Thursday, November 27, 2014

20 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 20 - The Thanksgiving Dinner

Field Greens Salad
Split Pea Soup
Turkey - Roasted in a Paper Bag
Apple Cranberry Stuffing
Cranberry Sauce 
Stuffed Salmon
Green Beans Almandine 
Macaroni and Cheese - for Holidays Only 
Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider
Sweet Potato Pie
 

Field Greens Salad
6 – 8 servings
Ingredients
1 ½ pounds salad greens
1 cup mandarin oranges
½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup pecans halves
¼ cup Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

Method
In a large bowl, toss the salad greens, oranges, blue cheese and pecans.
Just prior to serving, add the dressing and toss until thoroughly mixed.   Do not saturate greens with dressing ¼ cup is sufficient to moisten and flavor the salad.
 

Split Pea Soup
6 - 8 Servings
Ingredients                                               
3 quarts water
1 large bay leaf
1 pound split peas
1 large potato, peeled, quartered
1 large carrot, sliced
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon ground fennel (cumin or rosemary)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method
Roughly cut potatoes and carrots because they will be pureed
In a large stockpot, add all ingredients. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium low and cover. 
Cook for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until everything is soft; when soup is done, remove the bay leaf.
Remove pot from the heat; if you have an immersion blender (hand wand) puree soup in the pot.
If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender and puree, then return soup to the pot. 
Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Continue cooking uncovered an additional 15 minutes or until the soup reaches the desired thickness.  Keep in mind that once the soup sets, it will become twice as thick.
 


Ingredients
1 – 12 lb turkey
1+ tablespoon coarse sea salt 1 tablespoon black pepper
1+ tablespoon garlic powder
1+ tablespoon onion powder
1 cup peanut oil (use peanut oil only.  Other oils will set the bag on fire)
2+ teaspoons poultry seasoning (recipe to follow)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 large brown paper bag

Note:  Turkey should be seasoned 1 day prior to cooking.  If turkey is frozen allow 3 day for it to thaw in the refrigerator.

Method:
Remove giblet bag from turkey clean it inside and outside thoroughly.  Pat it dry with paper towels then generously sprinkle the inside and outside with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and poultry seasoning.  (It is best to purchase new poultry seasoning or make it fresh.)  Wrap the bird in foil and let it sit over night.
 
  Poultry Seasoning
Ingredients
2 tablespoon sage, rubbed
1 tablespoon thyme, dried
1 tablespoon rosemary, dried
1 tablespoon marjoram, dried
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method 
Combine all ingredients.
Try and purchase all ingredients from a specialty store that sells herbs and spices in bulk.  This way you can purchase only the amount that is needed.  

24 Hours Later

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl, mix together the peanut oil with 1 tablespoon each of the following:  garlic powder, onion powder and paprika and 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and unwrap.  Drain turkey of any excess liquid that may have accumulated then rest it on the foil.  Massage the oil mixture over the turkey making sure you coat it inside and out thoroughly.

Coat the paper bag thoroughly with the remaining oil mixture. Add more peanut oil if needed to coat the bag. To ensure that the bag does not catch fire, you must use peanut oil.

Place the paper bag in a roasting pan, insert a roasting rack (if you have) in the bag and place the turkey on the rack then staple the bag shut.

Put pan in the oven and bake undisturbed 10 minutes per pound (a 12 pound turkey will cook in 2 hours).

After the cooking time has elapsed, remove turkey from oven and let it sit  in  the unopened bag 1 hour before serving.

Note: Even after the turkey is removed from the oven it will continue to cook.  Just know, that if you followed the instructions your turkey will be done, juicy and golden brown.

Do not over crowd your oven.  The more food you have in it, the longer it will take your food to cook.

Apple Cranberry Stuffing
8 - 10 servings

Note: This dish can be put together 24 hours prior to actually cooking.  Just moisten with ½ cup of vegetable broth prior to baking.

Ingredients
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon sage
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, diced
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, diced
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 bag Pepperidge farm stuffing - 16 oz [cornbread or herb]

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly spray a baking dish
In a small bowl, combine vegetable broth and cranberries; let soak for 30 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sage, saute 3 minutes.
Add bell pepper, celery, garlic, poultry seasoning and salt; cook for a few minutes stirring frequently until tender.
 Add apples and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and add vegetable broth, seasonings and stuffing mix.
Mix gently to combine then spoon mixture into prepared dish.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until center is set.
 
