Thanksgiving Favorites for my Crew!

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Thanksgiving is finally here and the holiday season has officially begun!  I thought I would share my family’s favorite side dishes that I will be preparing this year for our Thanksgiving table.

The turkey is always the star of the show; for information on roasting the perfect turkey see my instructions at The Art of Living Beautifully, and thanks Lauren Palmer for this beautiful photo!

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Brandon wants Fontina Mac and Cheese~

1 pound Cavatappi pasta

1 ½ cups heavy cream

3 cups whole milk

1 tablespoons flour

2 cups grated Fontina cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Butter a 9×13 glass baking dish.  Cook pasta in salted water to just al dente.  Whisk seasoning and flour into cream and milk.  Add half of the cheese to the milk mixture.  Place cooked pasta into the prepared baking dish and pour milk mixture over pasta, stir to combine well.  Sprinkle top of dish with remaining cheese.  Bake 25 minutes, if top is getting too brown tent lightly with foil.  Allow dish to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Brooke wants Homemade Green Bean Casserole~

1 pound of fresh or frozen green beans thawed

1 can fried onions

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup finely minced mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1 cup milk

1 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large saucepan, melt butter, add the mushrooms and cook for about 6 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Add flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Warm the milk and stock together in the microwave for 2 minutes, add salt, pepper and liquid and whisk well.  Cook sauce until it thickens, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.  Add ½ of the fried onions and all of the green beans.  Toss well.  Pour mixture into a casserole dish, top with remaining onions and cook for 20-25 minutes until casserole is bubbling.

Mark wants Browned Butter Sweet Potatoes with Caramel and Pecans~

4 pounds sweet potatoes

½ stick butter

½ cup cream

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Salt to taste

Bake sweet potatoes in the oven set to 400 degrees until they are fork tender.  Let potatoes cool completely before removing them from their jackets.  In small chefs pan heat butter until melted, continue to cook over medium heat until it begins to brown.  Once brown, pour butter into a dish, if it stays too warm the butter can blacken and get bitter.  Meanwhile, mash potatoes with cream, sugar and cinnamon.  Add butter and mix well.  Salt the potatoes to taste before topping with Bourbon Caramel Sauce.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce with Pecans

1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon bourbon

1½ cups chopped pecans

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat until it is amber in color and sugar is melted.  Do not stir pan, tip and swirl to help the sugar melt.  Whisk in butter and stir until combined.  Remove from heat wait 5-10 second before adding bourbon and cream.  Mixture will foam up but just keep stirring.  If mixture has lumps in it, continue to stir over low heat until they melt. Once smooth add pecans.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours, I hope it is wonderful!

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Turkey Talk on Fox 4

We put so much pressure on ourselves to prepare the perfect Thanksgiving feast. Making a turkey only once a year can cause even the most accomplished home chef to get a bit nervous.  We all want the star of the show to be succulent and juicy and for me, the best insurance policy is a wet brine solution.

Join me on Wednesday, November 22nd about 8:40 am, on Fox 4 Good Day.  I will show you the simple techniques to insure you have a beautiful bird on the table this year and every year!

See the recipes and a recap of turkey tips below.

This year, I am most grateful for the time to share a meal of fresh food with my darling family.  What are you grateful for this year? I would love to hear from you.

Au revoir for now

Lorie

Turkey Tips

-Brine the turkey to insure it’s tender and juicy

-Let the turkey come to room temp before cooking, about 30 minutes

-For golden skin on the turkey, pat dry very well and brush with melted butter

-If you brine, don’t add more salt

-No need to baste!

-Let turkey rest 20-30 minutes before carving 

Wet Brined Turkey 12-18 Pounds

Brine

2 gallons water

1 ¼ cups kosher salt

1 cup sugar

8 whole cloves garlic

1 tablespoon pepper corns

2 onions cut in quarters

2 sprigs rosemary

2 sprigs thyme

Turkey

12-18 pound turkey

4 tablespoons butter melted

1 onion quartered

1 orange cut in wedges

1 celery stalk cut in pieces

2 sprigs rosemary

In a large pot heat 1 gallon of water with salt and sugar and bring to a boil.  Add aromatics and remove from heat, add remaining gallon of water.  When the water is completely cool, pour it into a large zip top bag inside a plastic tub.  Submerge the turkey in the cool water.  Zip the bag and place turkey tub in the refrigerator for 6 hours.  Remove the turkey and discard the brine solution.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Let turkey come to room temperature about 30 minutes.  Pat the bird down until completely dry and place it into a roasting pan with a wire rack.  Stuff the cavity of the turkey with onions, orange, celery and rosemary.  Brush the entire surface of the turkey with butter. Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and place the turkey in the oven.  Turn the oven down to 325 degrees after the first 30 minutes of cooking.  Cook turkey roughly 15 minutes per pound but be sure you test the thickest part of the breast to reach a minimum temperature of 165 degrees.

No Fail Cream Gravy

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 ½ cups chicken or turkey stock

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper

Melt butter in the bottom of a sauce pan, add flour and cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, warm the chicken stock and milk together in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Add liquid to flour mixture whisking vigorously and cook until thick. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste. For brown gravy; simply cook the butter and flour mixture an additional 3 -5 minutes, to brown the roux before adding the liquid.

Tip: For a brown gravy, cook the butter flour mixture 5-6 minutes until is is medium brown in color, then proceed with recipe.