Category Archives: holiday

Turkey Day For Two

first things first

We are just cooking for two today so we shall not go overboard as we used to when cooking a thanksgiving meal. This is another occasion where measurement is not a part of meal preparation for me. Also, with just two, I do not want food to go to waste. So I am going with smaller portions and focus on quick and easy, but there are a few things I cannot make compromise on, stuffing, cranberry sauce must be made from scratch. I buy a smaller turkey without the wings and legs it is easy to position it in a way that holds herbed butter under the skin when balanced upright, or should I say… upside down.

I add the herbs and seasoning to unsalted dairy free butter and cook the flavor in gently. I am infusing quite a lot of sage, thyme, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper into the butter.

The important part is to separate the skin from the meat, getting under the membrane without tearing any holes in it so the liquid cannot escape. If done right there you will not compromise the pocket you have created and you will have a juicy turkey. I cooked it in this upright position the entire time and covered it with tinfoil after the first hour. It seems to cook faster in this position.

In a large crockpot, fill half way with cornbread and a whole grain nut and seed bread, dried and in small pieces. I use more herbed butter for the stuffing, you will need 1 lb of it, divided into two equal parts. I add one portion of the butter to the pan with a chopped onion, mushrooms and celery and cook until soft and beginning to brown. This will seem like an excessive amount of butter but it will pick up the flavor of the onion, mushrooms and celery and in turn they will taste buttery but the important part is that the bread really picks up all of the flavors through the butter. Once the onion is mostly translucent remove the pan from the heat and add onion mixture to the crock pot. Mix everything together really well and drizzle on the remaining half of the butter. From this point on you will want to add turkey broth until you reach a proper level of moisture. Cover the crockpot and cook on high for one to one and a half hours. At the half way point stir and do a taste test to adjust seasoning.

I am cutting corners, the yams are just tossed in on the sidelines, they aren’t in an elaborate desert or candied. I picked up a frozen dairy free pie, but I cannot bring myself to use canned cranberry. They are also selling cranberries in two pound bags this year so I think I may need to make some other cranberry recipes. Perhaps Cranberry bars or a coconut cream cranberry tart… But for now I will just start with jellied cranberries.

The Bobbie!

This is one of the food items I miss the most from Las Vegas. The third on the list to be exact, after In-n-Out and Roberto’s Taco Shop is Capriotti’s. When there used to be one up the street I kept their number programmed into my phone. I love this sandwich so much that I never actually tried anything else on their menu ever. Though they have opened one in my state it’s too far away so here is how you make them.

Instruction:

Buy a good soft hoagie.. or work with what you can find in stores as I have done here.

Open up the bread without cutting all the way through and coat it with mayonnaise, then spread a layer of Cranberry sauce on top of that. then on one side place Leftover stuffing, on the other side place shredded roast turkey.

 

Perfect Cranberry Sauce

For me there is no substitute for plain freshly made cranberry sauce and it is incredibly easy to make. I prefer to use Clementines or Mandarin oranges , they sell them by the case this time of year. A splatter guard and/or lid is recommended specifically so you don’t have a ring of tiny red spots around your burner in the end. For straining, the cheesecloth method is a bit messy and cranberry is a pretty strong natural dye. With a wire mesh strainer you can just smoosh it about with a spoon for a while.

 

Ingredients:

12 oz fresh cranberries

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1/4 teaspoon orange zest (optional)

Instruction:

In a sauce pan, add all ingredients and mix well. Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer, stir occasionally until the cranberries begin to break down. (4-5 minutes)

Once all of their skins have split and burst open use a potato masher and smash the cranberries into a sauce for 1-2 minutes more before removing from heat.

If you like the skin in your sauce then you are done, if you like it without lumps use a wire mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

 

Cornbread Sage Stuffing

You need a good southern cornbread recipe for this, some cornbread is too sweet to make stuffing with. I like to make mine in a cast iron skillet the day before, crumble it up and let it dry out till the next day, the same with biscuits. Check your broth for salt content before you add salt, to see if this should add any at all, some broth has 1,000 mg of salt in it. Also watch for browning

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided(or in my case, dairy free butter)

1 onion, diced

3 ribs celery, sliced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 cups dried bread, cubed

3 cups dried cornbread, crumbled

2 cups dried biscuits, torn into pieces

1/2 cup celery leaf, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh sage

1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 cup bone broth

1 large egg

Instruction:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a skillet over medium heat melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion, celery, salt and pepper. Saute until onions are translucent, stir occasionally (8-10 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix bread, cornbread and biscuit pieces along with the celery leaf, fresh thyme and sage.

In another bowl whisk an egg into the bone broth.

Once onions are translucent add them to the bread mixture. While mixing, slowly incorporate the bone broth.

Transfer stuffing into your baking dish (or turkey), melt the remaining butter and drizzle over the top of the stuffing. Bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees.

 

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Rustic Apple Cranberry Tart

This tart has the citrus zest and the tangy cranberry balanced out with gooey cinnamon apple pie. This tart comes out very moist.

Ingredients:

1 pie crust

1 teaspoon almond milk

1 teaspoon sugar

 

Filling:

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest, I used clementine oranges

3 large apples, peeled and sliced thin

1 cup fresh cranberries

 

Instruction:

Mix almond milk and sugar in a small dish, set aside.

Spread pie crust into baking dish, do not remove excess dough from edges, set aside.

In a large bowl mix all filling ingredients together until thoroughly combined, pour into the pie crust and gently fold the dough over the top edges of the pie.

Brush the exposed crust with  the sugar/almond milk mixture.

Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 F and bake for 1 hour. Cool before serving or you will loose structural integrity.

 

 

 

 

My favorite Thanksgiving ‘Leftover’ Recipes

Between these three recipes most of my leftovers are taken care of. They are also conveniently a breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

2 cups left over mashed potatoes

1 shallot, finely diced

3/4 cup flour

1 large egg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup oil for frying

 

Instruction:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add spoonfulls to heated oil and fry until golden/medium brown on both sides.

Set on paper towels to drain extra oil and let cool slightly.

 


The Bobbie

1 sandwich roll cut in half(not all the way through). Add mayonnaise to both sides.

On one side of the bread add a thin layer of cranberry sauce to the mayonnaise. Add a layer of shredded turkey meat on top of the cranberry then add heaping spoonfuls of stuffing on top of the turkey and spread out(moist sage stuffing works best) fold together and enjoy.

 


Turkey & Dumplings with Winter Root Vegetables

Ingredients:

6 pieces pepper bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 tablespoon butter

1 shallot, diced

3 pieces of celery, sliced

1 celeriac root, diced

1 rutabaga, diced

1 parsnip, sliced

2 carrots, sliced

3 potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces

2 quarts low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup frozen peas (can be substituted with green beans)

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1/8 tsp dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon dried sage

1 cup leftover turkey meat, shredded into small chunks

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

1 package biscuit dough

Instructions:

In a 4 qt soup pan add bacon and cook until crisp, set bacon aside and remove all but 1 tbs oil from the pan.

Add butter and shallots to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add celery, celeriac, rutabaga, parsnip, carrots and potatoes and cook over medium-high heat until things begin to brown slightly, 5-8 minutes, stir often.

Add chicken broth, peas, thyme, bay leaf, sage, bacon and turkey meat, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered,  for about 10 minutes.

Mix the milk and flour together unti well combined and add to soup pot, mix well and remove bay leaf. Taste test for seasoning adjustments.

Open biscuit package and flatten out the biscuits with your fingers by stretching them, cover all areas on the surface with dough. place lid on pan and simmer for 20 minutes.