Cranberry Sauce
8 – 10 Servings
Ingredients
12 ounce bag of cranberries 
1½ cups sugar
1 cup water
1 whole orange, peeled, seeds removed and chopped 
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup of crushed pineapples, juice included
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Note:  Fresh cranberries can be found in the produce section

Method
Sort through cranberries and remove stems or bad berries rinse, then set aside.
Mix sugar and water together and bring to a boil.  Add cranberries, oranges, allspice and cinnamon.  Cook over a medium flame, uncovered until berries pop open stirring frequently.  Add pineapples, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 45 minutes - 1 hour or until desired thickness is reached stirring occasionally.
Sauce can be served hot or cold.

Stuffed Salmon
8 - 10 Servings
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
½ pound fresh spinach
2 ½ - 3 pound salmon fillet
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 – 2 teaspoons black pepper
½ pound roasted red peppers

Have the butcher cut a pocket the length of the salmon 
Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heat olive oil in a sauté pan; add garlic and spinach and sauté just until spinach wilts.  
Immediately remove from heat and let it cool down as quickly as possible.    Combine salt, granulated garlic and black pepper in a small vessel then sprinkle it on the salmon inside the pocket and outside rubbing it in. 
Place salmon in a lined or oiled sheet pan, open the pocket and line the bottom half with the spinach then add a layer of the roasted peppers, close the salmon flap.  
Place the salmon in the preheated oven and roast 20 – 25 minutes and no longer.   
If you want it browned, place it directly under the broiler 5 minutes prior to the elapse of the cooking period.   
Salmon will continue cooking anywhere from 8 - 10 minutes after it is removed from the heat, so let it sit undisturbed until cooking process is complete.
 
  Green Beans Almandine
4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:
2 lbs. green beans
2 large bay leaves
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup raw slivered almonds
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon salt

Method
Cut tips off the beans, rinse and place beans and bay leaves in a large pot filled with water.  Bring water to a boil and boil the beans for 3 minutes.  Drain beans and set them aside.  In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil then add all ingredients.  Sauté until beans are done approximately 10 minutes.  Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning accordingly.  Remove bay leaves before serving.
 
Macaroni and Cheese – for Holidays Only
8 – 10 Servings

Ingredients
1 pound box elbow macaroni
4 quarts water
1 bay leaf
½  teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon paprika
½ teaspoon basil
2 eggs, at room temperature
3 cups milk, at room temperature
2 cups grated pepper jack cheese
2 ½ cups grated Extra Sharp NY or WI Extra Sharp cheddar cheese

Method
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Cook macaroni to al dente:  In a large pot, pour in 4 quarts of water add the bay leaf and bring to a rapid boil.
Add macaroni, stir it and bring water back up to a rapid boil.
Once water is boiling, stir again, cover the pot and remove it from the heat.
Let pot sit covered and undisturbed for the length of the cooking time that is stated on the box approximately 6 minutes.
Drain, remove bay leaf, return macaroni to pot and mix in salt, paprika and oregano then set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until thoroughly combined.
Add the liquid to the macaroni then stir in the cheese.  Mix until well combined, mixture should be slightly moist, not swimming in milk.
Transfer mixture to an oval baking dish.  
Bake uncovered until cheese melts and the top is lightly browned, about 45 minutes.


Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider
25 Servings

Ingredients
2 quarts apple cider
6 cups cranberry juice
¼ cup packed brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon whole cloves
1 lemon, juiced

Method
In a large pot, combine apple cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove cinnamon and cloves. 
Serve hot. 

Sweet Potato Pie
16 Servings
Ingredients
2½ lbs sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
1 cup evaporated milk
3 eggs
1½ cups brown sugar
½ cup granulated cane sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
½ teaspoon ginger
2 commercial pie crust
Method
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Wash potatoes and slice them in half, lengthwise.
Sprinkle each half with pumpkin spice mix.
Bake in oven 35 minutes or until potatoes are done
Let potatoes cool down just enough to peel.
Place peeled potatoes in the bowl of your electric mixer affixed with the paddle add all other ingredients except the crust and mix on medium low until you have a puree.
Prepare crust according to the instructions on the package.
Pour filling into the partially baked pie shell, make sure your oven is still on 350 degrees and bake 60 minutes or until pie is set in the middle.
Let pie cool before serving.
 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

20 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 19 The Beverages



Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider
25 Servings

Ingredients
2 quarts apple cider
6 cups cranberry juice
¼ cup packed brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon whole cloves
1 lemon, juiced

Method
In a large pot, combine apple cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove cinnamon and cloves.
Serve hot.


