OK this'll be the last post dedicated to Thanksgiving. I mean it's all old news now but I do want to pass along a few more recipes in case you're interested. I also have to admit there's nothing to report from JBug's Kitchen for last night although had I been on the ball and not forced to watch the dreaded football, I could have taken pictures of the incredible turkey sandwiches we enjoyed for dinner. Alas, I'll have to leave it to your imagination. Suffice to say, the rolled stuffed turkey roast we shared with you yesterday slices like a dream when it's cold, never mind that one slice more than covers a piece of bread. ....am I bragging again?
Our Thanksgiving dinner began with a Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Syrup that includes roasted sweet potatoes pureed along with sauteed onion, celery, garlic and leek, finished with chicken broth and cream. Spiced with a touch of cayenne for a kick, cinnamon and nutmeg and just barely sweetened with maple syrup, it's a fine starter to enjoy a taste of before the main event. The bonus is that it tastes much better when it's made in advance which makes it much easier on the cook. Download Sweet Potato Soup w Maple Syrup
By the way, my verdict was that it was good but not great, but that's an opinion from someone who was no longer hungry by the time dinner was finally on the table. What can I say? I'm obviously all about the execution.
Thanks to inspiration from Bobby Flay in his Thanksgiving throwdown with Ree Drummond, I just had to make my version of his Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Vanilla Butter. There really isn't a recipe for this one - I merely mixed the seeds of one vanilla bean into a stick (half cup) of butter and let it ruminate on the counter. Added to pan roasted sprouts at the last minute and garnished with arils from our own pomegranates, it was a wonderful way to make our favorite vegetable a little more special, and really brought out its sweetness.
As for the stuffing - well I have to say it one that I've shared with you in the past (last Thanksgiving), and a keeper that we're happy with every time. A take on recipe from Rosso/Lukins The New Basic's Cookbook, it's loaded with pork sausage, toasted pecans, dried cranberries, spiced with thyme, sage, poultry seasoning and fresh parsley and sweetened with Tawny Port. It's our favorite...we wouldn't change a thing. Download Cranberry Pecan Stuffing with Sausage
The grand finale to our fabulous feast is what I'm calling a Pumpkin Charlotte, although some would call it a tiramisu. I said "some" would call it a tiramisu, but not me...to me tiramisu has to have chocolate, espresso and tons of brandy so I'm calling this a charlotte. Loaded with bourbon soaked lady fingers and a pumpkin mousse made with whipped cream, mascarpone cheese and the requisite pumpkin spices, this light creamy concoction was a fitting end to a glorious Thanksgiving meal. Download Pumpkin Charlotte with Bourbon
The only warning I have for you, is one from the big guy...for goodness sake don't take the leftovers to work because they'll charge you with alcohol abuse, never mind that if you drive after eating it, you'll blow a heck of a lot more than a .08.
Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Syrup (adapted Bon Appetit)
1 pound red skinned sweet potatoes (yam)
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 medium leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash cayenne pepper
3/4 cup half and half
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt & pepper to taste
Sour cream or mascarpone for garnish
Preheat oven to 400. Wash, dry and prick sweet potato. Place on a baking sheet and roast until cooked through – about 40 minutes. Cool and peel. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, leek and garlic and cook until vegetables are very soft – about 10 minutes. Stir often to prevent browning. Add chicken broth, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes – uncovered. Cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, put cooked sweet potatoes through a ricer and into the bowl of a food processor. Add cooled vegetable & broth mixture and process until fairly smooth. Add half and half as well as maple syrup. Cool and store in refrigerator, well covered. To serve, reheat and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as required. Garnish with sour cream or mascarpone. Makes 6 small servings, or 4 large ones.
Cranberry Pecan Stuffing with Sausage (adapted The New Basics Cookbook)
2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 cups stale bread cubes (stale, but not crisp)
1/2 cup tawny port
1/2 to 1 cup turkey stock
Heat oil in large skillet. Sauté celery and onion until very soft – about 10 minutes. Remove from pan into large bowl. In same skillet, cook pork sausage until done, crumbling well with a fork. Remove to bowl with celery and onion. Add salt, thyme, poultry seasoning, parsley and pepper. Stir well to combine. Cool to room temperature. Stir in pecans, cranberries, bread cubes, and port. Add half cup of stock and stir well. Add remaining stock until stuffing is slightly moist. Remove to a greased casserole dish and cover well with foil. May be made in advance at this point and refrigerated overnight. To cook – bake in a 350 oven, well covered, for 40 to 45 minutes. Serves 6. *Note, if you are stuffing a bird, double recipe to stuff an 18 to 20 pound bird. Be sure stuffing is very cold before you stuff the bird.
Pumpkin Charlotte with Bourbon (adapted from Bon Appetit)
1 cup chilled whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 – 4 ounce packages ladyfingers
1/4 cup bourbon
Line 4 – 10 ounce ramekins with plastic wrap. Set aside. Beat whipping cream and sugar until peaks form. Add mascarpone, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, vanilla and salt. Beat just until all ingredients are combined. Place bourbon into a small bowl. Cut lady fingers to fit upright in ramekin. Dip ladyfingers into bourbon and arrange around inside edge of ramekin with the cut edge on bottom of ramekin and ladyfingers touching side by side. Dip cut pieces into bourbon and use to fill bottom of ramekin. Fill centers with pumpkin mousse. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to set. To serve, carefully remove charlottes from ramekins. Remove plastic wrap and plate. Serve garnished with whipped cream if desired. Makes 4 – 10 ounce desserts.