Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving favorite?

Ok - no more turkey or Thanksgiving fare until next year please (although it was great while it lasted). R, the doggie and I have had it with turkey for now.

Instead of posting a recipe this week, I thought I'd turn it over to you: what was your favorite holiday recipe? Please do share – I’d love to hear from you!


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I was delighted that Sabra invited me to contribute a recipe to her blog. I recently cooked for Sabra and her husband in their gracious, spacious, art-filled home. (I work as a personal chef in New York; you can see sample menus of the 6- to 9-course dinners I host at www.jennifer-lynn.net.) The following Brown Butter Apple Sauce was the surprise hit of this year's Thanksgiving table; I think it would serve as a natural accompaniment to a rosemary-roasted pork loin, as well.

Brown Butter Apple Sauce

- 4 tablespoons of highest quality farm-fresh butter*
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 crisp Macintosh apples, peeled, cored, and flesh cut into -- 1-inch cubes, spritzed with the juice of one lemon
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
- Pinch of salt

- Brown your butter with your cinnamon stick until it has developed a deep, rich, oaky color and your kitchen smells like cinnamon toast. You will develop the best flavor and avoid burning by using very low heat, swirling your pan occasionally.
- Toss apples and brown sugar with the butter mixture, coating evenly. Cook over very low heat until apples are very soft and easily mashed with a fork (again, stir occasionally to avoid burning).
- Mash your apples with cream and salt to taste (remove and discard your cinnamon stick first). Alternatively, you can whiz the mixture in a food processor if you like your apple sauce sans chunk.

This apple sauce tastes a bit like the inside of a slow-baked apple pie, and indeed could be eaten as dessert, especially if you were to amp up the cinnamon and sweetness a bit. You could replace the brown sugar with maple sugar or syrup, but I find maple a bit cloying when tableside with Turkey. You could also exchange the cream with apple juice for a bit of light brightness or mulled apple cider for a developed autumn element, but I prefer the straightforward, slightly indulgent simplicity of the recipe as it is.

*You can most likely find fresh butter from your local farmers market. I buy mine from the lovely cheesemonger, Anne Saxelby, in the Essex Street Market in Manhattan's Lower East Side. You can find her at http://www.saxelbycheese.com/

Anonymous said...

Thanksgiving favorite bread dressing recipe.

1 large loaf Jewish egg bread sliced. Spread out to dry for several hours turning once. Remove crust.
In a large skillet melt 3/4 stick margerine and 1/2 finely chopped onion.
Take 2 to 3 slices of dry bread and dampen under warm water. Squeeze out water & place in skillet with onion & margerine. Place lid on skillet and steam for 10-12 minutes stirring once or twice.
In mixing bowl have 4 eggs, salt, pepper and any other seasonings you like. Add steamed bread, onions & margerine and beat well.
Cut up chestnuts can be gently stirred in at this time if desired. Dressing is ready to be put in bird.
Recipe can be doubled.

Anonymous said...

We were treated by my sister-in-law to a wonderful winter soup. Not Thanksgiving day, but during our culinarily-pleasing week end visit to Alexandria, VA to be with family. The recipe lists sausage as optional but I think it's a key ingredient. Enjoy!

(Valerie’s Winter Soup)
Active time: 1 hr Start to finish: 3 hr
Adapted from Gourmet February 2002

1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
2 onions, coarsely chopped
Bulb or so coarsely chopped fennel
1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (house recipe skips this and adds ½ lb. cheese tortellini instead)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 qt water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (house recipe adds red pepper flakes instead)
1 bay leaf (not California)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (this really adds flavor. Can get a low salt variety)
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse. (Note: can use good quality canned beans and flavor doesn’t suffer. Go for dried if you’re a purist.)
Cook onions (and fennel if desired) in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind (if desired), salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.
While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper (red pepper flakes if desired).

Makes approx. 6 main-course servings.

Anonymous said...

This is the secret family cider sauce recipe. We usually serve it with kentucky derby pie (a pecan, chocolate, bourban concoction). I love both the pie and the sauce, and the sauce goes well with nearly anything. I could, and have, eaten it straight.