 Strawberry Ice Tea
¾ Gallon 
Ingredients
8 tea bags
8 cups [64 ounces] water
Simple syrup
2 cup granulated sugar
2 cup water
1 cup strawberries, fresh

Method
The Tea
In a saucepan, bring the 8 cups of water to a boil. Add the tea bags, remove from the heat, cover, and steep for 15 minutes.
The Syrup
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves
Add strawberries and cook 10 – 13 minutes stirring occasionally.
Strain the strawberry syrup through a small mesh strainer. Using a wooden spoon, push some of the strawberries through the strainer and discard the rest.  
To Combine
Remove the tea bags without squeezing them, and pour the tea into a large container. Add 2 cups of the syrup and stir. Let stand at room temperature until cool.
Do not put hot tea in the refrigerator to cool down, as this will cause the tea to cloud.
Serve the tea over ice, stir in additional syrup if desired.

Note: A simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water cooked until sugar dissolves   




  Citrus Cooler
Yields ½ gallon

Ingredients 
64 ounces water
2 sprig fresh mint
2 slices of lime
2 slices lemon
2 slices orange

Place all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before drinking.  Refill container three time or when flavor fades before discarding ingredients.   

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

20 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 18 Potato Salads

 
 
Bleu Ribbon Potato Salad
6 – 8 Servings
Ingredients
3 pounds red potatoes cut into 1” dice
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
½ bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
6 ounces gorgonzola cheese
¼ cup vegan mayo
¼ cup fat free sour cream

Method
Wash potatoes and scrub with a vegetable brush, cut off any bad spots or blemishes, but do not peel. Cut potatoes into 1” dice.
Place potatoes and bay leaf in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil.  Boil until potatoes are just fork tender about 13 minutes. 
Thoroughly drain potatoes, discard bay leaf and place potatoes in a bowl. 
While potatoes are still hot, season them with salt and pepper then mix in the white wine vinegar.
Spread potatoes out to cool on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them sit for about 15 minutes on the counter before placing them in the refrigerator. Let potatoes cool in refrigerator uncovered for 30 minutes. 
Once potatoes have cooled down, add in all vegetables and mix thoroughly then add the cheese, mayo and cream and mix thoroughly.
Cover, return to the refrigerator until salad is cold.
 
Soulful Potato Salad
6 Servings
Ingredients
2 ½ lbs russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
4 sweet pickles, diced, fine 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup vegan mayo

Method
Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes.  Boil in water until fork tender about 13 minutes.
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.
Place pan in the refrigerator uncovered for approximately 30 minutes.
Once potatoes are cool, transfer potatoes to a bowl, mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold.

 Traditional Potato Salad
6 - 8 Servings
Ingredients
2 ½ lbs russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium red onion, diced
2 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small carrot, grated
2 hard boiled eggs, diced
½ cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Method
Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes.  Boil in water until fork tender about 13 minutes.
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.  Then refrigerate uncovered in order for them to cool down for 30 minutes.
Place potatoes in a bowl and thoroughly mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold.
 
 

Monday, November 24, 2014

20 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 17 The Roast



Garlic Ginger Pork Loin Roast
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
3 large cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup minced onion
Juice of 1 large lime or orange (about ¼ cup)
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons spicy mustard or Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 ½ - 3 pounds boneless pork loin roast

Note To ensure that your meat is done use a thermometer and cook to the recommended temperature.

Method
In a large, zip lock bag; add garlic, onion, lime juice, honey, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ginger, salt and pepper and squish the bag around to combine the marinade ingredients.
Add the pork loin and turn the bag over and over so the roast is covered with the marinade, squeeze out all the air and seal.
Refrigerate overnight.
Remove roast from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature in the bag before cooking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and place the roast in the pan.
Bake roast, uncovered, for 1 hour and 45 minutes or use a thermometer and cook until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
Once roast is done, remove it from the oven and cover with foil.

Let roast rest 30 minutes before slicing.


 Pot Roast
8 Servings

Ingredients
1 – 3 to 4 pound boneless roast
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 medium onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups water
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves

Method
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, smoked paprika and brown sugar.
Season the roast on all sides with the mixture let it marinate at least 2 hours in the refrigerator or over night before cooking.
Remove seasoned roast from the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat, and sear the roast on all sides.
Remove the roast and add the onions, garlic and tomato paste and saute until slightly colored.
Return the roast to the pot and add the water, thyme and bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven.
Let roast cook for 1½ hours add the carrots and continue cooking another 30 minutes.
Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
Slice and place on a platter along with the carrots.