Shaker Gourmet: Thanksgiving 2009

Time for the annual post since this Thursday is (American) Thanksgiving. Where has the year gone?!

This year we will, again, be having the ever-classic weenies for our appetizer:
Cocktail Weenies

1 pkg Lil' Beef Smokies
1 12-oz jar Heinz Chili Sauce
1 tablespoon grape jelly (more if you'd rather have sweeter)

Mix it all in a crock pot. Cook on low for a couple hours before time to serve.
You can make "cocktail meatballs" with the same sauce, too.

Herb-Scented Roast Turkey

* 1 T chopped fresh or 2 tsp dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
* 1 T chopped fresh or 2 tsp dried sage leaves, crumbled
* 1 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 3/4 cup butter, softened
* 1 whole turkey (thawed, innards removed)

—Heat oven to 325. In small bowl, mix rosemary, sage, salt, pepper, and garlic; rub into turkey skin (and under, if you cut a small slit in the skin and put some herbs & butter in the opening--but don't cut too many slits into the skin!)

—Stuff turkey, if desired.

—On rack in shallow roasting pan, place turkey breast side up. Rub all over with butter. Tie the legs together with cooking twine.

—Roast turkey as directed by weight.

—Place turkey on platter, cover w/foil. Let stand appx 20 minutes
before carving.
If you aren't stuffing it, toss a couple cloves of garlic, half an onion, and a few whole sprigs of fresh herbs into the cavity before tying the legs. You can also put a cup of wine or chicken broth into the bottom of the pan, which will add too your drippings for gravy. For more information on buying, thawing,cooking, and stuffing a turkey, see here.
Apple and Onion Stuffin' Muffins

* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
* 1 stick butter, softened
* 1 fresh bay leaf, available in produce department
* 4 ribs celery and greens, from the heart, chopped (save time and purchase celery already washed, trimmed and cut into sticks, this makes chopping fast work)
* 1 medium to large yellow skinned onion, chopped
* 3 McIntosh apples, quartered and chopped
* Salt and pepper
* 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
* 8 cups cubed stuffing mix (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
* 2 to 3 cups chicken stock, available in paper containers on the soup aisle


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil to skillet and 4 tablespoons butter. When butter melts, add bay leaf and add the vegetables as you chop them, celery, onions then apples. Sprinkle the vegetables and apples with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook 5 to 6 minutes to begin to soften vegetables and apples then add parsley and stuffing cubes to the pan and combine. Moisten the stuffing with chicken broth until all of the bread is soft but not wet.

Butter 12 muffin cups, 2 tins, liberally with remaining butter. Use an ice cream scoop to fill and mound up the stuffing in muffin tins. Remove the bay leaf as you scoop the stuffing when you come upon it. Bake until set and crisp on top, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove stuffin' muffins to a platter and serve hot or room temperature.
I made this for the first time last year and it's a very tasty. If you get cube stuffing, you could make it just in a bowl and not as "muffins". (Original recipe here)
Cranberry Sauce, Jellied

1 12 oz package fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar (or honey)
1 cup orange juice (or cranberry juice)
1 T orange zest
1/2 pkg pectin

-- Cook cranberries in orange juice until they burst (about 10 minutes)

-- Process in food mill on finest strainer setting. Return strained cranberries to pot and mix with sugar (or honey), zest, and pectin. Bring to roiling boil for full minute.

-- Put in bowl or mold and refrigerate several (at least 5) hours to cool completely and set.

Spinach Madeline

2 packages frozen chopped spinach
4 T butter
2 T all-purpose flour
2 T chopped onion
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup spinach liquid
1 6 oz roll jalapeño cheese, cut into small pieces
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp celery salt
3/4 tsp garlic salt

-- Cook spinach according to directions on package. Drain and reserve liquid.

-- Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add flour, stirring until blended and smooth, but not brown. Add onion and cook until soft but not brown. Add evaporated milk and reserved spinach liquid slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook until smooth and thick; continue stirring.

-- Add the cheese, Worcestershire, black pepper, celery salt, & garlic salt. Stir until melted. Combine with cooked spinach.

-- Transfer to casserole dish. (Flavor is better if prepared a day in advance, refrigerate, and reheat in the oven the next day.)
This is one of the new ones for us this year!

The non-pumpkin pie dessert:
Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Cake


* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 4 cups diced peeled cored Granny Smith apples (about 4 large)
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


* 11/2 cups all purpose flour
* 1 cup (firmly packed) golden brown sugar
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
* 1/3 cup sour cream
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 large eggs

For apples:

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; sauté until apples begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and cinnamon and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes longer. Cool.

For cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Combine flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt in large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside 2/3 cup of mixture for topping. Beat pumpkin, sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, spice, and baking soda into remaining flour mixture, beating just until smooth. Beat in eggs. Transfer batter to pan. Scatter apples evenly over top. Sprinkle reserved topping over apples.

Bake cake until topping is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 20 minutes. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides from cake. Transfer cake to platter. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.
I've made this before and it is delicious. It's also a good breakfast cake treat. (Original recipe here)

We're also having the usual mashed potatoes & gravy, ginger-apricot whole berry cranberries, corn, dinner rolls, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie.

For other recipes & ideas see:

Thanksgiving 2008: Good Eats Roast Turkey, Gravy (and gravy making tips), Ginger Apricot Cranberry Sauce, Basic French Bread, Sweet Potato Balls.

Thanksgiving 2007: Bruschetta, Brie Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole (which I really recommend making with freshly baked yams, not canned sweet potatoes), Old Fashioned Dinner Rolls, Herb Bread & Dipping Oil, Bavarian Apple Torte.

For a non-pumpkin, non-apple, super easy dessert: Peanut Butter Pie

Feel free to share your ideas/recipes, too!

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