The following text is from my Aunt Debbie. If she knew I was sharing I'd have to be killed.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar (xx)
1/2 cup tangy cider
2 beaten egg yolks
1/2 cup rich milk or cream

Later: 1/2 pint whipping cream

Cream butter and sugar. Add well beaten yolks of eggs. When well mixed, stir in cream and cider. Cook in double boiler until thick as custard. Cool. Whip cream and gradually fold cider sauce into it.

Now, in my experience it NEVER GETS 'thick as custard'. So I cook it in a double boiler for about 15 - 20 minutes and then let it cool. You can make it days ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator; just make the whipped cream at the last minute.

Sabra said...

Interesting Mary -- that sounds good! So you use it mainly on desserts? What is tangy cider?

Anonymous said...

Tangy cider is - I believe - my aunt's way of describing hard-ish cider. My aunt recommends letting about a cup of cider 'sit out'. I'm not sure for how long though, until tangy is my closest proximation.
And yes, it's fabulous with desserts. I've yet to try it on turkey sandwich but wouldn't be at all surprised if it worked there too!

Anonymous said...

The Best Thing About Turkey: The Gravy

Lots of gravy is the secret to a great turkey dinner and hot turkey sandwich leftovers. Since birds are generally big, you need a lot of gravy. It's easy, and most can be done in advance.

The three parts: stock, pan drippings and a roux.


1. When ordering the turkey, order extra parts - legs, thighs and wings are my favorites (6 pieces).
2. On Wednesday, in a large, heavy, covered pot : put in the parts, and all the giblets from your bird, 6 carrots, a large onion - peeled and cut in half, celery tops with 4" of stalks, and a fistful of parsley.
3. Cover with 8 cups of water (approx.), and 4 cups of good (cheap) white wine that you like. (Add more fluid as necessary to cover).
4. Make a cheesecloth pouch for a peeled garlic clove, a couple of sprigs of thyme, a few Turkish bay leaves and a couple of dozen peppercorns. Tie the pouch and drop it in.
5. Cook covered for 2-2 .5 hours or as needed to render a rich broth. Salt to taste, strain, cool and refrigerate until the next day.
6. Save the meat for soup and the carrots.

Pan Drippings:

7. About 40 minutes before bird is done, remove it from oven and spoon out drippings into a tall container or grease separator; refrigerate to solidify grease if there is time. Otherwise, skim off grease.


8. About 40 minutes (or more) before serving, in a heavy stock pan, melt 3/4 stick of butter (or more as needed) and whisk in 1/3 cup (or more as needed) of fresh flour. Continue to whisk vigorously until the roux is smooth and cooks for a few minutes to remove flour taste.
9. As you whisk, ladle in your strained, clear stock until both are blended. Use a heat level to allow broth to simmer actively. Add as much broth as you think you will need for gravy. Let it reduce to thicken.
10. For a rich brown gravy (my preference), use Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet to add color and flavor to your liking. Let liquid reduce and it will thicken as it cooks; whisk constantly. Salt and pepper to taste.
11. Add skimmed pan drippings to the roux/stock liquid.
12. If you are adding sliced mushrooms, do that now and let it all bubble. Only use wine to thin if more liquid is needed.

Leftover stock? Add trimmed turkey meat, sliced carrots and some egg noodles for a lovely fresh soup

Anonymous said...

LarryB's bread dressing is delicious, especially with the chestnuts. Thanks for that recipe. I have NEVER made good gravy so having that recipe makes me happy. We spent TG in a house rented in Acapulco where the cooks made fresh soup every day. So, in honor of TG there, I made butternut squash soup from Ina Garten's Party cookbook.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
(Makes 3 1/2 quarts) The creamy butternut squash and sweet apples balance the spicy curry.

2 T unsalted butter
2 T good olive oil
4 c chopped yellow onions (3 large)
2 T mild curry powder
5 lbs. butternut squash (2 large)
1 1/2 lbs. sweet apples, i.e. McIntosh (4 apples)
2 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
2 c good apple juice or cider

Warm the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot over low heat. Add the onions and curry powder and cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot.

Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks.

Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the squash and apples are very soft. Process the soup through a food mill fitted with a large blade, or puree it coarsely in the bowl of a food processor fitted wth a steel blade.

Pour the soup back into the pot. Add the apple juice and enough water to make the soup the consistency you like; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Check the salt and pepper and serve hot.

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