So, I am a HUGE Food Network fan. Especially of Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa and Giada DeLaurentis). Most of their recipes have become big favorites of Mr Fix It and Little Miss. So of course I hit the Food Network web site for ideas for my Thanksgiving Day menu. (Oh, and I also have a subscription to Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and Food & Wine magazine which has some great recipes in them as well!)
For the 20 aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, inlaws, etc that are heading to my place tomorrow morning, this is what we have on the menu:
* Turkey: For the first time ever, our family will be having a FRESH (not frozen) BRINED turkey. I have heard great things about how brining helps make a turkey moister and also infuses great flavor into it. Tonight as soon as I get home from work, I am sticking our 21 pound turkey into a 5 gallon bucket filled with a brine including molasses, honey, garlic, soy sauce, lemon, thyme, safe and of course, salt! We'll see how this thing works.
* Citrus Marinated Green Olives (appetizer): Along with traditional chips, salsa and onion dip that my family munches on before the big meal, I decided to try this new recipe instead of just sitting out plain black olives and pickles. I made it Monday night and it marinates for 2 to 3 days...smelled yummy. The marinade included olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, curry, tarragon, lemon zest and juice and red pepper flakes.
* Wine Simmered Fruit Dressing: Did you know the difference between a stuffing and a dressing is that one gets put in the turkey and the other gets put in a casserole dish? That's the only difference! :) And I've read that putting stuffings in turkey make the turkey dry out because you have to cook them longer plus it is not the safest way to cook veggies and such. So I am making a homemade dressing this year instead of Stove Top stuffing (which is what I think we always had at Grandma's house). My dressing includes toasted oat & honey bread cubes, white wine, apples, golden raisins, butter, onion, celery, pecans and chicken broth. I never eat the stuffing at Thanksgiving (don't like it) but I am thinking I may enjoy my own dressing concoction :)
* Traditional things:
Mashed Potatoes (gotta have 'em)
Corn (I would opt out of this but the guys in my family like plain old canned corn)
Carrots (this is a simple new recipe I am making for the family which is baby carrots in a honey glaze with butter, lemon juice and parsley)
* Green Bean Casserole: We used to have the traditional canned Campbell soup green bean casserole...and again, I never ate it. It was gross to me and I LOVE green beans. So last year I made a simpler green bean dish with homemade onion rings and marinated in a mushroom brandy sauce. This year I am returning to the traditional casserole dish but making a homemade version with onion rings coated in panko crumbs and flour, and a sauce made up of mushrooms, half and half, butter, chicken broth, nutmeg and garlic.
* Whipped Sweet Potatoes & Bananas: This is also a new dish for the family that seemed surprisingly easy to make. You just roast the potatoes and bananas and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mix them up with some butter, dark brown sugar, butter, honey and pecans and bake with a crumbly topping. Hoping this is a family hit :)
* Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce: Again, not a fan of the cranberry sauce but decided I am going to make something worthy of being served along with the turkey this year. The guys again insist on that can of crap that you think is sauce so this year I am making more of a relish with sweetened dried cranberries, gala apples, cinnamon, and sugar. I made this last night and stuck it in the fridge since it will keep for a day or two so I don't have to worry about making it the day of.
* And for dessert, I made a couple of my famous Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tarts from the amazing Ina Garten: These things have replaced pumpkin pies as a homemade favorite of our family since I brought one to Thanksgiving about 2 years ago. Super yummy!
Ok, so I have taken on a huge task! But I have an organized to-do list with time schedule and mom is spending the night to help me prep vegetables, peel potatoes, and set everything up tonight.
Can't wait to snap some shots and share with everyone this weekend. Have a great Thanksgiving and please do share your favorite dish item from Turkey Day or your favorite ingredients!
2 days ago