to eat and enjoy all week.

Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme Turkey


Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme Turkey right out of the oven
We made this Turkey three years in a row but this year skipped the compound butter. This turkey is super juicy and rich with flavor from the Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary) and Lemon slices under the skin and 2 whole Lemons stuffed inside the cavity.

Ingredients
12-16 pound Turkey (thawed; ours was 14.2 pounds)

1 bunch of fresh Thyme

1 bunch of fresh Rosemary

3 lemons

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

3 Shallots

5 Garlic cloves

Close-up of Turkey, yummy!!!

Directions
Once Turkey has come to room temperature pat dry with paper towels.

Remove Neck and Giblets and put aside for the Gravy.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make sure oven shelf is positioned in the lower third of the oven.

Slice Shallots in half.

Peel skin off Garlic.

Poke 2 Lemons with a fork and thinly slice remaining Lemon.

Place Turkey in roasting pan.

Turkey rested for 1 hour and ready to carve and eat
Using a brush, rub the inside of the cavity with Olive Oil and season with Salt and Black Pepper.

Insert into the cavity 2 Lemons, Shallots, Garlic cloves, and the bunches of Thyme and Rosemary.

With a brush, coat the Turkey with Olive Oil and season liberally with Salt and Black Pepper.

Carefully slide Lemon slices under the skin.

Place Turkey in oven and roast for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

After the first 20 minutes, lower temperature to 325 degrees. For cooking time look at Turkey package instructions for guidelines according to how many pounds your Turkey is. Our Turkey cooked in 4 hours. The Turkey will be cooked when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thick part of the leg joint is at 160-165 degrees.

Take Turkey out of oven and cover it with foil and let it rest for 1 hour before serving.

Turkey Gravy

Turkey Gravy
I love this Gravy recipe. It is rich in taste and is worth the effort you put into it.

Ingredients
4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock

Turkey Neck and Giblets

4 tablespoons, Flour

1 Bay Leaf

1/2 stick, unsalted Butter

2 Carrots, chopped

2 Celery stalks, chopped

1 Shallot, chopped

4 Garlic cloves, minced

Kosher Salt

Directions
In a large pot, add Neck, Giblets and all the pan drippings from Turkey (remove excess fat), Chicken Stock and Bay Leaf. Heat on low-medium heat for about 20 minutes.

In another large pot, on medium heat, melt Butter and add Carrots, Celery, Shallots and Garlic. Cook in Butter until slightly browned. About 10 minutes.

Stir Flour into Butter and Veggies to make a roux.

Cook for a few minutes until the roux turns golden brown in color.

Drain stock to remove Neck and Giblets and return stock to pot. Slowly pour the stock in the pan with the roux, whisking as you add it. Do not stop whisking. Once incorporated stop whisking and return to a boil. Then lower heat to a simmer and reduce by a third. Takes about 20-25 minutes.

Strain the gravy through a mesh strainer. Season to taste with Salt.

Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes

Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes
I love roasted Jalapeños in Mashed Potatoes and these are very special since they are from Allen's urban garden (in our apartment windowsill). The Jalapeños add great texture to the Mashed Potatoes and the sour Cream make these Mashed Potatoes so creamy. The heat from the Jalapeños add a welcome spicy kick.

Ingredients
5-6 Jalapeños (depends on size and how much heat you want)

3-5 pounds Potatoes

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 1/2 cups Milk

6 tablespoons, Unsalted Butter

Kosher Salt

Olive Oil

Roasted Jalapeños

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash Jalapeños in cold water and pat dry with paper towel.

Cut top off and slice Jalapeños in half, remove seeds and membrane or leave them in for added spice.

Coat Jalapeños with Olive Oil and Kosher Salt on both sides. Place on cookie sheet.

Roast in oven for about 20 minutes; turn over half way through.

Let cool and chop, set aside for now.

While the Jalapeños are roasting, peel and cut Potatoes in half. Place Potatoes in a large pot with cold water and add Kosher Salt.

Bring Potatoes to a boil on medium-high heat, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes. Make sure Potatoes are fork tender.

In a small saucepan, heat Milk and Butter until Butter melts and is hot. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat until Potatoes are cooked.

When Potatoes are cooked, drain in colander and return to pot or a large bowl. Mash the Potatoes with a masher or use a food mill for as long as it takes to get the texture you want.

Slowly add melted Butter and Milk mixture and stir with a spatula. Keep adding as you mash until you have poured it all in and the Potatoes have a creamy texture.

Add Sour Cream and Jalapeños and blend together well. Add 2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt, taste and add more Kosher Salt if you wish.

Allen's Famous Green Bean Casserole

Allen's Famous Green Bean Casserole
Allen made his yummy Green Bean Casserole and no Thanksgiving for us would be complete without it. No Salt was added to the recipe since the canned Green Beans and Mushroom Soup have enough salt.

Ingredients
4 cans French Cut Greens Beans with Sea Salt, drained

2 cans Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup

3/4 cup, whole Milk

1 large container French Fried Onions (save some for topping)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper

Close-up of Allen's Famous Green Bean Casserole

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take a large glass or ceramic dish and combine Mushroom Soup, Milk, and Worcestershire Sauce with a whisk.

Add Green Beans and Black Pepper and stir well.

Sprinkle 2/3 of French Fried Onions over the top.

Bake for 1 hour. Remove and sprinkle remaining French Fried Onions and put back in oven for an additional 10 minutes so they can brown a bit.

Let stand for 20-30 minutes. Serve.

Add Hot Sauce to taste if desired.

Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing

Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing
We love the Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing and it marries beautifully with Gravy. This Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing is hearty, and full of flavor and Allen always makes it for Thanksgiving.

Ingredients
Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing (or any kind you like)

2 cups of sliced or 1 can of Mushrooms

1 Celery stalk

1 Shallot

1 Bay Leaf  (from Allen's parents backyard)

Close-up of yummy Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing (just add Gravy)

Directions
Take paper towel and clean Mushrooms gently removing excess dirt; slice Mushrooms or drain can of mushrooms and pat dry with paper towel.

With a peeler, remove outer skin of Celery and thinly slice.

Chop Shallot

Add the Mushrooms, Celery and Shallot and bring to a simmer with Butter and water.

Follow box directions and add above ingredients for added taste and texture.

Enjoy!

-Sophia and Allen/Two Frys

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